New mistletoe species found only in Negros Oriental named after Philippine wildlife biologist

By Contributing Writer, Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo |September 25,2018 - 05:17 PM

Amyema lisae /Photo by Pieter Pelser of Phytotaxa

Christmas came early for Bacolod City-based wildlife biologist Lisa Paguntalan.

A new mistletoe species, Amyema lisae, was named after Paguntalan, executive director of the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc.

In an article published in the scientific journal Phytotaxa, article authors Pieter B. Pelser, Shiella Mae B. Olimpos, Peter O’byrne, and Julie Barcelona wrote that the plant was named after Paguntalan to honor her contributions to nature conservation in the Philippines.

Lisa Paguntalan

Paguntalan was also described as a champion of organizing and involving local communities in conservation programs in many parts of the country.

“Lisa has been an epitome of a conservationist who is most successful in bringing together stakeholders in the conservation of biodiversity,” said the authors.

Paguntalan said it is an honor to have a plant named after her. She has done environment conservation work for 20 years.

“What a great gift!! Thank you Pieter Pelser and Julie Barcelona. It’s a great honor. Thank you, thank you,” she said in Facebook post.

Amyema lisae is endemic to Negros Island, which means that it cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

It can only be found in the protected area of Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park, which straddles the towns of Valencia, Sibulan and San Jose in Negros Oriental.

Paguntalan said Amyema lisae does not have a local name.

It is the only mistletoe in the Philippines with the color yellow as most mistletoes in the Philippines are in red and orange colors.

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