The DENR Caraga supports Rufous hornbill, Rafflesia, and Goby as the three icon species in Lake Mainit Key Biodiversity Area (LMKBA) for protection and conservation.
DENR-13 Protected Area, Biodiversity and Eco-tourism Chief Josephine L. Araojo said that the three icon species of LMKBA were identified to be significant according to the current biological study conducted in the area.
“Based on the result of the biological assessment and the environmental and economic significance of the three species, the hornbill, rafflesia and goby were selected as the icon flora and fauna species in Lake Mainit”, Araojo said. “The Rufous hornbill (Buceros hydrocorax), a bird locally called “kalaw” is found in the mountainous areas of Zapanta Valley, Bangayan, Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte. It is classified as vulnerable specie by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The hornbill is called the mountain clock,” she added.
Araojo said that Rafflesia (Rafflesia mixta) is one of the largest flowers in the world. It is found thriving at the mountain of Cantugas, Mainit, Surigao del Norte. This specie is said to be a mixture of other species and classified as critically endangered by IUCN.
Goby (Glossogobius giuris), a fish locally called as “Pidjanga” or “Pijanga” is endemic in Lake Mainit. “This fish specie has significant economic importance because of its abundance in the lake ecosystem. The goby is the lifeblood of the lake fishers and could be a legitimate symbol of the Lake Mainit,” Araojo said.
The LMKBA as one of the geographic area has identified these important flora and fauna as their priority or icon species for conservation. LMKBA is one of the key biodiversity areas (KBA) in the world and a recipient of the Biodiversity Partnerships Projects (BPP) funded by the United Nations Development Program – Global Environment Facility (UNDP-GEF) through the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau and DENR-13 Protected Area, Biodiversity and Eco-tourism as the responsible partner and implemented by Lake Mainit Development Alliance (LMDA).
DENR and LMDA are lobbying to all municipalities within the KBA to adopt the icon species and install mechanism including fund allocation to ensure their safety and support sustainable management and biodiversity conservation within the eight LGUs political jurisdiction. (Johny S. Natad)