Rare RP quail spotted - on way to cooking pot
Updated February 18, 2009 12:00 AM
WORCESTER'S BUTTONQUAIL Turnix worcesteri
MALOLOS CITY, Philippines â€“
A rare bird found only in the Philippines was photographed
alive for the first time and confirmed to still exist, the
Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) reported.
Unfortunately, the bird headed straight for
the cooking pot after being photographed.
The bird, known as Worcester's buttonquail (Turnix worcesteri),
was recorded on both video and still photography by a GMA
7 Network documentary team at Dalton Pass in Nueva Vizcaya
last January before it was cooked and eaten. The bird was
sold for P10.
The WBCP hailed the discovery of the Worcester's
"We are ecstatic that this rarely seen
species was photographed by accident. It may be the only photo
of this poorly known bird. But I also feel sad that the locals
do not value the biodiversity around them and that this bird
was sold for only P10 and headed for the cooking pot,"
WBCP president Mike Lu said.
"What if this was the last of its species?"
TV host Howie Severino with I-Witness crew
filming in Nueva Vizcaya where the
quail was caught by bird trappers
He said the Worcester's buttonquail was first
described based on specimens bought in Quinta Market in Manila
in 1902. The bird was named after Dean Conant Worcester, an
American zoologist and public official specializing in the
Philippines around that time.
The bird was caught by native bird trappers
in mid-January and documented by an I-Witness team led by
Severino and his team had not realized what
they had documented until Desmond Allen, a British ornithologist
who is a member of the WBCP, spotted a photograph of the bird
in the credits of Bye-Bye Birdie, the team's recent I-Witness
documentary about the bird-trapping tradition in northern
Luzon. Dino Balabo