Around fifty personnel from the 13 regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as well as the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) are now attending a "Training on Wildlife Conservation and Management: Species Identification, Handling and Management Techniques of Amphibians and Reptiles with the assistance of curators, staff and students affiliated with the UPLB Museum of Natural History (MNH).

The training, being held by the DENR-BMB with the generous funding support of the USAID Wildlife Protect Project, commenced last 31 July at the SEAMEO-SEARCA headquarters here in UPLB, College, Laguna will conclude in two weeks.

Learning modules for the training focus on biodiversity and threats to Philippine amphibians and reptiles, diagnostic characterization and techniques in identifying species, handling of threatened species and government policies and programs in wildlife conservation and management. The modules were developed by Dr. Leticia E. Afuang, curator of herpetofauna at the UPLB MNH and associate professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences, UPLB, College, Laguna. Dr. Afuang is also a member of the Philippine Red List Committee for Terrestrial Fauna of the DENR.

The two-week training includes series of lectures, demonstrations and practical exercises, field collection and data gathering at selected sites in Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, processing of specimens at the UPLB MNH, observational trips at the Philippine National Museum of Natural History and Avilon Zoo, participatory workshops, pre- and post-activity competency/knowledge tests.

Aside from Dr. Afuang, other expert resource persons includde Dr. Arvin C. Diesmos of PNMNH, Emmanuel Rafael of Avilon Zoo; Emerson Sy of Philippine Center for Terrestrial and Aquatic Research; Atty. Edward G. Lorenzo of USAID Protect Wildlife Project; and Josefina L. Dizon and Nermalie M. Lita of the DENR-BMB.


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