Thirty-four students (34) taking up Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu sought assistance from the Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC) in the conduct of vegetation and faunal assessment within the secondary forest of the Experimental Forest Station in Camp 7, Minglanilla, Cebu on February 11, 2018. Joining the biology class were two (2) students also from USC taking up Masters of Science in Biology major in Entomology. Prior to field work, students attended a brief orientation on the mandate of the ERDB-BCWERC including the safety measures in the conduct of field assessment.
Students formed eight groups and established a point-centered quarter method of four (4) - 20m X 20m quadrats. There were two (2) groups assigned per quadrat. The group gathered the data/parameters required that included litter fall/detritus and physio-chemical characteristics of the assessed areas.
The said activity led to the discovery of the existence of Cynometra cebuensis. According to Mr. Val Alares, the species is locally known as ‘nipot-nipot’ and believed to be endemic in Cebu. Mr. Alares, one of the USC MSc students who led in the vegetation assessment spotted the location of the said plant. Activities also include photo documentation and locating the plant species geographical coordinates by means of geo-tagging. Plant specimens were also collected subject for verification by the proper authority. During the activity, students also revealed to have encountered two juvenile Cynometra cebuensis while BCWERC staff similarly observed two saplings. C.V. Rallos, BCWERC