|Categories||Biodiversity, Cetaceans, Marine|
|Date||7 Dec 2018|
The Babuyan Marine Corridor is the only known breeding ground of humpback whales in the Philippines. Whales breeding in this area are part of a distinct population segment of the western North Pacific humpback whales. This subpopulation has been shown to have low abundance numbers and are subjected to threats throughout its range, making it a population of conservation concern. Our work in the past has indicated that the whales exhibit fidelity to this site and it could be a preferred nursery area. With its high marine biodiversity, the importance of this area to the lives of island residents and coastal communities around the corridor is unquestionable.
Strengthening the newly established marine protected area in Camiguin Island and expanding it to the originally proposed Marine Protected and Humpback Whale Conservation Area is important to ensure the conservation of this marine key biodiversity area. This is the first and only long-term study on a cetacean species in the Philippines and where international collaboration shows great promise in contributing to a better understanding of a threatened migratory species. With increased survey effort and expanded research collaboration, enhanced data will increase the understanding of the habitat-use, movements and site-fidelity of humpback whales in the northern Philippines. The local stakeholders’ capacity to manage their marine protected area will be enhanced through a training-workshop while marker and mooring buoys will be installed to strengthen its protection. A marine resources-use assessment will also be conducted to provide additional data that will enhance the management plan for the Marine Protected and Humpback Whale Conservation Area (MPHWCA). An integrated educational outreach program targeting schools on the islands, the mainland schools along the corridor coast, and the greater Filipino public will be implemented to increase local awareness on the importance of the conservation of the entire Babuyan Marine Corridor ecosystem.
Read about Jo's previous project https://www.rufford.org/projects/jo_marie_acebes_1 or for more information contact: