Friday, April 07, 2006

"Colasisi" in Camiguin

Crossposting this YahooNews item from greenjournal. It concerns the discovery of two new species of animal in Camiguin. According to the article
"A brightly plumaged parrot and a long-tailed forest mouse unique to the Philippines have been discovered in the vanishing rainforest of a tiny tropical island"
The parrot and the mouse were discovered in the Philippine island of Camiguin, an island known here as a tourist destination. The discovery was surprising because forest cover in the island has been reduced to 18 percent.

It was doubly surprising because the discovered
"new species of parrot was known to locals because of its value in the pet trade. The bird's throat and thighs are bright blue and the top of its head and tail are brilliant scarlet-orange."
The parrot is known among locals as "Colasisi." I would not have believed that a speices, wildly known in a local setting can be "unknown" in a world-wide setting that it becomes news when the "world" hears aboout it.

The other new species discovered was a

"mouse, discovered high on the steep slopes of one of the island's volcanoes, was new to locals.

The rusty-brown rodent, known as Apomys camiguinensis, has large eyes and ears and feeds mostly on insects and seeds"
This news, also stressed by the news story, highlights the significance of our islands and our forests in sheltering endemic, one of a kind species.

A note of warning for foreigners, "Colasisi" or Kulasisi, may be the local name of the bird, but it is also a term for "mistress". So be careful when talking to Filipinos, do not indiscriminately ask to see a kulasisi, you might just get one. :)


This story was also carried today by the PDI.

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