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Bohol Island


Category: Critical Plant Sites
Date Posted: 2005-12-27


Bohol is an island province covering a total land area of 3,865 sq. km. The island is separated from Cebu by the Bohol Strait, from Leyte by the Canigao Channel, and from Camiguin by Mindanao Sea. Bohol Island is dominantly limestone. The circumferential road running from east to west is lined with karstic limestone cliffs yielding natural vegetation invaded by weedy exotic species. The limestone terrain is broken up by gullies and gorges.

Inland, higher karstic hills dominate the landscape turning almost uniformly and naturally molded in Carmen. These hills, more popularly known as Chocolate Hills, are dominated by hardy grass species such as Imperata cylindrica and Saccharum spontaneum. Several Compositae and ferns grow on the hills. In between the hills are flat lands cultivated to rice and other cash crops.

Among the noteworthy plants found along the rocky roads of Bilar and Loboc are large bamboos, Dendrocalamus sp., in full bloom, Hoyas and Dischidias (Asclepiadaceae) either in fruit or flower.

The island harbours several endemic species. Among these are the following:

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Blumea stenophylla (Labiatae)
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Arygyreia boholensis (Convolvulaceae)
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Ixora littoralis (Rubiaceae)
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Macrosolena mcgregorii (Loranthaceae)

The most apparent threats to the remaining native flora of the island is conversion of forests into agricultural land and other land use forms. Reforestation efforts of the government, though effective in rehabilitating degraded areas in the island, extensively use exotic species. The natural vegetation on the limestone hills or the Chocolate Hills is now highly threatened by quarrying activities.

Rajah Sikatuna National Park is the only protected area in the island. It was declared a National Park under the Proclamation No. 129 in July 10,1987.


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