‘Ark of biodiversity’: Rundown of animals living in Masungi Georeserve

February 28, 2023 - 3:48 PM
Composite photo of the Luzon Hornbill and the Golden Birdwing Butterfly, two endemic species of animals, in Masungi Georeserve Foundation (masungigeoreserve/Instagram)

The Masungi Georeserve is one of the few remaining karst landscapes in the country that serves as home to hundreds of flora and fauna.

This information was published on the Masungi Georeserve Foundation‘s social media accounts last week amid the bid to preserve the heritage site from destruction.

Citing a technical report from the National Museum of the Philippines, the organization informed the public that the conservation area is called a “karst landscape.” It is also estimated to be millions of years old.

National Geographic defines karst or a karst landscape as “an area of land made up of limestone.”

This type of limestone-filled landscape also features different land and water formations. These include “caves, underground streams and sinkholes on the surface.”

“Where erosion has worn away the land above ground, steep rocky cliffs are visible,” the National Geographic said.

In the post, the foundation said that karsts are known as “arks of biodiversity” where flora and fauna thrive.

To offer a glimpse into how diverse the Masungi Georserve is, it cited that it has 500 documented species of animals.

These include the following:

  • 97 species of birds
  • 47 species of snails
  • 30 species of bats

The foundation attached photos of several animals that are endemic to the Philippines.

These are:

  • Luzon Tarictic Hornbill
  • Masungi Microsnail
  • Mottle-winged Flying Fox
  • Golden Birdwing Butterfly

This area of biodiversity in Baras, Rizal is seen as an alleged relocation site for the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) under the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) despite being critical to the country’s ecological sustainability in the future.

READ: Masungi Georeserve alarmed over BuCor inspection for Bilibid plans

In a statement on February 20, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla expressed hopes that part of this land, home to endemic species of flora and fauna, would be used by the government.

“Ang mahalaga lang sa Masungi ay ma-preserve ‘yan ngunit ‘yong bang lupa na hindi nagagamit, ay magamit naman ng gobyerno,” Remulla was quoted in a report as saying.

Several environmental advocates, including Justin of SB19, have later voiced out their calls to preserve the area to be appreciated and enjoyed by future generations.

Fans can watch the vlog here.

RELATED: ‘Save Mother Earth’: SB19 Justin plants trees with fans on 24th birthday

In a new petition, the foundation appealed to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga for help in opposing the BuCor plan, to preserve the award-winning geotourism site.

READ: Masungi Georeserve wins international environmental award for innovative ‘geotourism’ 

“In pursuit of sustainable development and climate change adaptation, let us keep Masungi as it is and find more suitable locations for BuCor’s needs. #HandsOffMasungi,” the petition reads.

Concerned Filipinos can help save Masungi Georeserve and sign the #HandsoffMasungi petition here: PBBM and DENR Sec Toni: Stop BuCor in Masungi! #HandsOffMasungi | BATARIS.