Press Releases

6 15 New Endemic Plant Species

It seems like the ecologically-wealthy realm of Mt. Hamiguitan Wildlife Range Sanctuary (MHWRS) never ceases to offer site-endemic new species. It means that it can’t be found anywhere else in the country, at least not just yet.

π΄π‘π‘‘π‘–π‘›π‘œπ‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘β„Žπ‘¦π‘  π‘šπ‘–π‘›π‘’π‘‘π‘Ž, a diminutive grass fern is the newly described plant species that is distinct from all other species of π΄π‘π‘‘π‘–π‘›π‘œπ‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘β„Žπ‘¦π‘  or grass ferns.

The researchers revealed that its short and narrow fronds, distinct triangular stipe which connects the frond to the root and the spore-bearing part having a forked apex with white hairs are the features that differ them from all the other species. (See for the research article.)

It is said that these species are still limited as it is epiphytic or dependent to a tree fern.

With its diverse and intact ecosystem, it is believed that of MHWRS still hosts a long list of undescribed species that are yet to be discovered. This pushes the continuous and intensified conservation and protection efforts for this mountain.

Meanwhile, MHWRS along with other legislated protected areas in the Philippines under National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) will be featured through a live streaming conference on June 22, 2020. This is organized by the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau with the Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda.

Watch the teaser here: and stay tuned for further details.

6 8 OwlIn June 6, 2020, a grass owl was found dead within a residential area in Davao City which appeared to have been entangled in a kite’s string.

It was reported and was then turned over to DENR XI with broken wings and was assessed to have acquired serious wounds causing the fall to its death.

Although kite flying is an unwinding and fun activity, this poses threat to our wildlife. Thus, we are urging the public to be responsible and sensitive to our animal species. This also serves as a reminder that any act that injures or kills our wildlife is a violation to RA 9147 or Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. Being an unlawful action, the person involved to the injury, exploitation and death of a wildlife will be held accountable.

Please continue reaching out to DENR XI for any environmental concerns through our hotline numbers- 0906-378-8784 (Globe) or 0947-611-6083 (Smart).

Another wildlife was down due to human activities. Let’s all please be better stewards of environment.

6 4 10 Philippine Eagle Week DENR XIJune 4-10 is the country’s Philippine Eagle Week celebration in virtue of Proclamation No. 79, s. 1999 which intends to instill to the Filipinos the importance of Philippine Eagle, not just being a national bird but as a biological indicator of forest ecosystem.
The declaration also pushes for the intensive conservation of these majestic bird of prey .

As the world currently combats the Covid-19 pandemic, the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) puts the spotlight on the conservation frontliners who are continuously taking care of the raptors while enduring the crisis. Them whose efforts are immeasurable to protect the β€œKing of the Forest” will be acclaimed.

To refrain from the usual public exhibition, PEF, through their Philippine Eagle Foundation (Official) page, has lined-up a week-long of digital activities instead for everyone to participate.

On the other hand, the DENR banners this year's celebration with the theme "Pangangalaga ng Buhay-Ilang at Kagubatan, Kalusugan ng Mamayan."

5 20 WHITE BATSRecently, the fascinating island of Samal in Davao del Norte was even more tagged as wondrous when an unusual kind of bat was seen hanging on a fruit tree. Unlike the other common bats, its hair and wings were white while its eyes, nose, mouth, and bones were pink. It was rare indeed. In fact, its rarity made a fleeting widespread in social media.

The said white bat is a Lesser Short-nosed Fruit Bat or πΆπ‘¦π‘›π‘œπ‘π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘  π‘π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘β„Žπ‘¦π‘œπ‘‘π‘–π‘ . Like all the other bats, these species are usually brown and black. But due to a genetic anomaly called albinism, its melanin production is altered causing their white appearance. This is due to a series of genetic mutations and is most likely passed from its parents.

Despite the rare color aberration, the albino fruit bats are among the thousands of bat species around the world that hold a significant ecological role. In fact, they are one of the key players in the restoration of our forests that have gone through destruction. Through their affinity for several plants and the ability to disperse seeds in the vast land of our forests, trees can grow again. No wonder they are tagged as the β€œfarmers of the forest”.

As much as these bats rely on plants’ fruits and flowers to survive, around 500 plant species also depend on them to pollinate their flowers. These include bananas, mangoes, peaches, guava, agave, and many other fruit trees.

In Davao, there is no durian as a banner if not for these fruit-eating bats.

Though not endemic in the Philippines, it is among the other oriental countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand, Southern China, Sulawesi and Borneo where these fruit bats are habituated.

Samal Island is among the areas in Davao Region that has diverse and extensively wealthy natural resources making it the β€œhome” of choice to various wildlife species, including bats.

Bats are among the wildlife species that are protected under the RA 9147 or Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. It means that if they are intently harmed or killed, it is punishable by law.

Our wildlife species are of great importance to our biodiversity, more so to our survival. If we do not make an unnecessary intervention on them, they sure won’t cause havoc on us either.

5 11 TarsierAnother Philippine Tarsier was recently sighted in a farm near a school in Megkawayan, Calinan, Davao City. According to a school teacher Jaypee Joromat, it is not the first time that they have spotted these primates in their yard.

As tiny as the size of an adult palm, Philippine Tarsier is one of the smallest primates in the world with large goggling eyes as its arresting and prominent feature. They are endemic to a few areas in Visayas, exacting in Bohol. But over the years, frequent sightings of these tiny primates suggest that they also found a home in Mindanao, one of which is Davao region.

Experts are yet to conclude on the characteristics and distinctions of the Mindanao Tarsiers from those of other areas. For research and conservation purposes, we earnestly call the public to not possess, trade, harm or even touch these primates.

To date, Philippine Tarsier is listed as nearly threatened species and, if not conserved, may lead to extinction. Threats to their descending population include low birth rate, loss of habitat and as aforementioned, human intervention.

Again, may we remind the public that if a Tarsier is in sight, do not touch it unless necessary. If found displaced, you may release it back to the wild while handling it delicately. As Tarsiers are nocturnal, avoid taking photographs with flash as this will frighten them. If otherwise injured, call the assistance of the authorities.

Please dial the DENR XI hotline numbers for assistance - 09476116083 (Smart) or 09063788784 (Globe).

Philippine Tarsier is ours as pride, also ours to conserve.