SUAKCREM Spots SU’s Wildlife-Friendly Areas, 11 Butterflies
The A.Y. Reyes Zoological and Botanical Garden, which hosts the Center for Tropical Conservation Studies, is the most habitable for wildlife among three afforested areas on the 62-hecatre Silliman campus.
This conclusion was drawn in a research entitled “Wildlife Habitat Assessment of the Afforested Campus of Silliman University, Dumaguete City, Philippines” by Dr. Ely Alcala, Abner Bucol, Reynaldo Tababa and Ella Mae Balancar of the Silliman University Angelo King Center for Research and Environmental Management (SUAKCREM), Negros State College of Agriculture and the Biology Department.
The habitability of the area was attributed to high plant diversity which attracted more animals.
Aside from the A.Y. Reyes Zoological and Botanical Garden, the study which was conducted September 2011 to June 2012, also took samples in the Mangrove Garden located at the Dr. Angel Alcala Environment and Marine Science Laboratories and the roadside plantations of the main campus.
The main campus, where the academic buildings are, was found to be the least inhabited. The researchers listed low number of plant species, relatively high human disturbance and few habitats as the reasons why only few wildlife animals settled in the area.
Three vertebrate taxa have been the focus of the study namely, aviafauna (birds), mammal fauna and herpetofauna (reptiles and frogs).
In order to get samples for the animals, mist nets were set across feeding trees to capture bats, binoculars were used to observe birds, and day and night searchers were conducted to look for arboreal and ground species, and frogs and other herpetofauna. For the plant samples, the researchers measured the trees with their diameter and breast height, and while poles, saplings and wildlings with their height and growth heights.
Meanwhile, SUAKCREM also released a report indicating 11 species of butterflies thriving on the campus. These are the Great Orange tip (Hebomoia glaucippe), Red Mormon (Papilio rumanzovia), Golden birdwing (Troides rhadamanthus), Common Mime (Chilasa clytia), Green Banded Peacock (Papilio palinurus), Common bluebottle/blue triangle (Papilio sarpedon), Lime butterfly / Chequered butterfly (Papilio demoleus), Tailed jay / Green spotted triangle (Graphium agamemnon), Papilio alphenor, Psyche (Leptosia nina), and PalmKing (Amathusia phidippus).
The SUAKCREM, headed by Dr. Alcala, is looking at generating posters containing photos of these butterflies that cohabitate with plants on the Silliman campus.