Protecting Pinagrealan Cave also means protecting the underground springs, other caves and voids in the karst landscape that is being quarried by Spar.
Pinagrealan Cave is home to one of the most diverse zooplankton ecosystems in Bulacan and has unique species of zooplankton present. This zooplankton is extremely sensitive and is a building block for the environment.
Excerpt from report:
Taxonomy and Distribution of Freshwater Zooplankton from Groundwater Ecosystems in Bulacan, Philippines
Ysabel Grace C. Cavite, Jannah B. Juan, Moses Isaiah L. Koh, Mark Louie Lopez, and Rey Donne S. Papa
Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science, The Graduate School and Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines
Groundwater being an important water source in the Philippines also inhabits freshwater zooplankton but have limited studies centered on it. Zooplankton are good bio-indicators due to their sensitivity to their habitat making them suitable indicators for environmental changes, which may be utilized in knowing current environmental health status of most freshwater ecosystems – in this study, groundwater ecosystems such as caves, open-wells, pumped groundwater pipes and springs. Samples were collected using 45µm and 60µm mesh size plankton nets which were then processed, sorted and identified in the laboratory. Morphological features were examined and the species were identified using taxonomic keys. The results show that 13 species were found and identified – Rotifera (4), Cladocera (4), Copepoda (5) – in the 16 sampling sites of Bulacan with one new record species. Pinagrealan Cave showed to be the most diverse and most abundant site, followed by Bayabas Well and Pinagrealan Well out of the 10 sites that inhabit zooplankton as shown in Figure 1. A new record for the Harpacticoida in the Philippines, the Elaphoidella bidens (Figure 2) has also been found in Biak na Bato Poso.