Species Richness And Endemism Of Anurans In Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape, South Cotabato, Philippines
Anurans (frogs and toads)have high percentage of endemism in the Philippines. This study was conducted from August to December 2013 in six sampling sites of Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape (MMPL), South Cotabato to determine the species richness, diversity, and endemism of anurans. Cruising method was done at different elevations in disturbed and undisturbed sites of Mt. Matutum. Biodiversity indices, similarity index, and Kruskal-Wallis test were determined using Paleontological Statistics Software Package (PAST) version 3.06. Thirteen species of anurans belonging to six families and eight genera with high percentage of endemism (76.92%) were documented. High species diversity with more or less even distribution was recorded in MMPL. Among the sites sampled, site 2, a disturbed montane forest had the highest species richness, diversity, and endemism. The Philippine endemic species, Oreophryneanulata, wasthe most abundant. Seven species of anurans are threatened and are all endemic with six under the vulnerable status and one with endangered status. Sites 3 and 6 had the highest similarity percentage (88%) as shown by the Bray-Curtis cluster analysis while Kruskal-Wallis test showed no significant differences between samples in disturbed and undisturbed sites. Conversion of forest to farmland and hunting was observed as one of the threats to the endemic and threatened anuran species in Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape. Results indicate the need to conserve the anurans of MMPL through the protection of habitats.
Keywords: Endangered, Endemic, Frogs, Montane Forest, Toads