Conservation of an island endemic; Calayan rail (Gallirallus calayanensis)
The Calayan Rail (Gallirallus calayanensis), an endemic of Calayan Island in the Babuyan Islands, Philippines, was discovered and described last year by Allen et al. (2004) and was assigned a provisional IUCN "vulnerable" threat status, although based on only very limited data. To determine the species' actual conservation threat status and subsequently define the boundaries of a planned protected area on the island, we will conduct baseline research on the rail's population and distribution. The proposed project will produce a thorough threat assessment for the rail and its habitat and formulate workable conservation measures in collaboration with local government units, non-government organizations, and other institutions. The playback census technique will be used in assessing the rail's population and distribution. Notes on the habitat requirements, threats, and ecology of the Calayan Rail will be made from field observations and from interviews with local people. Results and recommendations of the research will be disseminated through a report provided to stakeholders and the scientific community through published articles. An environmental education campaign will be launched in schools and forest communities, and workshops conducted with stakeholders will help draw up a conservation action plan for the Calayan Rail.