Philippine Wildlife

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Philippine Wildlife

Introduction

The Philippine Wildlife has a significant number of plant and animal species that are indigenous in the Philippines. The country’s surrounding waters reportedly have the highest level of biodiversity in the world. The Philippines is considered as one of the seventeen mega diverse countries as well as global biodiversity hotspot. The world’s second largest archipelago country after Indonesia, the Philippines includes more than 7,100 islands covering 297,179 km2 in the westernmost Pacific Ocean. The country is one of the few nations that, in its entirety, both a hotspot and a mega diversity country, placing it among the top priority hotspots for global conservation. But deprivation of the forests due to illegal logging, slash-and-burn farming, and urbanization is stripping the Philippine animals of their natural habitats and sanctuaries. Hundreds of years ago, most of the Philippine islands were covered in rain forest.

Deforestation, hunting, and a lack of wildlife management has led to the Philippines being described as conservation “hotspot”. Fewer natural wildlife habitat areas remain each year. Moreover, the habitat that remains has often been degraded to the wild areas which existed in the past. The country’s wildlife is listed as endangered, critically endangered or facing extinction. Fragile as they are, these wonderful creatures need support in the conservation effort for the environment to ensure that they will co-exist with us humans. Wildlife conservation efforts are aimed in several main areas. These include the creation of nature sanctuaries where wildlife can live protected and free from harm, and where scientific studies can be conducted to better understand the threats to various species and what solutions are needed to ensure their survival.

Researchers conducted this research about Philippine wildlife protection because we want to ensure that nature will be around for future generations to enjoy and to recognize the importance of wildlife and wilderness lands to humans. Many government agencies are dedicated to wildlife conservation, which help to implement policies designed for wildlife protection. There are also numerous independent non-governmental organizations who also promote various wildlife protection causes. Researchers are also concerned because wildlife conservation has become an increasingly important practice due to negative human activities on wildlife. Why wildlife conservation is important? Aside from the fact losing the beauty of our country, Philippines, and destroying different creatures, it is important in order to preserve the diversity of biological life upon our country.

Statement of the Problem.

This thesis seeks to research the effectiveness of the Department of Environment and National Resources (Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau) in protecting wildlife. Philippines which is one of the world’s most biologically diverse areas has been described by some conservationists as being on the edge of a major wildlife crisis. However, this biodiversity is under threat. Islands once covered in undisturbed forest habitat are now under cultivation to feed the demands of the expanding population. Deforestation, hunting and a lack of wildlife management has led to the Philippines being described as not just as a conservation ‘hotspot’ – an area of concern – but the ‘hottest of the hotspots’. This study shall expound on the effectiveness of wildlife conservation, its significance, and the importance of wildlife in our ecosystem. In these aspects, the researcher seeks to establish an answer to the following questions: 1. Why is it important to conserve and protect wildlife in the Philippines? 2. How effective does the organizations in protecting wildlife? 3. What efforts are being taken to protect wildlife?

Hypothesis and Assumptions

The efforts exerted by the Department of Environment and Energy Resources- Protected Areas Wildlife Bureau are effective in protecting and conserving the country’s wildlife.

The study rests on the following assumptions:

1. Protecting wildlife is important to maintain ecological ‘balance of nature’ and for economic value. 2. Conservation of wildlife is one of the projects that our nation works out. The conservation helps to balance the ecosystem in biodiversity. The efforts that exerted in the organizations tend to facilitate the extinction. 3. Much of the environmental protection that exists today is the direct result of the petitions and other activities of environmental organizations. 4. The efforts exerted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources are sufficient to protect the wildlife.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

The coverage of this study is about the conservation and protection of Philippine wildlife that is being lately mishandled or misused by humans due to negative activities. The study consists of advantage that is being taken to protect or conserve the endangered wildlife in the Philippines. This study is mainly focused on the effectiveness of efforts that are being taken to protect the Philippine wildlife. The study does not cover the climate change and sustainable uses of resources. The study will include the DENR’s ways to protect Philippine wildlife and how they work. It is focused on the study of wildlife wherein they care and conserve Philippine wildlife for future generations.

Significance or Importance of the study

At the conclusion of this study, the researchers aim to identify the efforts of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in protecting the Philippine wildlife. This study is important for the researchers to be more knowledgeable about the Philippine Wildlife and to know the effectiveness of the efforts of the DENR in protecting the wildlife. It may also persuade some law Enforcers to specify part of their service such as implementing more laws to protect the Philippine Wildlife. This research informs the general public about the country’s wildlife and help them realize that it is important to conserve our environment. In general, researchers conducted this study for the benefit of the future generation, because the preserved wildlife has a big contribution to peoples’s lives.

Definition of Terms

Biodiversity – biological diversity in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals Conservation– the protection, preservation, management, or restoration of natural environments and the ecological communities that inhabit them Conservationist – a person who advocates conservation especially if natural resources Critically endangered species– refers to a species or subspecies that is facing extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future Ecosystem– a system that includes all living organisms (biotic factors) in an area as well as its physical environment (abiotic factors) functioning together as a unit

Endangered Species – refers to a species or subspecies that is not critically endangered but whose survival in the wild is unlikely if the causal factors continue operating Endemic Species – means species or subspecies which is naturally occurring and found only within specific areas in the country Exotic Species – means species or subspecies which do not naturally occur in the country Extinction – the process of eliminating or reducing a conditioned response by not reinforcing it Habitat – means a place or environment where a species or subspecies naturally occurs or has naturally established its population

Indigenous– born or endangered in, native to a land or region, especially before an intrusion Indigenous wildlife- means species or subspecies of wildlife naturally occurring or has naturally established population in the country Introduction – means bringing species into the wild that is outside its natural habitat Threatened Species – a general term to denote species or subspecies considered as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or other accepted categories of wildlife whose population is at risk of extinction Vulnerable Species – refers to a species or subspecies that is not critically endangered nor endangered but is under threat from adverse factors throughout its range and is likely to move to the endangered category in the near future Wildlife – means wild forms and varieties of flora and fauna, in all developmental stages, including those which are in captivity or are being bred or propagated

Chapter 2
Review of Related Literature and Studies

This chapter presents various foreign and local materials associated with the subject of this research. These materials aid in the comprehension and analysis of the Effectiveness of Efforts that being taken to protect the Wildlife in the Philippines.

State of the Art

The literature and studies that were reviewed were found to have bearing on the present study. They served as bases for the conceptualization the study’s research problem, research design and research methodology.

Local Literature

Roberto V. Oliva, a Forest Law Enforcement Specialist, stated that the Philippines is one of the 17 mega diverse countries in the world in his book entitled, PHILIPPINE FOREST AND WILDLIFE LAW ENFORCEMENT: Situationer and Core Issues. In this book, Oliva describe that the number of species in a country is one measure of biodiversity. The Philippines has 204 species of mammals, of which 54% or 111 species are found nowhere else; 101 species of amphibians, 78% of which is endemic; 258 species of reptiles with 66% endemism; and 576 species of birds with 34% or 195 endemic species. On wild flora, the country has about 14,000 species representing five percent of the world’s flora. These include more than 8,000 species of flowering plants or angiosperms, 33 species of gymnosperms, 1,100 species of pteridophytes, and 1,271 species of bryophytes. According to Oliva, there are many more species that remain unknown to science. Per hectare, the Philippines probably holds more diversity of life than any other country on Earth. He explained that because of the remarkable diversity in Philippine biological resources, the country is considered as one of the 18 mega diversity countries in the world.

Unfortunately, with the loss of the country’s forest cover, the habitat of wild fauna has likewise been lost. In his piece of writing he stated that habitat destruction can be attributed to logging, both legal and illegal, mining and energy projects, land use conversion, kaingin, pest and diseases. While habitat destruction is considered as the reason for wildlife loss, other factors include weak institutional and legal mechanisms, domestication and hybridization, introduction of exotic species, and overexploitation for food and trade. In line with this situation, Oliva also discussed in his book that the government is the responsible for terrestrial and wildlife protection. The government implemented the REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9147, the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. on July 30, 2001. In the pursuit of this policy, this Act shall have the following objectives: (a) to conserve and protect wildlife species and their habitats to promote ecological balance and enhance biological diversity; (b) to regulate the collection and trade of wildlife; (c) to pursue, with due regard to the national interest, the Philippine commitment to international conventions, protection of wildlife and their habitats; and (d) to initiate or support scientific studies on the conservation of biological diversity.

According to Oliva, RA 9147 is a good law insofar as it provides for the legal ordinance for wildlife protection. However, Oliva explained further that there are issues hindering its effective implementation. It might be caused by lack of resources for wildlife protection, lack of technical expertise in the DENR, Wildlife Enforcement Officers and LGUs in the proper identification of wildlife, Absence of institutional arrangements with other countries to fight the entry and exit of exotic wildlife species and lastly lack of wildlife rescue centers. In the last part of the book, he recommended some ways to strengthen wildlife protection. Among those recommendations are by setting up all the needed facilities and granting benefits for those who protect the wildlife. His book influenced the mind of all the Filipino readers that the government is ready to provide everything to protect the wildlife in the country. We can assure that if all the Filipino citizens and government or non-government agencies work as a one team, we can prevent the extinction between different species and conserve wildlife for the next generation.

Foreign Literature

Based from the book of Renee Galang entitled “A Critical Review of Wildlife Conservation in the Philippines” published in Melbourne, Australia, The country’s marine biodiversity is equally spectacular.

According to his previous research the Philippines is considered one of the 17 mega diversity countries which together contain 70% to 80% of global biodiversity (Mittermeier et. al. 1997; DENR PAWB et al.2002). The Philippine biodiversity therefore has global significance. The recent 12th Philippine Biodiversity Symposium titled “Biodiversity conservation: Learning from the past, working for the future” in Negros Occidental, Philippines was the best opportunity to experience the current conservation activities in the Philippines. . A total of 170 participants from the provincial congressmen and women, to foreign and local conservationists, international and national related foundations, Universities, NGO’s and conservation biology under-graduate and post-graduate students participated. The atmosphere was intensely passionate for the conservation cause and the flow of information and networking was friendly, akin to any collaborative activity of like-minded people.

The challenge facing Philippine conservationists to stabilise and/or reverse the current grave ecological crisis is colossal. This is due to the recent acknowledgment that the country is the top of the list of “mega diverse countries”. “In relation to the size of its land mass, the Philippines is one of the world’s centres of biodiversity and endemism” (WCSP 1997). The country has 529 endemic vertebrates (DENR-PAWB et. al. 2002) for which many of the endemic mammals and aviafaunas are in endanger of extinction if the current crisis continues. Heaney (1999) asserted that “it is tragic that the biodiversity of the Philippines and the threat of its impending loss have been discovered simultaneously”.

Due to this scenario, Heaney (1999) concluded that the nation is facing stark alternative: either a decline from the biologically richest place on earth to environmental devastation, or recover from the current brush with disaster to a point of stability. The decline of the Philippine forest is primarily due to the Philippine government failure to implement protective policies and the corruption of former administrations. This is especially true on the latter half of last century where the forest declined from 50% in 1950 to less than 20% at present, of which less than 3% is primary forest left.

As the publication of the Philippine spotted dear it states that by the self funded nationwide survey of Roger C. Cox, 95% of its natural distribution in 1985 and 1987 is believed to have kick started the present intense conservation action is the Philippines. The Philippine government reacted by passing an Executive Order 192 through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to create the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) in 1987. The Bureau’s responsibilities are: to establish and manage the country’s Integrated Protected Area System (IPAS); to formulate policies of the preservation of biological diversity; and to serve as the management authority in the enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES).

PAWB has 4 divisions: Biodiversity management, Natural recreation and extension, protected areas commission, and Wildlife resources. DENR in 1989 established the sustainable development concept as its central guiding principle. The department also formulated the Philippine Strategy for Sustainable Development (PSSD) that incorporated the concept of the Triple Bottom Lines (i.e. economic viability, ecological sustainability and social responsibility) as its central them Related Studies

According to Ceferino P. MAALA a visiting professor in Hiroshima University-Japan, the Philippine is high on the list of priority countries in the world for wildlife conservation because of its remarkable biological diversity, large number of endemic animal and plant species, inadequate wildlife protection measures, and high rate of deforestation What are endangered species? According to the definition given by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), endangered species are plants or animals that are being threatened with extinction due to excessive hunting and large scale destruction of their habitat. Conservationists all over the world are alarmed by the 1996 Report of the International Union for IUCN tating that the number of critically endangered mammals in the world has increased significantly from 169-180, primates from 13-19, fresh water turtles from 10-24, and birds from 168-182. Of the list for endangered mammalian species, nine are endemic to the Philippine islands.

These are the Golden crowned flying fox, Negros naked-backed fruit bat, Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat, Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat, Ilin hairy-tailed cloud rat, Visayan warty pig, Calamian hog deer, Visayan spotted deer, and tamaraw. Among the critically endangered avian species in the report is the Philippine eagle. Although no endangered marine mammals were mentioned in the report, whale sharks are fast disappearing from Philippine waters (Esplanada, 2000). For example, the Rhicodon typus (also known as pating patola in Zambales, toko in Mindoro, balilan in Cebu and Bohol and butanding in Bicol and Palawan), which regularly visits the waters of Donsol, Sorsogon (located at the tip of Bicol Peninsula) from November to May are rarely sighted in Philippine waters now. These gentle, polka dotted whale sharks are widely hunted by local fishermen for its meat and fins, which are reported to command a high price abroad.

To prevent the Richodon typus from completely disappearing from the Philippine waters, the Philippine government in 1998 declared the whale shark endangered; thus, banning poaching and exporting of its 2 Ceferino P. MAALAmeat, which is a delicacy in some Asian countries. Other non-governmental conservation groups such as the World Wildlife Fund Philippines (Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas) and large business conglomerates like Nokia Philippines, Megaworld Corporation and International Container Terminal Services Incorporated have supported the government’s campaign to protect the whale shark. The Philippine Daily Inquirer a leading Philippine newspaper also supports the save the whale shark campaign. Other endangered Philippine species are the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), Leatherback turtle (Dermochyles coriacea), Philippine crocodile also known as Philippine freshwater crocodile and Mindoro crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis), Indo-Pacific crocodile or salt water crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Mindoro bleeding heart (Gallicolumba platenae), Mindoro bleeding heart (Ducula mindorensis), lesser eagle owl (Mimizuki gurneyi), Philippine eagle owl (Bubo philippensis), silvery kingfisher (Alcedo argentata), Mindoro hornbill (Penelopides mindorensis), celestial monarch (Hypothymis coelestis) and Isabela oriole (Oriolus isabellae).

The Philippines – Japan Crocodile Farming Institute (CFI) based in Palawan Island has successfully bred the Crocodylus mindorensis in captivity. Only the endangered terrestial mammals (cloud rats, fruit bats, deers, wild pig and tamaraw) and the Philippine eagle will be described in this paper There are many organizations in the Philippines that are implementing various ways to protect and conserve our endangered wildlife. They are ensuring the health and survival of the habitats, plants and animals, conserving natural areas, protecting vital ecosystem services and providing communities with economically sustainable alternatives to forest destruction.

Through these organizations, they assess forestry and agricultural businesses to ensure that they are complying with different environmental standards, which include properly caring for water and soil, monitoring wildlife populations, protecting migratory pathways and prohibiting the hunting and trafficking of wild animals. Organizations help communities establish and support tourism businesses as an alternative to deforestation. Therefore, the different organizations for wildlife take an efforts and takes active part in forming to protect the wildlife.

Chapter Three
Research Design and Methodology

This chapter discusses the research design and methodology of the study. It shows how the procedural operation of the research problem of this study. Research Design

This study utilized the observational research design. An observational research is a type of co relational research in which a researcher observes ongoing behaviour. Through this research design, this study will describe the effectiveness of different protective efforts of the DENR-PAWB in protecting the Philippine wildlife.

Sources of Data

The study has two sources of data, namely; primary and secondary sources. The primary sources of data are through from browsing the internet. The secondary sources of data include the information gathered from the interviews.

Instrumentation and Validation

This research used data procured from the interviews we conducted to the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) and details stated at the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

Data Gathering Procedure

The researchers sought the permission to interview the two different organizations who protect the endangered wildlife in the Philippines to procure data as regards to the effective efforts to protect wildlife.

Chapter Four
Presentation, Analysis, and
Presentation of Data

This chapter presents the analysis and interpretation of the data gathered in this study. Here are some information gathered from the questions that the researches made and answered by the respondents.

1.The primary reason of having wildlife in the country is for ecological balance and it is also to maintain the food web. Food web diagrams the interaction of multiple food chains within a certain ecosystem, showing the mutual dependency of species and the natural balance of habitats that sustain animal and plant life. 2.Because of harmful human activities, urbanization and climate change, some of the species in the country becomes threatened. Another reason is because of the Invasive Alien Species. These exotic species are plants, animals or microorganisms that have been introduced outside their natural distribution area. When IAS enters new habitats, the lack of predators and their ability to compete with native species over the existing food supply can allow them to dominate the local ecosystem. Local species can actually become a food source of the IAS, and drive the former to extinction. 3.The important reason of protecting the wildlife is to save its small population and to save them from extinction. 4.Some threatened species are can be found in some of the provinces in Visayas and in the region of MIMAROPA such as Negros, Panay, Leyte, Mindoro and Palawan.

5.There were only about one to two animals that are being rescued every day. These animals are not really endangered. Usually, animals like snakes, turtles and monkeys are being turned over by those who don’t know how to handle these animals. 6.There’s a circumstance that the rescuer are being harmed by the animals that they’re rescuing. Especially when those animals are not used to human activity. Accidents are inevitable in rescuing wildlife animal. 7.There are different ways on how modern technology helps these organizations to protect the wildlife easier. The Geographic Information System (GIS) technology is an effective tool for managing, analyzing, and mapping wildlife data such as population size and distribution, habitat use and preference, changes in habitats, and regional biodiversity.

GIS offers an indispensable means of tracking threatened animals to help prevent further harm or even extinction. In the other hand, the Global Positioning System (GPS) device will normally record and store location data at a pre-determined interval or on interrupt by an environmental sensor. These data may be stored pending recovery of the device or relayed to a central data store or internet-connected computer using an embedded cellular (GPRS), radio, or satellite modem. The animal’s location can then be plotted against a map or chart in near real-time or, when analysing the track later, using a GIS package or custom software.

But they don’t have enough number of these devices because these devices cost too much expensive. It can be afford if there were sponsors that are willing to help financially. 8.Medical health plans are provided for all the animals. Quarantine tests and annual health assessment are also given for all the animals that they are taking care of. 9. They only provide a temporary shelter. Their main objective is to rehabilitate the rescued animals and they will bring them back to their natural habitat. 10.There are many regional rescue centers all over the country. It is required to have at least one rescue center/sanctuary for the animals every region.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippine flora has 101 critically endangered species, 193 endangered species and 240 vulnerable species. In the other hand, the Philippine fauna has 299 resident species, 203 migrant species, 421 endemic species, 22 indigenous species, and 7 newly introduced species.

Chapter Five
Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations

This chapter presents the summary of findings, conclusions and recommendations of the study. This study determined the effectiveness of the different efforts exerted by the DENR in protecting and conserving the country’s wildlife. This sought to answer the following sub-problems. What is the total number of threatened species in the country as of year 2011? What are the factors that the organization does in conserving wildlife? I. Summary

In spite of those harmful activities by humans, different organizations strive hard to protect and take care of the wildlife. There are gradually of animals are being rescued a day. Protectors of the wildlife are sometimes put in danger like being harmed by the animals that they are trying to rescue. The DENR- Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau Rescue Center is established as a temporary shelter for donated, rescued, abandoned and confiscated endemic, indigenous and exotic wildlife from Metro Manila and nearby provinces. All wild animals brought into the center undergo the necessary health quarantine and rehabilitation period. Endemic and indigenous wild animals found physically fit are eventually released back into their natural habitat following standard protocol. Those unfit individuals as well as exotics are displayed in the Mini-zoo to promote public awareness, appreciation and support to the conservation of the country’s wildlife resources and their habitats.

The center is also a source of display animals for legitimate zoological parks and research specimens for academic and scientific institutions. It is also a living laboratory for veterinary and biology students and wildlife enthusiasts. Nowadays, modern technology plays a big role in our daily lives to make our job easily. There are some devices that are being used by the DENR to track and detect the threatened animals. Unfortunately these devices are costly that can’t afford and can’t operate continuously. In spite of that, the organizations are trying to bring back the rescued animals to their habitats and also, they provide the entire medical health plan that the animals needed. The medical health plan depends if the animal is suffering from an illness or has been into a hazardous accident.

They provide rescue centres all over the country who take temporary custody and care of all confiscated, abandoned and donated wildlife to ensure their welfare and well-being. DENR implemented rules and regulations on conserving the country’s wildlife resource and their habitats for sustainability. It is entitled “The Wildlife Act: RA No. 9147”. In general, the DENR-PAWB is the primary government agency responsible for terrestrial wildlife protection. They aim to conserve and protect wildlife species and their habitats to promote ecological balance and enhance biological diversity.

II. Conclusions

From the analysis, interpretations and implications of the findings of the study, the following conclusions were drawn:

1. Unless the extinction doesn’t occur, the efforts exerted by the organizations are still effective. 2. There were many different organizations, different in objectives and efforts. But still they are striving for one goal, to take good care, protect and preserve the natural resources that our country’s can be proud of. 3. Protecting wildlife is to encompass plants and animals. Protecting wildlife will also protect the habitats and therefore help maintain ecological balance

III. Recommendations

In the light of the findings and conclusions, the following are offered as recommendations for possible action:

1. The government should develop and enhance the laws concerning the protection of country’s natural resources. 2. Increased support from state and central government agencies for the conservation of natural resources. 3. Proper planning of land and water utilization should be done to ensure the protection of wildlife in their natural habitats or in the manmade habitats such as zoos and botanical gardens.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 27 December 2016

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