IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

Distribution

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Range Description

Prioniturus verticalis is endemic to the Sulu archipelago in the Philippines, where it is historically known from six islands (BirdLife International 2001). At the turn of the century it was described as locally abundant but, by the 1970s, it had evidently undergone a huge decline. There have been no records from Tumindao and Manuk Manka for c.80 years, although there may have been a lack of search effort during this time, and it is regarded as probably extinct on Bongao and Sanga-sanga, although it could persist on Sibutu (D. Allen in litt. 2011). Very small numbers persisted at three sites (Buan, Tarawakan and Parangan) on Tawi-Tawi in the early 1990s, with the situation apparently continuing to deteriorate. The species appears to be becoming ever scarcer, and local people report that it is the least encountered parrot species on Tawi-Tawi (I. Sarenas in litt. 2011). During a one-week visit to Tawi-Tawi in early 2008, the species did not respond to tape luring (D. Allen in litt. 2008), and it was heard only once during a visit to the island in early 2010, which included seven field days, with visits to Sitio Lambug (Panglima Sugala) and the Bilatan Islands (I. Sarenas in litt. 2010, 2011). A five-day visit in January 2012 produced sightings of three individuals (I. Sarenas in litt. 2012). However, movement by tourists is increasingly restricted owing to security concerns, and the species could be numerous in other parts of the island beyond the small area sampled by visitors (I. Sarenas in litt. 2011, 2012). Although the population was previously estimated at fewer than 1,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2001), more recent observations indicate that there could now be fewer than 250 mature individuals remaining.

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Source: IUCN

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