Wildlife hunting by indigenous people in a Philippine protected area: a perspective from Mt. Apo National Park, Mindanao Island

Main Article Content

Krizler Cejuela Tanalgo


Indigenous people play a major role in the conservation of wildlife species in protected areas.  This paper provides an insight on the involvement of indigenous people in protecting and hunting of wildlife species in Mt. Apo National Park, Mindanao Island, Philippines.  Here, I assessed indigenous knowledge and practices towards wildlife hunting from three villages from Mt. Apo through immersions, interviews, and focus group discussion between May 2014 and January 2015.  The majority of wildlife hunters I encountered were male and married between the ages of 35–60 years old.  Commonly hunted wildlife species from the national park included large wildlife species such as the endemic and threatened Philippine Warty Pig Sus philippensis, Philippine Brown Deer Rusa marianna, Common Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Reticulated Python Malayopython reticulatus, Common Monitor Lizard Varanus salvator and other large birds such as Rufous Hornbills Buceros hydrocorax, large dove species (i.e., Dacula spp.).  In the past, wildlife hunting was most commonly done for sustenance and culture.  But, poverty and the lack of alternative livelihoods have become a recent motivation to hunt wildlife.  This current findings in this study suggest that wildlife are essential for indigenous people in protected areas, however, hunting practices should be monitored and provide alternative livelihood options to reduce threats.  This study introduced the vital links between local communities and wildlife in protected areas.  Thus, engaging and empowering indigenous people and local communities in wildlife protection combined with appropriate conservation planning are the first steps forward in attaining sustainable and effective local conservation in protected areas. 

Article Details

How to Cite
Tanalgo, K.C. 2017. Wildlife hunting by indigenous people in a Philippine protected area: a perspective from Mt. Apo National Park, Mindanao Island. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 9, 6 (Jun. 2017), 10307–10313. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.2967.9.6.10307-10313.
Author Biography

Krizler Cejuela Tanalgo, Landscape Ecology Group, Centre for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, People’s Republic of China Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, 9407, North Cotabato, Republic of the Philippines

Krizler C. Tanalgo is presently a graduate student in ecology and conservation at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS, China and is focusing on the development and application of conservation strategies to identify hotspots for prioritization particularly for caves and karsts by integrating species diversity, landscape features, and anthropogenic threats.  He is a faculty member of the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern Mindanao, Philippines.


Aiyadurai, A., N.J. Singh & E.J. Milner-Gulland (2010). Wildlife hunting by indigenous tribes: a case study from Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India. Oryx (44): 564–572; http://doi.org/10.1017/s0030605309990937

Apan, A., L.A. Suarez, T. Maraseni & J.A. Castillo (2017). The rate, extent and spatial predictors of forest loss (2000–2012) in the terrestrial protected areas of the Philippines. Applied Geography (81): 32–42; http://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2017.02.007

Benítez-López, A., R. lkemade, A.M. Schipper, D.J. Ingram, P.A. Verweij, J.A.J. Eikelboom & M.A.J. Huijbregts (2017). The impact of hunting on tropical mammal and bird populations. Science 356(6334): 180–183; http://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaj1891

Bennett, E.L., E.J. Milner-Gulland, M. Bakarr, H.E. Eves, J.G. Robinson, & D.S. Wilkie (2002). Hunting the world’s wildlife to extinction. Oryx (36): 328–329; http://doi.org/10.1017/s0030605302000637

Brown, R.M. & A.C. Diesmos (2009). Philippines, Biology. Encyclopedia of Islands. University of California Press, Berkeley, 723–732pp.

Carandang, A.P. (2005). Forest resource assessment—National forest assessment: Forestry policy analysis: Philippine. Philippines: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Corlett, R.T. (2007). The impact of hunting on the mammalian fauna of tropical Asian forests. Biotropica (39): 292–303; http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7429.2007.00271.x

DENR (2011). Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

https://www.cbd.int/doc/measures/abs/msr-abs-ph3-en.pdf. [Accessed 17 March 2015].

FAO (2017). Indigenous peoples are key to protecting wildlife and rural livelihoods. http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/472575/icode/ [Accessed 08 April 2017].

Foley, J.A., R. deFries, G.P. Asner, C. Barford, G. Bonan, S.R. Carpenter & J.H. Helkowski (2005). Global consequences of land use. Science (309): 570–574; http://doi.org/10.1126/science.1111772

Forest Management Bureau (2013). The Philippine forestry statistics 2013. http://forestry.denr.gov.ph/statbook.htm Philippines: Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (Accessed 12 December 2014).

Garcia, M.G.P. & A.H. Deocampo (1995). Wild pig meat trading in Iligan City, Mindanao (Philippines). Sylvatrop (5): 29–35.

Gray, T.N., A.J. Lynam, T. Seng, W.F. Laurance, B. Long, L. Scotson & W.J. Ripple (2017). Wildlife-snaring crisis in Asian forests. Science (6322): 255–256; http://doi.org/10.1126/science.aal4463

Harrison, R.D., R. Sreekar, J.F. Brodie, S. Brook, M. Luskin, H. O’kelly & N. Velho (2016). Impacts of hunting on tropical forests in Southeast Asia. Conservation Biology 30(5): 972–981; http://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12785

Heaney, L.R. (1993). Biodiversity patterns and the conservation of mammals in the Philippines. Asia Life Sciences (2): 261–274.

Heaney, L.R., D.S. Balete, M.L. Dolar, A.C. Alcala, A.T.L. Dans, P.C. Gonzales, N.R. Ingle, M.V. Lepiten, W.L.R. Oliver, P.E. Ong, E.A. Rickart, B.R.B. Tabaranza Jr. & R.C.B. Utzurrum (1998). A synopsis of the mammalian fauna of the Philippine Islands. Fieldiana Zoology (88): 1–61; http://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.3419

Heaney, L.R., M.L. Dolar, D.S. Balete, J.A. Esselstyn, E.A. Rickart & J.L. Sedlock (2010). Synopsis of Philippine Mammals. The Field Museum of Natural History in co-operation with the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau. http://archive.fieldmuseum.org/philippine_mammals

Hughes, A.C. (2017). Understanding the drivers of Southeast Asian biodiversity loss. Ecosphere 8(1): e01624; http://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1624

IUCN Red List (2016). The International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List. http://www.iucnredlist.org/. Accessed 21 December 2015.

Kaul, R., J.S. Jandrotia & P.J. McGowan (2004). Hunting of large mammals and pheasants in the Indian western Himalaya. Oryx (38): 426–431; http://doi.org/10.1017/s0030605304000808

Kellert, S.R. & J.K. Berry (1987). Attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors toward wildlife as affected by gender. Wildlife Society Bulletin 15(3): 363–371.

Mallari, N.A.D., B.R.B. Tabaranza Jr. & M.J. Crosby (2001). Key Conservation Sites in the Philippines. Bookmark, Makati City, 485pp.

McCorquodale, S.M. (1997). Cultural contexts of recreational hunting and native subsistence and ceremonial hunting: their significance for wildlife management. Wildlife Society Bulletin (25): 568–573.

Myers, N. (1988). Threatened biotas: “Hot spots†in tropical forests. Environmentalist 8(3): 187–208; http://doi.org/10.1007/bf02240252

Myers, N., R.A. Mittermeier, C.G. Mittermeier, G.A.B. da Fonseca & J. Kent (2000). Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature (403): 853e858; http://doi:10.1038/35002501

Nijman, V. (2010). An overview of international wildlife trade from Southeast Asia. Biodiversity and Conservation (4): 1101–1114; http://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-009-9758-4

Mangbanua, W. (2015). North Cotabato village orders hunt for King Cobra. Philipine Daily Enquirer, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/673552/north-cotabato-village-orders-hunt-for-king-cobra Accessed on 20 March 2015.

Posa, M.R.C., A.C. Diesmos, N.S. Sodhi & T.M. Brooks (2008). Hope for threatened tropical biodiversity: lessons from the Philippines. BioScience 58(3): 231–240; http://doi.org/10.1641/b580309

Rao, M., T. Myint, T. Zaw & S. Htu (2005). Hunting patterns in tropical forests adjoining the Hkakaborazi National Park, north Myanmar. Oryx (39): 292–300; http://doi.org/10.1017/s0030605305000724

Ravenelle, J. & P.J. Nyhus (2017). Global patterns and trends in humanâ€wildlife conflict compensation. Conservation Biology http://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12948

Scheffers, B.R., R.T. Corlett, A. Diesmos & W.F. Laurance (2012). Local demand drives a bushmeat industry in a Philippine forest preserve. Tropical Conservation Science (5): 133–141; http://doi.org/10.1177/194008291200500203

Suarez, R.K. & P.E. Sajise (2010). Deforestation, swidden agriculture, and Philippine biodiversity. Philippine Science Letters 3(1): 91–99.

Tanalgo, K.C., R.D. Teves, F.R.P. Salvaña, R.E. Baleva & J.A.G. Tabora (2016). Human-Bat Interactions in Caves of South Central Mindanao, Philippines. Wildlife Biology in Practice 12(1): 1–14; http://dx.doi.org/10.2461/wbp.2016.12.2

Tanalgo, K.C. & J.A.G. Tabora (2015). Cave-dwelling bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) and conservation concerns in South central Mindanao, Philippines. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(15): 8185-8194; http://doi.org/10.11609/jott.1757.7.15.8185-8194

Most read articles by the same author(s)