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Calamian Deer Conservation Programme

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Calamian DeerThe Calamian Deer Conservation Programme was initiated in 1992, and has since been working to conserve this endangered species and its habitats. This programme complements the Calamian Islands Biodiversity Conservation Programme, which aims to conserve this distinct sub-centre of endemism within the Palawan faunal region. The Calamian Deer (Axis calamianensis) is one of the endemic species restricted to this group of islands, where it can now only be found in fewer than five locations. Recreational and bushmeat hunting as well as the lack of proper reserves within the ranges of this deer continue to threaten its survival.

Field Research and Development of Protected Areas

Biological surveys on Busuanga and Culion Islands were conducted in 2010. Although, large mammals were not surveyed during this expedition, the impressive bird, herptile and mammal diversity recorded, including several new records for the islands, have been presented to the Local Government Unit (LGU) and communities to motivate the implementation of conservation programmes. Records of regional endemics such as the Palawan Pangolin, Palawan Porcupine, Palawan Stink Badger, Palawan Spiny Rat, Culion Tree Squirrel and Palawan Bearded Pig, as well as possible new species of a climbing tree mouse and insect bats raise the conservation importance of the Calamian Islands.

Field surveys also resulted in the proposal of Local Conservation Areas (LCAs) to the key stakeholders and members of the Municipal Council of Busuanga. PBCFI is following up on this proposal.

The current status and population trends of the Calamian Deer still need to be monitored.

Education and Awareness

Results of biodiversity surveys and conservation status of the Calamianes group of islands were presented during the 1st Coron Encvironmental Summit conference-workshop. Participants included representatives from the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR), hotel and resort owners, local tribes, LGU and NGOs.

There are also plans to initiate a conservation education programme using the Calamian Deer as a flagship species, especially for addressing the bushmeat trade.