Project title: Sulu Hornbill Conservation Project “Tawsi Project” Location: Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi, Philippines Project date: March 2021- March 2022
Project title: Sulu Hornbill Conservation Project “Tawsi Project”
Location: Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi, Philippines
Project date: March 2021- March 2022
Tawi-Tawi Island is part of the southwestern Sulu archipelago in the Philippines and is home to 17 threatened bird species. Of these, four are Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Due to rapid habitat loss, these birds, which were once prevalent throughout the island, are now found only in isolated forest patches on Tawi-Tawi.
PhilBio set up the Tawi-Tawi Advocates for Wildlife Support Initiative (TAWSI) Programme to protect and recover populations of Sulu Hornbill, Sulu Racquet-tail, Philippine Cockatoo, and determine if Sulu Bleeding-heart populations are still extant. However, impacts from the pandemic have resulted in funding cuts from core donors and an increase in the number of trees being cut had been reported. To ensure the survival of these bird species on Tawi-Tawi, PhilBio were dependent upon urgent financial support to implement forest rehabilitation and protection work.
The project focuses on establishing and strengthening community-based forest protection programmes, facilitating the replanting of native seedlings, and integrating threatened bird species topics into local schools’ curriculum. The project will allow TAWSI rangers to conduct regular hornbill monitoring and local communities and government enforcement conduct forest patrols. It will create the first community-based native tree nursery in Panglima Sugala including important food species of the Sulu Hornbill. The project will reforest cleared habitats and raise awareness of the conservation of wildlife in this region.
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Photo credit: PG Jakosalem/PhilBio