Davao's Malagos Watershed and the life it gives and protects
The Malagos Watershed Reservation in Davao City is a 235.34-hectare protected land area that is one of the proclaimed (PP 612 dtd. Aug 1933) initial components of the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992 as amended by the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Act of 2018.
It is a land surface in South Davao that drains rainfall into creeks, streams and rivers.
With its physical features, the said watershed is recognized for possessing outstanding ecosystem and highly significant biodiversity. In fact, it is Davao City’s source of water, the ex situ habitat of the Philippine Eagle and moreover supports two of the endemic bat species in the Philippines- the Large Flying Foxes (𝑃𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑢𝑠 𝑣𝑎𝑚𝑝𝑦𝑟𝑢𝑠) and the fruit-eating megabat- the Golden-Crowned Flying Foxes (𝐴𝑐𝑒𝑟𝑜𝑑𝑜𝑛 𝑗𝑢𝑏𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑠). The latter is one of the world’s largest bats as it reaches 5 feet 6 inches long and a weight of up to 2.6 pounds, accordingly.
As prescribed by the DENR’s National List of Threatened Philippine Fauna and Their Categories, the said volant mammals are classified as threatened species or those that beats the menace of adverse factors such as habitat destruction or over collection.
According to the joint records of DENR-XI’s Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section, the CENRO Davao and the Phillippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), the Malagos Watershed Reservation is the dwelling place of over 90 bird species, 8 species of bats/volant including Large Flying Foxes and Golden-Crowned Flying Foxes, 6 species of non-volant mammals such as Phil. Brown Deer and Phil. Tarsier, 15 species of amphibians including the Mindanao Fanged and Horned Frog, 31 species of reptiles, 54 species of butterflies which include the threatened Golden Birdwing and 32 species of dragonflies.
The said watershed is also surrounded with lush trees and various plants including the naturally occurring or native ones such as Tibig (𝐹𝑖𝑐𝑢𝑠 𝑛𝑜𝑡𝑎) and Jade vines (𝑆𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑔𝑦𝑙𝑜𝑑𝑒𝑛 𝑚𝑎𝑐𝑟𝑜𝑏𝑜𝑡𝑟𝑦𝑠) as well as the Lanipau (𝑇𝑒𝑟𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑎 𝑐𝑜𝑝𝑒𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑖) which one of the primary roosting trees of the flying foxes.
Additionally, the Malagos Watershed Reservation is actively supervised by the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), a multi-sectoral body which provides guidance and approves policies to effectively operate and manage the area in coordination with the Protected Area Superintendent (PASu).