Panay Eco-Social Conservation Project
Latest updates in our web pages
Our umbrella organisation PhilinCon on Facebook
PanayCon: facebook page
|News, events concerning PanayCon and
March - April 2017 - Owl survey started
A survey of nocturnal birds, covering a variety of habitat types starting from Sibaliw station, was started in March 2017 by Brendan Sloan , thanks to financial support provided by the S.C.R.O. (Society for the Conservation and Research of Owls), section Germany, via Ms. Distler. According to first visual and acoustic records, animals audible at night in the forest include birds like the owl Ninox philippensis (Luzon Boobok) and Frogmouths (Batrachostomus septimus), but also amphibians. The survey will be continued in 2018.2017 - Study about impact of an invasive species, the cane toad, Rhinella marina (Linné, 1758) going to be continued by our project manager, Christian Schwarz
Invasive plant and animal species which have established populations outside their natural range are the second most important threat to biodiversity after habitat destruction.The cane toad was introduced to several regions including the Philippines as a pest control, but then got out of control, it is now listed among the 100 most invasive animal species by the IUCN. The toads are generalists preying on all kinds of native species they can overwhelm and even eat dead prey, and they are poisonous and harmful to potential native predators. The impact of this species on highly endemic island faunas are not well understood yet. Most scientific data have been gathered in Australia where the cane toad is continuously expanding since its introduction in 1935. In the Philippines, an assessment of the threat Rh. marina may pose to the local fauna is urgently needed, in order to decide whether counter measures would become necessary. However, judgement of impact on the local ecosystems would require discrimination of putative effects of the toads from the consequences of deforestation and conversion of natural habitats into agricultural landscapes. Both effects are very likely synergistic. A project started by PhilinCon in 2010 investigates the impact of this invasive anuran on the autochthonous leaf litter fauna of Panay and surrounding islands by means of exclusion experiments. It is the first study worldwide to quantify the true predatory impact of the Cane Toad on a large scale, and will help to assess the potential threat of this invader to insular rainforest environments.
20 April 2017 - Northern Philippine praying mantis discovered on Panay
Biogeographic connections across Philippine faunal regions unrelated to Pleistocene Island Complexes are being detected on a regular basis since a few years (more information here soon). One such unexpected relationship is the biogeographic connection between Panay and Luzon, most famous in this regard being the monitor lizard subgenus Philippinosaurus, with one species on Panay (Mabitang) and two species on Luzon. A poorly studied praying mantis, Tagalomantis manillensis (Saussure, 1870), known only from three males last collected around a century ago in Laguna Province and Manila, has been discovered by our Project Manager on the NWPP and other areas on Panay. The morphology and life history of the species is now known in detail, aiding in its future recognition. Panay populations are healthy, but confined to closed forests in lowland areas and as such severely threatened by habitat loss. Please contact us if you encounter the species on islands other than Luzon or Panay.
29 August 2016 - Four species of horsehair worms newly recorded from the Philippines
Horsehair worms (Nematomorpha) are long, slender chitinous worms related to the common roundworms (Nematoda). Pairing adults are known for sometimes assembling in balls reminding of the legendary gordian knot. The adults live freely in streams, where they pair and reproduce. They pass through an aquatic larval state which encysts in water insects. The water insect larva needs to metamorphose into an aerial insect, which, in case it gets captured by an invertebrate predator, allows for a host switch by the parasite to take place. Humans are not affected. The larva then develops into a juvenile worm. When about to molt to adulthood, the worm tricks by a yet unknown mechanism the host into searching for water and begins the aquatic life of adults, leaving the dying host behind.
April 2016 - PanayCon coworkers on the 12th Tugbong Festival, Pandan
2016 - Five new species of praying mantids discovered on Panay
The long term assessment of Panay's arthropod diversity, which has already resulted in the discovery of new whipspider and whipscorpion species, and of a new genus and species of talitrid groundhopper (see recent publications), is still ongoing. Its latest achievement is a first census of the praying mantids (Mantodea) occurring on Panay. It turned out that Panay harbors at least five species new to science, all of them confined to the remaining forests. While the mantids known to occur on Panay were briefly introduced in the latest Annual Report, the description of the new taxa is currently being prepared by our Project Manager, a specialist for this group.
March 2016 - New jumping spider discovered on Panay
A new species of the formerly monotypic genus Gambaquezonia has been discovered on Panay island by Freudenschuss and coworkers. The description has been published in March 2016.
2016 - Cane Toad - an invasive species exerts direct and indirect effects on Philippine fauna
Preliminary results of the still ongoing (despite lack of funds) cane toad study revealed a measurable impact of this anuran on the native arthropod fauna. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index was significantly higher in toad-free, undisturbed control plots than in non-treatment forests inhabited by toads. There was also a trend towards higher evenness in toad-free plots, indicating that some taxa are probably more affected by the presence of the toads than others. How the toad’s impact affects conservation efforts will be evaluated after all samples have been processed.
2015 - Some recent
results of the forest rangers´ work and wildlife rescue
(from our latest annual report)
Law enforcement involves regular patrols in Libertad, Pandan and Sebaste in Antique and the municipality of Buruanga in Aklan province by our team of Forest Rangers who, in recognition of their effectiveness, have been officially deputized as Wildlife Enforcement Officers by the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). During 2014, their work resulted in the confiscation of more than 135 pieces of illegally logged timber which were turned over to the Philippine National Police or the DENR.
Mid-October 2015 - Start
of Sibaliw repair
Sibaliw station will be completely renewed starting October 2015. After 19 years of continuous operation, the tropical climate took its toll on our station. Rotting logs, dripping roofs and an unsafe floor have repeatedly been repaired in the past, without really fixing the problems. Now, a complete overhaul including the replacement of strategic posts and beams, and the refurbishing of roof and walls, assure that the station will offer research, wildlife rehabilitation, student and other visitor accommodation for the next years to come.
July 2015 - New official
shirts for the coworkers
April 21, 2015 - Dulungans released
In April 21, three of the Dulungans housed in the Sibaliw wildlife rehabilitation facility, one male and two females, have been successfully released into the protected area of the North West Panay Peninsula (NWPP-NP). The birds have been under the care of PanayCon since 2000 (females) and 2004 (male), respectively, and have adapted well to their new environment. As of December 2015, all birds are still alive. Aside from a few unconfirmed acoustic records, these birds are the first to re-colonize the NWPP since the species has been considered locally extinct. Another Dulungan male and a Tarictic pair are slated for release in 2016
2014 - Marine turtle
An exhausted marine turtle, Dermochelys imbricata, was found by local fishermen and kindly reported to PanayCon´s wildlife rescue team. The turtle was treated against infection and dehydration and released after recovery.
2014 - Measures against
In April 2014, after becoming aware of a tuberculosis infection in one of our coworkers, our new project manager initiated countermeasures, including payment of tuberculosis tests for coworkers and an awareness campaign. Tuberculosis is fairly common in the Philippines and not really taken seriously by some local people, even though appropriate health checks for this disease are funded by the WHO.
2014 - New Project
Manager on Panay (PanayCon, PhilinCon)
In August 2014, we are happy to let our supporters know that the new PanayCon / PhilinCon project manager for the Philippines, Christian Schwarz, has arrived on Panay in July 2014 and started work, doing a great job. Christian is already familiar with the project and localities from earlier scientific work and conservation projects. We look forward to provide support of any kind and we hope we will be able to present actual reports about successful project work here soon!
2014 - New mail address
for our Panay office (PanayCon,
In April 2014, we had to set up a new mail account for our Panay office because of technical problems with the old one.
2013 - Super typhoon
Haiyan / Yolanda devastates Panay
In November 2013, a typhoon approached the Philippines, increasingly gaining strength and finally reaching the Philippine coasts as the most dangerous "super typhoon" ever obesrved to make landfall. The eye of the storm passed right over Panay, leaving a broad trace of devastation. See extra page for details. Any help allowing people there to rebuild their smashed homes is welcome - the world looks at Tacloban city where in addition to the storm a flood wave was driven into coastal areas drowning many people. We try to help in Panay where our friends fortunately seem to have survived, but need support to replace what was destroyed. Right now (on 23 November) the power supply and Internet are still down in the proximity of our project site, at least there is some improvement with regard to mobile phone connection and we have a possibility to send financial aid via Western Union or MoneyGram. Any contribution would be highly appreciated.
2013 - DENR´s 26th
anniversary celebration - cooperation with PhilinCon
June 2013, the DENR-6
of Environment and Natural Resources,,
responsible for the region 6, Western Visayas)
celebrated DENR´s 26th anniversary in the DENR activity
center in Iloilo City. On this occasion,
PhilinCon president Dr. Sanchez Jr. received a plaque of
recognition awarded to PhilinCon for partnership and
support. Coworkers will continue to do their best and
contribute to DENR´s vision of a sustainable development
of the region coming true, for "a nation enjoying and sustaining its natural
resources and clean and healthy environment." (DENR
- mission, vision and priority, thrusts & programs)
2012 - Poaching of
threatened species prevented - whistleblowers
compensated after being attacked by the poachers
A couple of farmers in the municipality of Pandan had
alerted our coworkers to illegal snaring of warty pigs, an
endangered and ecologically
important Philippine wildlife species. The Forest
Rangers found 16 snares in the area and destroyed them
all. Unfortunately, this prompted the poachers to
retaliate by burning down the farmers' house and their
equipment. The vandalism was blottered with the Pandan
police and the couple was compensated by PhilinCon for the
damage sustained. This case shows vividly that
conservation needs our support in the Philippines.
Due to the vigilance and brave of PanayCon's Forest Rangers illegal loggers in the southern fringes of Pandan Municipality could be caught red-handed in December 2011. When alerted to the logging a squad of the PNP Pandan could apprehend two of five illegalists while the other three made a narrow escape. The two suspects are in the custody of the police till further legal measures are taken against them. The Forest Rangers deserve to be congratulated for their circumspection after oftentimes merely finding the traces of the illegalists after they had done their destructive work in the priceless forests of the Panay Mountain Range.
There have been elections
in 2010 to the Board of Directors (its four Incorporators
or Officers) of PhilinCon, the new NGO under the
umbrella of which PanayCon is to work since 2010.
See PhilinCon contact page2010 - NGO PhilConserve needed to be replaced - New umbrella NGO PhilinCon
Our former non-governmental umbrella organisation PhilConserve, erected in 2005 by citizens concerned about the plight of the Philippine environment, was running the PESCP. This project carried out wide-ranging conservation work including help for the local people, the ‘eco-stewards’ of their environment. Anomalies in running the PESCP forced the affected staff to make a new start by leaving behind the causal agents. In the process, a new NGO, the Philippine Initiative for Conservation of Environment and the People, Inc. (PhilinCon) was erected in November 2010. Since then, the two entities PhilinCon and PanayCon replace PhilConserve and PESCP, respectively, with new names, but almost unchanged agenda.
2008 - Typhoon ravaged Panay
In June 2008, typhoon 'Frank' ravaged Panay Island, flooding many regions, with 18 dead in Iloilo Province alone. PESCP (now PanayCon) was hit hard as never before, and its domiciliary town of Pandan, Antique Province, was affected equally disastrous (see photos by project aficionado Arnold Demegillo showing damage in Kalibo).
For a long time the PESCP had advocated legal protection of the priceless forests of the Central Panay Mountain Range and their endemites. Now the Central Office of the DENR, Philippine Government, instructed the Regional DENR Executive Director to designate the area as 'Critical Habitat' under the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act. In living up to this mandate, the DENR Region VI, that encompasses Panay, is advised to collaborate with PESCP. Accordingly PESCP is rightly proud of being elected from among all other 'green' NGOs in the W Visayas to contribute its knowledge, skills and financial means, as found permissive, to this noble and extremely timely goal.
PESCP Forest rangers are proud of having gone on recue missions recently. When alerted by local families the Forest rangers swarmed out searching for missing elderly family members that had gone astray in the forest. They could rescue one older man alive and sadly retrieved another man and an elderly woman only after they had fallen dead. The FR Coordinator personally paid her last respects to the dead and brought them home.
The PESCP erected a non-governmental organisation, the Philippine Association for Conservation and Development, Inc. (PhilConserve), in March 2005, under the aegis of which it was operating with a focus on Panay Island. Its main objective will be the conservation of Philippine biodiversity with the support of the local people and their sustainable economic development.2005 - Canopy platform erected
PESCP has mounted the first Philippine canopy observation platform on a huge Almaciga tree in Panay's rain forest, near the project's Research Station Sibaliw, Buruanga, Aklan. The platform consists of a lightweight 1.6 x 1.8 m² fortified aluminum sheet supported by galvanised iron tubes and surrounded by a perlon net balustrade. The platform will allow researchers to document animals and their interactions with rain forest trees. More information.
Recent discoveries - a review
New species discovered in the area
Snakes2002: A new species of Wolf Snake (Lycodon fausti sp. nov.) endemic to the West Visayas, described by M. Gaulke. (More details and photo).
2003 / 2004: A new endemic Panay Island race of the Mangrove Cat Snake (Boiga dendrophila levitoni) was recently described. This exquisitely beautiful snake was discovered by PanayCon's able Filipino scouts (More details and photos).
Geckos (2006 and 2007)
Two new geckos, Gekko ernstkelleri (More details and
photo) and Luperosaurus corfieldi (More details and
photo), have been described by the project's
herpetologist, Dr. Maren Gaulke, and her colleagues, thus
adding two new endemites to the herpetofauna of Panay
2007: A new frog species Platymantis paengi sp.
nov., the Panay limestone frog. (More details and photo).
2009: A new giant whip scorpion, Telyphonoides
panayensis gen. et sp. nov. (More details and
New distributional records for the following species:
2002: first evidence of the King Cobra, Opiophagus hannah, on Panay
2004 (published 2007): Steere's honey-buzzard (Pernis steerei, formerly 'barred honey-buzzard P. celebensis) (Gewers et al. 2006, Forktail 22: 163-165)
2006: the large Chinese bullfrog Hoplobatrachus rugulosus, a likely invasor (= alien species) of the Philippines (Gaulke & Operiano 2006, Sauria 2006: 51)
2006: a banded Philippine burrowing snake, Oxyrhabdion leporinum visayanum
2006: a whipscorpion (Minbosius manilanus,
Arachnida, Uropygi), a Philippine endemite described for
Manila, Luzon (Haupt 2007, Senckenbergiana biologica
2008: first breeding record of the Colasisi in the wild, one of the two Philippine endemic hanging parrot species (Loriculus philippensis regulus), on Panay (Hembra, S.S., E. Curio & J. Jamangal 2008: Papageien 21: 173-174. German)
|Latest updates in our web pages:
conservation page has been improved, information
about the importance of seed dispersing animals has been added.
Change of names of our project (PanayCon, formerly PESCP) and our umbrella NGO (PhilinCon, formerly PhilConserve) - all pages and domain names adapted
our page about newly
discovered taxa and new distributional records
Personal page for our new
Page about devastation by super typhoon Haiyan /
Yolanda on Panay
Page about our PhilinCon secretary and
PanayConbookkeeper, Rhea A.
Page about our veterinary consultant and president
of PhilinCon, Dr. Enrique
Page about our wildlife
Page about hornbill
Download option for our fifteenth annual project report (2009)
First canopy observation
platform in the Philippines (12 July 2005)
Panay Eco-Social Conservation Project - Conservation Biology Unit, Ruhr-University Bochum
Last amendment: 30 June 2017