About This Project
The purpose of this project is to provide new insights on the roles of typhoons in affecting the diversity and populations of butterflies in the country. The project will involve data collection and documentation of species loss and replacement between sites in a before and after typhoon analysis. Since this will be the first research project incorporating typhoons on animal populations, the data will be useful in long-term analysis and biological prediction in the Philippines.
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What is the context of this research?
The proposed research is also a follow-up of my M.S. fieldwork in 2012 wherein I studied the effects of anthropogenic land use on the distribution of butterflies in Negros Oriental. I was able to document the distribution of 131 species of butterflies, and I also noticed during my fieldwork, some species of butterflies were listed only after a major storm had passed the island. That observation triggered me to further investigate the typhoons in the country and how they would affect the diversity and population biology of butterflies on Negros Island.
What is the significance of this project?
Butterflies play a significant role in the typical terrestrial ecosystem as larval, pupal, and adult food sources for insectivorous birds and lizards. Maintaining the biodiversity of butterflies will contribute to the conservation and preservation of the over-all biodiversity of both parks in Negros Island. Butterfly eggs, larvae, and pupae are also significant to the life cycle of parasitic wasps, and the latter are important as biological control agents for pest species in agricultural areas of the Philippine islands. Butterflies are excellent pollinators (second only to bees) for most flowering plants. Thus increased butterfly abundance and biodiversity will help local farm production, including many fruits and vegetables which are largely dependent on butterflies as pollinators.
What are the goals of the project?
Our goal is to analyze the population of butterflies on a pre and post typhoon sampling on various landscapes (urban, suburban, forest) across the island.
I was able to train more than 20 field assistants (local students and people) to participate in my research and also educate on the importance of butterflies in the environment. My research project started on May 2016 and we are expected to end on June 2017.
Meet the Team
Jade Aster T. Badon
Jade Aster T. Badon, B.S., M.S. is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, USA. He also works as Graduate Research Assistant at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity and assists in curation of butterfly specimens collected from Africa, Asia, and Australia. Jade has described new butterfly taxa and published new discoveries in scientific journals. He was born on Negros island and conducted several expeditions while growing up. He conducted his Master’s research on Negros island in 2012 and pursued his doctoral research on the same island. Jade’s research focuses on the population biology and ecology of Philippine butterflies.
Jade Badon is also a National Geographic Young Explorer Awardee.
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