Not all birds flying in the city are mayas. If you take a closer look, some of these small brown birds happen to be paddyfield pipits, which are songbirds, or brown shrikes, which have flown across the seas from northern Asian countries to avoid the winter season.
If you haven’t noticed any of these, don’t worry. When you think of the habitat of exotic plants and animals, you rarely really picture the city. The only unusual animal breeds you expect to see in urban areas, after all, are the ones in zoos and sanctuaries, all kept for educational purposes. If not only for this campus-based wildlife project, we wouldn’t also notice the varying types of birds, reptiles, insects, and plants living within one of the busiest areas in the Metro.
The Ateneo Wild Project, which has been making rounds on social media since last August, sheds light on the “wide variety of wildlife” present within the Ateneo de Manila University campus along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City.
Here’s a look at some of their posts:
Look, they even found some crustaceans by the campus waterways:
Made to “instill an appreciation for urban biodiversity and the importance of green spaces in the city,” the project is spearheaded by faculty members Trinket Canlas Constantino and Abby Favis—from the Department of Biology and Department of Environmental Science, respectively. They use social media as a tool to “highlight campus biodiversity and to encourage citizen science.”
Constantino and Favis post photos and information of exotic living species seen on campus on their Facebook and Instagram pages. They either find some of these creatures themselves or let members of the Ateneo community submit photos and its location to them.
“In a nutshell, our project started as a way to involve the community in achieving campus sustainability goals by reporting any wildlife they come across in the Ateneo campus,” the duo told Nolisoli.ph. They cull the information from “various sources [such as] our own experience, from scientific literature, from fellow nature enthusiasts and experts in respective fields of the natural sciences.”
The Ateneo Wild also conducts guided nature walks from time to time. Although this event is currently exclusive to the Ateneo community, Constantino and Favis hope to offer the walks to the external community soon.
Header image and photos used courtesy of The Ateneo Wild
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Writer: AMIERIELLE ANNE BULAN