Impact of Introduced Birds in the Philippines

Juan Carlos Gonzalez
Vol 9 No 2 (2006), pp. 66-79




Despite the Philippines’ rich avifauna, only a handful of birds are introduced and possibly invasive. An account of biology, ecology, impacts and management issues of ten introduced species are discussed. Historical accounts and distribution of some species required confirmation and updating. Colonization was either intentional or accidental, for pest control, as game birds, escaped caged birds, and feral domestics. Not all were able to establish local populations, like Daurian Partridges, Chinese Francolins and Red Avadavats. Most successful are Eurasian Tree Sparrows, while Crested Mynas, Java Sparrows and Zebra Doves have limited distribution. Native species like Chestnut Munias had expanded into other islands through human encroachment. Escapees like Budgerigars are poorly established, while feral pigeons form semi-wild populations. Museum records and birdwatching reports noted escapees like parrots, pigeons and finches from exotic pet trade. Threats from introduced birds are not known, but fragile island endemics and montane forest isolates are at risk. Unlike Guam’s or Hawaii’s birds, no Philippine bird has succumbed from any invasive species, other than man. Possible impacts to biodiversity were from competition, predation, diseases or hybridization. Most introduced birds inhabit agroecosystems and settlements becoming agricultural and structural pests, but man has learned to utilize them as a resource.


Keywords: Invasive alien species, Feral, Philippine birds, Escapees, Introduced birds

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