Museum curator for small mammals Prof. Phillip A. Alviola, junior researcher James DV. Alvarez and two former MNH thesis students in the persons of Frex Dimaculangan and Daniel Dave Bernaldez represented the Museum during the 4th Southeast Asian Bat Conferene (SEABCO) held last 6-9 August 2018 at the L'Fisher Hotel, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

SEABCO 2018 is an international conference initiated by the Southeast Asian Bat Conservation and Research Unit (SEABCRU) in partnership with the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PBCFI). The conference convened bat researchers, experts, conservationists and students from over 14 countries worldwide, mostly from the southeast Asian region.

The conference included student and expert presentations on seven different themes: species diversity and monitoring surveys, cave bat ecology and conservation, bats in disturbed landscapes, acoustics, bat-plant interactions and flying fox conservation, bat-arthropod interactions, and taxonomy, systematics and evolution. Posters on different aspects of bat taxonomy and ecology were also presented.

Oral presentations

MNH's curator, researcher and students presented four oral papers during the conference. Prof. Phillip A. Alviola presented the "Seasonal variation in bat diversity and abundance in Puting Bato Cave Complex, Polillo Island" which highlighted the result of a series of cave surveys he has conducted in the island. Meanwhile, James DV. Alvarez presented his research on the ecology of insectivorous bats in Sibuyan Island, which was part of his graduate research at UP Los Banos.

Two former thesis students of the Museum presented their undergraduate researches. Frex Dimaculangan reported on the 4-month monitoring of a bat roost in Mt. Makiling while Daniel Dave Bernaldez discussed on ectoparasite reinfestation rates in a bat roost at located at the National Crop Protection Center in UPLB.

A graduate student from the University of Florida was recognized as the best paper presenter. UPLB alumna and Prince of Songkla University graduate student CE Nuevo won second place while UPLB Environmental Science PhD student Sherryl Paz placed third.

In poster paper competition, Alvarez garners 2nd

Prof. Alviola presented a poster on the cave-dwelling bats of Polillo Island while James Alvarez presented two posters on the echolocation calls of rhinolophid and hipposiderid bats and on a communication strategy to promote bats on rice ecosystems. The latter was conducted by former students from the College of Development Communication in partnership with Mr. Alvarez. In the poster paper competitions Alvarez won 2nd place behind student researchers from UP Mindanao. A delegate from Myanmar garnered the 3rd prize.

Other conference activities

The conference also became a venue to develop research and conservation programs and priorities for the Philippines especially on flying fox trade and hunting. Several workshops were held to contribute to the national efforts to protect bats and biodiversity in general.

SEABCRU is a network that connects different sectors in streamlining and advancing bat research and conservation in the region. SEABCO started in 2007 with the main goal of convening bat experts in the region and facilitate information exchange and foster partnership and collaboration.

 Photos courtesy of Dave Bernaldez and Godfrey Jakosalem

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