This terrestrial fauna survey is part of the Survey and Research Component under the ECAN Zoning of the Sustainable Environmental Management Project for Northern Palawan. It aims to gather data specifically on wildlife vertebrate fauna to serve as inputs in delineating zones under the Environmentally Critical Areas Network Areas (ECAN) particularly those to be designated as core zones. This is also to prescribe management schemes in the identified sites.
The fauna survey was aimed at generating data and information that are useful in the planning, delineation, establishment and management of ECAN Core Zones. The fauna survey identified and ascertained the occurrence, distribution and general abundance of endemic, rare, threatened and endangered species in the municipality of El Nido. Important and critical wildlife habitats were also located for ECAN zoning.
Surveys were conducted in 5 barangays, namely: (1) Mt. Cabengkukay, Barangay Bagong-bayan; (2) Mt. Pita, Sitio Waywayin, Barangay Bebeladan; (3) Mt. Suso, Sitio Simpian, Barangay Aberawan; (4) Mt. Ynantagung, Barangay Villa Libertad; (5) Mt. Nagbaklaw, Barangay Pasadena; and, (5) Cadlao Island.
The fauna survey conducted in El Nido was focused on four (4) vertebrate groups. Results showed a total of 98 species of vertebrate fauna. This includes 19 mammals, 66 birds, 8 reptiles and 5 amphibians. Among the 6 sites sampled in El Nido, Mt Cabengkukay had the highest total number of species (308 species). These are represented by 55 species of mammals, 208 species and sub species of birds, 13 species of reptiles and 27 species of amphibians. Mt. Ynantagung tallied the second highest number of species with a total of 214 species. Of these, 31 species are mammals, 172 species are birds, 6 species are reptiles and 5 species are amphibians. Mt. Suso had the third most numerous numbers at 207 species. The total number is represented by 55 species of mammals, 130 species of birds, 7 species of reptilian and 15 species of frogs.
In terms of mammal species diversity and richness, Mt. Ynantagung got the highest mammal species richness index value of 2.16. Also, it ranked second in the reptilian group and had the highest index in amphibians with a value of 1.34. Next to Mt. Ynantagung is Mt. Nagbaklaw with a richness index of 1.76. Mt. Cabengkukay is third with the value of 1.48. Mt. Ynantagung also had the highest mammal species diversity index value of 0.98. Mt. Nagbaklaw is second and Cabengkukay third with 0.91 and 0.90 respectively.
In terms of bird species diversity and richness, Mt. Cabengkukay had the highest bird species diversity index value of 1.54, followed by Mt. Nagbaklaw with 1.51 and Mt. Ynantagung with 1.50. Mt. Nagbaklaw had the highest index estimated for bird species richness with a value of 3.44, followed by Mt. Cabengkukay with 3.19 and Mt. Pita with 3.15. The fourth, fifth and sixth are Mt. Ynantagung, Mt. Suso and Cadlao Island with a value of 3.14, 2.54 and 2.29, respectively.
In terms of reptilian species diversity and richness, Mt. Pita recorded the highest reptilian species diversity with an index value of 0.64, followed by Mt. Ynantagung with an index of 0.54 and Mt. Nagbaklaw with 0.50. Mt. Pita also recorded the highest reptilian species richness with an estimated value of 1.89, followed by Mt. Ynantagung with an index valued at 1.63. The next in rank is Mt. Nagbaklaw with a richness index of 1.51. Mt. Cabengkukay and Mt. Suso ranked fourth and fifth with a corresponding index value of 1.39 and 1.13, respectively. Cadlao Island had the lowest value of 1.00.
In terms of amphibian species diversity and richness, Mt. Suso had the highest amphibian species diversity index value of 0.55; the second highest value of 0.52 for Mt. Cabengkukay and 0.51 for Mt. Pita. Mt. Ynantagung showed the highest estimate for amphibian species richness with an index value of 1.34, followed by Mt. Pita and Mt. Suso with the index value of 1.07 and 1.03, respectively.
In terms of species endemism and conservation status, survey results indicate a relatively high species endemism among the sampled sites. With the exception of Cadlao Island, all of the 5 sampled sites show endemic species of mammals with 17.65 % species endemism. Endemic mammal species recorded in the area are the Palawan tree squirrel, Palawan stink badger, Palawan porcupine, small-clawed otter and the gliding tree squirrel. Endemic birds in the area range from 33 % to 44 %. Mt. Pita and Mt. Nagbaklaw both showed 44 % bird species endemism. Mt. Cabengkukay had 39 % endemism; Mt. Ynantagung had 33 %; Mt. Suso 28 % and Cadlao Island 17 %. Endemic species of birds in these sites include the following: Palawan peacock-pheasant, Palawan scops-owl, Blue-headed racquet-tailed parrot, Palawan hornbill, and Palawan swiftlet. Endemic species of amphibians in 4 sampled sites (Mt. Cabengkukay, Mt. Pita, Mt. Suso and Mt. Ynantagung) were all equally represented at 25 %. Endemic species include the Philippine toad.
Several factors were identified as threats to the environmental integrity of El Nido. These include small-scale illegal logging, population pressure, wildlife collection and trade, slash and burn farming, and development projects.
Based on the analyses and interpretation of the primary and secondary data generated from the field work and adherence to PCSD Resolution No. 94-44 Implementing Guidelines, four (4) candidate areas are proposed as ECAN Core Zones for the municipality of El Nido, namely: Mt. Nagbaklaw range, Mt. Ynantagung range, Mt. Cabengkukay range and Mt. Pita range.
PALAWAN COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Palawan Center for Sustainable Development
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PCSDS. 2006. Fauna Survey Report for El Nido Municipality
Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, Palawan, Philippines
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