Impacts of agriculture on Philippine biodiversity

Study assesses interactions between agriculture and biodiversity, finding direct threats to several critically endangered species

Data resources used via GBIF : 717,508 species occurrences
Pithecophaga jefferyi
Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) by Sinisa Djordje Majetic (CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr)

One of the world's largest exporters of pineapple and banana, the Philippines has experienced critical declines in biodiversity due to land-use change and agricultural intensification as a result of poor resource management and overexploitation.

In this study, researchers reviewed current Philippine policies while analysing data on agriculture, trade and biodiversity to assess risks to species caused by intensive, export-oriented production of bananas and pineapples.

By combining data on plantations, protected areas (PA), Important Bird Areas (IBA) and GBIF-mediated occurrences of threatened species, the authors mapped the current interactions between agriculture and biodiversity. To account for varying size and spillover effects from intensive agricultural production, the authors added a 10-km buffer to plantations.

The resulting maps revealed many overlaps between plantations, ecologically important areas and threatened species, including direct threats to the critically endangered Philippine eagle, Peregrine falcon and Philippine naked-back fruit bat.

In total, the study identified 83 threatened species of animals and plants at risk of exposure to the impacts of intensive agriculture in the Philippines.

Ortiz AMD and Torres JNV (2020) Assessing the Impacts of Agriculture and Its Trade on Philippine Biodiversity. Land. MDPI AG 9(11): 403. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110403