Mulanay town in Bondoc Peninsula is now fully living up to its name as the “Museum Municipality of Trees” thanks to a recent floral inventory by the UPLB Museum of Natural History’s Botanical and Forestry Herbaria on February 2 to 9, 2015.

In a partial listing report submitted to the local government unit (LGU) of Mulanay, study lead Michelle Alejado said that during their 5-day inventory, they were able to identify 57 trees, 11 shrubs, 12 herbs and 8 vines within the 284.27-ha Buenavista Protected Landscape (BPL) in Mulanay, Quezon.

“This is the very first listing of flora in this protected landscape, and is very important to the town’s aim to conserve their natural resources,” Alejado, a university researcher and licensed forester said.

The survey team gathered specimens of fertile plant species after taking photos of plants encountered inside the study’s quadrats and transects. The team also surveyed the plants within the vicinity of three cave entrances inside two of the landscape’s three parcels. Collected plants were preserved and brought to the Museum’s herbaria as voucher specimens.

Baseline information on the BPL’s flora is very crucial to the biodiversity conservation and protection of the town’s remaining forests. Much of the municipality’s uplands have been converted to agro-forests and its only intact forest area is within the confines of Mt. Kamhantik, Mulanay’s highest peak.

Despite this, Alejado is positive that the LGU-Mulanay is taking a big step towards ensuring better ecological succession of trees inside the BPL. The LGU had proclaimed itself as a “Museum of Trees Municipality” in 2012 in a bid to further promote sustainable eco-tourism.

“Knowing what to take care inside the protected landscape is the main reason why the LGU asked us to conduct this survey,” Alejado said.

According to Alejado, the diversity of endemic and indigenous species of trees in the BPL will improve if there are less human activities inside the BPL.

“Nature always restores itself,” she said.

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