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Species Richness and Endemism of Amphibians along the Riparian System of Clarin River, Misamis Occidental, Philippines

Emmarie F. Mapi-ot, Clifford P. Bendoy, Magdalene Mae d. S. Palacio

Taking into account that amphibians are very good indicators of ecosystem health, a study of frog and toad species diversity was conducted along the riparian environment of Clarin River, Misamis Occidental Province, Philippines. We used visual encounter surveys to determine species richness of amphibians present in the area. With an initial goal of establishing a baseline about amphibian species diversity in this river drainage, we conducted surveys that resulted in records documenting the occurrence of twelve species in ten genera and five families. Seven species (58.33%) are endemic to the archipelago; these additionally include a Mindanao Faunal Region endemic, Pulchrana grandocula and two Mindanao Island endemics, Ansonia muelleri and Ansonia mcgregori. Among the recorded endemic species, three are classified as “Vulnerable” to extinction. The highest species richness (N=8) and calculated species diversity (H’=1.829) were recorded at sampling Site Two (midstream). Threats to amphibian population persistence in the Clarin River drainage include anthropogenic disturbances such as land conversion and overhunting for human subsistence. The presence of endemic and formally classified endangered species indicates the need to protect this riparian system as an important habitat resource for endemic western Mindanao amphibian populations.

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