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July 2, 2012 Comments (2) Advisories & Announcements, Featured, Headlines, News & Top Stories, Regional Advisories, Top Stories

Mt. Hamiguitan still close to climbers

To protect Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (MHRWS) from the effects of El Nino, the provincial board of Davao Oriental closed down Mt. Hamiguitan (part of the MHRWS) to climbers by virtue of a Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Resolution No. 2010-2 dated March 25, 2010. Since its closure to climbers last April 2010, only approved scientific research and activities  are allowed in Mt. Hamiguitan.

A bonsai tree abundantly growing for centuries near the peak of Mt. Hamiguitan

Mt. Hamiguitan itself boast of some 225 hectares of centuries old bonsai fields or pygmy forest in magnesium-iron rich soil and as part of the MHRWS, hosts a diverse flora and fauna of rare, endemic and endangered species. This include the famed Philippine Eagle Golden-crown Flying FoxPhilippine Tarsier,Philippine Warty Pig,Philippine Brown DeerPhilippine Mossy-pygmy Fruit Bat and Asian Palm Civet. Two endemic species of birds, Phapitreron cinereiceps (Dark-eared brown dove) and Pinelopides panini (Tarictic Hornbill) are endangered; one is near threatened,Aethopyga primigenius (Grey-hooded sunbird) and one vulnerable, Mimizuku gumeyi(Giant-scoop Owl).

Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is included in UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Site and is currently being validated by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee. This also might explain the continuing closure of this mountain to the climbers community.

As of July 1, 2012, no news yet of when will Mt. Hamiguitan be opened to climbers. The official website of San Isidro Davao Oriental (which used to broadcast updates on the status of Mt. Hamiguitan is currently down.