The discovery of the two new frog species was a result of the biodiversity resource assessment conducted in Southern Leyte by the Fauna and Flora International in November 2011.  The month-long ground surveys in Southern Leyte Province (covering the municipalities of Silago, Hinunangan, Sogod, Maasin, Tomas Oppus and Malitbog) recorded a total of 229 floral species (31 of which are unique to the Philippines) and 212 terrestrial vertebrates species, comprising 112 species of birds (41 species are unique to Philippines; 11 of which are threatened to extinction), 36 species of mammals (17 species are unique to the Philippines) and 64 species of amphibians and reptiles (more than half of whichare found only in the Philippines).

Herpetologists from the Philippines and the United States are now working on the formal taxonomic description of the species.

While the highlight of the assessment is the discovery of the new frog species, it also generated a detailed documentation of new and important information on the ecology and natural history of many species of vertebrates that are endemic to Leyte.

The biodiversity assessments were conducted by Fauna and FIora International, the National Museum of the Philippines on behalf of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its projects, namely the Climate Relevant Modernization of Forest Policy and Piloting of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in the Philippines Project being implemented by the German International  Cooperation (GIZ);  the New Conservation Areas in the Philippines Project (NewCAPP),   the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The study was aimed at generating species inventories and practical information on key species-habitat associations as sound bases for forest and biodiversity management planning.

The assessment indicated the general preference of Southern Leyte’s fauna to forest and riverine environments. The information generated, serves as a baseline that can be used to predict impacts of habitat change on species and to design measures to protect forest biodiversity. For local government units in Southern Leyte, the findings provide the scientific basis in designing appropriate management systems and monitoring protocols useful in protecting forest ecosystems, establishing local forest and biodiversity areas as well as to steer the rehabilitation of forests towards an efficient and more ecologically sound path. For the national Government it will spur forest protection and rehabilitation efforts under the Philippine National REDD-Plus Strategy as part of the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAPP), and the National Greening Program.

Despite its infamous reputation of having highly fragmented and degraded forests, this impressive list of fauna and flora demonstrates the underappreciated biodiversity of the Philippines. (with reports from NewCAPP).

News

DENR Marks Arbor Day, Coral Triangle Day

arbor

"Make an act for Mother Earth. Plant trees today,” says DENR Regional Director Leonardo Sibbaluca as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in region 8 spearheads a tree planting activity in celebration of the Philippine Arbor Day.

More than two hundred (200) participants from the DENR regional office, PENRO Leyte, CENRO Palo, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), and partners from the Department of Agriculture (DA),Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Civil Service Commission, Department of Health, Department of Education, Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, PEPSI, Sonshine Philippines Movement, LGU Palo, and BLGU Salvacion planted six hundred (600) talisay seedlings in over half a hectare beach forest area in Barangay Salvacion, Palo, Leyte.

Photo Releases

DENR 8 Regional Director  Leonardo R. Sibbaluca (rightmost) briefs incoming Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez with the various PPAs of the Department. He likewise expressed his full support to the programs of Mayor-elect Gomez when he made a courtesy call to the Department on May 24, 2016. Both parties vowed to work together to address environmental concerns in the city.

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