Baguio City is one of the fastest-growing centers of urbanization in the Philippines. As part of the Cordillera Mountain Range, it is a biodiversity hotspot that is largely unexplored. This study is a preliminary investigation using visual encounter surveys of anuran species in various localities of the Baguio-Benguet area (BBA). These include Loakan Airport (LA), Camp John Hay (CJH), and Soroptimist Compound (SC) at the Military Cut Off, all in Baguio; Nangalisan, Tuba (NT), Benguet; and Master’s Garden (MG) at Puguis, La Trinidad, Benguet. We documented three Luzon-endemic species of frogs – namely, Kaloula rigida (Family Microhylidae), Sanguirana luzonensis (Family Ranidae), and Limnonectes macrocephalus (Family Dicroglossidae); one Philippine-endemic species, Kaloula picta (Family Microhylidae); and an invasive species, Rhinella marina (Family Bufonidae). The pathogenic fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was not detected in this study, but several cosmopolitan fungal species were isolated from the anuran integument – including Penicillium spp., Cladosporium sp., Talaromyces sp., Mucor sp., and Rhodotorula sp. The results of the study highlight the importance of regional surveys of urbanized areas in the country in aiding the conservation and preservation efforts for the remaining wildlife. Anthropogenic factors like logging and conversion of forested areas to commercial spaces, which lead to habitat degradation and catastrophic events, are still the leading threats to this understudied but presumed species-rich area. To date, this is the first update on anuran biodiversity in BBA after Inger’s study in 1954, and the first survey of fungi association with the amphibian integument in the Cordillera Administrative Region. Hence, further taxonomic and conservation research is recommended.
Pelingen, A. L., Flores, C. A., Briz, Axel John, Hipol, R., & Austria, C. (2021). Rapid survey of Anuran species in Baguio-Benguet area and isolation of their fungal symbionts. Philippine Journal of Science, 150(S1), 303–308. https://philjournalsci.dost.gov.ph/publication/special-issues/biodiversity/104-vol-150-s1/1354-rapid-survey-of-anuran-species-in-baguio-benguet-area-and-isolation-of-their-fungal-symbionts