Agusan protects ‘sea to summit’ ecology
(The Philippine Star) - September 2, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The city of Cabadbaran, capital of Agusan del Norte, is taking the lead in protecting and nurturing the sea to summit ecological balance of the province, centering on the 2,012-meter Mt. Hilong-Hilong, Caraga region’s tallest peak.

Hilong-Hilong is considered among the most difficult mountains to climb, suitable only for climbers with intermediate and expert skills. A recent expedition dubbed “Freedom Climb” took climbers three full days to reach the summit.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, the mountain has seven major waterfalls, scores of minor cascades, ancient rock art dating back thousands of years, a carpet of giant white anthuriums and a series of unexplored caves.

It is also the nesting site of the endangered Philippine Eagle, habitat of the Philippine wildcat, flying squirrel, tarsier, and microscopic flower not found anywhere else in the country. The mountain is also home to some 120 different species of birds, 59 of which can be found only in the archipelago.

Hilong-Hilong is also a sanctuary of indigenous frogs, reptiles, mammals and ecologically threatened flora.

A Senate bill proposing that the mountain be declared a National Park because of its rich biodiversity has been filed by Sen. Pia Cayetano.

A SENATE AGUSAN CABADBARAN DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES FREEDOM CLIMB HILONG-HILONG MT. HILONG-HILONG NATIONAL PARK PHILIPPINE EAGLE PIA CAYETANO PROTECTED AREAS AND WILDLIFE BUREAU
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