Jul 8, 2020

The Masungi Georeserve, the largest biodiversity conservation site located in the Southern Sierra Madre range, has long been home to numerous endemic plant and animal species. Recently, they have spotted a plant with lineage that could be traced back to the Jurassic era. The species found in the georeserve is found to be a female Cycas riuminiana.

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JURASSIC PLANTS. 🦖 This Cycad comes from the most ancient line of seed plants still present today. They flourished in the age of the dinosaurs and emerged even before them. Some scientists refer to Cycads as the "Rosetta Stone" of plant biology, holding the keys to our knowledge of the past. 10 out of 11 species in the Philippines are considered endemics, while more than half of the world's Cycads are threatened due to the loss of their habitats. Despite this, scientists are optimistic to explore and find more species of Cycads since they are often found in small populations in undisturbed areas. Prevailing identification of this one is a female Cycas riuminiana, which was named after the president of the Moscow Horticultural Society where it was imported from Manila and first described.🌴 Have you seen some cycads where you are? What do you call them? For more information, check out the Cycad Action Plan of the IUCN. 🌼

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“They flourished in the age of the dinosaurs and emerged even before them,” Masungi wrote on their social media accounts. “Some scientists refer to Cycads as the ‘Rosetta Stone’ of plant biology, holding the keys to our knowledge of the past.”

According to them, cycad plants are becoming more and more endangered as they lose their habitats. Scientists are continuing their search for more species of cycads that are usually found in undisturbed areas around the globe.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has an ongoing study for the famed but threatened cycad plant, addressing its conservation issues as well. The volunteer group of researchers are aiming to coordinate extinction risk assessments for the threatened species and further promote and understand sustainability practices for the cycads. 

For plant enthusiasts out there, you can download more information on this endemic plant here.

Masungi Georeserve asks their followers if they too have seen this special plant in the country: “Have you seen some cycads where you are? What do you call them?”

 

 

Header photo courtesy of Masungi Georeserve

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TAGS: biodiversity cycad plants cycads georeserve Masungi Georeserve nature Plants trees