Volume 26 Nos. 1 and 2

Distribution, abundance, and habitat requirements of endangered babblers in Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park, Negros Island, Philippines

A study on the distribution, abundance, and habitat requirements of flame-templed babbler (Dasycrotapha speciosa) and Negros-striped babbler (Stachyris nigrorum) in Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park was conducted from 18 May to 2 June 2015. A total of 44.5 km of transects were surveyed using a combination of line transect and point count methods while 567 circular plots measuring 30 m x 30 m were established for habitat assessment. A total of 27 individuals of the flame-templed babbler were recorded in habitat types occurring from 604–1,078 masl while 14 individuals of the Negros striped-babbler was encountered in primary forest and secondary montane forest from 1,105–1,927 masl. D. speciosa was abundant in secondary lowland forest (n=16) while S. nigrorum was abundant in secondary montane forest (n=8). The presence of D. speciosa in plantation denotes that this forest serves as temporary habitat for this babbler. Both logistic regression analysis and Poisson distributions showed that increased percentage of climbing bamboos and trees with 16–20 m height and decreased elevation implied increased likelihood of the occurrence and abundance of D. speciosa. Forest bat diversity and abundance in different habitats on Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park, Negros Island. A total of 44.5 km of transects were surveyed using a combination of line transect and point count methods while 567 circular plots measuring 30 m x 30 m were established for habitat assessment. A total of 27 individuals of the flame-templed babbler were recorded in habitat types occurring from 604–1,078 masl while 14 individuals of the Negros striped-babbler was encountered in primary forest and secondary montane forest from 1,105–1,927 masl. D. speciosa was abundant in secondary lowland forest (n=16) while S. nigrorum was abundant in secondary montane forest (n=8). The presence of D. speciosa in plantation denotes that this forest serves as temporary habitat for this babbler. Both logistic regression analysis and Poisson distributions showed that increased percentage of climbing bamboos and trees with 16–20 m height and decreased elevation implied increased likelihood of the occurrence and abundance of D. speciosa.

Forest bat diversity and abundance in different habitats on Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park, Negros Island 

Bat diversity and abundance in different habitats along an elevational gradient was assessed on Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park (MKNP) from 19 May – 2 June 2015 using mist netting and harp trapping methods. A total of 72 net nights and 68 trap nights as well as 65 20 m x 20 m circular vegetation plots were conducted. There were 608 bats captured representing 23 species, of which 8 are endemic to the Philippines. Ten bat species were added to the list of bats previously recorded in Mt. Kanlaon: Pteropus pumilus, Hipposideros ater, Hipposideros diadema, Kerivoula cf. hardwickii, Kerivoula pellucida, Murina cyclotis, Myotis cf. rufopictus, Pipistrellus sp., Rhinolophus inops, and Rhinolophus subrufus. Secondary montane forest had the highest bat diversity (H’=1.88). Logistic Regression Analysis and Poisson Distribution showedseveral variables (number of trees of specific height, canopy and subcanopy cover, elevation, number of dead trees and fruiting trees, distance from water, and mean DBH) with significant association to bat occurrence and abundance.

Diversity and distribution of herpetofauna in Balesin Island, Polillo, Quezon, Philippines

A survey of the ecosystems and herpetofauna of Balesin Island in the Polillo group of islands was conducted on 19-22 July 2015. The survey was part of a bigger biodiversity study of the whole island for a conservation management program planning for Balesin Island Resort. Several standard survey techniques were used to assess the island’s herpetofauna. GIS-based mapping was done to identify the boundaries of the island’s habitat types and the herpetofaunal distribution. A vegetation survey was likewise conducted. Seven major habitat types were identified. A total of 16 species of herpetofauna were documented including 2 amphibians, 1 agamid, 3 geckos, 6 kinks, 3 snakes, and 1 monitor lizard. Malayopython reticulatus was reported present by the locals on the island but was not observed during the study. With the exception of Laticauda laticauda, all herpetofauna documented in Balesin Island have been recorded elsewhere in the Polillo group of islands. 

Introduced frogs in buffer zone and adjacent areas of Mt. Banahaw de Lucban, Quezon Province, Luzon Island, Philippines   

Mt. Banahaw de Lucban, a part of the Mt. Banahaw San Cristobal Protected Landscape, is home to diverse endemic frogs including Platymantis banahao, P. montanus, P. naomii, P. luzonensis, P. pseudodorsalis, and P.  indeprensa. This study was conducted to determine the occurrence of the 5 introduced frog species in the Philippines, namely: Rhinela marina (Linnaeus), Lithobates catesbeianus (Rana catesbeiana) (Shaw), Hoplobatrachus rugulosus (Wiegmann), Hylarana erythraea (Schlegel), and Kaloula pulchra Gray. Using quadrat methods and direct count of introduced frog populations in 5 barangays located at the foot of Mt. Banahaw de Lucban, a total of 373 frogs belonging to 4 species were counted. Rhinella marina has the highest occurrence (210 individuals) followed by K. pulchra (118), H. rugulosus (23), and H. erythraea (22). Lithobates catesbeianus was not observed during the survey. Interviews conducted with farmers and locals highlighted the sudden increase of K. pulchra population in the recent years. The species occurring nearest to the protected area was Hylarana erythraea. 

Foraging behavior association between Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) and tidal net fisheries in the coastal waters of Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, Philippines

The coastal waters of Pulupandan, Negros Occidental has been known to be a core feeding area for a small population of endangered Irrawaddy dolphins, which have been observed foraging within close proximity to permanent tidalnets used by locals. Foraging behavior and interactions with tidal nets were observed during a series of boat-based surveys from April to September 2015. Foraging behavior was classified based on proximity to the tidal nets: net (0<50 m) and open water (>50 m) foraging. Specific preference for any of the tidal nets was measured using Coefficient for Area Use. Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE) was obtained to determine the productivity of each tidal net. The total time spent foraging in open water did not prove to be significantly different from the time spent foraging in tidal nets (? = 0.05), suggesting minimal differences between these areas. There was no significant difference in the CPUE in all 6 tidal nets. However, dolphins appeared to prefer one specific tidal net, having significantly (? = 0.05) spent more time engaging in net foraging than in other nets. Pearson Correlation Coefficient showed significant relationship between net foraging and CPUE.

Endoparasites of selected captive endemic threatened wildlife species in Negros Island, Philippines

This study aimed to detect, identify and determine the prevalence of endoparasites in selected endemic threatened wildlife species of Negros Island at the Negros Forests Ecological Foundation Inc. Biodiversity Conservation Center in Bacolod City. From 23 July to 14 August 2015, three fecal samples were each collected from three individuals of captive species: Sus cebifrons negrinus, Rusa alfredi, Penelopides panini panini, and Gallicolumba keayi. Analysis of 36 samples using Direct Fecal Smear, Simple Flotation and Sedimentation Techniques, showed that only S. c. negrinus were infected with endoparasites. Ascaris vitulorum was the most prevalent endoparasite (92%), followed by Giardia duodenalis (14%) and Balantidium coli (6%). Degree of infection was found to be mild or below 500 based on the number of eggs per gram of fecal sample. It is recommended that administration of antihelminthics to captive S. c. negrinus individuals should be done periodically coupled with better sanitary measures so that parasitic infection in the enclosures will be reduced.

Invasive Alien Plant Species (IAPS) of Malagos Watershed in Calinan, Davao City and Mt. Musuan, Bukidnon

This study compared the species richness and diversity of Invasive Alien Plant Species (IAPS) between Malagos Watershed, Calinan, Davao City, a landscape watershed near an urban area and Mt. Musuan, Bukidnon, a lower montane ecological research site. Whittaker plots were used in sampling. Identified IAPS in Malagos Watershed, were Sphaerostephanos sp., Elephantopus scaber Linn.,  Colocasia esculenta (L.) Nakai, and Asystasia gangetica CV. Present in both sites were Piper aduncum L., Gmelina arborea Roxb, Spathodea campanulata Beauv., and Chromolaena odorata (L.) King. Also encountered in the Mt. Musuan plots were Acacia mangium Willd., Flagellaria indica L., Lantana camara L., Leucaena leucocephala, Lygodium japonicum, Mikania micrantha, Salvinia molesta, and Swietenia macrophylla. The IAPS in Malagos Watershed obtained a Simpson index of D-1 = 0.5110; evenness of 0.4502; biodiversity index of H= 0.946. Mt. Musuan obtained D-1 = 0.80317; evenness of 0.74727; H=2.48491.

Ecotypes and hypericin content of Hypericum pulogense Merrill

Hypericum pulogense Merr. was first described by Merrill and Merritt in 1910. A number of the over 400 species of Hypericum have long been known for their curative properties worldwide; hence, the interest in this indigenous species. In the tropics, the genus thrives in higher elevation of low temperature. Mount Pulag where it grows presents distinct vegetation zones. In the mossy forest and grassland zones, three ecotypes were encountered within a 3-km trail of 300-m gradation in elevation. As expected, there was pronounced variation in both plant size and habit among these ecotypes. Anatomical observation showed the presence of translucent ducts in their leaves. However, the red colored hypericin was absent in these ducts. This was confirmed by thin layer chromatography of the plant extracts. Hypericin is considered the plant constituent responsible for the antidepressant activity of the commercially valued St. John’s wort, Hypericum perforatum L. Other constituents of H. perforatum with reported biological activities are phloroglucinol derivatives and essential oil components. The observed H. pulogense emitted the characteristic odor that may be due to these constituents. This study presents the first report on the potential medicinal property of the local representative of the genus Hypericum.