Mangatarem forest declared protected area in DENR order

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has declared a 4,422.8-hectare forest in Mangatarem, Pangasinan, as part of its national efforts to conserve threatened and endemic wild animals and plants in the country.

Secretary Roy Cimatu issued a DENR administrative order citing the forest area will be called as the Mangatarem Critical Habitat in barangays Cacaoiten, Cabaluyan II, Calomboyan Sur, Lawak Langka, Catarataraan, Pacalat and Malabobo.

“In doing this, we at the DENR can save habitats which are critical for the survival of threatened species or species at risk of extinction, including other associated wildlife, and at the same time provide this land area a legal framework to protect it from destructive uses,” he said.

The habitat is a 4,422.80-hectare forest that serves as home to several threatened and endemic fauna species, including the Philippine deer, Philippine warty pig, Philippine duck, flame-breasted fruit dove, Philippine eagle owl, Luzon scops owl and Rufous hornbill.

Some of the flora species included the threatened oi-ói, kalíngag and malabayábas.

The DENR chief said the order would help the DENR work hand-in-hand with the local government, communities and other stakeholders involved in accomplishing the locally driven ecosystems management approach.

“We need to sustainably manage this certain area, as this is one of the most important and few remaining forest blocks in Pangasinan. Through this, we can both protect the endemic and threatened flora and fauna living in it, while sustaining the ecosystem services and community livelihood dependent on the forest,” he said.

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