Category Archives: Volume 16 No. 4 (1994) (Special Issue on Tropical Ecology)

Annotated checklist of the reptiles and amphibians of Leyte, Philippines with notes on their ecology and conservation


Author(s): Wolfgang Denzer1, Klaus Henle2, Maren Gaulkea3, Josef Margraf4and Paciencia P. Milan4

Abstract

An annotated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Leyte, Philippines is presented. Currently, 24 frog species, 6 turtles, l crocodile, 39 lizards, and 28 snakes are known from Leyte. Bufo marinus, Pelophryne lighti, Platymantis ingeri, P. spelaeus, Nyctixalus spinosus, Kaloula baleata, Gekko mindorensis, Bronchocela cristatella, Draco ornatus, Gonocephalus interruptus, G. sophiae,Mabuya multifasciata. Rhamphotyphlops braminus, Python reticulatus, Oligodon modestum, Boiga dendrophila, Dendrelaphis pictus, and Tropidolaemus wagleri are reported for the first time from Leyte. Platymantis corrugatus is synonymized with P. dorsalis. Calamaria joloensis as is regarded as an unusual juvenile C. gervaisi. Taxonomic problems within the genus Draco. are pointed out Zoogeographically, the new record of G. mindorensis for the offshore island of Leyte and of the very rare Platymantis spelaeus is remarkable. In comparison to other Philippine islands of similar size, Leyte has the largest number of species but has no endemic species. The herpetofaunal similarity of Leyte and Dinagat which were connected during the Pleistocene is higher for reptiles but not for amphibians compared to Leyte and Negros which were not connected.
In the Mt. Pangasugan region, one of the last areas with extant native rainforest; 63% of the species known from Leyte have been found. Potential indicator species for ecological changes caused by forest clearing for kaingin farming and for the restoration success of agroforestry are discussed. Some of these species are only useful on Leyte whereas others show a wider potential application. Forty-eight percent of the species (observed more than five times) are restricted to primary or secondary forest and are very prone to extinction. Two species, Crocodylus sp. and Heosemys leytensis, are extinct in Leyte, the latter possibly elsewhere as well. In addition, 7 – 9 species (for two of them, Leyte may be an erroneous locality) have not been observed for more than 50 years. Five of them are restricted to primary forest. Finally, three species of sea turtles are rare in the waters around Leyte, and the lizards Gekko mindorensis and Entoia atrocostata are restricted to single offshore islands.

Keywords : Philippines, Leyte, Reptilia, Amphibia, checklist, new records, taxonomy, habitat requirements, indicator species, biogeography, conservation.

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Recent rainfall trends in ViSCA, Baybay, Leyte, Philippines


Author(s): Peter Balzer and Josef Margraf

Abstract

Climate is an important factor influencing all ecosystems. Adaptations to local climatic conditions will be found everywhere. ViSCA, Baybay, Leyte is characterized by a moist tropical climate with rainfall that is statistically distributed equally throughout the year. However dry periods occur regularly and more often than would be expected from the average data. They can lead to droughts in certain parts of the environment.

Keywords : Climate, Leyte, Philippines

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Sociodemographic profile of the upland farmers in the MPSAP pilot barangays


Author(s): Fe J. Dagoy, Feliciana D. Poliquit, Lydia G. Hinay and Luz Sandra E. Racho

Abstract

Factual information and in-depth knowledge about the subject are important in formulating development programs and in providing solutions to problems that may be encountered in the course of development. Two hundred sixteen upland fanners were interviewed from the barangays of Patag, Guadalupe, Pangasugan and Marcos. Majority of the upland farmers are married who are at their prime adulthood. Their educational attainment and that of their spouses is below Grade V. The average number of children per household is four and the household size is about five persons. Most are migrants to the area from the interior barangays of Baybay due to insurgency problem in their respective places of origin, and to seek employment. They farm at the ViSCA forest reservation specifically, in the areas of Anibong, Bagacay, Calbiga-a, Dolores, Guilamingan and Hubasan. The five major problems of upland farmers are insufficient income, irregular job, tenurial insecurity on land cultivated and lack of decent house. To cope with their problems, upland farmers diversify their livelihood in order to generate income for the basic needs of the family. The major aspiration of the upland farmers is to find a regular job to enable them to send their children to school, eat nutritious food, start a business, stay healthy in decent house, wear good clothes and own land and a work animal.

Keywords : Profile, socio-demographic characteristics, MPSAP, upland fanners, coping mechanisms.

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Rainforestation Farming: An alternative to conventional concepts


Author(s): Paciencia P. Milan and Josef Margraf

Abstract

Efforts to sustain human food production and simultaneously preserve the biodiversity of terrestrial ecosystems and their vital functions for mankind led to the development of a “Closed Canopy and High Diversity Forest Farming System”, popularly termed Rainforest Farming. The system is aiming to replace the more destructive forms of kaingin practices, form a buffer zone around the primary forests, protect its biodiversity, help maintain the water cycle of the island, and provide farmers with a stable and higher income.
Contrary to conventional paradigm of farm management, the concept works with the hypothesis that a farming system is increasingly more sustainable as its physical structure and species composition becomes closer to the original local rainforest.
In field trials on a 7 ha hilly area at ViSCA, 100 selected local tree species were tested for their performance in achieving a three-storied and maximally diverse rainforest association. Crop production is enriching the system through understory species of e.g. Colocasia (gahi) and Dioscorea (ubi) and a variety of unconventional activities e.g. mushroom cultivation, apiculture, and flower production.
Farmer-researchers are adapting the system by applying the basic principles and modifying the flexible components to their needs and to site specific requirements.
A major drawback is the scarcity of seeds from highly valid tree species due to the almost complete extinction of the Philippine lowland rainforest and to ongoing selective timber poaching which is specifically eliminating “mother trees”.

Keywords : “Closed canopy and high diversity forest farming system”

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Working towards convergence: A case study of G.O.-N.G.O, initiated organizations among upland farmers in Baybay, Leyte, Philippines


Author: Josophine Kintanar-Calag

Abstract

Organizations among upland farmers in four barangays of Baybay. Leyte were analyzed using the cross-case study method to determine convergence in goal perception; knowledge, attitude and practice on environmental conservation with special reference to tree farming and information flow patterns. members of the organizations under study were completely enumerated while non-members were randomly selected. Data gathering was conducted from May to September 1993 employing participatory rural appraisal, participant observation techniques, semi-structured interview schedules, key informants, focus discussion, checklist and observation guide.
Data revealed that majority of both member and non-member respondents showed interest in environmental information. 81.25% and 78.63%, respectively. However, barely half (56%) of the member-respondents perceived any significance of the organizations initiated to the concept of environmental conservation. This finding indicates a convergence in terms of general interest among implementors and clientele but a deviation in goal perception. Such case implies a need for a rethink in selling expectations and intent when planning and implementing development protects or information campaigns.
On information flow, all respondents ranked barangay officials first and neighbors second as sources of information because of proximity. Also, over two-thirds (73.5%) of non-members were involved in work groups such as “Alayon”, “Salibot” and “Tagbu”. This points to the potential of exploring informal network links as alternative channels for orchestrating change in the barangay.

Keywords : Organizations, information flow. Convergence. goal perception, communication strategy. network links.

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Agroforestry pathways towards sustainable land-use


Author(s): Nienke Parma, Yke Johan Rippen and Jan Kees Luijt

Abstract

The main objective of this report was to evaluate the suitability of a series of proposed agroforestry technologies, and recommend the most promising ones for further research and implementation in the selected research area. It is the completion of all phases up to the implementation phase of the Diagnosis and Design Methodology (ICRAF, 1987).
The research which consists of two parts was carried out in the uplands of the municipality of Baybay, Leyte, Philippines. The first part by Dekker and Parma, 1992 consisted of the identification of the research areas, an inventory of socio-economic problems faced by farmers in the area, current farming systems used, and environmental problems related to land use. The objective of this exercise was to design a set of agroforestry technologies which can halt environmental degradation, and yield and income reduction. The selection of suitable practices was done with the help of the pathways theory for shifting cultivation as developed by Raintree and Warner (1986). In total, nine alternatives were formulated.
Luijt and Rippen conducted the second part of the research in 1993. The objective was to take the proposed agroforestry technologies, test their suitability in the field and to recommend the most promising ones. Alter further refinement of technologies, informal talks with key farmers were used to assess the adoptability of the proposed technologies as well as to obtain feedback on possible improvements to the designs. The productivity and sustainability proposals were the evaluated. A qualitative analysis was used for this exercise due to insufficient data. Lastly, using the results from this ex-ante evaluation as well as data on the physical aspects of the area, a suitability classification was developed based on die FAO methodology of land evaluation for forestry (1984) and adapted to agroforestry according to Young (1990). This resulted in the selection of the technologies deemed most suitable for the research area.
The diagnosis and design methodology should be seen as an iterative process during the remaining stages, i.e. further research and implementation phases. It was necessary to take steps back in the methodology so as to constantly refine die proposals according to the demands of the users and the environment they are working in. The participatory approach was used so that the most favorable result can he reached to benefit both farmers and their environment.

Keywords : Agroforestry; sustainable land use: upland fanning; fanner participation; adoptability.

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