17 new animal species found in Mindoro

By , on January 27, 2015

Calapan MindoroMANILA – A nonprofit environmental organization said that they were able to locate 17 animal species never before recorded in Mindoro, two were never before documented in the entire country.

According to Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. (MBCFI), the species were documented from 2011 to 2013 while they were conducting biological surveys in Oriental and Occidental Mindoro.

The reports were sent on Thursday to government officials and the group’s partners in an official ceremony at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.

“The species have been recorded before in other areas. But based on previous research conducted on Mindoro, they’ve never before been recorded on the [island],” said MBCFI executive director Grace Diamante.

She added, “Perhaps the [species] had been there for a long time, but the resources [to conduct an inventory] just weren’t available until now.”

The group, who did the survey, was made up of bird enthusiasts and biologists and rangers from the Deparmtnet of Environment and National Resources, and representatives from the Kansas University-Biodiversity Institute and University of the Philippines-Los Baños Museum of Natural History.

The group photographed and captured the animals with the use of mist netting. They were able to record 11 birds, two bats, three fishes, and a snake.

Next step include preserving the biodiversity in Mindoro, said MBCFI.

“We can’t do interventions without the survey,” explained Diamante. She also said that their baseline for the study will be made up of a 10-year conservation plan.

During the turnover, Environment Assistant Secretary Marcial Amaro Jr said, “We now have this very important information. This will provide us with the status of resources that we are supposed to manage. We will now be able to readjust interventions to make sure these are covered in programs we carry out.”

Ten of the bird species were recorded at Apo Reef Natural Park in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. These were: The migratory Oriental Cuckoo; Pacific Golden Plover; Oriental Pratincole; Barred Rail; the Brown Booby; the near-endemic Mantanani Scops Owl; the Hoopoe; the Black-crowned Night Heron; Black Bulbul; and Asian Paradise Flycatcher.