DENR moves to save PH deer, warty pig, duck from extinction

Published February 18, 2021, 3:24 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

A forest in Pangasinan that serves as home to threatened animals such as the Philippine deer and Philippine warty pig has been declared as a “critical habitat” by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).


Under the DENR Administrative Order (DAO) recently signed by Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, the forest area in Mangatarem town, Pangasinan will be called the Mangatarem Critical Habitat. It is located in barangays Cacaoiten, Cabaluyan II, Calomboyan Sur, Lawak Langka, Catarataraan, Pacalat, and Malabobo.

“In doing this, we at the DENR can save habitats which are critical for the survival of threatened species or species at risk of extinction, including other associated wildlife, and at the same time provide this land area a legal framework to protect it from destructive uses,” Cimatu said.

Mangatarem Critical Habitat is a 4,422.80-hectare forest that serves as home to several threatened and endemic fauna species including Philippine deer (Rusa marianna), Philippine warty pig (Sus philippensis), Philippine duck (Anas luzonica), Flame-breasted fruit dove (Ptilinopus marchei), Philippine eagle owl (Bubo philippensis), Luzon scops owl (Otus longicornis), and Rufous hornbill (Buceros hydrocorax).

Flora species also include the threatened oi-ói (Diospyros philippinensis), kalíngag (Cinnamomum mercadoi), malabayábas (Tristaniopsis decorticata), among others.

Cimatu said the DAO will help the DENR work hand-in-hand with the local government, communities and other stakeholders involved in accomplishing the locally-driven ecosystems management approach.

“We need to sustainably manage this certain area, as this is one of the most important and few remaining forest blocks in Pangasinan. Through this, we can both protect the endemic and threatened flora and fauna living in it, while sustaining the ecosystem services and community livelihood dependent on the forest,” he explained.

The management of the newly-designated critical habitat shall be shared by DENR-Region I (Ilocos Region) with the local government of Mangatarem and stakeholders.

Mangatarem Critical Habitat is the ninth area to be included on the list of declared critical habitats across the country.

The others are Rafflesia schadenbergiana Critical Habitat, Cabusao Wetland Critical Habitat, Malasi Tree Park and Wildlife Sanctuary Critical Habitat, Carmen Critical Habitat, Adams Wildlife Critical Habitat, Magsaysay Critical Habitat for Hawksbill Turtles, Cleopatra’s Needle Critical Habitat, and Dumaran Critical Habitat.