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Authors: Baoanan, Zenaida G.
Lumbres, Roscinto Ian C.
de Chavez, Emmanuel Ryan C.
Keywords: malacofauna
Northern Luzon
Issue Date: Aug-2019
Citation: Paper presented at the 2019 World Congress of Malacology, held at the Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, California, USA on August 11-16, 2019
Abstract: Island snail diversity is truly amazing for archipelagic country such as Philippines with the prospect of high level of endemicity. The Northern Luzon alone encompasses the two largest mountain chains with different geologic origins, the Central Cordillera and the Sierra Madre. The mountains are mostly made up of mixture of limestone and volcanic materials. To gauge as to how many of the land snails have been reported in Northern Luzon, we surveyed accessible secondary sources. The most comprehensive listing of Philippine land snails was reported by Faustino in 1930 comprising of 1,294 species of which 709 (or more than 50%) are recorded from Luzon. Other relevant sources of information include the work of Springsteen and Leobrera in 1986 on Shells of the Philippines and Gray’s Collection of the Cyclophoridae from the British Museum in 1850. We compared these listings with the collections that we have accumulated from several opportunistic field surveys. We then generated a spatial distribution map based on the available geographic references. We suspect that the collated data is an underrepresentation of the actual land snail diversity in the island. Some of the challenges that we have identified based on our actual field experience in Northern Luzon are as follows: 1) security concerns related to insurgency; 2) bureaucracy in obtaining required permits; 3) rugged terrains and unsafe trails going to the forests; 4) lack of taxonomic experts and field based researchers, 5) few funding opportunities for taxonomic researches; 6) issues on the publishability of taxonomic work; and, 7) lack of computer databases, inventories, and information networks for the collection and collation of information. It takes a lot of courage, passion, and determination to do malacology in the most remote regions where silent snails are awaiting to be discovered.
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