Project title: Biodiversity of Abasig-Matognon Mananap Natural Biotic Area
Project leader(s): Raab Bustamante, Jayson Mansibang
Organisations involved: Philippine Taxonomic Initiative Inc.
Project summary: The Mt Labo (1,540 m ) an inactive volcano and the extensive mountain range was extensively logged over from the 1960s til 1980s, with forest area of about 497 sq. km that straddles the boundaries of three provinces. Mt Labo is relatively botanically unexplored until recently. A few charismatic species, like Rafflesia lagascae, Adelmaria isarogensis, Aeschynanthus isarogensis has been identified from initial exploratory fieldwork having similar flora to the nearby Mt Isarog. This project seeks to identify accessible, intact sites from which to survey the local flora under the auspices of the relevant authorities, to carry out such surveys, and to use the surveys as platforms to train local botanists in field research techniques. Brief preliminary studies have identified over a dozen new species across seven genera in the region, including Begonia, Aeschynanthus, Impatiens, Psychotria and a number of orchid genera.
Date started and progress to date: This project is currently in its first phase (Jan.2020-Dec. 2020).