Archived 2014 discussion: Negros Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus arcanus): uplist to Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)?

This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.

BirdLife species factsheet for Negros Fruit-dove

Negros Fruit-dove Ptilinopus arcanus is restricted to the Philippines, where it is known from only a single female specimen (one of a pair) collected on Mt Canlaon on the island of Negros in 1953 (Collar et al. 1999). It is currently listed as Critically Endangered under criteria C2a(i,ii); D, on the basis that any remaining population is likely to be tiny (<50 mature individuals), and undergoing a continuing decline owing to hunting and extensive habitat destruction.

The discovery of various threatened species on Panay which, until 1990, were known only from Negros and sometimes formerly Guimaras (e.g. Negros Bleeding-heart Gallicolomba keayi and White-throated Jungle-flycatcher Rhinomyias albigularis), suggests that it is not impossible that this enigmatic bird is extant. However, its population is unknown and, given the failure of any fieldworker to encounter it since its discovery, it must be extremely rare. This species is thought to be extinct (D. Allen in lit. 2012) and thus, is proposed for uplisting to Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) under criterion C2a(i,ii); D, on the basis that, if it is still extant, the population must number fewer than 50 mature individuals, the majority of which are likely to be in one subpopulation and in continuing decline. Comprehensive, targeted surveys are required, using extensive sound recording equipment (D. Allen in lit. 2012) within all suitable lowland to mid-montane habitat, to determine if this species is still extant.

Further information on this species is welcome, and comments are invited on the proposed category change.


Collar, N. J., Mallari, N. A. D. and Tabaranza, B. R. J. (1999) Threatened birds of the Philippines: the Haribon Foundation/BirdLife International Red Data Book. Makati City, Philippines: Bookmark Inc.

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4 Responses to Archived 2014 discussion: Negros Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus arcanus): uplist to Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)?

  1. Desmond Allen says:

    or even ‘most likely extinct’

  2. Fruit-doves in the Philippines are extremely shy and visually encounter rates, particularly versus vocal encounters, are very low. It is quite possible that even on Negros this species might be overlooked, and the extensive forests of Panay which have yet to be surveyed by experienced field-workers might well have the species.
    I think until thorough surveys, particularly on Panay, have been conducted it is would be premature to consider the species as possibly exinct.

  3. Andy Symes says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information and comments posted above, our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List would be to continue to treat Negros Fruit-dove Ptilinopus arcanus as Critically Endangered under criterion C2a(i,ii).

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 March, after which recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  4. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there has been no change to our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List status of this species.

    The final categorisation will be published later in 2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessment by BirdLife and IUCN.

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