Project

CONserve-KAIGANGAN

Goal: CONserve-KAIGANGAN is a research program led by the University of the Philippines Los Baños, consistent with its mandate to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystems, among others, in addition to agriculture and forestry. Funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquaticand Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), this program aims to assess and conserve the biodiversity in kaigangan (local term for forests over limestone) towards its sustainable management in Samar Island, Philippines.

CONserve-KAIGANGAN is mainly composed of researchers from UPLB Institute of Biological Sciences (Center of Excellence for Biology awarded by CHED and UP), UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources (Center of Excellence for Forestry), UP Manila (Center of Excellence for Health Sciences) and a leading state institute in Samar, the Samar State University.

Date: 1 January 2019 - 31 December 2021

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Project log

Elaine Loreen Casapao Villanueva
added a research item
Leaf size is one of the plant functional traits that can explain ecosystem function. This study identified the leaf size classes of trees in the forest over limestone ecosystems of Samar Island Natural Park, Samar Island, Philippines. One-sided surface leaf areas of voucher specimens from 18 sites in SINP were measured and data obtained were calculated and further classified based on the Raunkier-Webb classification. Most of the leaf sizes recorded were mesophyll (15 spp.), followed by notophyll (11 spp.), microphyll (4 spp.), and megaphyll (2 spp.). Moreover, leaf size classes are highly diverse among the sampling plots, a characteristic that can enhance the diversity of faunal populations dependent on plants for food and shelter. The dominance of large leaf sizes in SINP confirms the results of similar studies in forests over limestone.
Elaine Loreen Casapao Villanueva
added 4 research items
A comprehensive list of plant and animal biodiversity is necessary as a basis for local government and concerned agencies to enact local policies on species conservation. This article provides an enumeration of the vascular flora and vertebrate fauna in the karst forests of Basey, Samar, Philippines. A review of literature concerning plants and animals of Basey, Samar Island Natural Park, from various published sources was done. A total of 67 plants, represented by 54 genera and 38 families were included in this list, with 23 threatened and 28 Philippine endemic species. For the vertebrates, a total of 70 species were enumerated, which was composed of 6 amphibian, 12 reptile, 43 bird, and 9 mammal species. Among these, 21 were threatened and 14 were endemic to the Mindanao Pleistocence Aggregate Island Complex (PAIC). This checklist can be used as a reference in crafting local conservation policies and strategies for protection and sustainable use of this ecotourism site.
This study provides a floral and faunal checklist of limestone forests in Taft, Eastern Samar, Philippines, a municipality that is a part of the Samar Island Natural Park. Nine (9) 20m x 20m plots were established to assess the tree species, while 18 line transects were placed within the plots for the assessment of the under-story species. Various methods were used to assess the vertebrate faunal species of the study site. A total of 30 floral species belonging to 22 genera and 18 families were recorded in the study site. Among these, Shorea negrosensis Foxw. and Wallaceodendron celebicum Koord. were noted to be classified as vulnerable based on Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order (DAO) 2017-11 while Artocarpus rubrovenius Warb. was also classified as vulnerable on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The faunal species recorded had a total of 112 terrestrial vertebrates composed of 5 amphibian, 8 reptile, 87 bird, and 12 mammals. Among the birds, Pithecophaga jefferyi, Phapitreron amethystinus, Ducula poliocephala, and Lo-riculus philippensis were identified to have a critically endangered conservation status while Nisaetus pinskeri, Buceros hydrocorax semigaleatus, and Penelopides affinis samarensis were listed as endangered based on the DAO 2019-09 and/or IUCN Red List. Among the other vertebrates, Platymantis rabori, Platymantis bayani, and Sus philippensis were categorized as vulnerable based on the DAO 2019-09 and/or IUCN Red List.
Desamarie Antonette P. Fernandez
added a research item
This study presents the first checklist of the lesser known terrestrial biodiversity in forests over limestone karst of Calicoan Island in Guiuan Marine Reserve Protected Landscape and Seascape, Guiuan, Eastern Samar, Philippines. Plants and terrestrial vertebrate species in nine 20x20 m plots and 18 line transects were recorded and identified. A total of 60 bird, eight reptile, one amphibian, and six mammal species were recorded. Moreover, a total of 41 floral species were documented belonging to 17 plant families and 24 genera. Of the plant species recorded, 5 were shrubs and 35 were trees. This study reported a new locality record of the Philippine endemic tree species Hancea wenzeliana, and new island records for fauna such as Varanus samarensis and Cyrtodactylus sumuroi, among many others. To date, the present study is the only assessment of herpetofauna and mammals in Guiuan and represent new island records for most of these taxa in Calicoan Island. Among plants, Shorea negrosensis, Aquilaria cuminigiana and Wallaceodendron celebicum were identified to have a vulnerable conservation status based on their IUCN Red List and DENR-DAO 2017-11. These native and endemic plants can be used for reforestation programs in the area, and conserving biodiversity in general will be crucial to potential ecotourism programs.
Marjorie delos Angeles
added a project goal
CONserve-KAIGANGAN is a research program led by the University of the Philippines Los Baños, consistent with its mandate to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystems, among others, in addition to agriculture and forestry. Funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquaticand Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), this program aims to assess and conserve the biodiversity in kaigangan (local term for forests over limestone) towards its sustainable management in Samar Island, Philippines.
CONserve-KAIGANGAN is mainly composed of researchers from UPLB Institute of Biological Sciences (Center of Excellence for Biology awarded by CHED and UP), UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources (Center of Excellence for Forestry), UP Manila (Center of Excellence for Health Sciences) and a leading state institute in Samar, the Samar State University.
 
Desamarie Antonette P. Fernandez
added a research item
A comprehensive review of literature was carried out to determine the status of plant and animal diversity on forests over limestone in Southeast Asia (SEA), particularly in the Philippines. Angiosperm records are available in Peninsular Malaysia (1216 spp.); West Java and Seram Indonesia (101 and 149 spp., respectively); Laos (135 spp.); Thailand and Myanmar (1 sp.); and Limestone areas in Vietnam. Pteridophytes were recorded in Malaysia (32 spp.) while Bryophytes are recorded in Peninsular Malaysia (59 spp.). In the Philippines, there are plant records in: Masbate (61 spp.); Isabela (169 spp. Pteridophytes); Bohol (12 spp.), and Samar forests over limestone (29 spp. palms and 20 spp. orchids). A floral assessment in Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) includes species (212 spp.) that can possibly be found but are not limited to karsts. New Philippine endemic species are also recorded in Cebu, Palawan, and Panay Island. There are animal records in SEA including Vietnam (Bats-36, Bird-1, and Langurs-5 spp.); Malaysia (Sciuridae-1, Bats-28, Birds-129, Reptiles-17, and Invertebrates-74 spp.); Thailand (Murids-12, Reptiles-11, and Amphibian-1 sp.); and Myanmar (Reptiles-15 spp.). Records in the Philippines include: Mammals (Bicol-9, Mt. Irid-24, Mt. Aruyan-1, and Cebu-1 species), and; Birds (Cebu-1 sp.). A terrestrial faunal assessment in SINP includes species (182 spp.) that can possibly be found but are not limited to karsts. Forests over limestone are still largely understudied and the potential of discovering species is high. Further research is critical to establish science-based initiatives and policies that will protect and conserve limestone ecosystem biodiversity while allowing the utilization of its biological resources at a sustainable level.