understanding LArge marine vertebrates in the philippines

All LAMAVE research sites are based in the Philippines and, to date, the team has worked in ten different provinces including: Palawan, Bohol, Cebu, Southern Leyte, Negros Oriental, Davao Oriental, Misamis Oriental, Surigao del Norte, Sorsogon and Mindoro Occidental. We currently have eight active field sites studying whale sharks, rays, turtles, dolphins and sharks. 

There are three main components to every LAMAVE field site: science-based research, community engagement and facilitating the needs of the Local Government Unit - a combination that is essential for the future of marine megafauna in a rapidly developing environment, where both animals and livelihoods must be considered.  

For a list of our published research or for information on our conference talks please check out our publication page.  

Whale Sharks

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is an iconic species in the Philippines, and the country hosts the third largest identified population in the world. LAMAVE is working across the country to understand whale sharks' biology, ecology and how they can support alternative livelihoods through sustainable tourism.  

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The Philippines is home to 5 of the 7 species of marine turtles, all of which are listed as Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered under the IUCN Red List. LAMAVE is studying their distribution and habitat use, as well as how tourism can play a role in their conservation.

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Global shark populations have declined by over 25%, and the Philippines is no exception. LAMAVE is working to understand the biodiversity of sharks in the country, as well as their relative abundance across different regions, and how protected areas can benefit these species through tagging and monitoring programmes.

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Manta and mobula rays

The Philippines hosts at least 5 species of mobulid rays, of both manta and mobula species. LAMAVE has been studying the implications of extractive and non-extractive uses of these species, and how communities interact with them. Understanding these interactions is essential for their sustainable management.

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Marine Mammals

The Bohol Sea hosts at least 19 species of cetaceans, including the world's largest, the blue whale. LAMAVE conducted biodiversity and distribution assessments in different provinces, and are currently involved in understanding the sustainability of dolphin watching in Bohol. 

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research Collaborators and funders: