DENR-Soccsksargen notes PH trogon, 2 species of squirrels on Mt Apo

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Soccsksargen documented four Philippine Trogons and two species of squirrels known as the Philippine Pygmy Squirrel and Mindanao Tree Squirrel on Mount Apo.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Soccsksargen documented four Philippine Trogons and two species of squirrels known as the Philippine Pygmy Squirrel and Mindanao Tree Squirrel on Mount Apo. DENR-Soccsksargen

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Soccsksargen documented four Philippine Trogons and two species of squirrels known as the Philippine Pygmy Squirrel and Mindanao Tree Squirrel on Mount Apo.

In a press release, two species of squirrels were documented in Mt. Apo Natural Park (MANP) through the MANP-Cotabato.

The former was first documented during the Biodiversity Monitoring System (BMS) activity in 2023, while the latter was noted during the BMS Activity from April 22 to 27, 2024.

Meanwhile, four individuals of the Philippine Trogon (Harpactes ardens), a bird species associated with the mythical Ibong Adarna, were documented within the confines of the MANP during the recent BMS activity.

“This sighting marks the second encounter with the species, following its initial discovery during the BMS in 2023,” DENR said.

The Philippine Trogon, locally known as Arak by the Obo Monuvu people of Mt. Apo, is the only trogon species endemic to the Philippines. Despite its classification as a species of Least Concern under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Philippine Trogon holds immense cultural and ecological significance within the MANP and throughout the region. 

“The Obo Monuvu people, custodians of Mt. Apo's ancestral lands, have long revered the bird species as a symbol of their connection to the environment,” the agency said.

“Furthermore, the presence of the Philippine Trogon serves as an indicator of the overall ecosystem’s health. Its sensitivity to habitat disturbances and environmental changes makes it a valuable bioindicator species,” the agency added.

DENR said conservation efforts are guided by the ongoing monitoring of the trogon's habitat preferences and population trends, providing significant insight into the present condition of the MANP's ecosystems. RGL

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