The scientific community mourns the loss of one of the best field biologists in the Philippines -- Danilo “Danny” Balete.

Balete is known for his work on the taxonomy and conservation of Philippine mammals. Through decades of scientific work, he has described and co-described more than half of the known small mammals of the country. The discoveries he has been part of has put the island of Luzon as the center of mammalian diversity in the world.

Danny, as he is fondly called, is a friend to almost everyone. Although he has the reputation of being too strict, straight-forward and, at times, unreasonably mataray, the people he has worked with would also attest to his keen attention to small details.

Never accepting mediocrity, he has lived with an admirably high set of standards and devoted most of his life as a research associate studying specimens at the Field Museum in Chicago. For four to six months a year he would stay at the Field Museum and do fieldwork in the Philippines for the rest of the year. His fieldworks have enabled him to set foot on almost every Philippine island.

His knowledge and skills are beyond anything else. He has named not just mammals but also plants and other animals. He has discovered several species of Rafflesia and has been honored with another species (R. baletei) named after him. His eyes are indeed keen, his meticulous observations has lead to outstanding discoveries.

Danny has served as the guest speaker during the 40th anniversary of the UPLB Museum of Natural History. During the program, he recalled his work at the Museum back when he was still an undergraduate at UPLB under the BS Zoology program. We remember how he highlighted the importance of natural history collections in unravelling the rich biodiversity of the country.

The country has not just lost a scientist but a friend and colleague who has significantly contributed to the current conservation of Philippine biodiversity. He mentored a number of students who has been successful also in the field of biodiversity and conservation. We are in remorse, for surely, we know that he would have been able to have done more.

The UPLB Museum of Natural History family extends its condolences to Danny's bereaved family and the whole scientific community for the loss of a dear friend and colleague

Danny, you will always be remembered for all your contributions.


Planning a visit? Locate us here