Boracay island has been recorded as the site of the discovery of a new species of seagrass thriving around its waters as a marine habitat.
Seagrasses are important as they serve as the habitat and food source of marine animals such as crabs, fish, lobsters, sea turtles, sea cows (dugong), sea birds, and more.
Filipino environmentalists discovered the new seagrass species Halophila spinulosa growing in the seabed surrounding the World’s Best Island of Boracay in Central Philippines.
Halophila spinulosa is described as a fern-looking seagrass with tiny leaves that grow in opposite pairs on a long thin stem.
One step of Halophila spinulosa has 10 to 20 pairs of tiny leaves that measure two centimeters long and 0.4 centimeters wide.
The team from Dagatnon Environmental Consulting Services found nine species of seagrass flourishing beneath the waters of Boracay including the newest recorded species called Halophila spinulosa while it conducted the seagrass mapping and assessment on the island early this year.
The seagrass mapping and assessment is part of the Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Management Program (CMEMP) which aims to identify and address the threats of degradation of the coastal and marine ecosystem.
Jan Felix Balquin of Team Dagatnon recorded and photographed the Halophila spinulosa located in not more than 1×1 meter portion of the seagrass mattress.
Based on the report of “Assessment, Mapping, and Delineation of Coastal and Marine Resources and Marine Protected Areas in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan”, the island has approximately 95.37 hectares of seagrass bed. The 81.84 percent of which is located in Brgy. Balabag, with 53.85 percent in Brgy. Manocmanoc, and 53.68 percent is situated in Brgy. Yapak.
Environmental experts said that the newly found species in Boracay is an indication of its improved and healthy marine ecosystem because of island rehabilitation.
“The cleaner waters of Boracay Island have helped sustain the healthy marine ecosystem. We also conducted an initiative on biodiversity monitoring that resulted to the discovery of species of marine resources in the island. Let us continue to exert efforts in conserving the environment of Boracay,” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 6 (DENR Western Visayas).
Several newly discovered species have been recorded in different parts of the country recently.
A Filipino-led research team discovered a new species of helmet orchid in the mountains of Palawan island.
Filipino biologist Jade Aster Badon of Silliman University in Dumaguete discovered new subspecies of endemic butterfly called Appias phoebe nuydai.
A new sea star species was discovered in the waters off Balut Island in Davao.
Boracay island recently reopened to visitors following health safety protocols amid the pandemic.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the people of Boracay for having the island record a new seagrass species thriving as marine creatures; habitat in its waters.
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