It’s World Animal Day and today, Bicol Museum features an endemic frog species found in a volcano.
Would you live in a volcano? The featured animal species today wouldn’t mind at all! Meet the Bicol cloud frog (Platymantis isarog) of Family Ceratobatrachidae. This frog inhabits Mt. Isarog, where its scientific name was derived from. However, they were also spotted in Mt. Malinao, also in Bicol. PHIVOLCS classified Mt. Isarog and Mt. Malinao as active and potentially active volcanoes, respectively.
The Bicol cloud frogs are small types of frogs measuring 23 to 33 mm. They inhabit the mossy montane forest at an elevation of 650-1800 meters above sea level. They have a distinct but narrow, pale line on their spine against their mostly grayish back. Their eggs are large and unpigmented. They usually deposit these eggs on the leaves in the shrub layer.
The Bicol cloud frogs now join the ranks of our country’s threatened species. The Philippine Red List of Threatened Wild Fauna 2020 lists them as vulnerable. The declaration of Mt. Isarog as a National Park has significantly protected its vulnerable population from activities that will lead to the destruction of its natural habitat.
Animals, big or small, are an important part of biodiversity. They help maintain the balance of the ecosystem. Sadly, some of them, like the Bicol cloud frogs are becoming threatened due to irresponsible collection and hunting, habitat destruction, pollution, and diseases. We can help save our frog species from becoming extinct by planting more native plants and by refraining from activities that hasten the destruction of their habitat.