LOOK: 1st Philippine sighting of Little Black Cormorant bird in Zamboanga

Little Black Cormorant bird Zamboanga
A bird called the Little Black Cormorant was spotted for the first time in the Philippines. Photos from DENR Zamboanga Peninsula FB/John Robert McPherson.

The Philippines has recorded its first-ever sighting of the Little Black Cormorant in Zamboanga City.

The country’s first recorded sighting of the Phalacrocorax sulcirostris, also known as the Little Black Cormorant, at the bird sanctuary of the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology in Zamboanga City has been confirmed by the Philippine Birds Rarities Committee this April.

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The Little Black Cormorant is native to countries such as Australia, Indonesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Timor Leste.

The rare bird sighting happened during the Annual Waterbird Census (AWC) conducted by personnel from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Zamboanga City last January.

In the Facebook post of Technical Services Chief Michael dela Cruz of the Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) the sighting of the Little Black Cormorant was confirmed as unexpected, as it was the first time the bird had been sighted in the province and the country.

“While the AWC report was being reviewed and consolidated at the PENR Office, the Conservation and Development Section under the Technical Services Division was surprised to note the allegedly ‘Cormorant’ species listed in the report as this is the first time that said species was recorded in the area and in the peninsula for that matter,” PENRO Technical Services Chief Michael dela Cruz said.

“Although the picture taken by the team is a little bit hazy, the bird’s identity was confirmed by Mr. Desmond Allen, a renowned bird specialist based in London and a member of the Philippine Birds Rarities Committee,” Dela Cruz added.

The Philippine Birds Rarities Committee, which is formerly a part of the records committee of the Wild Birds Club of the Philippines, officially confirmed the bird sighting on April 18, 2022.

The Little Black Cormorant, also known as the Little Black Shag, is listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The coronavirus pandemic that kept people at home and away from animal habitats had good results such as the first sighting of a rare Philippine warty pig, locally known as “baboy-ramo” or “baboy-ihalas”, at Mount Apo in Davao, a new family of critically-endangered Philippine eagles in Lupon in Davao Oriental, and more dolphins and whales on Sarangani Bay.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to conservation personnel and environment officials in the country for recording the first-ever sighting of the Little Black Cormorant in Zamboanga City.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.