Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I (1992). It is known from five protected areas: Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Omoi and Manambaling Cockatoo Reserves in Dumaran, Culasian Managed Resource Protected Area in Rizal and Samar Island Natural Park. It is also known from two sites proposed for major project funding: Dinagat and Tawitawi. Since 1998 an intensive species conservation programme, the Philippine Cockatoo Conservation Program (PCCP) has been implemented by the Katala Foundation. In 2005, the Katala Foundation started to plan and build the Katala Institute for Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation, designed as a centre for environmental education and research, as well as possibly serving a role as a facility for the captive breeding of C. haematuropygia. By 2009, a number of the buildings and facilities at the institute had been completed (Schoppe et al. 2009). Three protected areas have been specifically created for the species in Palawan on Rasa Island, Dumaran and Rizal. Conservation efforts on Rasa Island recovered a small population from 25 individuals to over 200 by July 2008 (Widmann and Widmann 2008) and c.280 in 2012 (P. Widmann in litt. 2012). Poachers have been trained as wildlife wardens and were provided with alternative sources of income. This turned out to be the single most effective activity to prevent poaching and was repeated in three other project sites. Awareness campaigns have been conducted on Mindanao, Palawan and Polillo. Trilingual conservation posters have been distributed nationwide. The Katala Pride Campaign launched on Dumaran Island has focused on raising awareness among students and farmers (Anon. 2005). In 1992, an international captive-breeding programme was initiated, with 39 birds kept under the European Studbook in 2007 (P. Widmann in litt. 2008). In 2005, drought caused the starvation of 15 chicks, so 10 chicks were hand-reared for an experimental translocation (Widmann and Widmann 2005). An extreme drought in 2010, possibly worse than that in 2005, resulted in only 15 of 25 nests on Rasa producing a total of 24 young, of which only five survived until late April and were rescued for supplementary feeding. Supplemental food and water were provided for adult birds on Rasa to mitigate the effects of the drought (Anon. 2010). Currently, sites are assessed and tested for their suitability for translocation. A first attempt on a resort island in northern Palawan indicated that rescued hand-raised birds can adapt well to natural conditions (foraging, predator avoidance), but was terminated owing to problems caused by tameness. Conservation efforts started in 2010 at a new project site on Pandanan Island to the south of Palawan (Anon. 2010), where recent surveys confirmed the presence of a viable population (Widmann and Lacerna-Widmann 2009). At least 15 nestlings have been ringed and successfully fledged, with one brood requiring supplementary feeding, and potential nest-trees continue to be monitored. Meetings, focus groups and other events have been held to engage local communities, and alternative income sources are being promoted to reduce trapping pressure (Anon. 2010). Experimental habitat restoration has been initiated at Dumaran and one mainland site in Palawan. A project to identify suitable reintroduction sites and to create necessary conditions for reintroduction (e.g. legal, social acceptance, site preparation) was initiated in 2012 (P. Widmann in litt. 2012).
Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys on all range islands to assess the species's population size and distribution. Monitor population trends. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation. Quantify levels of trapping, persecution and trade. Designate further protected areas (e.g. Tawitawi and localities on or near to Palawan). Support the proposed expansion of St Paul's Subterranean National Park. Prevent further mangrove destruction. Promote economically viable alternatives to cockatoo-trapping. Continue education programmes. Establish staffed posts at airports and ferry terminals. Conduct translocation into suitable (well-protected, intact) lowland forest or mangrove habitats.