The main threat to biodiversity in the Philippines comes from a lack of knowledge and understanding of the value of biodiversity and conservation, combined with a lack of resources and expertise in decision-making. This has created intense pressure on habitats and wildlife thought the country. The Philippines has been identified as one of the world's '25 biodiversity hotspots' and therefore it is important for global biodiversity conservation.
Project commenced: 2005
Partners: WPA, Manchester Metropolitan University, Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park and Palawan Council for Sustainable Development.
The project aimed to address the acute pressures facing Palawan's forests by focusing conservation efforts around one particular species. The Palawan peacock-pheasant Polypectron napoleonis is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because of declines due to habitat loss and fragmentation combines with direct persecution from hunting. By focusing conservation on one ambassador species the positive management effects will also benefit the conservation of other Palawan endemics and habitats.
The study focused on the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) where management regimes and zones in the park were largely based on vegetation types, topography or administration boundaries. Therefore management plans have been rather weak because they lacked detailed ecological knowledge. The project aimed to provide vital information to refine and strengthen the management plan for this protected area.
- assessing the abundance of the Palawan peacock-pheasant
- ecological surveys
- social-economic surveys
- training park rangers, local biologists, Department of the Environment Nature Reserve staff, undergraduate biology students from the University of the Philippines and members of the Conservation Society for the Philippines
- 25 people trained in monitoring and management planning
- Science underpinning new management plan
- Rezoning to assist forest specialists
- Active participation of local communities in conservation planning
- Development of community based monitoring system
The involvement of science in the management, and engagement between scientists, park authorities and local communities is showing considerable promise. This approach to conservation is attracting interest elsewhere in the Philippines because it demonstrates that there us scope for ecology to underpin management planning. The same approach is now being tested in other protected areas in the country.
Green peafowl Pavo muticus
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