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Hottest of the hotspots: Philippine biodiversity in peril Pithecophaga jeferyii (Philippine Eagle) Endemic to Luzon, Mindanao, Samar, Leyte 30 breeding.

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Presentation on theme: "Hottest of the hotspots: Philippine biodiversity in peril Pithecophaga jeferyii (Philippine Eagle) Endemic to Luzon, Mindanao, Samar, Leyte 30 breeding."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hottest of the hotspots: Philippine biodiversity in peril Pithecophaga jeferyii (Philippine Eagle) Endemic to Luzon, Mindanao, Samar, Leyte 30 breeding pairs in the wild Photo: Oliver Langrad, Conservation International

2 Hottest of the hotspots: Philippine biodiversity in peril Workshop on Philippine Biodiversity Youth Ecology Camp, Assumption Antipolo, April 13-17, 2010 Facilitator: Mr. Henry G. Calilung, Science Teacher, Holistic Education and Development Center, Taytay, Rizal

3 What is biodiversity? Introduction biological diversity in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals (Merriam-Webster 2010) variety of life forms

4 Are there kinds of biodiversity? (Miller 2001) Introduction Genetic diversity Species diversity Ecological diversity

5 Genetic diversity – refers to variety of genomes within a population; different sets of genes produce different characteristics within the same species Introduction Seeds of the bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranean) reflect the genetic diversity within the species. Farmers in Swaziland, South Africa, take advantage of this by planting seeds of mixed colors, shapes and sizes. This way, they avoid having their crop wiped out in the event of a pest attack. Photo:

6 Species diversity – refers to the variety that exists within a community of plants and animals Introduction An artists rendition of an African watering hole. Such a gathering is not possible of course. Photo: format-jigsaw-puzzle-memories.html?js=n

7 Ecological diversity – refers to the variety of communities that exist in their natural environment Introduction Photo: Mt. Apo, Mindanao Photo: 2008_09_01_archive.html Lake Balinsasayao, Negros Photo: 2008_09_01_archive.html Tubbataha Marine National Park, Palawan

8 Are all forms of life equally important? (Miller 2001) Introduction Indicator species Keystone species Endemics

9 Indicator species – serve as early warning devices for an ongoing disturbance that is damaging the natural balance of an ecosystem. They are very sensitive to pollution and are the first to be affected. Introduction Frogs are useful indicators since their sensitive skin makes them susceptible to even small amounts of pollutants. In addition, they live on both land and water and so serve as barometers of good environmental health for both ecosystems. Photo:

10 Keystone species – not necessarily the most abundant in a community, these species perform ecological functions on which the whole ecosystem depends. Without them, everything collapses. Introduction With their massive bodies and tusks, elephants can effectively dig the ground in search of water during the dry season. The holes they make then become watering holes for other animals. Photo:

11 Endemics – these are species that are unique to a locality. The conservation of endemics takes top priority since they are found nowhere else on the planet. Introduction Photo: Gernot Vogel in The Gold-ringed Cat Snake (Boiga dendrophila divergens) is one of the largest snakes in the world (6-8 feet in length). They are found only in Luzon and are classified as Vulnerable because their mangrove habitats are being destroyed.

12 Philippines: The Galapagos Islands ten times over Nepenthes sp (Pitcher plants, lapsay), Of the 86 global sp, 8 are Philippine endemics; N. Merilliana can hold 1.5 L of water Photo: Phill Mann, International Carnivorous Plant Society

13 The Philippines as a megadiversity country (Carr and Langhammer 2010) Philippines: the Galapagos Islands ten times over Megadiversity countries hold 70% of the worlds plant and animal life forms: Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Indonesia, India, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, United States, Venezuela

14 The Philippines as a megadiversity country (Carr and Langhammer 2010) Philippines: the Galapagos Islands ten times over The worlds megadiversity countries: Map:

15 Philippines: the Galapagos Islands ten times over Total Species Endemic Species % Endemic Land Mammals % Breeding Land Birds % Reptiles % Amphibians % TOTAL % Philippine terrestrial vertebrates (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998)

16 Philippines: the Galapagos Islands ten times over Comparative endemism (Ong et al, 2002) CountryTotal Species Endemic Species % Endemic Land Area (km 2 ) Phil %300,780 Spain435256%451,171 Brazil3, %8,511,965

17 Philippines: the Galapagos Islands ten times over Comparative endemism (Ong et al, 2002) Endemic GroupGlobal Rank Birds5 th Mammals5 th Reptiles8 th Plants8 th Non-fish vertebrates9 th

18 Speciation: Darwin revisited Phloeomys pallidus (Northern slender-tailed cloud rat, Bu-ot) At 2.5 kilos, these cloud rats are the largest in the world. Endemic to Benguet, Kalinga-Apayao, Bataan/Zambales Large and meaty, cloud-rats are heavily hunted Photo by: WLR Oliver in

19 What is speciation? Speciation: Darwin revisited There is a grandeur to this view of life.. that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on.. endless forms most beautiful and wonderful have been and are being evolved. (Charles Darwin as quoted in Miller 2001)

20 What is a species? (Campbell and Reece 2002) Speciation: Darwin revisited How do species evolve? Reproductive isolation Symaptric vs allopatric speciation Figure: _concepts_allopatry_and_s.php Speciation begins with isolation. A population may be divided by geographic barriers (allopatric speciation) or by chromosomal mutations (sympatric speciation).

21 Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) Gallicolumba luzonica (Luzon Bleeding Heart) Endemic to Luzon Near Threatened (Trapped for food and for the illegal pet trade) Photo: Ken Llio in

22 Philippine Islands – from the seafloor via plate tectonics and volcanic activity Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity Palawan & Mindoro – from the Eurasian mainland Samar & Leyte – formed 50M yrs ago; where Hawaii is at present Luzon – 15M yrs ago; rotated in place several times Mindanao – 5M yrs ago; came from 3 separate islands View geological history of the Philippine Archipelago (press esc to return to this slide)

23 Ice Age Islands (20,000 yrs ago) Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity Sea level was 120m lower. Islands became connected: Greater Luzon Greater Negros-Panay Greater Palawan Greater Mindanao Chart: _Treasures/Origins_2.htm

24 Ice Age Islands (20,000 yrs ago) Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity Deep sea channels kept smaller islands isolated Mindoro Sibuyan Siquijor Camiguin

25 Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity The Philippine Archipelago 20,000 years ago. Note the formation of the Greater Islands (Luzon, Negros-Panay, Mindanao, Palawan). Note also that smaller islands have always been isolated (Sibuyan, Camiguin). Map: mages/maps/ICE_AGE.gif

26 Mountain ecosystems Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity Most Philippine islands have prominent mountains. Mountains harbor distinct forest types based on differences in temperature & rainfall. Map: Each forest type produces its own unique set of plants and animals. Humus, the sponge-like- flood-controlling layer of decomposing plant material, becomes more abundant the higher one goes up a mountain.

27 Forest types in Philippine mountains – Lowland forest Photo: Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity Lowland forest in Pasonanca Natural Park, Zamboanga Peninsula, Southwestern Mindanao. The largest trees (2-3 meters diameter, m tall) are found in the lowland forests. Most of these trees are dipterocarps which are known for their beautiful, lustrous wood collectively known as Philippine mahogany. Lianas and other vines reach from the forest floor to the canopy providing a natural highway for monkeys, squirrels, civet-cats and monkeys.

28 Photo: ia.org/wiki/File:Dipteroc arpus_grandiflorus_Blan co2.263-original.png Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity The Apitong (Dipterocarpus grandiflorus) produces, aside from its timber, an oily resin used in lamps and varnishing compounds.

29 Photo: Dipterocarps take 40 years to produce their first seeds (above) and about 100 years to reach marketable size. Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity Most lowland forests have been decimated and nearly all Philippine species are threatened with extinction. Of the 45 native Philippine dipterocarps, nearly half are found nowhere else on Earth. Photo:

30 Forest types in Philippine mountains – Montane forest Photo: Montane forest in Mt. Polis, Ifugao, Luzon. Montane forest trees are shorter (max of 25 m) and are much more decorated with vines, pandans, pitcher plants and orchids. The montane forest receives 2 to 3 times more rain than the lowlands. Rain is well distributed throughout the year. Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity

31 Photo: Greg Allikas in Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity Considered as the Queen of Philippine orchids, the Waling- waling (Vanda sanderiana) is nearly extinct in the wild forests of Mindanao due to over collection. Montane forests feature an abundant array of orchids and pitcher plants.

32 Forest types in Philippine mountains – Mossy forest Photo: Lower mossy forest in Mt. Pulag, the highest peak in Luzon. Mossy forests are the wettest places in the Philippines receiving as much as 5 times more rainfall than at sea level. Combined with a cool temperature, the abundant rain fosters an explosion of plant life (mostly mosses, ferns, and orchids). Trees are kept small (2-3 m) and are often gnarled and twisted by the wind. Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity

33 Photo: Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity The sunbirds are the hummingbirds of the Philippines. Shown here is the Apo sunbird (Aethopyga boltoni) found only in Mindanao. Mossy forests feature abundant species of birds, rodents and apmhibians.

34 Each of the Ice Age islands are considered faunal regions and act as centers of diversification. (Heaney et al, 2010) Origins and dimensions of Philippine biodiversity Greater Luzon – 70% endemism Greater Mindanao – 80% endemism Sibuyan Island (463 km 2 ) – 4 endemic mammals & 1 bat, more than any European country Camiguin Island (265 km 2 ) – 2 endemic mammals, 1 frog, 12 plants

35 The study of biodiversity Boiga dendrophila levitoni (Mangrove cat snake) Endemic to Panay Vulnerable (Destruction of mangroves for prawn farms) Photo: Maren Gaulke in

36 The study of biodiversity (Stiling 2002) The study of biodiversity Species richness – total number of species Species evenness – distribution of individuals per species Field studies (A need for real heroes!) – field studies are financially and physically challenging, sometimes even life-threatening

37 Trapping for mammals The study of biodiversity

38 Netting for birds and bats The study of biodiversity

39 Camera traps for dangerous carnivores The study of biodiversity

40 Forest studies The study of biodiversity

41 Canopy studies The study of biodiversity

42 Classifying threatened life forms (IUCN 2010) The study of biodiversity Extinct (EX) Extinct in the Wild (EW) Critically Endangered (CR) : > 250 individuals Endangered (EN) : > 2,500 ind Vulnerable (VU) : > 10,000 ind Near Threatened (NT) Least Concern (LC) Data Deficient (DD) Not Evaluated (NE)

43 Workshop # 1: Mark-recapture game Arctictis binturong ssp. whitei (Palawan binturong, Bear cat) Endemic to Palawan Vulnerable (Hunted for food and medicinal uses) Photo:

44 Philippine biodiversity in peril Rafflesia speciosa (Bunga-bangkay, Uruy) Endemic to Panay (5 new sp since 2002) Critically Endangered (Deforestation) Photo: Dr. Julie Barcelona, Philippine National Herbarium

45 What are hotspots? Philippine biodiversity in peril Hotspots are the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth. (Carr and Langhammer 2010) There are 34 hotspots in the world. The Philippines is ranked by many as the hottest.

46 The worlds hotspots Philippine biodiversity in peril Photo:

47 Vital statistics (Carr and Langhammer 2010) Philippine biodiversity in peril Hotspot Original Extent (km 2 )297,179 Hotspot Vegetation Remaining (km 2 )20,803 Endemic Plant Species6,091 Endemic Threatened Birds56 Endemic Threatened Mammals47 Endemic Threatened Amphibians48 Extinct Species2 Human Population Density (people/km 2 )273 Area Protected by law (km 2 )32,404 Area Significantly Protected (km 2 )18,060

48 Vital statistics of the Philippines ecosystems: Philippine biodiversity in peril

49 State of the Philippine forests (Heaney and Regalado, JR. 1998) Philippine biodiversity in peril Pre-Spanish times: 95% forest cover (probably most forested archipelago in the world) 1600 : 90% old growth forest cover 1900 : 70% cover Some islands already denuded (Cebu) Others untouched (Protected by: Malaria in Mindoro; Isolation in Palawan; Moro people in Mindanao) 1997 : 7% cover

50 State of the Philippine forests (Mallari et al, 2001) Philippine biodiversity in peril

51 Summative data on Philippine wildlife (Ong et al, 2002) Philippine biodiversity in peril # Sp Endemic Species % End Threatened Species Threatened Endemics Amphibians %2424 (100%) Reptiles %84 (50%) Birds %7459 (80%) Mammals %5141 (80%) TOTAL % (82%)

52 Workshop # 2: The Reasons Why Tarsius syrichta (Philippine Tarsier) Endemic to Greater Mindanao; Bohol Endangered (Less than 1,000 individuals in the wild) Photo: Jeroen Hellingman in

53 Culprit or scapegoat? (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) Philippine biodiversity in peril Habitat loss is the immediate cause of extinction. Commercial logging and farming Mining Subsistence farming Over population is the favorite suspect.

54 Negros: an ordinary example of environmental devastation (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) Philippine biodiversity in peril 1600s 1 st Spanish census showed 25,000 people Coastal communities Hunter-gatherers and kaingeros 1800s – 30,000 people; little change

55 Negros: an ordinary example of environmental devastation (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) Philippine biodiversity in peril 1850s Smallpox vaccine and other medicines Hacienda system began Triangular social caste emerged Population boomed: from 30,000 to 500,000

56 Negros: an ordinary example of environmental devastation (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) Philippine biodiversity in peril 1900s American colonial government (1898) Granted the 1 st logging concessions Subsidized the sugar industry Population: from 500,000 to 3M by end of 1900s

57 Negros: an ordinary example of environmental devastation (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) Philippine biodiversity in peril Marcos regime Gave logging concessions to supporters at 1 peso per hectare (100,000 hectares for 25 yrs) Low taxation Wealth gap increased

58 Philippine biodiversity in peril Chart: Population and forest cover trend in Negros (1600 to 2000)

59 Philippine biodiversity in peril Map: Deforestation_2a.htm Loss of forest cover in Negros (1875 to 1992) 1992

60 Negros: an ordinary example of environmental devastation (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) Philippine biodiversity in peril Today Less than 6% of the forest remains Starving coastal communities Rich landowners (sugar & copra) Desperate upland farmers

61 The Cost of Loss (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) Medinilla magnifica (kapa-kapa, rose grape) Endemic to Luzon and Mindoro Rare in the wild due to destruction of lowland forests.

62 The cost of loss (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) The cost of loss Deforestation results to massive erosion (250 tons per hectare per year). Siltation destroys coral reefs. Siltation lessens life of dams (Magat dam). Flooding and drought worsens. Indirect losses of income. Opportunity cost.

63 Magat Dam, Isabela, Luzon The cost of loss Photo: Photo: magat-dam Designed to operate for 90 years, Magat dam was built in 1983 at a cost of 6.5 B pesos. Siltation from the denuded watershed forest has now reduced its operational life by half.

64 The Ormoc Tragedy (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) The watershed forests were cleared for plantations owned by only 6 families (including the mayor). November 1991: River water rose 10 ft in just 3 hrs. 7,000 people died. Main roads, bridges, crops were destroyed. Ormoc Bay was filled with muddy water. The cost of loss

65 The Ormoc Tragedy The cost of loss Photo: surveys-the-grim-de

66 The Ormoc Tragedy (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) A year later, no reforestation efforts have begun. According to a city councilor: We are still waiting for a plan for reforestation that will not disrupt the economy. To make reforestation attractive, the landowners must be convinced that the economic value of the trees will be commensurate to the value of the sugar cane. The cost of loss

67 The cost of loss (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) The cost of loss Deforestation worsens drought conditions. The groundwater system is not renewed. Panay is one of the most deforested island. 450km 2 of farmland affected; 118,000 tons of rice lost. Starving farmers cut trees for charcoal. Water in Iloilo city is rationed (4 days a wk).

68 Bacuit Bay, Palawan The cost of loss Photo: Nido/Miniloc-Island.htm

69 Indirect income losses in Bacuit Bay, Palawan, 1985 (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) The cost of loss Coral reefs (ecotourism) and fisheries = $53M 78km 2 mountainside watershed with 50% forest cover. May to Dec (1986) : Logging intensified. Erosion increased to 49,080 tons. Killed 50% of corals. Ecotourism and fisheries now worth = $23M Income from logging= $8.5M Total worth of the Bay= $31.5M Net loss of income= $21.5M

70 Opportunity Costs (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) Dicaeum quadricolor (Cebu flowerpecker) Endemic to Cebu Critically Endangered (less than 100 in the wild)

71 Opportunity Costs (Heaney and Regalado, Jr. 1998) The cost of loss Beauty Genetic diversity (crops) 50% of current medicines come from plant and animal compounds

72 Strongylodon macrobotrys (Jade Vine) Endemic to Luzon Threatened (rare in the wild due to overcollection) Photo: What is being done? (Ong et al, 2002)

73 Social movement What is being done? National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS), 1992 National Biodiversity Action Plan, 1995 Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priority-Setting Program, 2000

74 Individual action. What can you do? (Miller 2001) What is being done? Support a green economy. Practice a sustainable lifestyle. Educate yourself and others.

75 Live simply so that others may simply live. Haste makes waste. Wants – Needs = Waste Walk your talk.


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