Resolution in Support of Conservation Efforts on Behalf of the Endangered Philippine Visayan Spotted Deer

WHEREAS, the Visayan Spotted Deer (Cervus alfredi) has historically occurred only on seven islands in the central Philippines; and

WHEREAS. this species is now recognized to have undergone drastic population depletion since the early part of this century, is extinct on Bohol, Cebu, and Siguijor, and is in imminent danger of extinction on Leyte, Negros, Panay, and Samar; and

WHEREAS, this depletion has occurred primarily as a result of massive forest destruction; and

WHEREAS, forest and game reserves in the area have been understaffed with managers and guards whose sincere efforts have been handicapped by inadequate equipment and funding; and

WHEREAS, the government of the Philippine Islands has recently recognized the plight of this beautiful and unique species; and

WHEREAS, a breeding facility for this species and other large mammals has been established recently by the Philippine Bureau of Forest Development; and

WHEREAS, a cooperative plan for protecting the Visayan Spotted Deer is being developed with various international conservation agencies; and

WHEREAS, a plan to protect the natural habitat of the Visayan Spotted Deer would protect many other threatened, unique members of the Philippine flora and fauna at the same time it protects essential watershed areas; and

WHEREAS, the government of the Philippines has committed itself to wise and careful use of its natural resources;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the American Society of Mammalogists (1) congratulates and commends the actions of the Philippine government on behalf of the Visayan Spotted Deer and other endangered, unique Philippine mammals, through protection of natural habitats and development of captive breeding programs, (2) strongly recommends active protection of the critical remaining primary and secondary forest areas in the mountains and lowlands of Leyte, Negros, Panay, and Samar, and (3) urges the Philippine Government to enact endangered species legislation that will fully protect this species and other endangered species unique to the Philippines and that will insure adequate funding to continue and/or develop conservation programs directed toward saving these important elements of the Filipino heritage from extinction.