DOST-PCAARRD and UP Diliman start program to protect fruit bats

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – To protect bats and their habitats, understanding their basic ecological requirements is absolutely necessary. A program titled, “From Genes to Ecosystems: Understanding Fruit Bat Species and Genetic Diversity and Their Ecological Interactions with Plants in Tropical Lowland Forests,” addresses this concern.

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) funded the said program.

Although fruit bats have a dynamic ecological role in maintaining our tropical lowland forests, information on fruit bat species and their genetic diversity is very limited.

The program kicked off with an inception meeting at the PCAARRD complex recently.

Led by Dr. Perry S. Ong of the University of the Philippines Diliman, the program aims to generate more knowledge on fruit bats, resulting in the development of science-based solutions and strategies on how to better manage these biological resources and ultimately their conservation. This research program will be conducted in the intact tropical lowland forests in Palanan, Isabela, one of the most endangered forest ecosystems in the country and elsewhere.

The inception meeting served as a venue for the project team to present the program’s major accomplishments, workplan, budgetary requirements and expected outputs. Other updates on the recent activities of the program and its major accomplishments were also presented. The meeting also allowed the implementing agency (UPD) and PCAARRD as the monitoring and funding agency to weigh in the issues surrounding the program.

Serving as PCAARRD’s Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) Manager for Climate Change, Dr. Engelbert R. Lalican from the Forestry and Environment Research Division (FERD) presented the Guidelines Governing PCAARRD-GIA and PCAARRD-Monitored DOST-GIA Funded Programs and Projects. FERD Officer-In-Charge Dr. Leila C. America, together with For. Faustina C. Baradas, ISP Manager for Cacao and Watershed, clarified issues and concerns pertaining to the implementation of the project.