We have been working hand-in-hand with the local community of Mantiquil since 2014. Together with our partners, we aim to stop illegal hunting and forest clearing to protect one of the remaining forests of the Negros.
The Philippines is one of the few nations that is both a biodiversity hotspot (a region with significant levels of biodiversity that is threatened with destruction) and a megadiverse country (a nation that harbours majority of Earth’s species and high numbers of endemic species), placing it among the top priorities for global conservation. It also has a rapidly expanding human population, many of whom live in poverty and are dependent on subsistence agriculture for food. Thus, as the demand for more farmland increases, so does the amount of forest loss. In the village of Mantiquil, in the Cuernos de Negros, a volcanic chain in the south-eastern region of Negros, total deforestation may occur within 20 years. However, this is one of the last homes to our flagship species the Critically Endangered Negros bleeding heart dove (Gallicolumba keayi) and many other threatened species such as the Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons), the Visayan tarictic hornbill (Penelopides panini), and the Philippine spotted deer (Rusa alfredi). Recent populations estimates of Negros bleeding heart doves, endemic to the islands of Negros and Panay, suggest there are fewer than 400 individuals remaining in the wild.
The Bristol Zoological Society has partnered with a local NGO (PENAGMANNAKI) since 2014 to support the creation of a farmer association within the community. We are collaboration within this association to determine sustainable alternatives to forest depletion. In addition, the Society employs several forest wardens within the community to monitor the forest and report any illegal activities. Finally, BZS has recently established a field station to support graduate students to carry out research onsite (e.g., students have been conducting systematic survey of the area to assess population size and habitat use of the Visayan warty pig, the Negros bleeding-heart dove and other threatened birds endemic to the area). These are species that we also keep at Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project.
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