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Birds of DLSU-D

September 7, 2014 | By Campus Sustainability Office

Birds of DLSU-D

Researchers at De La Salle University-Dasmariñas have recently discovered a 65 percent increase in the number of bird species found within campus, as testament to the University’s efforts to conserve and protect its biodiversity.

In a study conducted by DLSU-D researchers Marlon Pareja, Lionelle Uytico, Niñokay Beceril, Maria Jessica Delos Reyes, Leonora Nares, Jackie Lou Wenceslao, and Josephine Rodelas, the team found a total of 34 species of birds comprising of eight Philippine endemic species, four migratory species and 22 new recorded bird species within the sampling area. This brings the total number of species to 34 compared to 2010 data identifying only 10 species on campus.

Aside from the marked increase in the population, rare species were also found within the University, such as the Vulnerable Java sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora), listed as threatened under IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2015, along with forest and forest edge species such as as the Striped flowerpecker (Dicaeum aeruginosum), Yellowish white-eye (Zosterops nigrorum), Philippine Scoops-Owl (Otus megalotis) and Copper-smith barbet (Megalaima haemacephala).

The study, conducted in partnership with Biodiversity and Watersheds Center for Sustainable Development (BRAVE) Inc., sought to assess the birds profile and identify key areas for conservation.

DLSU-D as a Bird Sanctuary

According to chief researcher Marlon Pareja, the former director of the Campus Sustainability Office of DLSU-D, one of the opportunities they are eyeing is the development of the University as a haven for bird watchers and a potential ecotourism site.

Actually that’s one of the major purpose when we conducted the study. We submitted this report to the DENR because we want to be recognized as a bird sanctuary. If you become a bird sanctuary, it means that we have a conscious effort to take care of their habitat,” Pareja said.

He further explained that taking care of the birds is not only exclusive to the bird population, but extends to the entire habitat. “You have to take care of the ecosystem. You cannot simply cut down trees . We do not put birds in cages and we simply let them roam free and take care of their homes,” he further explained.

Based on the current practice, DLSU-D maintain s its 1,396 resident trees only by trimming to ensure that chemicals and pesticides do not contaminate the fruits that are being consumed by the University’s avian population.

“I’m saying this as a researcher, the most important outcome of this study is that it highlights the need to protect their (birds’) habitat and protecting their habitat would entail sustainable development of the school,” he said.

Technology and the Environment

Technology played an important role in the study. In particular, two applications were used to record observations and compile the data which can even be used to mobilize the Lasallian community in further research.

The study made use of SMART and and CyberTracker app. The CyberTracker created a mobile application to collect data with photographs of birds including audio of their calls as well as the location or coordinates. The observations were then transferred to the SMART software for reporting by tables, graphs and maps.

According to Pareja, the SMART app was a free app that was customized for the study so it is not impossible to use this method to involve students and faculty to report and record sightings in the future through this method.

Resident, Endemic and Rare Birds

Scientific Name Common Name
Butorides striatus Little heron
Ardea albus/Egretta alba Great egret
Egretta garzetta Little egret
Amaurornis phoenicurus White-breasted waterhen
Geopelia striata Zebra dove
Streptopelia tranquebarica Red turtle-dove
Otus megalotis Philippine scoops-owl
Collocalia esculenta Glossy swiftlet
Todiramphus chloris White-collared kingfisher
Merops viridis Blue-throated bee-eater
Psilopogon haemacephalus Copper-smith barbet
Picoides maculatus Philippine pygmy woodpecker
Hirundo tahitica Pacific swallow
Pycnonotus goiavier Yellow-vented bulbul
Oriolus chinensis Black-naped oriole
Corvus macrorhynchos Large billed-crow
Copsychus saularis Oriental magpie-robin
Copsychus luzoniensis White-browed shama
Gerygone sulphurea Golden-bellied flyeater
Rhipidura nigritorquis Pied fantail
Lanius cristatus Brown shrike
Lanius schach Long-tailed shrike
Acridotheres cristatellus Crested myna
Cinnyris jugularis Olive-backed sunbird
Dicaeum aeruginosum Striped flowerpecker
Dicaeum austral Red-kelled flowerpecker
Dicaeum pygmaeum Pygmy flowerpecker
Zosterops nigrorum Yellowish white-eye
Zosterops meyeni Lowland white-eye
Passer montanus Eurasian tree sparrow
Lonchura oryzivora Java sparrow
Lonchura atricapilla Chestnut munia
Lalage nigra Pied triller
Cacomantis variolosus Brush cuckoo

Italic: Endemic

Italic/ Bold: Vulnerable (based on IUCN status)