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UPLB reports discovery of species in Sta. Teresita anew

STA. TERESITA, Cagayan –The University of the Philippines at Los Banos- Museum of Natural History (UPLB-MNH) reported the sightings of two rare bats species plus others within the cave areas of this municipality on Wednesday, March 7.

Nida Dela Cruz, municipal environment and natural resources officer-designate said the team, led by UPLB-MNH Director and ornithologist Dr. Juan Carlos Gonzales also reported to the local government unit (LGU) the capture on camera of 34 bird species.

Dela Cruz said the LGU has yet to determine whether these are new sightings or part of the 29 bird species earlier identified by Sierra Madre Outdoor Club (SMOC), Balincaguin Conservancy, Wildbirds Photographers Association of the Philippines and the UP Mountaineers Outdoor Club within the vicinity of the Laguna de Cagayan Lake since 2012.

Also, Gonzales reported the presence of two species of herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) identified as eutropis malticarinata or a reptile similar to Alibut (Iloco) or Alivu (Ibanag) and the Philippine Flying Dragon ( draco spilopterus).

Meanwhile, Ivy Amor Lambio, the museum curator located jade vine plants near the entrances of Marciano and Maquera caves. Dela Cruz said the gathered specimens were brought to DENR-CENRO in Aparri late this afternoon for a permit to transport. Early last year during the 2nd Namunit Festival, the same agency conducted a similar observation activity and came up with four species, the result as to whether they are new or new record will be presented next week to the LGU.

Mayor Lolita Garcia in an on-line interview this morning said the annual discoveries and sightings of rare species in her town only confirmed the belief of previous researches that Sta. Teresita is an exciting find as far as biodiversity ‘library’ is concern.

Northern Philippines will have to wait for another six months or more before the results of the new discoveries will be known. Arapang Media/Northernforum.net

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