History, Aims & Reports

History & Aims

Find the following topics here

Aims & Scope

History & Work

Our important work

| Aims & Scope |

The trend of nature destruction has to be reversed to the benefit of humans and nature, hence several actions are necessary. These include a rigorous protection of the remaining environment.

PhilinCon designs and implements projects, maintains research and laboratory facilities, and cooperates with local as well as national governmental agencies.

Credit: Helga Schulze & Christian Schwarz, Copyright PhilinCon. Faunal map of Panay Island and Western Visayas showing in Panay the Northwest Peninsula Natural Park; the forest extending south along the CPMR; and the provinces of Antique, Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo

In the Philippines, the growth of the population – with an increasing need for land, water, and food – has led to overexploitation and devastation of ecosystems. These ecosystems are not only of scientific interest, due to their outstanding biodiversity, but are also vital for the economy and survival of the people. Over the last few decades, the destruction of the Philippine nature has increased dramatically. The 2011 disaster in Mindanao with almost 2,000 inhabitants dead or missing after heavy flash floods caused by typhoon Sendong and a hundred thousand more left homeless. The extent of the destruction results partly from deforestation of watersheds (land area that channels rainfall to streams, rivers, and natural water reservoirs) as one consequence of overpopulation and lack of protective measures. Those detrimental activities caused the water to run down the mountain too fast without being retained by forest cover.
With global climate change leading to an increase in storm frequency and severity, the need for protection of the last intact ecosystems and providing genetic resources for reforestation is evident and urgent.

The island of Panay is home to last largely undisturbed remnants of rainforest ecosystems which are an essential genetic resource for reforestation in the entire Western Visayas region. To reverse the trend of destruction to the benefit of both humans and nature, several tools must be put to use. These include rigorous protection of the remaining environment flanked by rehabilitation of deteriorating landscapes, especially reforestation, and the improvement of livelihood while enhancing the health and the economic situation.

To achieve its objectives, PhilinCon designs and implements projects, maintains research and laboratory facilities, and cooperates with local as well as national governmental agencies. PhilinCon’s integrated conservation project had quickly become community-based, trying to provide alternative livelihoods to rural families, in order to diminish the need for unsustainable use of forest products and illegal hunting of wildlife. PhilinCon cooperates with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), barangay councils and established community conservationists. In addition, PhilinCon pays the salary and health insurance for local forest rangers who support the law enforcement agencies in the quest to stop illegal logging and poaching. Further, it is engaged in the local protection of threatened wildlife by measures against poaching and illegal wildlife trade, and by maintaining a facility for rehabilitation and release of threatened animals. The organization’s conservation efforts focus on the northwest Panay Peninsula where the last highly threatened stand of the lowland forest had been discovered by our staff. Our work also includes preserving the endangered Walden’s Hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni; local name: Dulungan or Talarak), and other endangered ecologically important wildlife.

Due to our advocacy, the Panay peninsula was declared as a protected area by the President of the Philippines in 2001. From 2000 on, we also got increasingly involved in the protection of forests in the Central Panay Mountain Range (CPMR). The mountain range is important for the regional climate and water supply and home to endemic (occurring only in a certain region) populations of endangered endemic species including hornbills, Visayan spotted deer, Visayan warty pig, and the local called Mabitang (Panay monitor), as well as rare plant species like Rafflesia lobata. In 2008 the Central Office of the DENR instructed the Executive Director of Regional DENR Region 6 (Western Visayas) to designate the area as ‘Critical Habitat’ under the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act. PhilinCon was entrusted with the task to help to assess the invaluable flora and fauna of these mountain forests. In the process, the team of PhilinCon – under the scientific supervision of Prof. E. Curio – was conducting surveys and taxonomic (classification of organisms) research.

Our important work

| our History |

PhilinCon initially was run under the name Philippine Endemic Species Conservation Project (PESCP) founded by Professor Curio. The work of the project started in 1995 by site investigations in Negros and the Central Panay Mountains on Panay. At various locations efforts were made to establish research facilities from which studies on the area’s fauna and flora could be conducted.

PhilinCon had been initially run under the name Philippine Endemic Species Conservation Project (PESCP), founded by Professor Curio. Its work on Panay started in 1995 by site investigations in Negros and the Central Panay Mountains. Faunistic and floristic surveys were conducted but the logistics of performing these tasks in that area proved beyond the means of the project at that time. With the discovery of significant stands of low-elevation rain forest in the northwest Panay peninsula, including a variety of endangered, endemic species of plants and animals, the PESCP relocated its main operations to this area. From now on, the project focused on the overall conservation of the natural resource base of the peninsula while maintaining interest and linkages in Central Panay. From 2005 on the NGO PhilConserve (Philippine Association for Conservation and Development, Inc.) acted as an umbrella organization for the project.

From its inception until 2010, the Frankfurt Zoological Society was backing the project activities being primarily interested in preserving the highly endangered Walden’s Hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni; local name: dulungan) and its habitat. With the remnant population of this species and other endangered wildlife living in the Central Panay Mountain Range (CPMR) the emphasis of conservation work was extended back to this area from 2000 onwards. Fieldwork became community-based, aiming at the precautionary development of the upland communities.

In 2011, the PESCP was replaced with PanayCon, its functional successor, with nature conservation work, continued but with an additional focus on cooperation with and help for the local people.

 Because of discrepancies concerning by-laws, in Nov 2010 conservation-minded citizens of larger Pandan, Antique, established the new NGO PhilinCon running conservation work and research. PhilinCon took over PhilConserve’s linkages with the LGUs (Local Government Units) and the DENR and from 2017 on became the only name of both project and NGO: the ‘Philippine Initiative for Environmental Conservation’. PhilinCon is currently being restructured whilst adhering to the core goals as before (see statues of PhilinCon).

PHILINCON –  INSTITUTIONAL HISTORY

1995     Philippine Endemic Species Conservation Project (PESCP) initiated.

1997     Sibaliw Research Station was build.

1998     Discovery of Negros Bleeding-Heart Pigeon.

2001      New species of Lizard found.

2000     PESCP extends its flora and fauna studies to various parts of the CPMR.

2001     Hornbill nest-guarding initiated.

2002     Northwest Peninsula Natural Park created.

2005     The NGO PhilConserve (Philippine Association for Conservation and Development) was founded as an umbrella organization to finance and oversee PESCP’s activities.

2008     FORCLIM starts and DENR begins to designate parts of the CPMR as ‘Critical Habitat’ under the Wildlife Preservation and Conservation Act.

2010     PhilConserve wound up due to internal disparities and replaced by Philippine Initiative for Conservation of Environment and the People.

2011     PESCP redesignated as PanayCon (Panay Eco-Social Conservation Project).

2010-13 Cooperation with GIZ (German Corporation for Cooperation).

2018     First time funded by the DENR, philippine environmental department.

2019     The full name of the organization is shortened to “Philippine Initiative for Environmental Conservation” while maintaining PhilinCon as a moniker.  PhilinCon’s structure is also being simplified by eliminating the PanayCon project label and bringing all activities under the PhilinCon label.

2019     Cooperation with Bristol Zoological Society.

2020     until now, 95 publications and reports written & 11 new species found.

| statutes |

The statues of PhilinCon’s core goals established in 2010 are: 

  • To help preserve biodiversity in the Philippines
  • To assist different organisations and communities in the management of projects and fora supporting (in-)directly biodiversity and sustainable development. The projects include livelihood projects, reforestation, and training seminars on e.g. improved agricultural techniques, forests, and watershed protection. Habitat protection is in preference to all other projects. 
  • To conduct research on the components of biodiversity and on the interrelationships of these components in rainforest ecosystems 
  • To accept donated, confiscated or rescued wildlife for the purpose of conserving, rehabilitating, releasing and/or breeding species indigenous to the Philippines. The amount of wildlife does not is not restricted by the contingent on the capacity of the rescue facilities managed by the NGO. Preference will be given to wildlife indigenous to Panay;
  • To raise funds, from both the Philippine and external sources, to finance the above activities.

| Our Financial Needs |

As non-profit NGO we rely on donations and supporting partners. Here (1 A4 pdf) you can have a look how much roundabout we need in 3 months.

19.th Report (2015 & 2016)

PanayCon Report 2016. This report is the 19.th Annual Report of PanayCon, written in December 2017 and is about the year 2015 & 2016.

The law enforcement portion of PhilinCon’s activities mainly involves the work and
accomplishments of our team of Forest Rangers (FRs). In recognition of their effectiveness,
they have been officially deputized as WEOs (Wildlife Enforcement Officers) by the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Among their standard functions, our FRs carry out regular patrols of the forest areas of
Libertad, Pandan and Sebaste in Antique and the municipality of Buruanga in Aklan province.
During 2015, their work resulted in the confiscation of 4 boat hulls and more than 300 bd./ft.
of logs that had been cut illegally. These were subsequently turned over to the PNP/ DENR.
The FRs also assisted in the release of turtle hatchlings and the turning over of endangered
wildlife.

Sadly, the arrests and material confiscations that have been effected by PhilinCon and its FRs
have not led to the illegal loggers, hunters and poachers being brought to justice in a court of
law. Despite this fact, however, PhilinCon will continue its activities for the essential
protection and conservation of our forests and its wildlife inhabitants.

1.2 Animals under the Care of PhilinCon in 2015-2016

Both species of hornbills (Rhabdotorrhinus, Penolopides), various raptors, a Grass Owl and
several seabirds were rehabilitated and released upon proper health checks by our veterinarian
Dr. Enrique Sanchez. The rescue facilities from the animals came from in those in Mag-aba,
Bulanao and Sibaliw Station. Table 2 gives the details of the species, sex, ring numbers, and
the circumstances of recovery and release. Animals classified as ‘unsuitable for release’ are
sent to the PAWD DENR Region 6 in Iloilo City.

 
Executive Summary

1. Conservation and Rehabilitation

1.1 Manager’s Report – Law Enforcement

The law enforcement portion of PhilinCon’s activities mainly involves the work and
accomplishments of our team of Forest Rangers (FRs). In recognition of their effectiveness,
they have been officially deputized as WEOs (Wildlife Enforcement Officers) by the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Among their standard functions, our FRs carry out regular patrols of the forest areas of
Libertad, Pandan and Sebaste in Antique and the municipality of Buruanga in Aklan province.
During 2015, their work resulted in the confiscation of 4 boat hulls and more than 300 bd./ft.
of logs that had been cut illegally. These were subsequently turned over to the PNP/ DENR.
The FRs also assisted in the release of turtle hatchlings and the turning over of endangered
wildlife.

Sadly, the arrests and material confiscations that have been effected by PhilinCon and its FRs
have not led to the illegal loggers, hunters and poachers being brought to justice in a court of
law. Despite this fact, however, PhilinCon will continue its activities for the essential
protection and conservation of our forests and its wildlife inhabitants.


1.2 Animals under the Care of PhilinCon in 2015-2016

Both species of hornbills (Rhabdotorrhinus, Penolopides), various raptors, a Grass Owl and
several seabirds were rehabilitated and released upon proper health checks by our veterinarian
Dr. Enrique Sanchez. The rescue facilities from the animals came from in those in Mag-aba,
Bulanao and Sibaliw Station. Table 2 gives the details of the species, sex, ring numbers, and
the circumstances of recovery and release. Animals classified as ‘unsuitable for release’ are
sent to the PAWD DENR Region 6 in Iloilo City.


2. Conservation Research: Taxonomy and Biodiversity

2.1 Nematomorpha from the Philippines, with description of two new species

With the exception of one species, no horsehair worms (Nematomorpha) were known to date
from the Philippines. We report here several records, almost all from Panay Island. Two
species, Gordius jorriti and Acutogordius finni, are de-scribed as new species. Two species of
Chordodes, C. caledoniensis and C. cf. moutoni, were found. In addition, further specimens
from the genera Gordius, Acutogordius and Chordodes could not be determined to species
level.



9


2.2 Update on Tagalomantis manillensis (Saussure), with description of the female and
comments on its systematic placement and life history (Insecta: Mantodea:
Deroplatyinae)

The female and the ootheca of the Philippine endemic Tagalomantis manillensis (Saussure,
1870) are described and illustrated for the first time. The male is re-described in detail. The
species was so far only known from the island of Luzon, but also occurs in suitable habitats
on Panay. Although locally relatively abundant, it is confined to primary and old secondary
rainforests and threatened by habitat loss. The life history of Panay populations is outlined.
The name Euchomenellini Giglio-Tos, 1916 is proposed for the oriental members of
Angelinae (Euchomenella, Indomenella and Tagalomantis). The tribus is placed among
Deroplatyinae due to morphological and genital characters. Cotigaonopsis Vyjayandi, 2009 is
transferred to Rivetinini. A key to the genera of Deroplatyinae is provided.

3.1 Avian resource defense against an insect competitor and a cognition problem

The defense of a nectar source (Nauclea orientalis, Rubiaceae) by a male of the partially
nectar-feeding Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma australe) against
carpenter bees (Xylocopa latipes) is described. The bird attacked the bee physically while it
was feeding on the inflorescences, and also chased the bee in flight, preventing it from
landing on the flowers for feeding. The female remained indifferent to the bee. The
underlying cognitive achievement is best understood by assuming an intruder ‘action-based’
threat recognition rather than an intruder ‘identity-based’ threat recognition. An innate
‘identity-based’ object recognition for select community members would probably not accrue
in this case the necessary flexibility to account species-specifically for hundreds of species of
arthropod nectarivores.

18.th Report (2014)

PanayCon Report 2015. This report is the 18.th Annual Report of PanayCon, written in January 2015 and is about the year 2014.

The law enforcement portion of PhilinCon’s activities mainly involves the work and
accomplishments of our team of Forest Rangers (FRs). In recognition of their effectiveness,
they have been officially deputized as WEOs (Wildlife Enforcement Officers) by the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Among their standard functions, our FRs carry out regular patrols of the forest areas of
Libertad, Pandan and Sebaste in Antique and the municipality of Buruanga in Aklan province.
During 2014(?), their work resulted, in 13 separate occasions, in the confiscation of more than
135 pieces of logs that had been cut illegally. These were subsequently turned over to the
PNP/ DENR.

The FRs’ monitoring activities also resulted in the discovery of a poachers’ camp in the
Sibaliw area (near PhilinCon’s field station), from which CAMP our FRs were able to
confiscate various paraphernalia used by the poachers.. These people belonged to a well-
organized and heavily armed group from Nabas and Cubai. They were known to hunt for
Warty Pigs, monkeys, hornbills and pigeons for food and for sale to the souvenir tradesmen in
Boracay.

Sadly, the arrests and material confiscations that have been effected by PhilinCon and its FRs
have not led to the illegal loggers, hunters and poachers being brought to justice in a court of
law. Despite this fact, however, PhilinCon will continue its activities for the essential
protection and conservation of our forests and its wildlife inhabitants.

1.2 Animals under the Care of PhilinCon in 2014

Both species of hornbills (Aceros [further on called this way instead of the modern name
Rhabdotorrhinus], Penolopides), various raptors, a Grass Owl and a Hawksbill Turtle
(Dermochelys imbricata) were rehabilitated and released upon proper health checks by our
veterinarian Dr. Enrique Sanchez. The rescue facilities from the animals came from in those
in Mag-aba, Bulanao and Station ‘Sibalew’. The Table 1 gives the details of the species, sex,
ring no. of applicable and the circumstances of the recovery and the release. Animals
classified as ‘unsuitable for release’ are sent to the PAWD DENR Region 6 in Iloilo City.

2.1 Gambaquezonia curioi – a new Species of Gambaquezonia from the Philippine Island
Panay (Araneae: Salticidae)

A jumping spider of the genus Gambaquezonia has been considered monotypic and endemic
to the Philippine Island of Luzon. A new species has been described from Panay, based on
genital characters of a male and female specimen. The species, Gambaquezonia curioi, is distinguished by the male copulatory organ (embolus) and the female sperm receiving
opening (epigynal sperm duct). The find highlights the need to further study of the Philippine
spider fauna.

2.2 The praying mantids of Panay – an annotated checklist

Praying mantids (Mantodea) are an insect order which is largely understudied in the
Philippines. The ~2,500 described species are thermophilous and strictly solitary predators
distributed mainly in the tropics. They exhibit a variety of lifestyles and morphological
ecotypes. No records from Panay are known so far. Therefore, from 2010 to 2015 the
mantodean fauna of Panay has been repeatedly sampled via manual search, light and pitfall
trapping. Seventeen species representing seven phylogenetic units (families) have been found,
at least five of which are new to science. The majority (11 species) is confined to forests, and
contains mostly endemic and subendemic taxa, while six species widespread in the
Philippines and SE Asia prefer open habitats. The impoverished mantodean fauna of Panay is
discussed with reference to the paleogeography of the island.

3. Behavioural Ecology

3.1 Ecology of the Bark Mantis (Haania sp., Mantodea)

The SE Asian genus Haania contains morphologically highly specialized praying mantids
living on mossy tree bark. Two undescribed species occur on Panay, the more abundant of
which was studied from February to March at Sibaliw station. Habitat requirements comprise
trees of at least 32 cm circumference, hit by the sun and with a moss cover of ~81%. Adults
preferred lower parts of a tree than did nymphs. 91% of nymphs and 84% of adults assumed
the geotropic position. Specimens usually rested on the lee side of the tree and outside of
direct sunlight, and at minimum distances of 14 cm (adults) and 5 cm (nymphs) of keeping
inside an inhabited patch of moss. Haania is a typical ambush species, spending 67% (adults)
vs. 96.7% (nymphs) of the time motionless. Territoriality is weakly expressed in nymphs, but
becomes more pronounced when specimens approach maturity. Ten translocation trials have
been performed, all of which revealed the resident mantid to be dominant over the intruder,
even involving cases of cannibalism. The obtained results are discussed with reference to
other mantodean taxa.

3.2 Eucharitid Ant-parasitoid Effects facultative Ant-plant Leea manilllensis: top-down Effects through three trophic Levels

Facultative ant-plant mutualisms could often hard to detect, especially in tropical ecosystems.
Leea manillensis in Panay is indirectly protected against damage by the production of
extrafloral nectaries that attract ants. Unexpectedly an ant-parasitoid wasp (Chalcura sp.,
Eucharitidae) exerts a strong effect on the system, both on the plants and on the ants well. The
parasitoid altered the behaviour of the interacting ant-species, but also directly and indirectly
affected the plants’ fitness. The study gives an example of how top-down effects alter species
interactions and can have a massive effect on mutualisms and their beneficial outcome.

3.3 Flight Styles in some Passerines

Semi-quantitative observations on bounding flight and steady (flapping) flight are performed
in two forest-dwelling passerines (Philippine Bulbul Hypsipetes philippinus, Great Tit Parus
major) in free flight. A long-standing hypothesis predicts bounding flight to preserve energy.
A crucial role in the respect is played for the bounding flight – speed relationship. In is
controversial whether a U-shaped bounding flight – energy expenditure curve best describes
the relationship. The monotony of a new relationship reflecting bounding flight to speed
argues for a flattened speed to J-shape energy expenditure as compared to a U-shape curve.
Whether bounding flight is saving energy as proposed would depend of the kinematics of
flight in free-flying such species such as the Bulbul and the Tit. – Further observations
tentatively assign a training role for ‘mock’ prey capture and ‘group acrobatics’ of the Bulbul
serving prey capture and predator evasion, respectively.

17.th Report (2013)

PanayCon Report 2014. This report is the 17.th Annual Report of PanayCon, written in January 2014 and is about the year 2013.

Conversation and Rehabilitation

The gradual stabilization of PanayCon since the demise of the forerunner’s project (PESCP)
in 2010 saw a visible expression in the hiring of a new manager. Mr. Christian Schwarz, MSc,
who knew the project since the day he was hired as a PhD student. He rejoined the staff in a
period of a financial bottleneck when curtailing the project’s activities; the conservation
activities in the Panay Mountain Range (PMR) were given up due to shortage of funds. The
manager’s task comprised fund raising as eminent role of the project’s agenda. Illegal logging
activities and the deployment of the project’s Forest Rangers (FR) were given top priority
though their numbers were severely down-sized. The timber poachers were operating more
sophistically as never before and the reduced number of FRs is painfully felt. Equally
frustrating is the increase of wildlife poachers; the numbers of confiscated Dulungans (Aceros
wadeni) has risen and given the FRs a hard time. – After an incipient start in 2011 the
biodiversity agenda of the government-funded GIZ came to a grinding halt in 2014. The
manager, together with Prof. Curio, was mandated to survey the endangered vertebrates and
to selected groups of invertebrates in the PMR. After two transect works straddling the PMR
the study were abandoned. Nothing of substance has been achieved through the GIZ running
the ForClim Panay Project as is was called. But the final report, supposedly including
recommendations, has not been prepared as yet; it would rely on the identification of
vertebrates in the long run. – With the first tasks tackled by the Manager the food supply
system of the Station Sibaliw was reorganized, cutting down the wasteful management and
buying food more economically; as a result, the food supply increased it efficiency and
lessened unnecessary wastage.

1.1 The Cane Toad project – an update
As before, new plots were set up in the forest near the Station Sibaliw and in Lahang, to
monitor the diet of the Cane Toad. The ongoing field work was supplemented by the sorting of numerous samples of food animals collected with Barber traps and extractions with
Winkler devices. Accordingly, an array of 12,377 specimens of food animals in 321
morphospecies was achieved. These were preliminary results. The Shannon-Wiener Index, a measure of the toad’s diet diversity was higher in toad-free, undisturbed control plots than in
non-treatment forest plots inhabited by toads. Furthermore, there was a tendency towards
higher species evenness (A measure derived by the Shannon-Wiener Index) in toad-free
plots, indicating that some taxa may be more affected by the presence of the toads than others.

1.2 Law enforcement report
The FRs were duly deputized as WEO (Wildlife Enforcement Officer) by the office of the
DENR Region 6. Monitoring patrols were undertaken in Pandan, Sebaste and Libertad
(Antique) and in Nabas and Buruanga (Aklan). In 2014, cut timber, boat hulls and self-made
marble guns for poaching of wildlife were confiscated. In August, the FRs attended a
workshop in conservation matters in Pandan organized by the GIZ and Haribon Foundation. –
In 2014 45 operations were undertaken in Pandan, Sebaste and Libertad (Antique) and
Buruanga (Aklan). Again, illegally cut trees and paraphernalia confiscated and turned over to
the PNP in Pandan, as before. – The operations and the FRs conducting them and including
their successes were itemized in a table spanning 18 pages.

1.3 Animals under the care of PhilinCon in 2013
Animals (species, sexes, age, ring no. are applicable, previous owners, data of admission) in
the facilities of the Station Sibaliw (acclimation and release facility), in Bulanao
Rehabilitation Facility, and in Maga-aba Rehabilitation Facility were tabulated. The release of
three over-due Dulungans had to postponed for four years in a row. Unfortunately the release
permit of the DENR Region 6 was received too late each year as to fully check for infectious
diseases and/or the time-widows was closed because of inclement weather conditions. – The
rehabilitation/ release comprised of a snake, a Hawksbill Turtle, raptors, owls, crows,
Dulangan and Tarictics, and Spotted Deer.

 2.1 Freshwater fauna of Panay: preliminary survey on fish and shrimps
The survey is the combined result of searches over the last few years of Arnold Demegillo
(MENRO of Pandan), Maren Gaulke (the project herpetologist), and Gersom Operiano, a
gifted field assistant. The results contain a number of rivers and rivulets in North and
Northwest Panay. The faunistic findings comprise of species of Rhyacichthyidae, Eleotridae,
and Gobiidae, and various other fish groups, native or endemic to the whole region in SE
Asia. Brief sketches of the ecology were given including the pointers on related species within
or outside the Philippines. – An account is also given of the freshwater shrimps. Groups contain species of Palaemonidae and Atyidae in need of technical description. – The two
fishes and two shrimps are illustrated on the front cover.

3. Behavioural Ecology

 3.1 Avian resource defence against an insect competitor and a cognition problem
A Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma australe) male, as compared to a
female, attacked a Giant Carpenter-Bee (Xylocopa latipes) exploiting the nectar resource on a
flowering tree, the first observation of its kind in the Old World. The perceptual mechanism
underlying the recognition of the bee as a food competitor is conceptually identified as
‘action-based’; the action would the exploitation of the same food source by the bee. The
alternative hypothesis of an ‘individual-based’ mechanism, also call ‘releasing mechanism’,
tuned to hundreds of species competing for food is rejected; parsimony would argue against
the assumption of a vast array of species and/or sexes to such mechanisms to have to be tuned.

 4.1 Intraspecific rearrangement of duplicated mitochondrial control regions in the
Luzon Tarictic Hornbill Penelopidae manillae (Aves: Bucerotidae)
An investigation of the mitochondrial DNA discorded in a Luzon Tarictic, comparing their
characteristics within and across individuals, an interchange of two control regions, the first
observation in a bird species. An evolutionary origins and discussed as well as application of
the control region sequences as a marker in populations genetics and phylogeography.

16.th Report (2009-2012)

PanayCon Report 2010-13. This report is the 16.th Annual Report of PanayCon, written in January 2013 and is about the years 2009-2012.

Conversation and Rehabilitation

In 2009, PhilConserve became victim of financial irregularities, which involved substantial
losses in cash and other assets, caused by two PESCP officials. All operations were put to a
stop for the time being.

Over the years of 2010-2012 PhilConserve and PESCP ceased to exist in order to be replaced
by the newly founded Philippine Initiative for Conservation of the Environment and the People, Inc. (PhilinCon) and PanayCon (Panay Eco-Social Conservation Project), respectively.

Thanks to the efforts of Prof. Dr. E. Curio, a total of 9 jobs have been maintained, although
the overall number of employees as well as the total of hired FRs had to be reduced. Activities
carried out over the years of 2009 – 2013 were law enforcement for protection and conservation of forest areas, a biodiversity assessment of the Central Panay Mountain Range
and operations of wildlife research and rehabilitation facilities. During the reported period an
average of 18 forest rangers were hired, trained and used every year to patrol forest areas and
confiscate chainsaws and illegally logged timber.

PanayCon’s Protection for the last substantial sized population of the Dulungan Hornbill (Aceros waldeni) – Prospects for 2014

A briefly history is given of the development of the Dulungan population and its protection
two guards alongside in expansion in over ever increasing range in the CPMR by to 2008.
After part systematic protection of nest holes had stopped due shortage of fund not full no provided by the FZS. A last census revealed a population of about 1,350 pairs (active nest
holes). A beneficial advantage extended to the protection of other wildlife in the area though
was not needs to be quanfitied.

Animals under the care of PhilinCon in January 2013

An account of given of wildlife in the care of project and its veterinary supervisor when latest
admission in the three wildlife facilities of Mag-aba, Bulanao and Sibaliw, with date of
admission, animal species, sex, ring number when applicable, and annotations.

Herpetofauna

The herpelotogist Dr. M. Gaulke come brought out of monograph on the taxonomy and
distribution of all taxa of reptiles and amphibians any islands of the Philippines. ‘The
Herpetofauna auf Panay Island, Philippines’ a complete update an list any discoveries,
notably by the author, and their taxonomy, is lavishly illustrated, most all by the her own
photographs.

On all update, research Gaulke overviews the morphometric and meristic character form the
Mabitang, the congeneric species of the widely distributed, also vegetarian relatives the of the
Mabitang from the north of the archipelago, setting it aside from a recent described taxon.

Shellfishes – animals without back bones , Land- and freshwater-crab surveys: Preliminary results

As results of studies of Gaulke and Santos the land crabs of Panay are highly diverse and
they occur from the deep-land green-forest up to Madjas-an and Nangtud in the CPRM. There
some are possible five inequitable beautiful Geosesarma species (see above the frontispiece
of the Ann. Report) that await formal description. – Apart these those species the two
Sundathelphusa sp., two member of the Gecarcinucidae family. The first which new of the science.
The are karst inhabitant or tree-dweller, and have a direct developmental. Are on ca 30
Sundathelphusa species in the Philippines the two was parasitized found by Rhizophala, from of ca
230 species of spell-fish unsually marine origin that have found first two in a terrestrial habitats far
them from the sea. – Furthermore, a group of swimming crabs of the family Potamidae was found in
Rivers that were under study are well.

More shellfish research: a new species and genus of landhopper

In 2010 Javier & Coleman described from the litter fauna from Panay a new landhoppers we
have been known for a few of years (Talitrus curioi), thus describing a terrestrial member of
the landhoppers family from the Philippines. (Related froms was known from of the forests
South Afirica and Australia). Later on, Lowry & Coleman (2012) remaned to species as
Curiotalitrus curioi by latest morphological detail, thus erecting a new genus the for new
species.


A new species of whip spider for Panay

A new species of the Charinidae assemblage of whip spiders were that the second species of
Sarax thus forming the S. curioi. Its other congenric the Philippines being S. brachydactylus
are a wider distribution, reaching out to Malaysia and Cambodia. As comparison the typical
whip spiders with inward-bent pedipalps serving as the pair of antennas the Sarax species,
has far less specular name-naming ‘whips’ and exhibiting less formidable forelegs.

Telephonoides panayensis, a new giant whip scorpion

The genus and species of wish giant scorpion displayed morphically character warrant a new
genus, that different of four Telyphonus species (Uropygi, Telyphonidae) in the country. The
only other whip scorpion from Panay Island of from of different genus (Glyptogluteus
augustinus) is of smaller size. The both new species of spider whip (Sarax curioi) and new
species of whip scorpion (Telephoniodes panayensis) was found in the NW Peninsula, namely
on the forest floor and in a dry lever bed, respectively.

Decription six new Philippine species of the Tiger-moths (Cyana)

Among 17 species treated six there from Palawan and Minadao in the South to Luzon in the
North, with branching of assemblages with to variously directions (Arctidae, Lithosiinae).
The are distinguished by their genitals and are confusingly similar. Variously lines are
evidence point that the that assemblages branch to too in islands compassing Panay as well. In
the latter described in Cyana curioi from Palawan.

3. Behavioural Ecology

The avoidance of spider webs by bats

Birds and bats appear to risking by flying in the spider webs. This rises the question if i..e.
bats had locate and avoid the web, for instance of Nephila sp. – The question was
experimentally tackled was baiting artificially a feeding tree that was one vertical side
covered with opaque wall and other three sides by a scaffold of frames. The frames was
suspended in the scaffolding and carried in one of the three wall Nephila web side and side
(Fig. 1). The fruit bats (Ptenochirus jagori) flew to the bait tree on any the three sides and
avoided web on marginally. However, on departing from the tree the flying used two a free-
web wall. They had had the their flight toward the tree that a web-wall is to be avoided, or,
way located and subsequently avoided a web after looking at of its from at the advantage
point with relaxation. The jury there out the is these possibilities.

In a different approach with freshly caught bat that latter were subjected to the taks of leaving a
cage exits which not would cover by the Nephila web while is was web free. The escapes of
the bats from this dual-choice apparatus war tallied. A was a tendency of a smaller species
(Cynopterus brachyotis) to leave the apparatus through a web-free exit, also war also the care
the smaller species including a microchipteron. If true smaller bat species but aware of the
web that the larger species (Ptenochirus jagori) were there more endangered by the spider. 10

The of function of bi-coloured fruit displays

This test the ‘foliar flag hypothesis’ who which structure of or adjacent to a fruit are often
from a time colour and thought to direct attack to frugivores to the fruit in leading to a
preferential detection of the fruit and thereby seed dispersal. At a matter of fact, frus removed
more efficiently while enjoying such foliar flags but reason for this removal has enigmatic
may 30 years the enigmatic. We have experiments with Tarictics was shown that to in
combinations of red and auxiliary black was earlier discovered in their natural unsouding. At
free visible on the plate the combinations or red-red, black-black and res-black colours was
not preferred, the earlier discoveries of bi-coloured displays as genuine effect of the bi-
colouredess. A second function of bi-colouredness have allowed the genuine to assess the
ripeness of the fruit: the colour a green was not preferred over red, and part green of a fruit are
indications of ripeness.

Colony defence by an ant – and test of Life History theory

Organisms have been shown to strike a balance multiple needs simultaneously, in other words
that said to form ‘trade-off’ to maximize Darwinian fitness. Are of the ‘trade-offs’ of to
balance future reproduction against current reproduction. The future with dull due his ill
health as and its will current bout reproduction in enhanced and vice versa. The simulated
with the removing a the hind leg from an ant (Polyrhachis sp.) how the future component of
reproduction (colony defence) and defence can a powerful Rhytidoponera sp ant and
compared against intact individuals of the defender. As predicted by Life History theory, the
mutilated ants defenced the colony effectively against the intruder, apparently regarding their
future bleak.

A plant insect mutualism of Leea manillensis: An any many ant attendants
The are of the least 26 species inhabiting the Leea (Leeaceae) trees, one at at time per plant,
and even taking turning night and day species-specifically. A many Leea indiduals lack any
ant species at all, so the mutualism is qualifying as facultative though food bodies and
extrafloral nectaries as apparently a reward to insects attacking herbivores. A measure
quantified the damage by herbivores and its reduction by the ants. The mutualism of extended
to encompass a charictid wasp (Chalcura sp.) preying the ant attendants: ant touching the
body of a hatchling wasp is killed within minutes and the later on serviced as food for the
developing larva. On how the ants defend to the wasps is yet unknown not. Thus the
relationship has fourfold trophic structure: the plant, herbivores, many species of ants and
predator wasp preying the ants.

Spatial orientation of the a gecko in relation to its home range
The Philippine bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus philippinicus) living under and its range of the
station, probably the cavies-dweller. When displaced away from the station the chances return
back home in a few days when for piloting, i. e. searching of trials and error. The from rectilar
cage the geckos have come escapes movements that determined, at least in part, by the earth
magnetic field as demonstrated by bar magnets placed underneath the arena. This its first a
squamate reptile have been shown to use the earth magnetic field probably use in way this
back home.

Rehabilitation and release in two Philippine hornbills
A survey is for given into the techniques for the rehabilitation and the release of endangered
Philippines hornbills.

‘Body morphing’ enables forest dwelling birds to master dense foliage with impunity

Forest dwelling birds of a large number of taxa master the non-trivial task of navigating
oftentimes dense foliage without colliding with the myriad of obstacles in their way. One one
two hypotheses, i. e. ‘body morphing’, hold that the bird passes through obstacles in the dense
environment by minimizing if cross-section by timing in the still phase of the ‘bounding
flight’ in the right instance, in the with sleeked wings posture. It was verified by observations
a the a mist net through incidence the new flight the bird to be has strike between balance to
fall prey a spiders web and free passage. The mistaken identity hypothesis of a mist net
confused a for web spiders is under way investigation.

Avian resource defence against an insect competitor and a cognition problem
A resource defence episode so even male orange-bellied orange-flowerpecker (Dicaeum
trigonostigma) involving a carpenter bee (Xylocopa latipes) suggested the underlying
recognition mechanism in the bird rather ‘action-based’ than ‘species-based’: the give
flexibility in deciphering a multitude of insect competitor that apart from with a few
vertebrates. The observation is this kind in of a bird insect relationship in the old-world.

Genetics of birds and birds’ parasites
Mitochondrial genome of two Philippine Hornbill research and DNA recombination

The mt DNA is characterized through by tandem repeats and regions identically across two
species. The mt DNA exceeds the length found in the albatrosses. Furthermore, the duplicate
fragments within indiduals indicate that recombination is those common that as assumed.

Fourteen new microsatellite markers for various Philippine hornbills

Altogether was 14 microsatellite over alkalized across four hornbills species and comparison
with across species was. For 14 microsatellites the heterozygosity would inferred; two loci
where were monomorphic in Penelopides panini the in A. waldeni.

Mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA analyses of endangered Philippine hornbill
species detect gene flow between island populations and genetic diversity loss
An analysis in four species of hornbill (A. waldeni, A. leucocephalus, P. manillae, P. panini),
permitted to assess the genetic variation of the mt control region and 12-19 microsatellite loci.
Sporadic movements over water inferred were a genetic loss in some taxa due to rapid
deforestation. Halting genetic erosion to important for the remnants of the existing

Profound population structure in the Philippine Bulbul Hypsipetes philippincus
is not reflected in its haemosporidian parasite

The Bulbuls of 7 populationen auf 6 islands were screened for the occurrence of three
haemosporidian genera (Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, Leucocytozoon) and three mt DNA
analyzed and those of the Bulbul (mt b gene, 471 bp). While 48% of 58 individuals of the
Bulbul had Haemoproteus only carried just 2% of either carried either Leucocytozoon or
Plasmodium. Pre contrary to the made prediction the parasites was not differentiated due
frequent vector movements, the hosts due the pronounced differences. Ongoing population
processes, multiple reinvasions mediated by other hosts and other predominant hosts, took the
lead.

Prevalence of avian haemosporidian parasites and their host fidelity

The occurrence being various blood parasites (see above the foregoing chap. 4.5) was
screened in 42 species of 23 families in Panay and Negros, thus establishing relationship of
co-occurrence between parasites of syntopically occurrencing birds. As before mt cytochrome
g gene (471 pb) was examined. There were multiple infections in 14% of 215 birds in portions
with tripartite infection has much rarer as the double infections of two parasites in one host
individual. Inferences about the co-occurrence of three species should be made. The
association between Haemoproteus underwent recent diversification while Leucocytozoon
shows a longer association with its host(s).

15.th Report (2008)

PESCP Report 2009. This report is the 15.th Annual Report of PESCP, written in January 2009 and is about the year 2008.

Conservation, Education, Livelihoods, Rehabilitation

1. To bolster PESCP’s ambitious forest protection scheme alongside long-standing livelihood
support and law enforcement, two of the five main pillars (chap. 1.1, 1.3), made progress at
two levels. First, there has been financial support from various government sources thus
amplifying the project’s lean backbone budget of the FZS. Second, the project could recruit the able assistance of Police Sen. Officer, Gaylord B. Loyola, of Aklan Province, who took on
the multi-faceted task of becoming PESCP’s Security-Intelligence Consultant/ Liaison Officer
(see chap. 1.2). Being staunchly conservation-minded he is fearlessly tackling the sometimes
delicate challenges coming our way during law enforcement activities. Similarly various
agencies could be enlisted to support the project’s conservation cause.

2. PhilConserve-PESCP is proud of reporting the invitation by the DENR central office to join
hands with this conservation lead agency in establishing the CPMR straddling all four
provinces of Panay as Critical Habitat which will afford protection of their last forests and its
wildlife. From its inception, the PESCP had lobbied for this noble endeavour now coming to
fruition under the umbrella of its NGO PhilConserve. The area at stake is defined by the
occurrence of critically endangered species inhabiting the CPMR. One of the five wildlife
species, the Dulungan (Hornbill), and the project’s knowledge on its breeding grounds (see 4.
below), will facilitate greatly the upcoming delineation of the PA. The first stakeholder
meetings toward endearing the participants to the idea of a PA in the CPMR and preparing the
necessary legislative activities have already taken place and will still be ongoing in 2009. On
the ground, PESCP will continue to contribute its manpower and other resources toward both
the sympathy-winning livelihood schemes and the less popular forest monitoring curbing the
illegal destruction of the CPMR’s natural resources.

3. Education of communities with whom PESCP has struck conservation agreements underlying
the project’s livelihood support is ongoing; it aims at a environmentally friendly use of natural
resources, thus averting further damage to the forest. On a wider scale, the Manila-based TV
company GMA featured the project’s wildlife rehabilitation and release work. Similarly, going
international and upon invitation, the Project Manager Ms. Maria Ibabao attended in the FZS
headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, society’s venue toward celebrating the 150 th anniversary
of the FZS. There she could strike a good number of personal relationships to the benefit of
the project and absorbed best practice lessons from the society’s global conservation agenda.

4. As in previous years, extending the search for active Dulungan (Aceros waldeni) nest holes
south of the areas monitored in 2007 made increase the number of holes to at least 1018,
translating into an increase by 33%. This encouraging result could only be achieved by
recruitiing even more nest guards than before, i. e. a total of 156. This puts new strains on
PESCP’s annual budget for which donors are still sought. Importantly, the extended guarding
activities do have beneficial though unquantified side-effects on other endangered
co-occurring wildlife species. –
The community-based nursery and rainforestation project was spatially extended by out
planting of native rainforest trees from four nursery sites in the Province of Antique (40,000
seedlings) and one in the Province of Aklan (12,000 seedlings). Since 2005 one nursery site
has been in operation on the Campus of PESCP’s partner ASU in Castillo, Makato. Details on
the species composition and the sites themselves can be gleaned from the table in chap. 1.5.
Collectively, these activities flanked in welcome ways the DENR-driven Green Philippines
Program in public forest land.

5. As in previous years there have been admissions of many wildlife species and individuals
(mammals, birds, Reticulated Python) to PESCP’s rehabilitation facilities in Mag-aba and
Bulanao (Pandan and Libertad Municipalities, respectively). Following their rehabilitation the
animals were released in appropriate localities, mostly their capture sites, or in the case of
hornbills from Research Station ‘Sibaliw’ (App. 4).

6. A new mammal species, the Panay Shrew (Crocidura panayensis), has been described from
the NW Panay Peninsula low elevation primary forest. Beside the Panay Cloud Rat it is the
second Panay Island mammalian endemite. – Along with the new shrew came yet another though not closely related, the tiny Batak Shrew (Crocidura batakorum) from Palawan
Island.
The first breeding on Panay of the Philippine Hanging Parrot, the Colasisi (Loriculus
philippensis), is reported along with details of its breeding phenology and habits (lining of the
nest hole with fresh leaves), clutch and egg sizes.

7. Herps were monitored in various places of Panay including a number of herp-rich mangrove
areas with a new island record of a gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris), a similarly rich area near
Libertad Municipality and Station ‘Sibaliw’. In the latter site, intense observations revealed
new facts of the biology including parental care of offspring in an as yet not safely identified
Narrow-mouthed Frog (Kaloula kalingensis?) and of the Gliding Tree Frog (Rhacophorus
pardalis). The first account of the juvenile colour pattern of Panay’s King Cobra
(Ophiophagus hannah) has been detailed in colour.

In its new Australian habitat the Marine Toad (Bufo marinus), a highly destructive alien
invasor from South America, displays toe waving as a tactic to lure prey close enough for
capture, thereby mimicking a prey of the deceived larger prey of the toad. When tested with
prey eliciting this guise in Australia 82 free roaming toads in the NW Panay Peninsula were
shown to not display the lure. Hence, the invasor seems to have lost the guise in its likewise
new Philippine area of occurrence, thus inspiring an agenda of micro-evolutionary research
targeting this geographical behaviour difference.

8. The four taxa of Gymnosperms (better known as an assemblage of conifers) extant on Panay
(Agathis dammara, Dacrycarpus cumingii, Falcatifolium gruezoi, Nageia wallichiana) were
investigated in terms of their true taxonomic status and their diagnostic anatomy. To these
could be added a fifth species (Podocarpus neriifolius) that was known already from another
three Philippine islands. None of the species mentioned being a Panay endemite.

9. Bicoloured fruit displays consisting of the genuine fruit and an auxiliary structure of a
different colour, mostly in pairwise combinations of red and black, raise the question of their
adaptive value as compared to unicoloured fruit displays, i. e. stand-alone fruits of one colour.
The ‘detectability hypothesis’ posits that bicoloured displays are more easily detected by
fruit-eaters, whilst the ‘profitability hypothesis’ predicts these displays advertise to their
consumers a higher nutritional value. In cafeteria choice experiments with both species of
Visayan hornbills (5 Tarictics, 3 Dulungans) freely visible artificial fruits of either black + red
colouration, or, entirely black or red colouration were offered pairwise, thus mimicking
bicoloured fruit displays in both possible orientations (black distal, red proximal, and vice
versa), and unicoloured displays (pairs of either red or black fruits). It turned out that the
birds had no overall preference for bicolouredness, with initially pronounced individual
variation that was gradually replaced with indifference to colour. Since fruits were
nutritionally identical this result supports indirectly the ‘detectability hypothesis’ by virtue of
excluding the ‘profitability hypothesis’. However, more direct tests of the former are
required.

10. Committing the ‘Concorde Fallacy’ is a non-adaptive decision by which an organism gears its
efforts toward reaching a goal to its past investment rather than to its future prospects of
attaining the goal. Humans rather than animals tend to commit the ‘Concorde Fallacy’ when,
for example, unfortunately conservation efforts toward preserving a species or a habitat are
maintained even though it has become apparent that another conservation goal has become
more pressing, i. e. yields greater benefits with the same or less costs incurred. Clinging to
the previous, less-rewarding goal is falsely based on the fact of heavy investment in the past
which would allegedly force the decision-maker to persevere with this investment in the
future. The wise, i. e. rational decision would dictate ‘cutting the losses’ and invest into the
conservation goal of higher priority (= reward) without any delay.

11. In a critical examination of the efficacy of Barber pitfall traps, capture prospects were
maximised by combining features that previously had been applied in isolation. In spite
of this, overall capture success of terricoline (i. e. forest floor inhabiting) invertebrates in
both primary and secondary forest was shown to be only 21% of all animals contacting or
entering the opening of the trap. Some species were not represented at all by those trapped.
This sobering result applies to both the species diversity and the absolute abundance of
species. The broad array of taxa thus captured highlights the low efficacy of pitfall traps that
are widely used in faunistic and ecological studies of the soil fauna.

14.th Report (2007)

PESCP Report 2008. This report is the 14.th Annual Report of PESCP, written in January 2008 and is about the year 2007.

Conservation, Education, Livelihoods, Rehabilitation

1. PESCP being an integrated conservation and development project, continuously
funded by the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), went ahead with long strides as in
2006. The main goal during the first years of PESCP’s work on Panay has been to
make the lowland-rainforest of the NW-Panay Peninsula (NWPP) – one of the last of
its kind in the Philippines – a Protected Area (PA) under the NIPAS Act. Setting up
of a Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) for the PA consolidated
conservation though a task force erected to give it forceful backing remained largely
non-operational for want of funds though these had been pledged by the five mayors
of the NWPP. PESCP started to shift its focus to the Central Panay Mountain Range
(CPMR) some six years ago, working there in the spirit of our – then new – overall
vision: The protection of the forested areas of the CPMR. The to-be-PA at stake
covers ca 40,000 ha good forest, the home of a number of critically endangered,
endemic wildlife such as the Dulungan Hornbill (Aceros waldeni), the Visayan
Spotted Deer (Cervus alfredi), the Mabitang (Varanus mabitang), the Negros
Bleeding-heart (Gallicolumba keayi), and others. PESCP has been active in all four
provinces of the CPMR already over the last six years focusing successfully on the
protection of forests and the virtually last viable population of the critically
endangered Dulungan living here.

2. In the spirit of Nationalisation, more precisely Filipinisation, PESCP’s core staff has
undergone a marked change. Ms. Maria T. Ibabao became the new Project Manager,
thereby remaining also Chief of the Forest Rangers as before, and both Mr. Thomas
Kuenzel as well as Prof. Curio stepped down from their offices of Manager and
Director of PESCP to become Technical Consultant and Representative of the FZS in
joint capacity, and Scientific Adviser, respectively. Additionally, Mr. Kuenzel
continues to render his services to Aklan State University as their Environmental
Program Coordinator, being thereby co-financed by FZS and GTZ/ CIM as before.
Both he and Prof. Curio continue in giving constant support at all levels of the
project’s agenda and thus make the change-over unfelt. – Concomitant with this
change there has been a similar development in the Board of Directors of the NGO
PhilConserve under whose umbrella PESCP is operating since 2005. All key offices
have been assigned by elections in 2007 to Filipino nationals in that, e. g. Ms. Maria
Ibabao has taken the helm of President und Dr. Enrique Sanchez that of Vice-
President (see also section on ‘Update and Through Revision…’ above).

3. The main pillars of PESCP’s work have remained as before:

A. Habitat Protection, Environmental Law Enforcement and Rainforestation
B. In situ protection of Critically Endangered/ Endangered Wildlife
C. Livelihood-based sustainable Community Development
D. Conservation and Development Education
E. Nationalization/ Sustainabilization of PESCP’s Activities and Programmes
F. Rehabilitation and Release of captive Wildlife

The activities and outcomes guided by this agenda can be detailed as follows:
4. The remaining pristine forest habitat in the north western portion of the CPMR was
protected by consistent law enforcement and partially restored by rainforestation.
Lobbying for the CPMR to become a PA went on at various levels of society. Large
amounts of illegally cut timber and many illegally used chain saws were apprehended
by PESCP staff and then confiscated by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and
illegal wildlife trading for pets and novelty food was curbed. The law enforcement
was smoothed by the deputation through DENR of PESCP’s Forest Rangers (FRs) as
Wildlife Enforcement Officers (WEOs). Similarly the support from LGUs and PNP
to operations of PESCP has substantially improved, thus rendering many of its
operations successful. A new, humanitarian dimension of these came very much to
the attention of the public when PESCP’s FRs in search and rescue actions helped
retrieve elderly people who had gone lost in the forest. Facilitated by its wider
acceptance by LGUs and the media, e. g. televion companies, the project extended its
various conservation measures to all four provinces of Panay though shortage of
manpower prevents the badly needed patrolling of the entire area of the CPMR. –
Lobbying for the Forest Rangers (FRs) being taken over by the DENR is ongoing but
is severely curtailed by the government’s cutback on funds for this authority (and
others). – Thanks to the funding by EU/ UNDP the CoFoPa Project operating in
various places of the CPMR could considerably extend its rainforestation with native
timber and with fruit trees but came to an end early last year.

5. The livelihood program has been further extended and refined, partly as community-
based measures flanking the rainforestation scheme co-financed by FZS and
EU/UNDP in five counter part communities (see below 6.). Among other measures,
clean drinking water, mother cows and rice hull stoves as alternatives to the use of
firewood were made available (for further details see Technical Adviser’ Report).
Taken together the measures aim at empowering the uplanders to become less and
less dependent on the use of the forest.

6. The protection scheme was favourably flanked by a rainforestation program that had
massively started in March 2005 and ended in Jan 2007. Funded by an EU/UNDP
grant PESCP was able to out plant some 50,000 native forest tree seedlings in the
provinces of Antique and Aklan, thus complying with the government’s Order of 24
July 2007 in the Green Philippines Program and even predating it. In executing this
massive endeavour PESCP received thankfully the help of the DENR, LGUs,
universities and schools. For technical reasons yet another lot of nearly 30,000
seedlings are still awaiting to be out planted in July 2008.

7. The activities of PESCP were given wider publicity and prominence by their
documentation through the Bavarian TV company under the supervision of Eberhard
Meyer (Germany) and the first broadcasting of their film ‘In the forest of the
hornbill’ in July 2007. This film showed quite impressively the progress that had
been made since the same company had documented PESCP’s operations in 1996.

8. Results of a protection scheme benefiting the flying foxes on Boracay Island
including the critically endangered Golden-crowned Flying Fox came to fruition
lastly by finding its way into the international literature. Started in 2003 with a grant
from Haribon Foundation the behaviour of the foxes as impacted by human
acitivities both on Boracay and in Mambukal, N Negros, was studied via analysing
indicators of stress in the faeces. This study led to a better understanding of flying
fox behaviour at the roost site though a between-roost comparison of human-induced
stress is still pending. As a welcome side-effect of this study hunting pressure on
Boracay went almost down to zero and the roosting sites appear to receive better
protection through Shangri-la Hotel though land nearby is also being developed, a
process that must be monitored in the future, too.

9. In the wake of an eye-catching destruction of 62 airguns in 2006 (see 13th Report, PESCP, unpublished) a mere five airguns were surrendered from around Pandan in
2007. This decline is encouraging news indicating that leastways this important
hunting area has been virtually ‘purged’ from airguns though protesting the sale of
slingshots must become part of the project’s ongoing agenda.

12. The Mabitang telemetry project made a big leap forward in that six individuals could
be radio-tagged, aside from being equipped with transponders that allow
identification only when handling the animal. This progress permitted to record for
the first time data on home range, preferred resting trees, predators (Python) and the
growth of this rare and endangered Panay endemite. Particularly heartening was the
fact that animals stayed in exactly the same spot where they had been captured
before and released upon radio-tagging hours later. An in-depth study of the diet
gave new insights into the biology of the Mabitang. – As before, the inventorying of 12
the herp fauna yielded new descriptions of yet another two Panay endemites, a new
gecko (Luperosaurus corfieldi) and a new frog (Platymantis paengi) from areas in
the NWPP, the latter also from the area of the telemetry project mentioned.

13. Ongoing research on the Marine (= Cane) Toad, a destructive alien from South
America, revealed an impressive array of soil fauna species of various invertebrate
(whipscorpions, whipspiders, scorpions, harvestmen, millipedes, numerous insect
species and their larvae) and vertebrate (frog, both species of Panay’s blind snakes)
prey in its diet. As expected, smaller toads had taken a significantly lesser number of
prey species as measured by the Shannon-Wiener-Index of information H, and toads
from inland forest had taken a significantly larger number of prey species, possibly
due to their larger size as measured the same way. The impact on the fauna by this
invasor needs urgently to be assessed.

14. A study of human-induced stress in two roost areas of flying foxes of three species
the critically endangered Golden-crowned included came to fruition. A detailed look
at a colony in N Negros (Mambukal) resulted in insights of the within colony
relationship between stress as measured by stress hormone levels in the faeces and
behaviour elements in the daytime. There are indications that human impact
increases stress within a colony (e. g., foxes in the roost centre being more disturbed
than those in the periphery). However, for want of an inter island comparison of
hormone-assessed stress the jury is still out on the pressing question as to whether
human construction activities as on Boracay Island increase stress levels adversely.
Why Golden-crowned numbers on Boracay have plummeted from 50% to a low of
12% in only seven years is likewise a pressing yet unanswered question.

The protection of critically endangered wildlife, especially the Dulungan (Writhed-
billed) Hornbill, made again a big leap forward in that the number of protected nest
holes rocketed to the unprecedented high of 750 successfully fledged broods, thanks
to the funding from FZS, GEO, NEZS/ Niehoff Vaihinger and – earlier – NGS cum
Seaworld and Busch Gardens. A good number of previous hornbill nest poachers/
hunters had again been won over to become engaged in hornbill nest guarding.
There is a need to expand the nest protection scheme into the southern reaches of the
CPMR to embrace the entire population of the Dulungan, the flagship species of
PESCP. A team sent by NEZS evaluated positively the protection scheme and made
helpful suggestions PESCP will heed in the near future. – There have been several
training and workshop attendances, largely by PESCP management staff, who could
give input for formulating an improved advocacy for having new ordinances issued
on environmental management, law enforcement and ex situ maintenance of wildlife
and the legal bases for it all.

11. The most significant events in the project’s wildlife rehabilitation agenda have been
the erection of three stationary dipole antennas at higher elevations near three
barangays in the NWPP and the re-erection of the big flight cage in the Mag-aba
facility that had been destroyed by a typhoon in 2006. The improved telemetry will
permit to monitor radio-tagged birds upon release more continuously. And the flight
cage allows for a proper power flight training of the large raptors before release.
Routine treatments of wildlife admitted a Spotted Deer included and releases of
animals successfully rehabilitated went on as usual. The project’s vet got involved in
the release back into the sea of an adult Dugong the same day that it had been
accidentally captured by fishermen off the shore of the NWPP.

An unprecedented impact of spider webs on bird mortality coming to light spurred a
broader look at spider caused mortality of more typical spider prey animals in the
upland around Station Sibaliw. Both arena experiments as well as observations in
more natural experimental setups of a stenogastrine wasp (Parischnogaster sp.) that
habitually steals prey from spider webs (Nephilengys sp.) revealed an extraordinary
degree of orb web evasion. Web avoidance, including also webs of two other orb
web weavers, is achieved visually as evidenced by manipulation of both ambient
light and background illumination. A pierid butterfly Eurema sp. avoids likewise
Nephilengys webs visually both in arena experiments and around a food plant with a
rather small proportion falling prey to the spider.

16. The Philippine Bent-toed Gecko had been found in 2006 to be capable of homing to
its original home range upon translocation to a site up to 150m away (40%
returners). This finding received corroboration through a new translocation
experiment with a new release site, thus ruling out the possibility that particulars of
the spatial topography of the release site used in the year before; the return rate from
the new release site could be pegged at 46%. Indications as to whether this
remarkable ability, the first of a squamate reptile, involves perception of the earth’s
magnetic field are currently followed up with an improved technique manipulating
the ambient magnetic field at the release site. 13
17. In a first study of the breeding biology of the Elegant Tit, a Philippine endemite, the
habit of nesting underground in primary forest, the clutch, incubation and other
parental behaviour were described. A comparison with three Palaearctic continental
species the closely related Yellow-bellied Tit of China included suggests that the
deviation from ‘customary’ tit behaviour is functionally best explained by climate
and predation.

13.th Report (2006)

PESCP Report 2007. This report is the 13.th Annual Report of PESCP, written in January 2007 and is about the year 2006.

 PESCP being an integrated conservation and development project, continuously
funded by the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), went ahead with long strides as in
2005. The main goal during the first years of PESCP’s work on Panay has been to
make the lowland-rainforest of the NW-Panay Peninsula (NWPP) – one of the last of
this forest type in the Philippines – a Protected Area (PA) under the NIPAS Act.
Setting up of a Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) for the PA consolidated
conservation though a task force erected to give it forceful backing remained largely
non-operational for want of funds that had been pledged by the five mayors of the
NWPP. PESCP started to shift its activities appropriately and within a suitable time
frame to the Central Panay Mountain Range (CPMR), working in the spirit of our
new overall vision: The protection of the forested areas of the CPMR. The to-be-
PA at stake covers ca 40,000 ha good forest, the home of a number of critically
endangered, endemic wildlife such as the Dulungan Hornbill (Aceros waldeni),
the Visayan Spotted Deer (Cervus alfredi), the Mabitang (Varanus mabitang), the
Negros Bleeding-heart (Gallicolumba keayi), and others. PESCP has been active in
all four provinces of the CPMR already over the last five years focusing successfully
on the protection of forests and the virtually last viable population of the critically
endangered Dulungan living here.

2. PESCP’s core staff has changed little, and thanks to a joint effort of Aklan State
University, FZS and GTZ/ CIM the Manager’s salary could be secured for another
two years with the project’s Director giving constant support at many levels of the
project’s agenda. In tight cooperation with the 25-Peso Multipurpose Cooperative of
ASU an EU/ UNDP funded conservation and development project (CoFoPA) ended
successfully in Dec 06, as reflected in the reports of various fulltime staff below. 6

3. The main pillars of PESCP’s work have remained as before:

A. Habitat Protection, Environmental Law Enforcement and Rainforestation
B. In situ protection of Critically Endangered/ Endangered Wildlife
C. Livelihood-based sustainable Community Development
D. Conservation and Development Education
E. Nationalization/ Sustainabilization of PESCP’s Activities and Programmes
F. Rehabilitation and Release of captive Wildlife

The activities and outcomes guided by this agenda can be detailed as follows:

4. The remaining pristine forest habitat in the north western portion of the CPMR was
protected by consistent law enforcement and partially restored by rainforestation.
Furthermore, the Barangay Captain of Idio, Municipality of Sebaste, declared his area
of jurisdiction as a PA thanks to the authority given to LGUs over the protection of
their environment. Lobbying for the CPMR to become a PA went on at various levels
of society. Large amounts of illegally cut timber and many illegally used chain saws
were confiscated in cooperation with the Philippine National Police (PNP). The
commitment of the PNP to its duties leaves much room for improvement (see
Manager’s Report). Similarly the risk involved to whistleblowers denouncing illegal
activities by their barangay fellow members was made public (see also Editorial
above). The underlying neglect of a local politician and his mandate to care for the
security of his constituents was highlighted by a letter of complaint to that very
politician (Manager’s Report). – PESCP extended its various conservation measures
to all four provinces of Panay though shortage of manpower prevents the badly
needed patrolling of the entire area of the CPMR. – Lobbying for the Forest Rangers
(FRs) being taken over by the DENR is ongoing but is severely curtailed by the
government’s cutback on funds for this authority (and others). – Thanks to the
funding by EU/ UNDP the CoFoPa Project operating in various places of the CPMR
could considerably extend its rainforestation with native timber and with fruit trees
(see below 7.).

5. The protection of critically endangered wildlife, especially the Dulungan (Writhed-
billed) Hornbill, made again a big leap forward in that the number of protected nest
holes rocketed to the unprecedented high of 502 successfully fledged broods, thanks
to the funding from FZS, GEO, NEZS/ Niehoff Vaihinger and – earlier – NGS cum
Seaworld and Busch Gardens. In both Antique (Maadios, Pandan) and Aklan
(Yawan, Ibajay) a good number of previous hornbill nest poachers/ hunters have been
won over to become engaged in hornbill nest guarding. There is a need to expand the
nest protection scheme into the southern reaches of the CPMR to embrace the entire
population of the Dulungan, the flagship species of PESCP. – There have been many
training and workshop attendances by PESCP staff for having a more erudite view on
environmental management, law enforcement and ex situ maintenance of wildlife and
the legal bases for it all.

6. This success was favourably echoed by the media as was the large-scale destruction
of airguns surrendered to the Project Management in exchange for rice. The
associated patrolling in the forests of the CPMR benefited in still unmeasured ways
other endangered wildlife such as the Tarictic Hornbill and the critically endangered
Spotted Deer. On Boracay Island, a study on the stress imposed by human 7
construction activities on the flying foxes critically endangered ones included saw its
fruition and advocacy toward the protection of their roosts continued. Threat from a
hotel development project spearheaded by Shangri-la is looming, and an ECC
(Environmental Compliance Certificate) has been issued all too hastily.

7. The protection scheme (5.) was flanked by an extensive education campaign and
livelihood support to the benefit of the communities involved. Provided to four
communities of Antique Province, the latter support included native chicken and pig
breeding, pig fattening, agroforestry, sloping agriculture, vegetable production and
composting organic remains, and nursery-based native timber tree and fruit tree
farming. Specifically, in executing rainforestation, 60,375 seedlings of native timber
trees and 57,519 of fruit trees were produced of which 12,075 and 717, respectively,
were planted out in four communities in Antique and Aklan provinces. In doing so
PESCP is enabling uplanders to become less and less dependent on forest as a source
of timber and other products. The large-scale involvement of the communities
concerned is thought to promote sustainabilization and nationalization of the project’s
conservation agenda. To render PESCP capable of fulfilling its multiple tasks its
patron, the NGO PhilConserve, further consolidated its standing and public advocacy.
A detailed work plan for 2007 along with its expected outcomes reveals the grown
and multi-faceted agenda of PESCP.

8. Rehabilitation and release of captive wildlife, foremost the endangered Tarictic
Hornbills, made further progress and is looking forward to technical improvement,
particularly in regard of the telemetry employed. Furthermore, the maintenance of a
whole variety of wildlife species as supervised by the project’s vet was improved
(diet formulation, cage design, health supervision, pre-release health check). Typhoon
caused damage was quickly though not completely repaired. The rescue facility at
Mag-aba received increased public attention from high schools and universities of
Panay. Based on accumulating experience the suitability of wildlife admitted to
PESCP’s rescue facilities is not uniform. Accordingly a decision tree for a rational
assignment of individuals to those slated for release, and others unsuitable for release
because of injuries, for example, was designed and is guiding decision making of
staff in this respect.

 As usual there has been faunistic and taxonomic progress with the project’s
herpetological work that is highlighted by the description of a new species of
geckonid lizard (Gekko ernstkelleri), a Panay endemite, and a number of new
distributional records of frogs and snakes. An account of a noteworthy regrowth of an
injured tail into a forktail of a Fin-tailed Lizard (Hydrosaurus pustulatus) is given;
the lizard’s appearance is highlighting the still uncertain taxonomic status of this
species on Panay and elsewhere.

10. In many places alien species (invasors) that became successfully established in the
recipient fauna have become next to habitat destruction the most important cause for
the extinction of native species. The Marine Toad (Bufo marinus), an almost
cosmopolitan invasor from the American tropics, has found its way to many
Philippine islands while its potential threat to the above-ground soil fauna has
remained unstudied. As expected from a generalist predator, the stomachs of a good 8
number of individuals in both a coastal and an inland, higher elevation area contained
an impressive array of arthropod groups including whip-scorpions, whip-spiders,
scorpions, daddy- long-legs (harvestmen), millipedes, many insect orders, a frog, and
juvenile blind snakes, many of which had not been found by us in the those areas
before. The potential threat suggested by these findings needs urgently further study
with an outreach to other islands of the country

11. Hornbill research in terms of the breeding biology of both Visayan endemites, i.e. the
Dulungan and the Tarictic Hornbill, was reviewed, with an emphasis on the food in
the breeding season and, for the first time, the degree of competition for food with
seven syntopic Panay fruit bats. Competition was found to be low as measured by
Soerensen’s similarity index. The latter finding indicates that fruits are adapted either
to dispersal by birds or by fruit bats.

3. Basic Research

  A predacious bug (Acanthaspis bellulus, Reduviidae) was found to be density-
regulated by its principle ant prey. Within two years the phenotype of the bug had
changed from a warning-colouration to a concealing colouration, a change that needs
further study in terms of the nature of the phenotypes involved and the underlying
ecological factors. – Follow-up experiments established that the larvae orient when
displaced from their roost holes in a tree toward home while controls from another
locale proved disoriented. The factors underlying this home orientation remain to be
studied. Occasionally larvae kill others of their kind to complement their concealing
backpack rather than to eat them.

13. Ornithological research revealed a number of new distributional records, details of
the first breeding of the Colasisi (Philippine Hanging Parrot, Loriculus philippensis)
and several passerine species with known breeding records on other islands,
including breeding during the rainy season (Pitta). Further observations pertained to a
longevity record in the Red Junglefowl, the threat to birds emanating from spider
webs, and the selection of a place for over-night roosting as an antipredator strategy.
Systematic observations at mist nets revealed a behavioural trick of forest-dwellers
that was unknown before, to avoid injury/ collision with obstacles during straight line
flight through foliage.

14. Many prey animals and plants are protected against their consumers by spines that are
oftentimes contrastingly coloured (warning colouration). Accordingly spines
artificially inserted into popular fruits conferred protection onto the fruits when
offered to captive hornbills in cafeteria experiments. This protection derived from
both a primary and secondary (line of) defence in that fruits with warningly coloured
spines were already rejected upon visual inspection as compared to non-contrasting
spines and, additionally, upon mandibulating (‘handling’) them in the bill. The latter
effect is surprising in suggesting that the birds ‘believe’ their eyes more than their
pain- or mechanoreceptors in the lining of the bill. These protective effects depended
on both the colour contrast between the fruit background and the spines in addition to
the sign of the contrast. These findings bear on the problem whether protective spines
can evolve without being poisonous.

 

12.th Report (2005)

Download PDF PESCP Report 2006. This report is the 12.th Annual Report of PESCP, written in January 2006 and is about the year 2005.

1. All activities of PESCP in the past year should be seen in the light of paving the road
toward proclaiming the Central Panay Mountain Range holding the most substantial and
last forests of Panay as a Protected Area, following the model of the NW Panay Peninsula
PA. Based on the indispensable counter parting and funding from the Frankfurt Zoological
Society (FZS) PESCP could, as the only conservation organisation in the W Visayas,
secure funding from EC-UNDP for community-based measures toward forest restoration
and agroforestry (see below); from the National Geographic Society’s Conservation
Trust, the North of England Zoological Society and Niehoff Vaihinger for continuing the
nest hole protection program benefiting endangered hornbills, and from both the Bird
Protection Committee and the Breeders Association AZ for continuing its rehabilitation
and release into the wild of endangered bird species, notably the hornbills.

2. The main pillars supporting the project’s work have been, as in 2004,

– Habitat protection, environmental law enforcement and ‘rainforestation’
– Protection of critically endangered/ endangered wildlife
– Livelihood-based sustainable community development
– Conservation and development education
– Nationalisation/ sustainabilisation of PESCP’s activities and programs
– Rehabilitation and release of captive wildlife
– Conservation and basic research

The resulting accomplishments can be detailed as follows.

3. In partnership with the 25-Peso Multipurpose Cooperative of Aklan State University
(ASU) the year’s most prominent undertaking revolved around the erection of the
‘Community-based Maintenance and Restoration of Forests in Central Panay Mountain
Range and Protected Area of NW Panay Peninsula (CoFoPa)’ project with the assistance
of the EC-UNDP ‘Small Grants Programme for Operations to Promote Tropical Forests’
in the provinces of Antique and Aklan. Foci of this project are (till Sep 2006) and have
been Forestry resource management and protection including nursery establishments in
five counterpart communities of 18 native timber trees and 6 different fruit trees,
rainforestation with native trees, habitat protection against timber and wildlife poaching,
amongst other measures by way of erecting community-sites for sustained production of
charcoal production outside timber land; forestry-connected livelihood alternatives
(agroforestry, native timber and fruit tree farming), four other livelihoods including, e.g.,
pig and chicken production.

4. As before, PESCP pursued forcefully its Forest Ranger-assisted habitat protection and law
enforcement activities. In the process large amounts of primary forest timber and nine
chainsaws were confiscated in cooperation with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and
the DENR. Smooth running of the latter confiscation was hampered by loopholes in the
interpretation of the Chainsaw Act of 2002, as identified by PESCP that thanks to the
circumspect assistance of the DENR Reg. VI (Iloilo City) will be rectified by an order
removing any ambiguities by mid Jan 2006. – Further progress was made by the
deputisation of 9 out of 13 PESCP-Forest Rangers as Deputy Natural Resource Officers 6
(DENROs) by the DENR with the prospect of assigning this status, or a new similar one,
to all of them.

5. The protection of endangered wildlife went ahead with long strides in regard of the highly
successful guarding of now up to 349 nest holes of the Writhed-billed Hornbill or
Dulungan (Aceros waldeni) and of galvanizing awareness of the public and the developers
on Boracay re the plight of the large flying foxes that have their roosts there while feeding
daily on the ‘mainland’ of the peninsula. Whereas the considerably expanded nest
guarding scheme was an unprecedented success for the Dulungan nesting population, the
protection of the flying foxes including a critically endangered one (Acerodon jubatus)
was less successful due to the frictions with the developers of various provenances, the
non-consistent law enforcement, the still on-going ‘investigation’ of clearly destructive
slaughter on the mainland and other circumstances. Helpful side-effects of PESCP’s nest
hole protection scheme were measures curtailing the still widespread use of snares put up
for critically endangered/ endangered mammals (Cervus alfredi, Sus cebifrons) and the
confiscation/voluntary surrender of now over 40 air guns (see chap. 1.5). The wildlife
protection was more firmly integrated into PESCP’s livelihood program (see 2. above). –
The rehabilitation and release of endangered wildlife species, foremost Tarictic Hornbills
went ahead but was seriously hampered by the improved telemetry equipment still being
retained in the Customs in Manila (see already the plight described in the Eleventh Report,
2005). Another drawback was the suspension of financial support of the Philippine
researcher by the national financing foundation due to the lengthy deliberation of an
extension proposal. This caused an unforeseen drain of the project’s meagre financial
contingency at the expense of urgent conservation measures. On the positive side, the
equipment of the project’s consultant vet and the holding pens for large raptors could be
expanded and improved. The diet protocols for raptors, parrots and other birds could be
improved as well as their medication. Pre-release training made substantial progress
thanks to the erection of a more permanent large holding cage for large raptors in which
sustained power flight can be exercised and tameness against humans be minimized. The
project consultant vet could attend a number of relevant seminars and conferences.

6. Conservation and development education was carried out in schools, both on Boracay and
in NW Panay by lectures of staff in schools, visits by school classes and students of ASU
of PESCP and its rescue facilities, e.g. in Mag-aba, and visits to Station Sibaliw, as was
compatible with the on-going research up there.

7. Nationalisation and sustainabilisaton of PESCP’s programs was promoted by tightening
the linkage with ASU whose Environment Program Coordinator is at the same time Mr.
Thomas Künzel, PESCP’s Manager, due to the perspicacious assistance of both the
German Government (GTZ/CIM) and FZS. – Another important step in embedding
PESCP’s activities into the national legal framework of environmental conservation was
the erection of a new NGO ‘Philippine Association for Conservation and Development,
Inc.’ (PhilConserve, see frontispiece for logo) in March, under whose umbrella PESCP
will be executing its manifold tasks in the future.

8. The proclamation of the NW Panay Peninsula as PA triggered a number of administrative
measures like the setting up of a PAMB (PA Management Board) under the aegis of the
NW Panay Biodiversity Management Council (NPBMC). In a number of important
meetings of both bodies the five municipalities of the peninsula involved pledged their
announced support, yet only in partial fulfilment of their promises. This led to the TASK
FORCE ANAK-Talon (see Eleventh Report, 2005) still not becoming operational. This in 7
turn renders the work of PESCP’s FRs even more important than before since they still
shoulder virtually alone the monitoring of the forests of NW and N Central Panay. – The
erection of a Diesel power plant in Nabas, Aklan, raised controversies and confusion
among the DENR, the local LGU and the PAMB that have not been resolved at present.
(Due to earlier massive interventions from many parties the erection of a similar power
plant could be averted to take place in Pandan, Antique.) A number of environmentally
positive resolutions were endorsed by the NPBMC, e.g., the permission for PESCP to
collect seedlings in the PA for its reforestation activities. Preparatory steps for a PA Bill to
be enacted were taken. – Through the erection of PhilConserve PESCP is now endorsed to
be represented in the PAMB as an ordinary member. – There were many training and
conference attendances by PESCP staff for having a more erudite view on environmental
management and its legal bases.

1. With an extremely rich fern flora comprising 10 % of the world’s known species on
0.06% of the globe’s terrestrial surface, the Philippines rank among the top countries in
the world. The fern community around Station Sibaliw was competently surveyed in a
first approach that will be resumed in early 2006 by Prof. Dr. W. Bennert of Ruhr-
Universität Bochum, the first survey of this kind in NW Panay. A first estimate shows the
fern flora within a radius of 2 km around the station to stand at ca. 100 species, from
among the 1,100 species listed for the country by large. Among the species found habitat
specialists abound, e.g. thriving only on rotten tree trunks and in other specialized niches.

2. The ongoing herpetological survey by Gaulke and her field assistants yielded finds of a
gecko (Gekko nov. sp.) new to science the technical description by Rösler et al. is in the
pipeline; it is a Panay endemite and the third species of the genus Gekko on Panay. Having
been found in two places of the NW Panay Peninsula only its actual distribution warrants
closer attention. There have been finds of two small snakes (Oxyrhabdion leporinum,
Calamaria bitorques) on the peninsula that have been previously found only on both
Negros and Cebu, and on Luzon, respectively, and are thus two new distributional records
for Panay. – Biometric data, accounts on the diet, the genital morphology and other details
of the vegetarian Panay Monitor (Varanus mabitang) including the first recapture from
among 12 marked individuals are provided. – C. Dolino could add two new distributional
records to the list of Panay amphibians: the frog Platymantis hazelae (known previously
from Negros and Masbate) and new for Sibaliw the frog Limnonectes leytensis (known
previously from Mt. Baloy).

3. The ornithological survey now going on since the inception of the project in 1995 yielded
new distributional records for both Boracay (5, conservatively) and Panay (1).
Furthermore, the first though data-deficient description is given for the breeding of the
Colasisi (Loriculus philippensis) as well as for the Negros Bleeding-heart (Gallicolumba
keayi) and breeding records for other bird species the two Pittas of Panay included are
given, too. The new find of the Negros Bleeding-heart, a globally threatened endemite of
the Negros Panay faunal region, on Boracay, renders the protection of the north Boracay
forest as one of global significance. Unfortunately, in spite of a red alert report by E. C. in
March no measures have been taken since to effectively protect the forest remnant near
Yapak on the island. Other inroads into the remaining biota of this small area make it one
of highest conservation concern.

4. In the light of the ‘Escape Hypothesis’ (Janzen-Connell Model) determination of the
‘seed shadow’ of individual rainforest trees has taken center stage in the study of seed
dispersal mechanism. J. Reiter pioneered in his study of seed dispersal of two fig species
(Ficus septica, F. variegata) by the Musky Fruit Bat (Ptenochirus jagori) the portrayal
of the spatial distribution around the parent tree of its seeds by way of marking entire fig
fruits in situ with a fluorescent spray. Subsequently the spat out pulp remains with seeds
could be mapped by using an ultraviolet lamp in the night that worked with an accuracy
of discovering single tiny seeds. Accordingly the seed shadow generated by Ptenochirus
starts just beyond the area under the parent tree and covers an area of about 2 hectares
around it. (This leaves out some small amount of long-distance dispersal through a
longer gut retention time into the next night following foraging.)

5. Further to this, the search for the mortality agents explaining the distance-survival effect
predicted by the ‘Escape Hypothesis’ as established previously (see Eleventh Report,
2005), was started by a pilot study of Y. Grabowski. When laying out in standardized
plots a standard number of ripe fruits of a fig (Ficus sp., ‘Green Dural-og’) and of
Gnetum indicum and comparing the faunal composition and species abundance of the
animals attacking the pulp and/ or the seeds (saprozoites) among the area under the focal
parent tree and a control tree of another species, she found a significantly larger fauna
attacking the fruits under the focal tree, as predicted by the ‘Escape Hypothesis’. The
objection that the rich fruit bonanza on the ground prior to the experiment might have
attracted many saprozoites that would have led to the larger species assemblage under
the focal tree was controlled for by putting out fruits from a control tree under the focal
tree as well. In a larger data set employing different trees of three species F. Hager
showed for the first time tree species-specificity of the mortality agents as predicted.

6. In a historical précis referring to unpublished reports of researchers that have not worked
with PESCP allegations by a third party as to claiming priority for various discoveries by
PESCP are scrutinized critically. Accordingly the allegations do not stand up to careful
scrutiny and the merits of certain discoveries on Panay go fully to PESCP.

3. Basic Research

1. Island biogeographic theory predicts the size of the fauna, for example, of an island to
depend on the size of the island, its distance from the faunal source, e. g. a continent,
and other determinants. In a pilot approach M. Schaub surveyed the faunas of
terricoline arthropods in the pods of two epiphytic fern species (Aglaomorpha sp.,
Asplenium sp.) sitting with their tufts of leaves on forest trees around Sibaliw in order to
see whether the ferns are island equivalents or simply temporary refuges. Sampling of
the faunas at monthly intervals of 10 ferns each and of the top soil in the same area
revealed the ferns to harbour subsets of the soil fauna. The only exceptions in their rich
arthropod assemblages are five species of beetle that exclusively inhabit the ferns. As
the dry season advances the moisture of the ferns declines and so do their inhabitants.
There are reasons to believe that the ferns are functioning both as islands and as
temporary refuges, depending on the organism under scrutiny.

2. Primary forest is thought to harbour more biodiversity than secondary forest. The
invertebrate fauna living on the soil (= terricolines) was surveyed by A. Siegert with the
help of Barber pitfall live traps in both types of forest near station Sibaliw. In doing so,
direct observations revealed a number of species and individuals to turn away from the 9
trap when touching it or walk along its inner rim and out again. Accordingly the primary
forest contained significantly more species and individuals of all terrestrial arthropod
groups, and the proportion of animals actually caught amounted to a mere 19.4 % of all
those touching the pitfall rim (counts of 4 ant species and 1 spider species). This is a
conservative result since the traps containing no preservative were virtually odourless. It
demonstrates that Barber traps are inadequate to sample the terricoline fauna in a
quantitatively representative way yet may be useful for a gross comparison among
habitats.

3. To study the fluctuation in numbers of the Philippine Bent-toed Gecko (Cyrtodactylus
philippinicus) A. Siegert captured, marked and recaptured those living in Station
Sibaliw. When animals were translocated 100 m and 150 m away from the station along
one straight line trail to reduce intraspecific competition 36 % of 22 individuals of both
sexes returned to the station within 19.5 (range 4-36) days. The body mass of returnees
did not differ from those not returning within that time span. Whilst the reasons for the
population fluctuation of the Geckos inhabiting the station are remaining unclear the
removal experiment demonstrates that the animals are capable of homing under
circumstances that render pilotage after landmarks unlikely. The result is a challenge to
further in-depth experimentation aiming at the underlying orientation mechanism.