The composition of DENR-Apo Reef Natural Park- Protected Area Office (DENR-ARNP-PAO), was recently reorganized and it is now managed by a new set of officers and staff. To strengthen the capacity of the park rangers and support staff in the conduct of quarterly biodiversity monitoring, the PAO organized the Apo Reef Natural Park Biodiversity Monitoring System (BMS) and Wildlife Identification Training with the technical assistance from MBCFI.

On April 4-7, 2017, Mr. Geoff Tabaranza, RESEARCH Program Manager attended the 1st leg of trainings in ARNP Ranger Station, Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.

A total of twenty (20) participants from DENR–ARNP-PAO, local government unit and Philippine National Police of Sablayan, went to the island for a four (4)-day training. They discussed the 1) NIPAS ACT, 2) Biodiversity Monitoring Methods, 3) Photodocumentation for Landscape/Habitat and Wildlife Species, and 4) Wildlife Identification.

As part of the practicum, they conducted a transect walk and a total of thirty-two (32) bird species were found and identified during the identification exercise on bird species.

On the last day of the training, a post-training exam was given to the participants with a result of sixty-five (65) percent accuracy in species identification. The training strengthened the rangers’ ability to identify birds and other wildlife species in ARNP and record in systematic manner for proper documentation and analysis.

On May 17-19, 2017, Dr. Leticia Afuang, a trustee of MBCFI, attended the 2nd Leg of trainings which was also conducted in Apo Reef Natural Park. They discussed the Monitoring Methods and Identification of herpetofauna which includes reptiles and amphibians. They were able to capture, observe, measure, and release a snake, 2 species of geckos, a skink and a common house lizard.