During the World Wildlife Day celebration held at the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, USAID formally awarded its assistance to the first batch of graduate studies on biodiversity and wildlife conservation in the Philippines.
The five recipients are graduate students from the University of the Philippines in Diliman (UPD), University of the Philippines in Los Banos (UPLB) and University of Santo Tomas (UST). Their studies will tackle the species and population diversity of Philippine fruit bats; assess the Capisaan cave system, which is one of the longest in the Philippines; explore possible use of native metallophytes in restoring mined-out areas; study the diversity of the Rafflesiaceae family; and investigate potential cryptic diversity of the Philippine pit viper.
As part of its initiative under the Protect Wildlife project to intensify conservation research in the Philippines, USAID invites graduate students to pitch their approved thesis and dissertation proposals that focus on conserving threatened species and habitats in the Philippines. Successful proponents can avail of funding worth as much as US$5,500 to help implement their research projects. (PWP/ Lawrence San Diego)