A three-dimensional participatory
map showing land-use throughout the Polillo Islands was developed
and is displayed permanently in Polillo Town. Data was transferred to
GIS format to enable future analysis and to monitor habitat changes.
Posters and educational materials stressing
the unique character of Polillos' forests, their global importance for
conservation and local importance to island residents were distributed
throughout the Polillo Islands.
Plans for a teacher-training workshop on
Polillo were developed (scheduled for September 2002) and educational
A multimedia species guide to the Wildlife
of the Polillo Islands including photographs, sound recordings (where
relevant) and background information on many taxa (birds, amphibians,
reptiles and mammals) was developed to be distributed to municipal offices
in the Polillos and educational establishments throughout the Greater
Surveys of forest patches throughout the islands
were conducted revealing that Polillo's remnant forest still harbours
globally important wildlife communities:
localities support the critically endangered endemic Polillo forest
frog, Platymantis polillensis, previously thought extinct until
rediscovered in 1999. The islands diverse amphibian fauna comprises
at least 19 species, including three currently undescribed.
populations of the endangered Philippine cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia,
Polillo Blue-naped parrots, Tanygnathus lucionensis hybridus
and Polillo Azure-backed parrots Tanygnathus sumatranus freeri
that are under serious threat from hunting. Other species targeted by
hunters include the Luzon bleeding heart, the green-winged emerald dove
and the Colasissi (Philippine Hanging-Parrot).
Many globally threatened species such as the Philippine Forest Kingfisher
Ceyx melanurus, and island endemics including the Green narrow-disked
gecko Pseudogekko smaragdinus, and Polillo Calotes Calotes
unprecedented diversity of bats; Phillip Alviola's research from 1999
documented 11 new island records increasing the islands bat species
richness by an incredible 48%, further research in 2001 added another
3 species including the horseshoe bat Hipposideros coronatus,
(No published records are available for this species since it was first
described by Peters in 1871).
forests are at least as speciose as those of mainland Luzon, supporting
many endemics, 22 species of dipterocarps, including the 'lost' species
of Apitong, Dipterocarpus orbicularis (collected only twice
before, its taxonomic position is unknown because no fertile material
has ever been collected (P. S. Ashton, pers. comm; Ashton, 1982)).
important population of the country's largest frugivore, Grays monitor
lizard, Varanus olivaceus, depends on the remaining forest fragments.
Nondestructive and noninvasive methodologies have been developed for
surveying and investigating the baseline ecology of this poorly known
The forests provide many essential services
for local communities including potable water, protection from flash
floods and erosion, mangrove protection, timber and other forest products.
results are remarkable considering the tiny size of the remaining forest
fragments on Polillo, and reiterate the importance of lowland forest in
the Philippines, now reduced to a critical level. The precarious condition
of the island's forests means well-informed conservation strategies are
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