Invasive, alien plant species identified in Mt. Kitanglad

MALAYBALAY CITY – A team from the Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the University of the
Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) has identified species considered as “invasive”
and “alien” to the Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park in Bukidnon.

Invasive alien species, the DENR said, are plants, animals, pathogens and
other organisms that are not originally from the ecosystem that may cause
economic or environmental harm or adversely affect human health.

The team visited two sites in Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park – the
Cinchona Reserve in Lantapan, Bukidnon and Barangay Imbayao in Malaybalay
City.

Found in the park’s Cinchona Reserve are Lantana, Buyo-buyo, Mahogany,
mile-a-minute, African Tulip and Caliandra. In Imbayao, the team found
Lantana, Buyo-buyo, Mahogany, mile-a-minute, African Tulip, Mosisi,
Gapas-gapas and Caliandra.

Felix Mirasol, community environment and natural resources officer, said the
team has yet to come up with an action plan about it.

According to the DENR, the team was conducting preparatory activity in the
identification of potential pilot area for a project on the management of
invasive species in the forests of Southeast Asia.

The project is also being conducted in Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

A post at the DENR’s web site said that the invasive and alien species may
“impact adversely upon biodiversity, including decline or elimination of
native species – through competition, predation, or transmission of
pathogens – and the disruption of local ecosystems and ecosystem functions.”

The DENR said the identification of alien invasive species is part of the
international commitment of the Philippine government in the protection of
forests in Southeast Asia.

The other potential sites in the Philippines for the project, the DENR said,
include Maasim Watershed in Iloilo and Sibalom Natural Park in Antique; Mt.
Isarog in Naga City; Bataan Roosevelt Natural Park in Bataan; and Lake Sebu
in South Cotabato. (Walter I. Balane)

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