A new study of the Philippine Duck has been initiated by a British and Filipino research team. The Vulnerable Philippine Duck is poorly known and although well counted for the Asian Waterbird Census, the total numbers fluctuate resulting in uncertainty over its population size and trend. However, local reports suggest it has been in decline since the 1970s due to a combination of habitat loss and unsustainable hunting; it is protected throughout the Philippines though illegal hunting still occurs. Furthermore, there are no demographic data for this species and its ecological requirements are poorly understood.
Information on this species is therefore urgently required to clarify its population size and trend, and determine the causes of any decline. This new project, a collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of the Philippines and the University of Chester, aims to conduct surveys at wetlands to assess the distribution, abundance and habitat use of the Philippine Duck and other waterbirds, assess hunting pressure and egg collection rates, and examine the AWC data and other bird reports to assess population change over time.
If you would like to know more about the project, please contact Beth Roberts. Collaborating on the project are Dr Carmela Española (University of the Philippines), Dr Stuart Marsden (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Dr Matt Geary (University of Chester).