Inventory of plant and animal species
in Mindanao's selected forests

By Karlo M. Feliciano
MediaCore, PCARRD

A team of researchers recently made an inventory of plant and animal species in selected forests of Mindanao particularly in Mt. Musuan and Mt. Kalatungan in Bukidnon, and Mt. Malindang in Misamis Occidental.

The inventory primarily seeks to assess and conserve the endangered, endemic, and economically important species in the said mountains.

Dr. Victor B. Amoroso, Dr. Cecilia B. Amoroso, Dr. Jose A. Escarlos Jr., and Ms. Alma B. Mohagan—all from the Central Mindanao University conducted the study.

The researchers identified 530 species of plants in Mt. Musuan, 342 in Mt. Kalatungan; and 334 in Mt. Malindang.  Assessment of the different plant species in the three mountains showed 12 are endangered, 221 are endemic, 17 found to be rare, and 187 are classified as economically important.

They were also successful in propagating 50 of the 52 plant species considered as endangered, endemic, and economically important in the greenhouse or fernery for conservation and planting purposes.

The inventory of wildlife in the surveyed areas yielded 129 species in Mt. Kalatungan, 117 in Mt. Malindang, and 44 in Mt. Musuan.  The animal species include mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.  Some of the animal species were found to be critically endangered (1), endangered (2), vulnerable (19), nearly threatened (139), and rare (20).

To protect the endangered and endemic plant and animal species in the surveyed areas, the researchers recommend the formulation and strict enforcement of new ordinances to complement the existing regulations.  They are also pushing for the development and dissemination of information, education, and communication materials to the local communities, and the continuous protection and monitoring of habitats covered by the study.

The project entitled “Inventory and Conservation Studies of Endemic, Endangered, and Economically Important Flora and Fauna in Selected Forests of Mindanao” from which these information were taken is one of the finalists in the National Symposium on Agricultural Resources Research and Development held last November 10.

The NSARRD was the highlight of the 31st anniversary celebration of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology.