Species Richness and Microhabitats of Anurans in Caves of Agusan Del Sur, Philippinnes
The Philippines is home to a diverse group of anurans, however, cave anurans in the country is poorly known. In this study, eight caves in Agusan del Sur were surveyed using modified cruising method to determine anuran species richness, endemism, microhabitats, and identify the threats to anurans and caves of Agusan del Sur. Sampling was done following the modified cruising method. Paleontological Statistics software version 2.17c was used to calculate biodiversity indices and do seriation analysis. Four species were collected of which three species (75%) are endemic. Wilderness Cave had the highest species richness and Platymantis corrugatus was only found in this cave. Platymantis sp. is the most abundant species and was observed inhabiting only the ground microhabitat in the different zones of four caves. Seriation analysis showed that there are two species inhabiting the ground microhabitat. Threats to caves were observed such as vandalism, improper garbage disposal, treasure hunting, and bird’s nest and guano collection. These anthropogenic disturbances may lead to cave microhabitat destruction which could negatively affect anurans. The existence of endemic anurans in caves indicates the need to conserve these particular caves where the endemic species are found.
Keywords— Biodiversity, Endemic, Guano, Platymantis.