Leftmost photo: Plot Establishment for the assessment for flora and arthropods Center photo: assessment of arthropods Rightmost photo: Degaui (Saurauia bontocensis) found in the area

Amidst the health restrictions caused by Covid-19, the Watershed and Water Resources Research, Development and Extension Center (WWRRDEC) rendered technical assistance by conducting a terrestrial biodiversity assessment within the forest stand of the Department of Agriculture-Baguio Animal Breeding and Research Center (DA-BABRC) on October 25–27, 2021.

The activity was undertaken in response to the request letter from the OIC, Regional Executive Director of DA-CAR requesting technical assistance for the conduct of an inventory and identification of plants and animal species present at the BABRC.

The DA has requested the assessment because they were informed that the last mossy oak forest in the City of Baguio is found within their area and they were encouraged to ensure the protection of the biodiverse environment of the center.

Thus, Foresters Rej Winlove M. Bungabong, Janice B. Otana, and Anabelle B. Tulic conducted the assessment of their forest reservation in the area. Random sampling using the 20 x 20m quadrat was established for the flora and arthropod assessment.

On the other hand, the documentation of other terrestrial fauna species covers only those observed and encountered during the survey.

During the assessment, avifaunal species like Philippine pygmy woodpecker, red crossbill, brown shrike, Philippine bulbul, turquoise flycatcher, and grey wagtail were seen and documented in the area.

Proof of the existence of Philippine Hanging Parrot/Colasisi (Loriculus philippensis), classified to be endemic and critically endangered (DENR DAO 2019-09) was also noted.

Floral species, such as kalingag (Cinnamomum mercadoi S. Vidal), deguai (Saurauia bontocensis Merr.), wild rose (Rosa luciae), tree fern (Cyathea contaminans), and jade vine (Strongylodon sp.) which are also listed as threatened based on DENR DAO 2017-11 can still be found thriving in the area.

These indicate that the forest stands in the area harbor various species of flora and fauna species that need to be protected, preserve and conserved.

The result of the assessment could also serve as a groundwork for monitoring ecological changes and designing appropriate management strategies in the BABRC area. Janice Otana, WWRRDEC