Informing Tamaraw Conservation Prioritization: Mapping of Forest Loss in Mt. Iglit-Baco Natural Park through Hansen Global Forest Change Dataset
Unevenly distributed threats to biodiversity dictates the urgency of conservation actions in an area. In Mt. Iglit-Baco Natural Park (MIBNP), the individual numbers of tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) declined from thousands to hundreds. This is alarming because the tamaraw is hailed as the largest critically endangered endemic megafauna and the only wild cattle species in the Philippines. The impacts of forest fires, deforestation, and invasive plants continue to threaten the remaining four home ranges of tamaraws. Here, we use the Hansen Global Forest Change dataset to identify key conservation priority areas in MIBNP. Specifically, the forest loss dataset is overlaid to the annual counting vantage points, the four identified home range areas of the tamaraws, and within and around MIBNP. We also integrate the reactive and proactive conservation frameworks to better inform local conservation policies. We hope that this synthesis encourages tamaraw conservationists in aiding geospatial and digital information of forest loss to determine urgency and prioritization in the area.