It’s More Fauna in the Philippines!-A A +A
By Rox Peña
Thursday, July 12, 2012
IT’S more fun in the Philippines because there’s more fauna in the Philippines. Fauna is defined as “animals, especially the animals of a particular region or period, considered as a group.” Our country has a rich biodiversity which means we have so many species of animals and plants. Many of these are even native to us.
According to the Philippine Clearing House Mechanism for Biodiversity, the Philippines is considered a mega-diverse country. On a per unit area basis, the Philippines probably harbors more diversity of life than any other country on the planet. The country hosts more than 52,177 described species of which more than half is found nowhere else in the world. Ang maganda diyan, there are still many species waiting to be discovered.
A recent biodiversity resource assessment conducted in Southern Leyte Province resulted in the discovery of at least two new species of frogs. The new finds bring to 38 the number of new species discovered in the country for the last 10 years. Talking about frogs, I noticed that our native frogs are being outlived by the larger and invasive Bull Frog. Baka mawalan na tayong mga Kapampangan ng batute.
We have many kinds of ants too. According to a report in Science Daily, about 30 percent of all currently known ant genera have been recorded in the Philippines. At least 474 species of ants are known from the archipelago. In addition, several dozen new species remain to be formally described and given scientific names. Siguro maraming mga langgam sa Pilipinas dahil tayong mga Pinoy ay sadyang very sweet.
I learned from a recent news report that newly born tarsiers were found in a small patch of secondary forest on Mt. Matutum in South Cotabato. This is good news because Tarsiers are usually found only in Bohol, Samar and Leyte. The Philippine tarsier is one of the smallest known primates. And by the way, it is not a monkey.
Last April, it was announced that four new species of freshwater crab have been discovered in Palawan, Philippines. The crabs have bright purple shells and its claws and legs are red in color. It’s not only more Fauna in the Philippines, it’s more colorful too!
Last year, a team of Filipino and American biologists discovered seven new species of forest mice in the mountains of Luzon. The DENR said that the team found the previously unknown species of mice in the highlands of Luzon: two were endemic to Mt. Tapulao in Zambales; another two lived in the forests of Mt. Banahaw in Quezon; two lived in the Mingan Mountains in Aurora; and one can be found in the Sierra Madre Mountain range in northeastern Luzon. Pati daga marami tayo.
With blessing comes responsibility. Many of our unique fauna and flora are endangered. Let’s be good stewards of Mother Earth!
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 13, 2012.