pame rediscovered butterflyStriped Ringlet. Photo: Berthold SchirmThe Striped Ringlet, a butterfly which can be found only in the eastern island province of Catanduanes, Philippines was first discovered by a biologist in 1982. However, in the 2012 Philippine butterfly checklist, this butterfly species was not listed because scientists had no records of the species that year. Thanks to the team of Catanduanes Sustainable Ecosystems Development, Inc. (EcoDev), headed by lead biologist Dr. Estrella S. Placides and field researchers team leader, Ms. Shiela B. Conche, the Striped Ringlet has found its way back to the official listings.

EcoDev is a non-government organization (NGO) based in Catanduanes which is working in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and provincial and local government units to implement conservation activities in Catanduanes Watershed Forest Reserve (CWFR), a protected area. The existence of Striped Ringlets and at least eight other species have been reconfirmed by the team in 2016 next to the village of Summit P. Vera. These were tagged as a new locality record in the reserve.

The area around Summit P. Vera serves as one of the sites for the Biodiversity Monitoring System of EcoDev. The NGO utilizes the results of the biodiversity assessment to support the Protected Area Management Board in updating the protected area management plan and in conducting awareness-raising campaigns in schools. They use the special butterfly species they found in Catanduanes as mascots for posters and slogan-making contests.

Last year, the DENR, provincial and local government units, and EcoDev together with Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento of the Lone District of Catanduanes drafted a national bill for consideration in the Philippine Congress to declare the watershed forest reserve as Catanduanes National Park. The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH is supporting the conservation of the forest reserve in cooperation with DENR and EcoDev through the Protected Area Management Enhancement (PAME) Project. The project is funded through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Environment Ministry (BMUB). Its goal is to increase management effectiveness of not only one protected area such as this forest reserve, but to support more than 60 other protected areas all over the country. (PAME/ Berthold Schirm, Project Principal Adviser)

  

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