The young mangrove plantation in the town of Calabanga is being threatened with widespread pest infestation as confirmed by the Legazpi city-based regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Information about the presence of insect defoliators came from the alert sounded off by the municipal government headed by lady Mayor Evelyn Yu on the 6-hectare shoreline plantation in barangay Cagsao where the occurence was initially observed.
The vast mangrove suffer from the leaf-eating larvae of Lipedoptera Lymatriidae. The larvae-caterpillar stage of the insect also feed on twigs prior to its change in stage of development. Affected mangrove shrubs either dies or suffer a stunted growth.
The adult Lymatriidae or Tussock moth once hatched from its cocoon stops feeding on the leaves thereafter and becomes less destructive on the host plant.
The environmental agency dispatched mangrove expert Feliciano Laurico to the area for orientation and training of caretakers on care and cure of affected mangrove plants.
Concerned local officials are apprehensive that the unabated entry of the Tussok moth might threaten the whole stretch of the mangove project in the San Miguel bay area even as signs of its spread are already evident.
About 21 hectares of the Calabanga shoreline has been planted with mangroves which covers the five barangays of Cagasao, Punta Tarawal, Balatasan, Sibobo and Sabang. The successful mangrove project of Calabanga LGU and stakeholders is touted as the premier showcase in the province of Camarines Sur.
Read more about the reforestation and mangrove planting movement in Calabanga here:
Succeeding Wave of Calabanga Mangrove Planting Movement
Mangrove Planting and Reforestation in Calabanga
(With reports from the PNA)