My work led me to the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) in Los Baños, the Philippines. It is located on the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). The campus lies just below Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, an ASEAN Heritage Park. While the campus clearly is a used and inhabited area, it has forest and park landscape elements, and at least two creeks run through the area. Via the main gate of the university one enters the campus and can walk up a winding road that passes by the Makiling Botanical Gardens and brings you to the entrance of the forest reserve. The road continues and passes by the Mud Spring and onwards to the summit. The photos in this post are shot in the campus area or in the botanical garden.
Cities can hold a surprising amount of biodiversity. Abidjan, in Côte d’Ivoire, may not instantly come to mind as one where one can see much nature. And indeed, if you walk the streets of the center, it’s mostly buildings and cars that attract the eye. However, I had the good fortune to spend some time in hotel Sol Beni, in M’Pouto, that lies at the shore of an arm of the lagoon in which Abidjan is located. Walks in the morning were enjoyable and showed that this city of millions still holds a wide variety of life.
One does not have to go far to find an amazing array of biodiversity, even in a big city. This post however, contains some images of animals just about ten minutes cycling from where I live. These animals are not always big. Egrets can be fairly large, but spiders and dragonflies are not. This particular ricefield area, aside from having this large array of species, also provides rest and food to bird species that makes yearly migrations from north to south and vice versa. It mainly concerns waders such as the Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia), the Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) or the Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago). They are included in the images below.