A new land snail subspecies at Masungi Georeserve in Rizal discovered by scientists from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) has been officially published.
Masungi Georeserve, a Top 3 finalist in the United Nations World Tourism Awards, shared the news on October 6, 2020, about the discovery published in the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology Volume 14 Issue 3 released in September 2020.
The Hypselostoma latispira masungiensis, a new subspecies of microsnail living in the karst formations of Masungi Georeserve, was discovered by the UPLB team of Harold B.Lipae, Angelique L. Estabillo, Ian Kendrich C. Fontanilla, and Emmanuel Ryan C. de Chavez.
The report indicates the discovery underwent three years of research and genetic analyses before it was established as a new subspecies.
The new snail subspecies H. l. masungiensis is described as a karst-dependent land snail that can be found attached to limestone boulders feeding on lichens and other vegetation.
It is considered a microsnail with a size of less than 5 millimeters, akin to the size of a worker ant. Masungi is the only known habitat of the H. l. masungiensis.
“The discovery highlights the importance of Masungi and other karst ecosystems as areas of high conservation value which are in urgent need protection from destructive activities such as quarrying and land trafficking which significantly alter the landscape,” reported Masungi Georeserve.
“If the rocks and soils are extracted, these species will be annihilated without a trace. We all need to be working together to ensure the perpetual conservation of known and unknown species living here. It is possible by genuinely protecting and restoring the land, their habitat,” Ann Dumaliang, Managing Trustee at the Masungi Georeserve Foundation said.
Masungi and its mother organization Blue Star have been protecting the karst formations since 1996 as part of a joint venture project with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Earlier this year a rare 8-foot flower was spotted at Masungi Georeserve.
Also this year, Masungi Geopark was named a finalist at the WIN WIN Youth Award of Sweden.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Masungi Georeserve and the UPLB scientists for the discovery of a new snail subspecies that shows the importance of conservation work in the Rizal travel destination.
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