Monday, January 24, 2011

Life in the Wild at the Mari-it Wildlife Conservation Park

Habagat, the famous Dolongan bird at the sanctuary with University of San Agustin junior tourism students for Tumandok 2010-Lambunao group

Eco and adventure tourism have reached an all-time high in popularity. Attendance rates at some known conservation parks have soared in recent years and people have started moving towards these wildlife conservation parks as a tourist destination.

Wildlife conservation is a process where individuals and organizations are involved in analyzing, protecting and preserving various life forms existing in our ecosystem. Scientists have documented that human influence over the last 10,000 years in our ecosystem had been wide-ranging that they have difficulty estimating the total number of species lost in this era.

Many species are at risk of becoming extinct because it is threatened by changing environment caused by overpopulation of humans--- identified as a major threat and with it comes mass agriculture, deforestation, overgrazing, slash and burn, urban development, pesticide use and global warming. By acknowledging these problems that we can find solutions for them, although most solutions require enormous economic aids which may anchor these coherent problems.

There are many wildlife conservation societies and organizations all over the world that work untiringly to save wildlife through conservation education. And one organization that strives to change attitudes towards the protection of wild populations of, including endangered species is the Mari-it Wildlife Conservation Park in Lambunao, Iloilo. Situated inside the College of Agriculture and Forestry of West Visayas State University in Barangay Jayubo, 16.3 kilometers from the town’s poblacion, is this 2.5 hectare conservation park, a captive breeding center for endemic animals in the Island of Panay.

The park is a safe haven where endangered species such as the Panay tariktik hornbill; Visayan warty pig; Banog (hawk); Malayan palm civet; leopard cat; Visayan writhe hornbill; Raquet-tailed parrot; Visayan spotted deer and the Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat are given the opportunity to live in a protected environment that is as close to their natural habitat as possible. The habitat preserved within the park boundaries affords many of these species an oasis of survival and some of the last bastions of intact ecosystems found today.

entrance at the conservation park with University of San Agustin 

junior tourism students for Tumandok 2010- Lambunao group
But these living, breathing monuments to Iloilo's landscape, culture and history need care and support to overcome the many dangers that threaten to destroy them forever. At the Mari-it Wildlife Conservation Park, advocates work every day to ensure our conservation park get that vital care and support. The park is headed by Project Director, Prof. Lucia Lastimoza who works under the notion that all animals in the area, human and non-human, are of equal importance. Her biggest task is to educate the public and work to help change the way humans think of, and treat these endangered animals. Inside the park, she tries not to allow any activity that would place the animals in an unnecessary stressful situation.

The Conservation Park and natural sites of Lambunao embody the Ilonggo spirit. They are windows to our past, homes to some of our rarest animal and plant species, and places where every Ilonggos can go to find inspiration, peace, and open space. All of us have crucial roles in ensuring that these magnificent lands and landmarks are protected in perpetuity

Want an experience to remember? The area also provides a range of activities for all visitors to the parks and its neighboring reserves.

University of San Agustin junior tourism students for Tumandok 2010-Lambunao group

Lambunao's outstanding reserve system inside WVSU-CAF also offer visitors a wide choice of opportunities to discover spectacular landscapes, from cool, silent and rich wilderness park of temperate rainforest to beautiful cascading sceneries of waterfalls. The park encompass a diversity of unspoiled habitats and ecosystems which offer refuge to unique, and often ancient, trees found nowhere else in Iloilo. It offers versatile trekking opportunities. The trail leading to Montillano and Inas waterfalls inside the reserve offers walking experiences for all - from short strolls to challenging wilderness treks covering a diverse array of environments, from ancient rainforests to inspiring walks through Lambunao's most mountainous landscapes.

This is a park for every season, and a park for every person. Discover the natural and cultural values the Mari-it Wildlife Conservation Park protects and the enjoyment it offers.

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