Rare species found in Mainit Lake

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Apr. 16 (PIA) – After more than a year of biodiversity assessment survey sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme and Global Environment Facility through the Protected Area and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), four endangered species were identified in Lake Mainit recently.

Provincial Tourism Coordinator Arturo Cruje said the four species are the rufous hornbill (kalaw), rafflesia (considered belonging to the specie of the world’s largest flower), goby (pidjanga), and eel (kasili).

He said that recognizing the importance of protecting threatened species and saving them from extinction, governor Sol Matugas, chairperson of the Lake Mainit Development Alliance (LMDA), approved the conduct of the survey and it was conducted by experts from Caraga State University in consortium with Mindanao State University.

“These icon species are found only in the Lake Mainit area, and their habitats are being encroached by human activities, worst, by mining activities. This Biodiversity Partnership Project (BPP) aims to rehabilitate the ecosystem in the aforementioned site, and restore the ecological integrity of its forests,” said Cruje.

Cruje added that the provincial government is trying to develop its ecotourism potentials, conserving, safeguarding and protecting these species all the way through.

He maintained, however, that watching over these species is a formidable challenge to the local officials and community people. (SDR/John Glenn A. Platil, PIC-Surigao del Norte/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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