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On the Mangrove Assessment in the New Agutaya, San Vicente, Palawan

This study was the result of a grant provided by the USAID Coral Triangle Support Partnership Program with the Conservation International"Ÿs University Mentoring Program. The PSU Palawan Coastal Resource Management (CRM) mentees (2nd Batch) conducted an investigation on "Coastal Environment Assessment for Tourism of San Vicente, Palawan” particularly at 14-km Long Beach encompassing four barangays namely Alimanguhan, New Agutaya, San Isidro and Sto. Nino. In support of the group"Ÿs main investigative study- I was assigned to conduct this component study to determine and assess the present mangrove forest status of the four barangays particularly on their abundance and diversity which could sustain a tourism industry. Only Barangay New Agutaya possessed decent patches of mangroves which was determined after a pre-survey hence the focus area of this investigation. A total of 7 transects with 32 quadrats -each measuring 10m x 10m were laid perpendicular to the low intertidal zone and mid- intertidal zones of the selected mangrove patches. Preliminary data on frequency and density measurements were gathered from these quadrats. A total of 437 mangrove trees under 3 species namely R. Apiculata, R. mucronata and B. sexangula were surveyed. These had an average girth at breast height of 29.90 cm; average height of 7.39 m; average crown cover of 2.12 m. and an average diversity index of 0.307 which was very low. Of the three species that were investigated — B. sexangula was the most abundant in terms of the number of individuals and the most frequently documented in all the transects at 260 out of the total of 437 trees recorded at 59%. Pure stands of B. sexangula were also observed at Transect nos. 6 and 7. Three(3) 1m x 1m regeneration plots were placed and equidistantly distributed inside each 10 m x 10m quadrats to observe regeneration potential of the mangroves. Overall- the mangroves surveyed were mostly saplings and seedlings. These are secondary growths as the majority of the area surveyed were formerly fishponds that were abandoned according to interviews made with the locals. True mangroves which are not of the woody type were not sampled and measured but still noted and identified together with mangrove associates. Old and newly fresh-cut timber and pole- sized mangroves were feebly observed. Some timber and very mature trees were even marked maybe to be felled later. Wooden and concrete perimeter fences with barbed wire within the study sites were a constant "┼żencounter"Ÿ- evidence that the area are owned by private entities. However an attempt to rehabilitate the area by planting more mangrove seedlings near the mangrove growths was effectually noted.


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