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The Philippines is one of the most forested island archipelagos in the world. With a high concentration of threatened species and a lack of protection, securing these key biodiversity strongholds is a conservation priority. On the largest Philippine Island of Luzon, which has suffered significant rainforest habitat loss, is the Sierra Madre Mountain Range that harbors a massive swath of old-growth tropical rainforest with many species endemic to the Philippines. This mountain range is home to a wealth of rare and threatened species, including at least one breeding pair of the iconic and Critically Endangered Philippine Eagle, along with various Endangered rainforest parasitic plants such as Rafflesia manillana and Coral Plant (Balanophora coralliformis). Unfortunately, native wildlife populations are drastically declining due to habitat destruction.
Rainforest Trust and local partner Daluhay Daloy ng Buhay seek $173,888 to designate 86,487 acres to form the San Luis Community Reserve. This will halt deforestation and prevent the rapid loss of biodiversity. The conservation initiative will include management plans that will preserve the forest ecosystems and indigenous communities who will be key stewards of this protected area once it is established.
Sierra Madre Mountain Range, Luzon, the Philippines
Key Species (Based on IUCN Red List)
Philippine Eagle (CR), Philippine Mahogany (CR), Red Lauan (CR), White Lauan (CR), Green Racquet-tail (EN)
Old-growth tropical rainforest
Illegal logging and wildlife poaching
Designate the San Luis Community Reserve
Daluhay Daloy ng Buhay
The area is a conservation priority because it contains high levels of biodiversity and endemism.
It supports the iconic and Critically Endangered Philippine Eagle, which is threatened by deforestation and a lack of protected areas. Various Endangered rainforest parasitic plants such as Rafflesia Manillana and Coral Plant are found here, as well as threatened amphibians like the Polillo Wrinkled Ground Frog. Wildlife surveys discovered 35 mammal species on the highest peak of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. These include giant fruit bats, civets, wild pigs, deer, giant cloud rats and two species of forest rodents that are new to science.
The main threats to the proposed reserve are illegal timber extraction and wildlife poaching.
Tourism outside of the proposed protected area has fueled a demand for hardwood found in this area. Fortunately, the proposed protected area has, to date, been largely inaccessible because of steep slopes and a lack of roads. However, there are plans to build a road network cutting through the Sierra Madre Mountain Range to increase access into this area, adding to the urgency of declaring this site as a reserve.
There are approximately 4,445 residents in seven villages surrounding the proposed protected area, and nearly half of the population is indigenous.
The local partner will engage the communities through consultations, development trainings, forest guard trainings and by giving them the opportunity to provide input in the planning stages, as they will ultimately be managing the Indigenous Community Conserved Area (ICCA).
Thanks to the support of our board members who cover the majority of our operating expenses, Rainforest Trust is able to allocate 100% of your project donation directly to conservation action.
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