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Mindoro Bleeding Heart (bird)

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 4 months ago
Mindoro Bleeding Heart


Description and Rationale



The unique name of this pigeon of Mindoro Bleeding Heart came from its physical appearance. The distinct feature that gave this bird this unique name is the red or sometimes orange patch on its breast making it looks like it is bleeding. The patch slightly varies in shape and color among the species of Bleeding Hearts. The Mindoro Bleeding Heart, as mentioned in the name only lives in the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. The Mindoro Bleeding Heart is also known as Kulo-kulo to the Mangyans, the native people living in Mindoro’s forest. This bird is also known by the local names La-do, Manatad, Manuk-manuk, Punay, and Puñalada.
The Mindoro Bleeding Heart likes dry, shady regions of the forest and are hardly found at elevation over 1000 meters. Although it seems like there may be plenty of Mindoro Bleeding Heart in the low regions of the Mindoro forests, their population is catagorized critically low. The reason for this decrease of the Mindoro Bleeding Heart population is because of deforestation related to agricultural development. Another reason is hunting, especially during the 90s. Although the hunting was limited because the locals thought the hunting was wiping out the Tamaraw population. These days air rifles, spears, slingshots and indigenous traps and snares are still used to capture the Mindoro Bleeding Heart either for food or to sell them as pets.
There are only 11 types of Gallicolumba (Bleeding Heart) known in the world and Philippines is lucky to have this bird. The Mindoro Bleeding Heart is considered critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), meaning there are only about 500 individual birds left, and it is facing extremely high risk of extinction, possible within the next five years unless measure are taken to stop it.
So what can we do to help? The Mindoro Bleeding Heart is definitely not just a colorful decoration for the forests of Mindoro but they help disperse seeds of trees and seeds they feed on.
The initial purpose of this project will be to research how to stop the extinction of the Mindoro Bleeding Heart through a search of internet and possibly literature and interview with people who might have seen or know about these birds. It is hoped that the importance of these majestic birds will be acknowledged by the locals and will encourage the people to help conserve the species close to extinction.

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Common Names and Synonyms

The Mindoro Bleeding Heart, or Gallicolumba platenaeis also called Kulo-kulo to the Mangyans, the indigenous peoples living in Mindoro’s forests. This bird also goes by the local names La-do, Manatad, Manuk-manuk, Punay, and Puñalada.



Kindom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves (Birds)

Order: Columbiformes (Pigeons)

Family: Columbidae (Doves and Pigeons)

Genus: Gallicolumba (Island Ground-Doves)

Species: G. platenae 

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Morphology and Physical Description

The Mindoro Bleeding-heart is in the dove/pigeon family and takes its name from an unusual mid-breast patch of blood red feathers that look like a bloody wound. This odd plumage (the entire feathery covering of a bird.) is presumed to be for display and mating purposes.

The Mindoro Bleeding Heart measures 30 cm from head to tail, short-tailed, ground-dwelling pigeon. This bird has a small, bright orange or sometimes red patch on its chest and is white under the patch. They have dark grey crown, nape (neck), upper mantle and breast-sides, and is glossed iridescent green. They are dark chestnut rest of upperparts, and glossed reddish-purple. They have large, greyish-white tips to the lower and median wing-coverts (covering). They also have grey tail and uppertail-coverts, and have red legs.

Unlike many birds, the males and females of this species look the same. There are more than 300 species of pigeons and doves, all of which are rather thick-set with a relatively small head. Only the upper parts of the legs are feathered, and the feet are usually quite bare. The beautiful Mindoro Bleeding-heart pigeon is a member of the Old World ground dove group.



Getting Food

Food for the Mindoro Bleeding-heart comprise of fallen seeds, grains or berries, and the occasional invertebrate such as worms. They forage on the forest floor, sometimes with other pigeons and doves. Only once was it seen feeding above ground when it was feasting on the fruits of a Balete tree which the locals believe has some spirit or ghost in it. Also it is known that the Balete tree’s bark can be used an ointment and other medical uses.


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All pigeons in general follow similar courtship patterns. The males coo loudly, displaying itself before the females. At a more advanced stage of courtship the movements seem more like a bowing to the female. These displays sometimes go on for days followed by nest building. The male chooses the nesting site and gathers twigs, roots and other materials, which are set in place by the female. These birds are monogamous (having only one mate) and tend to mate for life.

Male and female share incubating duties for about 21/2 weeks after which the chicks are hatched nearly naked. These birds are "altricial," meaning the chicks are almost helpless after hatching and require attentive parental care and feeding..

The parents keep the chicks as warm as possible, until, after about 10 days, their feathers begin to grow in. In less than a month, the young pigeons can fend for themselves although they stay on in the nest a little longer.


Environmental Factors

This species has an extremely small, severely fragmented population which is undergoing a continuing decline owing to lowland forest destruction, combined with hunting and trade. For these reasons it is listed as Critically Endangered

Gallicolumba platenae is endemic (native) to the island of Mindoro a 9,826-square kilometer island southwest of mainland Luzon in the Philippines. There have been records from just four localities (Puerto Galera, MUFRC Experimental Forest, Siburan and Mt Iglit-Baco National Park).

This predominantly terrestrial (growing on land) pigeon inhabits closed-canopy primary and secondary lowland forest, preferring dry forest substrates on gentle slopes up to 750 m. It is not known whether or not it undertakes altitudinal, seasonal or nomadic movements, so it hasn’t been confirmed whether they migrate.

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Origin and Distribution

Found only in Mindoro, an island in the Philippines and rarely spotted in other parts of the Philippines. Since 1980, there have been records from just four localities (Puerto Galera, MUFRC Experimental Forest, Siburan and Mt Iglit-Baco National Park). It occurs in Mt Iglit-Baco National Park, where only tiny forest tracts remain.


Importance to People

G. platenae play a role in forest regeneration through the dispersal of seeds of the trees they feed on such as the balete tree which also the other birds feed on. So they are an important part in the web of life as they plant seeds and recover the trees lost during deforestation while planting more trees that other birds will feed on.


Survivability and Endangered Status

The Mindoro Bleeding Heart’s population is estimated to be 50~249 and is keep decreasing and now these birds are declared critically endangered. The reason for extreme decline of the specie’s population is due to the deforestation for agricultural purpose and lumber and mining. Also there are cases where they are hunted to be sold as pets or food. Also anything that disturbs the growth of the forest may affect the specie’s population.


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Potential Solutions

 What is happening to the Mindoro Bleeding Heart? Their population is keep decreasing and if nothing is done, they will soon disappear from this world. If one species go extinct, others will soon follow since all the creatures are interdependent in the ecosystem. Although the Mindoro Bleeding Heart many not affect the livelihood of the people directly, they do affect the ecosystem and the nature around them which will eventually affect the people. Below are 3 possibilities with an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages for each. Along with each possibility is a current status report of progress made to date on each of the possibilities.


Possibility 1   Contribution

There have been cases where a wealthier nation pays for the 3rd world nation where deforestation and other environmental hazards are going on to prevent damage to the nature. So this is a possibility if other nations pay for the Philippines to prevent hunting and deforestation.




1. The Philippines do get financial back up from the other wealthier nations while preventing harm to the nature. Also the country/countries providing the fund for this project get a higher reputation for helping conserve nature.




1. The Philippines might depend more and more on the contributions of the other countries rather than trying to solve the problem by themselves and take the contribution by granted without thinking about what they really need to do to save the Philippine’s wild life.

2. They cannot always depend on other countries to contribute and this does not mean this will necessarily stop the poaching, hunting, and deforestation or make them really care about the extinction of the species. 

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Possibility 2  Advertise

According to one of the people who were interviewed/surveyed, this person had never heard of the Mindoro Bleeding Heart. Making an advertisement about the Mindoro Bleeding Heart so people will know is another possibility.





1. People will see, hear and know about what is going on and will know what they have to do in order to help out.


2. Not only the people in the Philippines but people from other countries have a chance to know what is happening to the Mindoro Bleeding Heart species and its beauty. 

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1. Whether it is a television, radio or brochure advertisement, there isn’t a high possibility the local people of Mindoro will see and know about it

2. Probably will take a lot of money and time in order to provide all the things to make the advertisement.



Possibility 3  Conservation/Protection

Some of the endangered species are already under the conservation of nature protecting groups and organization in order to prevent complete extinction.




1. The Mindoro Bleeding Heart has no worries about being hunted or losing their habitat while they are under protection.

2. People can come to see the Mindoro Bleeding Heart, and maybe appreciate their beauty and importance.



1. If they are under protection of a nature organization or the government in a conservation park or somewhere like that, there is a possibility that these birds might get too friendly with people and may not adapt to their natural style of living if they are freed.

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"Balete" Ficus elastica. Philippine Medical Plants. Downloaded 28 April, 2007.



BirdLife International 2006. "Gallicolumba platenae" Last updated 2006. Downloaded 03 May, 2007



BirdLife International 2006. "Mindoro Bleeding Heart-BirdLife Species Factsheet." Mindoro Bleeding Heart-Gallicolumba Platenae Last updated 2006.

Downloaded 25 April, 2007



"Bleeding Heart Pigeon." Honolulu Zoo. Downloaded April 24, 2007.



Fuguracion, Oscar M. "The Mindoro Bleeding Heart" Last updated 19 September, 2005. Haribon Foundation. Downloaded 29 March, 2007



"Gallicolumba Platenae (Mindoro Bleeding-Heart)." Last updated 05 April, 2007, Zipcode Zoo. Downloaded 15 April, 2007.



"Mindoro Bleeding Heart." Last updated 2003. Red Book Data. Downloaded April 21, 2007.



Myers, Warren. "The Luzon Bleeding Heart Doze" Gallicolumba Luzonica. Last updated 2007. Avicultural Society of America. Downloaded 16 April, 2007.


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