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 recognizes partners on environmental protection, Kicks-off observance of Month of the Planet Earth

tabaoIn observance of April as Month of the Planet Earth, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in region 8 recognizes the contributions of its partners in environmental protection and natural resources conservation.


As a kick-off activity for the month-long celebration, DENR presented a Certificate of Recognition to Barangay Chairman Noel Tabao of of Barangay 69, Anibong, Tacloban City. Chairman Tabao’s invaluable assistance to the rehabilitation of mangrove areas in Leyte through the Leyte Gulf Rehabilitation Project launched after Super Typhoon Yolanda, particularly in the rehabilitation and development of a 12-hectare mangrove area in Bgry. 69 was recognized by the DENR. His assistance in organizing the Greening Initiators and Nature’s Advocate People’s Organization or GINAPO as DENR partner in the establishment, maintenance, and production of seedlings for DENR 8 Central Nursery in Anibong was also cited.

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Photo Releases

DENR Secretary Gina Lopez leads employees of DENR region 8 in an oath to take care of the environment and be better stewards of the earth. Employees also committed to work for integrity, public service, and common good. The oath of commitment was made by the employees during the visit of Secretary Lopez to DENR regional office on January 16, 2016.

DENR 8 Regional Director Leonardo Sibbaluca presents the region’s central nursery and the 12-hectare Leyte Gulf Mangrove Rehabilitation Project site at Brgy. Anibong, Tacloban City to Green Climate Fund (GCF) Director Javier Manazares (seated, 3rd from left) and Demetrio Innocenti (seated, 4th from left). The project implemented in 2014 in the hardest hit provinces of Leyte, Samar, and Eastern Samar by Typhoon Yolanda envisions to restore the lush mangroves in said areas, emphasizing on the crucial role these mangroves play in protecting the coastline, preventing coastal erosion, serving as buffer for tidal currents and storm driven waves, and mitigating the unavoidable impacts of climate change. GCF visited the area for an ocular inspection in response to the request of Secretary Lopez for financial assistance in support to the department’s programs and projects on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Also in photo are (seated L-R) ERDB Director Henry Adornado, ASec Junie Hernandez, Assistant Secretary Evelyn Cruzada of the Performance and Projects Management Office, office of the Cabinet Secretary.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in region 8 recognizes the important role played by indigenous communities in the protection and preservation of the region’s protected areas. In photo is the Mamanwa Indigenous Community in Burauen, Leyte joining this year’s Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park Outdoor Festival held on February 3, coinciding with the declaration of MVNP as a protected area under the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) Act. The event intends to showcase the natural park as a home to various species of flora and fauna including the Philippine Eagle, and promote the preservation of the rich biodiversity in the area. 

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