Philippine dwarf kingfisher

Philippine dwarf kingfisher

Philippine dwarf kingfisher

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Kingdom
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SPECIES
Ceyx melanurus

The Philippine dwarf kingfisher (Ceyx melanurus ) is a species of bird in the family Alcedinidae that is endemic to the Philippines found in the islands of Luzon, Polillo Islands, Catanduanes, Basilan, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. Its natural habitat is tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Appearance

The Philippine dwarf kingfisher is a small mostly orange kingfisher with a red beak and legs, and a white belly. It has a light lilac hue which is more intense in the southern subspecies and has dark blue spotted wings for the northern subspecies.

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The Philippine kingfisher was formally described by the German naturalist Johann Jakob Kaup in 1848 under the binomial name Alcedo melanura. The specific epithet is from the Ancient Greek melanouros meaning "with a black tail". The Philippine dwarf kingfisher is now placed in the genus Ceyx that was introduced by the French naturalist Bernard Germain de Lacépède in 1799.

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Distribution

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It is found in lowland primary and secondary forest up to 750 meters above sea level. It prefers areas with high rainfall.

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The IUCN Red List follows the Handbook of the Birds of the World thus assesses the North and South subspecies separately. Both species or subspecies have been assessed as vulnerable with the population believed to be on the decline. The Southern subspecies has a lower estimated population of 2,500 to 9,999 mature individuals with the Northern subspecies estimated at 10,000 - 19,999. This species' main threat is habitat loss with wholesale clearance of forest habitats as a result of logging, agricultural conversion and mining activities occurring within the range.

There are currently no targeted conservation plans for the species. It occurs in a few protected areas throughout its range like the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, Bataan National Park, Samar Island Natural Park, Mount Kitanglad National Park but protection and enforcement from loggers and hunters is still lax.

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References

1. Philippine dwarf kingfisher Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_dwarf_kingfisher
2. Philippine dwarf kingfisher on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/61655451/95174513

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