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Agapornis lilianae - Lilian's lovebird (1) Agapornis roseicollis - Peach-faced lovebird (2) Alipiopsitta xanthops - Yellow-faced Parrot (1) Alisterus amboinensis - Moluccan King Parrot (1) Alisterus scapularis - Australian King Parrot (4) Amazona aestiva - Blue-fronted Amazon (12) Amazona agilis - Black-billed Parrot (5) Amazona albifrons - White-fronted Amazon (6) Amazona amazonica - Orange-winged Amazon (5) Amazona arausiaca - Red-necked Parrot (1) Amazona auropalliata - Yellow-naped amazon (3) Amazona autumnalis - Red-lored Amazon (8) Amazona barbadensis - Yellow-shouldered amazon (5) Amazona brasiliensis - Red-tailed Amazon (1) Amazona collaria - Yellow-billed Parrot (6) Amazona farinosa - Mealy Amazon (2) Amazona festiva - Festive Parrots (1) Amazona finschi - Lilac crowned Amazon (13) Amazona guildingii - St. Vincent Amazon (7) Amazona imperialis - Imperial Amazon (1) Amazona l. bahamensis - Bahama Parrot (5) Amazona l. caymanensis - Grand Cayman Parrot (5) Amazona l. hesterna - Cayman Brac Parrot (5) Amazona lilacina - Ecuador Amazon (4) Amazona ochrocephala - Yellow-crowned Amazon (3) Amazona oratrix - Yellow-headed Amazon (21) Amazona rhodocorytha - Red-browed Amazon (2) Amazona tucumana - Tucumán Amazon (2) Amazona ventralis - Hispaniola Parrots (3) Amazona versicolor - Saint Lucia Amazon (1) Amazona vinacea - Vinaceous-breasted Amazon (3) Amazona viridigenalis - Red-crowned Amazon (31) Amazona vittata - Puerto Rican Amazon (18) Amazona xantholora - Yellow-lored Amazon (1) Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus - Hyacinth Macaw (5) Anodorhynchus leari - Lear's Macaw (3) Ara ambiguus - Great Green Macaw (8) Ara ararauna - Blue-and-Gold Macaw (30) Ara ararauna - Blue-and-Gold Macaw (12) Ara chloropterus- Green-winged macaw (12) Ara glaucogularis - Blue-throated Macaw (9) Ara macao - Scarlet Macaw (40) Ara militaris - Military Macaw (7) Ara rubrogenys - Red-fronted macaw (1) Aratinga acuticaudata - Blue-crowned Parakeet (4) Aratinga auricapillus - Gold-capped conure (1) Aratinga canicularis - Orange-fronted Parakeet (7) Aratinga erythrogenys - Red-masked Parakeet (15) Aratinga holochlora - Green Parakeet (7) Aratinga jandaya - Jenday conure (3) Aratinga leucophthalma - White-eyed Parakeet (1) Aratinga mitrata -Mitred Parakeet (14) Aratinga nana - Olive-throated Parakeet (2) Aratinga pertinax - Brown-throated Parakeet (1) Aratinga solstitialis - Sun Conure (2) Aratinga strenua - Pacific Parakeet (1) Aratinga wagleri - Scarlet-fronted Parakeet (1) Barnardius zonarius - Australian Ringneck (1) Bolborhynchus lineola - Barred Parakeet (1) Brotogeris chiriri - Yellow-chevroned parakeet (3) Brotogeris jugularis - Orange-chinned Parakeet (2) Brotogeris pyrrhoptera - Grey-cheeked Parakeet (2) Brotogeris versicolurus - White-winged Parakeet (1) Cacatua alba - Umbrella Cockatoo (8) Cacatua ducorpsii - Solomons Cockatoo (1) Cacatua galerita - Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (50) Cacatua goffiniana - Tanimbar Corella (8) Cacatua haematuropygia - Philippine Cockatoo (8) Cacatua leadbeateri - Major Mitchell's Cockatoo (4) Cacatua moluccensis - Salmon-crested Cockatoo (10) Cacatua ophthalmica - Blue-eyed Cockatoo (1) Cacatua p. pastinator - Muir's Corella (6) Cacatua pastinator - Western Corella (5) Cacatua sanguinea - Little Corella (43) Cacatua sulphurea - Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (15) Cacatua tenuirostris - Long-billed Corella (10) Callocephalon fimbriatum - Gang-gang Cockatoo (11) Calyptorhynchus banksii - Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (56) Calyptorhynchus baudinii - Baudin Cockatoo (39) Calyptorhynchus funereus - Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (14) Calyptorhynchus lathami - Glossy Black Cockatoo (19) Calyptorhynchus latirostris - Carnaby's Cockatoo (98) Chalcopsitta cardinalis - Cardinal Lory (1) Charmosyna amabilis - Red-throated Lorikeet (1) Charmosyna diadema - Caledonian lorikeet (1) Charmosyna placentis - Red-flanked lorikeet (1) Conuropsis carolinensis - Carolina Parakeet (5) Coracopsis n. barklyi - Seychelles Black Parrot (7) Cyanoliseus patagonus - Burrowing Parrot (5) Cyanopsitta spixii - Spix's Macaw (11) Cyanoramphus auriceps - Yellow-crowned Kakariki (4) Cyanoramphus cookii - Norfolk Parakeet (2) Cyanoramphus malherbi - Orange-fronted parakeet (13) Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae - Red-crowned Kakariki (17) Cyanoramphus ulietanus - Society parakeet (1) Cyanoramphus unicolor - Antipodes Island Parakeet (3) Cyanoramphus zealandicus - Black-fronted parakeets (1) Deroptyus accipitrinus - Hawk-headed parrot (1) Diopsittaca nobilis - Red-shouldered macaw (1) Eclectus roratus - Eclectus Parrot (10) Enicognathus leptorhynchus - Slender-billed parakeet (1) Eolophus roseicapilla - Galah (20) Eos squamata - Violet-necked Lory (2) Eunymphicus uvaeensis - Ouvea parakeet (1) Forpus coelestis - Pacific Parrotlet (1) Forpus conspicillatus - Spectacled Parrotlet (1) Forpus cyanopygius - Mexican Parrotlet (1) Forpus passerinus - Green-rumped Parrotlet (2) Geoffroyus geoffroyi - Red-cheeked Parrot (1) Glossopsitta porphyrocephala - Purple-crowned Lorikeet (1) Graydidascalus brachyurus - Short-tailed Parrot (1) Guaruba guaruba - Golden conure (3) Hapalopsittaca fuertesi - Fuerte's parrot (2) Lathamus discolor - Swift Parrot (26) Leptosittaca branickii - Golden-plumed Parakeet (2) Lophopsittacus mauritianus - Raven parrot (1) Loriculus vernalis - Vernal Hanging Parrot (1) Lorius chlorocercus - Yellow-bibbed Lory (1) Lorius domicella - Black-capped Lory (1) Lorius domicella - Purple-naped Lory (2) Lorius garrulus - Chattering Lory (5) Lorius lorry - black-capped Lories (1) Melopsittacus undulatus - Budgerigar (25) Micropsitta keiensis - Yellow-capped pygmy parrot (1) Micropsitta pusio - Buff-faced pygmy parrot (1) Mopsitta tanta - Danish Blue Parrot (1) Myiopsitta monachus - Monk Parakeet (95) Nandayus nenday - Black-hooded Parakeet (4) Neophema chrysogaster - Orange-bellied Parrot (49) Neophema petrophila - Rock Parrot (1) Neophema pulchella - Turquoise parakeet (2) Nestor chathamensis - Chatham Islands parrot (1) Nestor meridionalis - Kaka (28) Nestor notabilis - Kea (51) Nestor productus - Norfolk Island Kaka (1) nNeophema chrysogaster - Orange-bellied Parrot (2) Northiella haematogaster - Blue bonnet Parrot (1) Nymphicus hollandicus - Cockatiel (7) Ognorhynchus icterotis - Yellow-eared Parrot (5) Orthopsittaca manilata - Red-bellied macaw (1) Pezoporus flaviventris - Western Ground Parrot (16) Pezoporus occidentalis - Night Parrot (11) Pezoporus wallicus - Eastern ground parrot (2) Pezoporus wallicus - Eastern ground parrot (1) Pionites melanocephalus - Black-headed Caique (1) Pionus menstruus - Blue-headed parrot (2) Pionus senilis - White-crowned Parrot (1) Platycercus elegans - Crimson Rosella (8) Platycercus eximius - Eastern Rosella (4) Poicephalus fuscicollis - Brown-necked Parrot (1) Poicephalus robustus - Cape Parrot (7) Poicephalus senegalus - Senegal Parrot (2) Polytelis alexandrae - Princess Parrot (4) Polytelis anthopeplus - Regent Parrot (8) Polytelis swainsonii- Superb Parrot (16) Primolius auricollis - Yellow-collared macaw (1) Probosciger aterrimus - Palm Cockatoo (4) Psephotus chrysopterygius - Golden-shouldered Parrot (3) psephotus haematonotus - Red-rumped parrot (1) psephotus varius - Mulga parrot (1) Psittacara chloroptera - Hispaniolan parakeet (1) Psittacella brehmii - Brehm's Tiger-parrot (1) Psittacula alexandri - Red-breasted Parakeet (1) Psittacula columboides - Malabar Parakeet (1) Psittacula cyanocephala - Plum-headed Parakeet (5) Psittacula derbiana - Derbyan Parakeet (5) Psittacula echo - Mauritius parakeet (3) Psittacula eupatria - Alexandrine Parakeet (18) Psittacula eupatria - Alexandrine Parakeet (5) Psittacula finschii - Grey-headed Parakeet (1) Psittacula himalayana - Slaty-headed Parakeet (1) Psittacula krameri - Ring-necked Parakeet (62) Psittacus erithacus - African Grey Parrot (45) Psittacus erithacus - African Grey Parrot (27) Psittrichas fulgidus - Pesquet's Parrot (1) Pyrrhura albipectus - White-breasted Parakeet (1) Pyrrhura caeruleiceps - Perijá Parakeet (2) Pyrrhura griseipectus - Grey-breasted Parakeet (2) Pyrrhura molinae - Green-cheeked Conure (1) Pyrrhura orcesi - El Oro Parakeet (3) Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha - Thick-billed Parrot (9) Strigops habroptilus - Kakapo (88) Tanygnathus lucionensis - Blue-naped Parrot (4) Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus - Scaly-breasted Lorikeet (1) Trichoglossus rubritorquis - Red-collared Lorikeet (2) Trichoglosus haematodus - Rainbow Lorikeets (18) Vini kuhlii - Kuhl's Lorikeet (1)
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Monday
Mar042013

Clear and critical danger

Philippine cockatoos threathened by a new coal plant.As their name indicates, Philippine cockatoos can be found only in this country—but they are now a critically endangered species. The birds used to be widely found on many islands; by 2008, however, their number was down to less than 1,000, with about a quarter of the population now concentrated on Rasa Island and its surroundings in the municipality of Narra in Palawan. Rasa is a declared wildlife sanctuary and is of global importance for conservation because of not only the Philippine cockatoos but also the high number of threatened flora and fauna.

On Feb. 22, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) gave the green light to a plan to build a 15-megawatt coal-fired power plant in the eastern coast of Narra fronting Rasa Island about a kilometer away. The PCSD granted the so-called Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) clearance to the power facility to be put up by the Consunji-led DMCI Power Corp. This clearance is provided for by a special law that applies only to Palawan (Republic Act No. 7611) and is a condition prior to the grant of an environmental compliance certificate by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The PCSD is chaired by Palawan Gov. Abraham Mitra. Its members include the lawmakers representing the two districts of Palawan; representatives of the Office of the President, DENR, National Economic and Development Authority, and Department of Agriculture; the city mayor; the president of the League of Municipalities of Palawan; the head of the Liga ng mga Barangay; and representatives of the Palawan Provincial Board, nongovernment organizations, military, business, tribal sectors, and the Philippine National Police provincial command.

Conservation groups were quick to denounce the PCSD action. Elizabeth Maclang, advocacy officer of the Palawan NGO Network Inc., which has a seat in the council, said powerful politicians had influenced the vote to allow the project despite the formal opposition of the municipality of Narra, conservation groups, and even the PCSD’s technical evaluators. “This decision also shows the failure of the SEP Law … considering that political and personal interests hold sway in the council,” she said. She warned that her group would challenge the PCSD decision in court.

Indira Dayang Lacerna-Widmann of the Katala Foundation Inc. (the Philippine cockatoo is called “katala” in Palawan) expressed “deep shock” at the PCSD decision, which she described as “a reflection of political maneuvering and vested interests …. that completely ignor[ed] scientific evidence and social acceptability.”

Experts say the coal plant will result in bird casualties due to collisions and electrocution at the feeder power lines. Even more seriously, they note, the power plant will block the flight path of the birds from Narra on the mainland to Rasa, which will result in a reduction of the carrying capacity of the island for the species because parent birds will not anymore be able to provide sufficient food to their young.

Those who live close to the proposed project site also face health risks. The community’s primary means of livelihood is fishing, and thermal pollution from cooling water fallout can lead to adverse effects in the marine ecosystem. Also, the impurities in coal include heavy metals like mercury, which is known to accumulate in marine food chains and, if ingested, can lead to severe health problems involving the immune, circulatory, digestive and nervous systems.

Because of the serious impact of the project and the opposition it generated early on, the PCSD technical staff had presented its evaluation and recommendations to the council’s environment and natural resources committee headed by former Palawan Vice Gov. Dave Ponce de Leon. The recommendations consisted of 15 mitigating measures, including a relocation of the site (Narra had reportedly offered another location for the project), complete trapping of carbon emissions through reforestation, a cleaner source of coal, better monitoring, and a plan for rehabilitation after the plant is abandoned. But none of these was considered in the PCSD’s decision.

Given that most decision-making bodies rely on their technical staff to present intelligent and well-studied recommendations, what could have driven the PCSD to set aside the 15 mitigating measures and approve the plan to build the coal-fired power plant? The people, and not only of Palawan, deserve an explanation.

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