Toboso Biodiversity and Ecosystem Report – 2016


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The rural municipality of Toboso, Philippines, has at present undergone no formal assessment or research endeavors of its coastline. This report covers the first study of its kind in the area of Negros Occidental, Philippines, and provides an initial biodiversity inventory for the area. The initial goal of the inventory was to meet locally recognised criteria to put in place a pre-determined Marine Protected Area (MPA) and zonation scheme as organised by the local governing body and a local NGO. The secondary goal was to assess the diversity and abundances of species with key ecological and commercial (fishery and potential tourism) value. The diversity analysis and ecological health analysis provided a baseline for future comparisons of such work in the area, with over 400 species found across multiple phyla. The study yielded a number of additional key findings and areas of concern to be addressed. Firstly, an almost complete collapse of coastal fishery was observed, with most fish greater than approx. 20 cm being absent from all ecosystems. Invertebrate species of commercial value were also found to be greatly depleted. Additionally, the proposed MPA as decided by the local bodies and stakeholders was found to encompass almost exclusively the ecosystems with the highest levels of degradation and siltation, and lowest levels of biodiversity. Included within the report are a number of suggested amendments to help resolve both of these serious concerns, including the proposition of Alternate and Extended MPA boundaries, based on this new data.