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PanayCon
Panay Eco-Social Conservation Project
      
Conservation and research
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Content:
Work of PanayCon / former PESCP related to conservation and rehabilitation of biodiversity 
Some information about projects:
Rehabilitation and release
The BIOPAT Mabitang Project: field study of an endemic and highly endangered large monitor lizard.

See also separate pages about: 
The importance of nature for the people and our forest protection and reforestation program
Importance of seed dispersers, hornbill conservation
Other species
First canopy observation platform in the Philippines  
Page about our research by our umbrella organisation, PhilinCon

See our page about PanayCon for maps of the areas of operation, history and work of PanayCon and its precursor, the PESCP

      The forests of Panay play an important role as watersheds, in protection against erosion and landslides, and they are home of rare, endemic and ecologically important species. Work of PanayCon includes conservation of the last significant stands of primary, low elevation rainforest remaining in the entire biogeographic region of the West Visayas, a seed bank for reforestation of areas already destroyed and protection of an area with a range of highly endangered, endemic species of frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals that makes it one of the highest conservation priorities in the world in terms of the number of endangered plants and animals per unit area, and the degree of threat these species confront.

Work of PanayCon related to conservation and rehabilitation of biodiversity

  • Direct and indirect support of biodiversity conservation in the Philippines, focused most immediately on NW Panay and to a lesser extent on the Central Panay Mountains.
  • Faunistic and floristic surveys. PanayCon has extended the known range of over 75 species of animals by locating them on Panay, and discovered several new to science, as a result of surveys conducted in Panay
  • Identifying the peninsular forests as a genetic resource in terms of a seed bank for the propagation of indigenous trees and other native plants needed for the proper rehabilitation of more extensively degraded watersheds on Panay
  • Research on components of biodiversity, and on the interrelationships of these components in terrestrial ecosystems, including studies of the ecological importance of species for the forest for instance by seed dispersal. PanayCon / former PESCP has published in excess of 84 scientific papers in (mostly) peer reviewed journals based on its activities in the Philippines
  • Conservation of the highly endangered writhed-billed hornbill (Aceros waldeni; local names: dulungan, kalaw), a species important as a seed-disperser. Support for this comes from both the North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo) and the German Bird Protection Committee. Success: Forest and nesthole monitoring allowed to reduce the number of poached hornbill nests (brood and sometimes also females killed) from 50% earlier to 5% since 2001.
  • Cooperation with Miss Gigi Bautista running the Pandan Beach Resort, Barangay Dionela, Pandan, Antique, engaged with eco-tourism in NW Panay. Offering nature tours through the NW Panay Peninsula and bird watching in Sebaste Municipality, the enterprise benefits the local stakeholders by employing them as guides, porters and other field personnel. PanayCon facilitates through its network in the areas concerned this important work. A similar cooperation though with another emphasis has been forged with Miss Makrina P. Lovina, President of  the CAPE Foundation (Conservation and Appreciation of Philippine Ecosystems, Inc.), with its focus on coastal conservation, dolphins rescue, teachers' training in environmental education, agriforesty and others.
  • Forest protection, reforestation and watershed management
  • Community-based work, adult and school conservation education projects, natural resource management and development, support or providing of small-scale livelihood projects which make local people independent of over-exploitation of natural resources. Livelihood projects include a contractual obligation by POs to commit to a conservation activity.
  • Rendering of services that complement and assist local institutions in interventions against the illegal, non-sustainable exploitation of wildlife and other natural resources such as hunting and logging. We facilitate and assist the training of forest rangers; the first 67 were taken their oath from in 2002.
  • Rehabilitation and release of wildlife
  • Lobbying for the declaration of the forested areas of the Central Panay Mountains as protected under the National Integrated Protected Areas System.
  • Building on the proclamation of the NW Panay peninsula as a Natural Park Area in 2002, networking with the DENR, LGUs, and provincial governments to promote the strategic declaration of the Central Panay  Mountains as a Natural Park Area, too
  • Organizing of the many levels of society/government in fora that respond to the threats to nature and the natural resource base in the areas of their jurisdiction. This includes both LGUs and the Provincial Government, and is best manifest in PanayCon's facilitation of the NW Panay Biodiversity Management Council consisting of LGU Executive and other municipal representation, the DENR, and PanayCon. This body is sufficient for representing natural resource issues at the local and national level, and is therefore judged to be the optimal emphasis for our organizing efforts now.
  • Identification and securing of additional support and linkages for conservation efforts on Panay.
PanayCon will operate under the aegis of a Memorandum of Agreement with the DENR, and a Gratuitous Permit (GP), enabling us to collect specimens for research in biodiversity and study the relationships of the components of biodiversity. We maintain a research station at 450 m elevation in primary, old growth forest on the peninsula, presently staffed by 4 Filipinos (research assistant, station officer and caretakers of hornbills) and research students studying frugivorous birds and mammals.

Rehabilitation and release of wildlife
Our MOA will authorize the project to receive and maintain confiscated, donated, and rescued wildlife for rehabilitation and release back into their former habitats. We presently maintain 8 hornbills at two locations, as well as several raptors near our staff house at the coast by Bulanao, Libertad, and in Sto. Rosario, Pandan. See page about our rescue and rehabilitation work .
A local DVM, Dr. Enrique Sanchez,  had been dispatched to Cologne, Germany for additional training in avian medicine. Likewise, Filipino staff were trained to tend and care for rehabilitated wildlife in three facilities namely in Mag-aba Wildlife Clinic, Pandan, Bulanao Rescue Facility in Brgy. Bulanao, Libertad, both  in Antique, and the Sibaliw Rehabilitation Facility in Brgy. Tag-osip, Buruanga, Aklan. After proper health checks, the birds are trained and conditioned for release. In the process, the animals are familiarized with their  natural diet to enable them to survive when released back to the wild.
Literature 

  
Hornbill conservation by PanayCon / former PESCP
See page about our work

The BIOPAT Mabitang Project. By M. Gaulke, G. Canoy & E. Curio
To learn more about the recently described mabitang (Varanus mabitang), an endemic and highly endangered large monitor lizard from the forests of Panay, a field study was supported by BIOPAT (Biologische Patenschaften e.V., Eschborn) for a number of years. For at least two years, three different study areas have been regularly searched for this lizard and its tracks. This search was extended to still other areas of the CPMR in the GIZ/DENR driven program toward the proclamation of PAs, as defined by the occurrence of critically endangered species. Then data recorded will lead to a more profound knowledge of its population status and its biology, enabling PESCP to implement concrete conservation measures. At the same time, local awareness towards the uniqueness of this remarkable lizard will be increased with the help of posters and educational campaigns.
Literature concerning the mabitang. See also general  publication list M. Gaulke
 


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Panay Eco-Social Conservation Project   -   Conservation Biology Unit, Ruhr-University Bochum
Last amendment: 20 October 2011