It can be said that Taal Volcano Island is now in rehabilitation mode as signs of life begin to emerge and naturally adapt to a new environment more than three years after its infamous phreatomagmatic eruption.
For a more comprehensive exploration and discussion, two teams were assembled by the FAITH Botanic Gardens Foundation Inc. (FBGF) under its Taal Volcano Island Conservancy (TVIC) program. The activity entitled Agham ng Bulkang Taal was participated by the University of the Philippines (UP) Institute for Biological Sciences, UP Resilience Institute, UP National National Institute of Science and Mathematics Education Department, University of Santo Tomas (UST) College of Science, and Science faculty members and students of FAITH Colleges.
The first team, The Land Group, was composed of biologists, geologists, and volcanologists from UP. On the other hand, the Water Group is composed of freshwater biologists from UST.
Dr. Dino Tordesillas, resident researcher, and faculty member of UST observed the littoral and limnetic zones of Taal lake primarily to discern the effects of the volcanic eruption on the tawilis and biya among other organisms. The Water Group has identified a dietary shift of the tawilis— from one type of zooplankton to another; Also, they are now keeping a close eye on the relationship between the rather hefty coastal vegetation of nearby towns to the quality of marine biodiversity found therein. The group also takes notes of parasites found in Biya.
The 3-hour exploration was followed by a debriefing session at Amore Point in Balete, Batangas.
From miles away, the Taal Volcano Island may appear to be barren, void of life, sans its lush hues from before. But after the short survey, the research teams concluded that the volcano island now shows signs of rehabilitation and adaptation as foliage, among other wildlife, has started to regrow amid the volcanic ashes.
Mr. Juan P. Lozano, FBGF President and Atty. Ipat Luna of Pusod Inc. both encouraged the participants to continue to impart activities that will conserve the island’s biodiversity.
The Agham ng Bulkang Taal Science Expedition has been constantly monitoring the volcano island and had it previously explored in the years 2021 and 2022.