Gaynawaan 2004: conservation of threatened vertebrates at Mount Sinaka, Mindanao

Jayson Ibanez

This project will step-up the conservation of Mount Sinaka, a 19 sq km Important Bird Area (IBA), by focusing research and monitoring on globally threatened and indicator vertebrates, which are cost-effective conservation surrogates and umbrellas for local biodiversity. In the Philippines, species-rich forest remnants outside protected areas, such as Mount Sinaka, remain vulnerable to degradation. Often neglected, these habitats play a critical role for local populations - both human and wildlife - by being important watersheds, habitat for remnant flora and fauna, stepping stones for wildlife dispersal and as sources of livelihood and other basic needs by human communities. We will do baseline surveys of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians using standard techniques to measure species richness and relative abundance and will identify sites representative of habitat types. These areas will be designated as permanent survey routes for long-term monitoring. Monitoring protocols will be developed and tested with advice from experts. Local capacity for and commitment to research, species monitoring, and management will be strengthened through training of parabiologists, student researchers and government personnel. This trained pool of researchers will receive basic equipment for inventory and monitoring.