Museum researchers led by Director Juan Carlos T. Gonzalez and extension specialist Florante A. Cruz again provided technical assistance to the local government unit of Sta. Teresita, Cagayan by surveying the biodiversity of areas targeted by the town for development as ecotourism spots. The museum team is composed of people with expertise in birds, bats, insects and other wildlife, geology and development communication.

The team were in Sta. Teresita town from 27-29 February and visited Bangalau Lake, Tabaco, Bangalau, Ari-Zero and Maquera Caves located in three barangays. Sta. Teresita is dominated by karst landscapes and is home to at least 60 caves, waters of which drain to the lake where bakong (Hanguana malayana), an aquatic plant the town has tapped for their fiber-based cottage industries excellently thrives. Sta. Teresita is also a migratory stop for quite a number of birds which start to arrive every month of September.

Museum researchers were able to conduct visual observations and listed interesting wildlife in the visited areas. They were also able to bring back to UPLB several specimens from caves and their immediate vicinities for further identification and inclusion to the Museum's collections.

The team will be providing the LGU, as well as the DENR Regional Office in Tuguegarao, Cagayan and CENR Office in Aparri, Cagayan with the baseline information in a report. The report can be used by the Regional Cave Assessment Team to update to update the town's biodiversity lists and classify/reclassify the caves as required by RA No. 9072 - National Caves and Cave Resources Management and Protection Act.


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