Easy Philippines: Endangered Endemics - Birding Tour
The Philippines, an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, stretches across a vast swathe of the South China Sea and has been geographically isolated for 50 million years. Culturally distinct from much of the other countries in Southeast Asia, it is predominantly Catholic, and the culture feels more American than anywhere else in the Far East, making it an easy place to visit for many. The archipelago boasts high levels of endemism, nearly 250 species are found nowhere else, leaving all first time visitors with heaps of lifers. By visiting just a handful of islands, one can attain a superb list including a good proportion of the endemics, making it a must for world listers who enjoy chasing endemic birds. Sadly, most of the habitat has been destroyed, and a higher concentration of threatened endemic species occurs than anywhere else on Earth. The Philippines are frequently considered a priority to visit sooner rather than later, whilst many of the birds can still be found, and some of the forest is still standing.
The Philippines has a reputation as a tough tour, with extremely early starts and gruelling hikes. This is partly true but only really applies to Mindanao. This has led us to redesign our Philippines tour, making the main tour a lot easier and accessible to many more birders. Our tour is modular so that you may tailor the trip to your exact needs: the main tour covers the islands of Luzon and the richly-forested western island of Palawan. Extensions are offered to the Visayas before the main tour, and another extension to Mindanao after the main tour. All islands boast healthy numbers of endemics, many of which are specific to those islands. The dramatic Philippine Eagle, flashy endemic hornbills, breath-taking pittas, striking kingfishers, a myriad of endemic night birds, and two potential endemic families (rhabdornises and Cinnamon Ibon) are all mouth-watering fare offered on this tour.