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ASAP Partner, Talarak Foundation Inc., is based on Negros Island in the Central Philippines and works to provide the long-term protection of threatened and rare Philippine biodiversity through conservation programmes. Recently, they organised and hosted the Western Visayas Conservation Workshop to develop a multi-species conservation strategy to identify the main conservation needs and recommended conservation approach for five key species endemic to the region. Of these, three are ASAP species: the Visayan Warty Pig Sus cebifrons, Rufous-headed Hornbill Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni and Negros Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba keayi.

The Negros Bleeding-heart is one of the 3 ASAP Species that benefited from the workshop. © Talarak Foundation Inc.

Read more about the workshop in the article they have kindly written for us below.

Visit their website to find out more about how they work to conserve threatened species in Central Philippines.

The Rufous-headed Hornbill is another ASAP Species Talarak Foundation Inc. works on © Lorenzo Vinciguerra

Article by Talarak Foundation Inc.

This June, Talarak Foundation Inc. hosted the West Visayas Conservation Workshop in Bacolod City. Over 80 attendees from local government, local NGO’s, Indigenous peoples communities, international zoos and researchers, and resource persons from across the globe, all joined in to create action plans to protect and save what is left of Western Visayas’ wildlife.

Facilitated by Kristin Leus of the IUCN Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG), workshop participants worked in groups to tackle the “West Visayan Big Five”, namely the Visayan Warty Pig, Visayan Spotted Deer, Walden’s Hornbill, Tarictic Hornbill, and the Negros Bleeding Heart Dove. Within these groups, the current status and threats facing each species was discussed and used as a basis to develop a multi-species conservation strategy to further protect them from declining numbers.

Talarak Foundation Inc. Vice-President, Paul Lizares, giving opening remarks. © Antoinette Begre-Lacson

Assisting Kristin in facilitating the workshop were Johanna Margono from Chester Zoo and co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group, Roopali Raghavan of WRS, Claudine Gibson of CPSG and Nerissa Chao of ASAP. Three full days of planning and brainstorming gave the participants hope for the future of Western Visayas’ wildlife. They tackled topics such as threats to the species, local community involvement or the lack of, a 20-year plan, and current actions being taken to protect the National Parks and its wildlife.

The workshop included a trip to one of Talarak Foundation Inc’s captive-breeding facilities in Negros Forest Park, located in the heart of Bacolod City. Here, participants finally had the chance to come face-to-face with the species they had spent the past days working on and learned more about the ex-situ conservation efforts in place.

Workshop participants visit Talarak Foundation Inc.’s ex-situ facilities in Negros Forest Park © Antoinette Begre-Lacson

Though ambitious to draft action plans for five species in a single workshop, Kristin Leus explained, “These species face similar problems, and also have similar organizations working towards their conservation, so it makes sense to plan for them together”.

The workshop was supported by the IUCN SSC CPSG, Chester Zoo, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, ZGAP, Bristol Zoo, Synchronicity Earth and Planckendael Zoo.

Featured image © Roland Wirth

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