DENR-7: Alien species invade nat'l park in Negros Oriental
- Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Philippine Star) - June 19, 2012 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The DENR-7 has confirmed that at least 14 alien species have successfully invaded the 8,016.05-hectare Balinsasayao Twin Lakes National Park, which straddles three towns in Negros Oriental.

This was the initial results of the DENR-7’s recent three-day inventory or status of invasive alien species (IAS) within the national park.

The inventory was done after the Invasive Species Specialist Group’s global invasive database (GISD) listed 47 alien species that have been introduced to the Philippines and identified seven worst invasive plant species.

Of the 14 invasive alien species identified by the DENR-7 in Negros Oriental, three were fish species and 11 were plant species. Among the fish species found in Balinsasayao lakes were tilapia (Tilapia mossambica), mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) and carp (Cyprinus carpio).

DENR-7 regional executive director Isabelo Montejo, in a press statement furnished to The Freeman said many alien species have successfully invaded natural and human-altered habitats through premeditated and unintentional introductions.

Invasive alien species are species introduced deliberately or unintentionally outside their natural habitats where they have the ability to establish themselves, invade, outcompete and take over the new environments.

“Balinsasayao Twin Lakes is a natural park which is a relatively large area not materially altered by human activity where extractive resource uses are not allowed and maintained to protect outstanding natural and scenic areas of national or international significance for scientific, educational and recreational use,” Montejo said.

Montejo said the IAS can negatively impact biodiversity, species extirpation and even extinction, soil degradation or erosion, and reduce productivity in forestry, agricultural, and fishing sectors.

“DENR Secretary Ramon Paje has given us instructions to continue in the conduct of the inventory particularly those proclaimed protected areas,” he said.

Ecosystems Research and Development Services biologist Regie Bueno, forester Ambrosio Villanueva, Alex Villanueva and two park aides conducted the inventory from June 13 to 15.

The Balinsasayao Twin Lakes, known as the habitat of rare birds and animals, have been proclaimed a protected area under Presidential Proclamation No. 414 dated November 21, 2000. These are situated in the towns of Valencia, Sibulan and San Jose in Negros Oriental, under the category of natural park.

ALEX VILLANUEVA AMBROSIO VILLANUEVA BALINSASAYAO TWIN LAKES BALINSASAYAO TWIN LAKES NATIONAL PARK ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES INVASIVE SPECIES SPECIALIST GROUP ISABELO MONTEJO MONTEJO NEGROS ORIENTAL PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION NO SPECIES
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