Species and Ecosystem Diversity in Protected Areas

Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWS)

In the Agusan Marsh, 28 species of flowering plants and three species of ferns were found (Davies, 1993).

A total of 102 bird species were identified. An endemic species recorded was the oriental darter, Anhinga melanogaster, which is very rare in the Philippines. Another was the purple heron, Ardea purpurea, which probably breeds in the area as evidenced by the numerous juveniles observed. There is a high diversity of the Family Columbidae and a high population level of waterbirds, especially the wandering whistling duck, Dendrocygna arcuata. These indicate that Agusan Marsh is a very important center of bird diversity.

Only ten freshwater fish species, among which are Poecilla reticulata, Cyprinus carpio, Puntuis sp., Channa striata, Clarias batrachus and Anabas testudineus, were identified.

Two crocodile species, Crocodylus porosus and C. mindorensis were found in the vast herbaceous swamp and edges of the swamp forest. The predominant species is the Crocodylus porosus.

Seven species of snake including the reticulated python, Python reticulatus and the Philippine cobra, Naja naja, are recorded.

Mammalian species such as pteropodid bats, squirrels, viverrids, wild pigs, rats and macaques, Macaca fascicularis, were also reported.

Sixty-five species of butterflies, including three relatively rare species, Papilio antonio, Graphium cordus and G. idaeoides, were collected.