Floral Survey in the Coastal Forest of Rasa Wildlife Sanctuary, Narra, Palawan, Philippines
Being the home of the critically endangered Philippine cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), Rasa Island in Narra, Palawan is one of the most important sites for conservation. The mangrove and the coastal forests therein serve as a critical support of the wildlife inhabitants in the island.
A survey was done in the coastal forest of Rasa Island to document the plant species in the area. At least 68 plant species, believed to be the primary food of the Philippine cockatoo and other wildlife in the island are found in the coastal forest area. At least one Palawan and one Philippine endemic species are encountered, while six species are included in the different threatened categories of the 2007 IUCN Red List and in Fernando et al. (2008) and Sopsop & Buot (2009) lists.
At least five stands of Garuga floribunda Decne var. floribunda served as nesting trees of the critically endangered bird when the survey was conducted. There is a need to strictly protect this remaining coastal forest patch and the whole Rasa Island to conserve the critically endangered Philippine cockatoo and the many wildlife species in the island.
Keywords: taxonomic survey, critical support, Philippine cockatoo, Plant species