Post Biological Assessment of Faunal Resources in The Samar Island Natural Park


Author: Teofanes A. Patindol

Abstract

Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) is regarded as one of the most important areas in terms of biodiversity in the island of Samar and within the greater Mindanao faunal region. Five priority watersheds within the SINP were surveyed for the post biological assessment. These were the watersheds of Taft, Can-avid, Basey, Suribao and Catubig. Standard faunal survey methods such as transect survey, mist netting, and trapping were used during the entire duration of the study. The methods were augmented with ocular observations and ethnobiological interviews.
Of the 182 species of terrestrial vertebrates recorded from SINP, 121 species were birds, 20 were mammals, 18 amphibians and 23 reptiles. The overall endemism is 40%. The 121 species of birds belong to 15 orders and 45 families. Of these, 26% are endemic to the Philippinesand 12% are endemic to the greater Mindanao faunal region. Among avian species, thirteen (11%) are considered threatened or at risk.
Of the 11 mammals, which belong to 6 orders and 9 families, 45% are endemic to the country and 15% are endemic to the greater Mindanao faunal region. Seven (35%) of these species are considered threatened or at risk.
Of the 18 species of amphibians recorded, 2 are introduced and the rest are native to the Philippines. Of the 23 reptiles, 39% are endemic to the country and 3% are endemic to the greater Mindanao faunal region. Among herpetofauna, only one species is considered threatened or at risk.
Samar holds high diversity and high endemism and contains a remarkable number of threatened species being recognized by the international arena in biological diversity conservation, most of which have strong affinity to the Mindanao faunal region. The existing data are sufficient to further highlight the need to establish SINP as conservation priority site in the region.

Keywords : Samar Island Natural Park, faunal diversity, endemism, threatened species

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