Rare plants, animals thrive in dam project site-A A +A
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
ILOILO CITY – Rare plants and animals are found at the area where the site of the multi-billion peso Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project (JRMP) of the National Government will be built.
The barangays Garangan, Agcalaga and Masaroy is home to the indigenous people in central Panay Island.
Young scientists from the University of the Philippines-Diliman found an initial 40 tree species, 78 flowering plants and seven ferns, some of which are considered rare.
The team also discovered the presence of endangered warty pigs and spotted deers still roaming in the forests while eagle hawks locally called binanog soared by. The area also teemed of snakes and turtles.
The team of biologist John Warner Carag, physicist Niel Laurent Caidic and geologist Adrian Raymund Fernandez said the trees and plants species are on top of 10 ecologically important species, 18 with therapeutic purpose, 15 for food consumption and 19 for other uses.
The river itself is rich of food such as fishes, eels and crabs while medicinal plants such as herba, alibhon, kasla and other leaves are used as medicine by the indigenous people in the area.
The team also discovered that indigenous farmers do not use fertilizer and pesticides in their farms nor they have irrigation facilities but depend solely on rainfall for their crops.
Mostly slash and burn or kaingin farmers, they also plant coffee, rootcrops and bananas and raised livestock for own consumption.