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Panglao was proclaimed under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) by virtue of Pres. Proc. No. 426 on July 22, 2003
The terrain of Panglao Island ranges from plain, hilly to mountainous. Panglao Island is of Maribojoc Limestone which is youngest among the limestone units occurring extensively in the western portion of the Province of Bohol. It is flat, poorly bedded, cream to buff to brownish yellow. One of the geological features found in the protected area is the "Hinangdanan Cave" found in Bingag, Duis which features an underground water source. Panglao Island has no rivers and lakes and has this water source in the cave.An estimated 1,500-2,500 mollusks are believed to be found in the waters of Panglao and Balicasag. Inventoried were about 1,200 decapods and 6,000 species of mollusks were identified in a study area of only about 15, 000 hectares. In comparison the Mediterranean Sea has yielded only 2,024 species in a 300 million hectare area.
Because of the richness of the marine biodiversity, an International Research and Training Workshop was organized in Panglao in 2004. Involved are the sources French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Total Foundation for Biodiversity and the Sea and the Asean Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation
The composition of the research team involved in the field, in particular those from many other European countries were Italy, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Russia, United Kingdom, Norway, Netherlands, the USA, Australia, Costa Rica, and other South East Asian countries like Singapore, Viet Nam, Thailand, and Taiwan: over 60 specialists from 18 countries;
The site selected for the field study is Panglao, SW of Bohol in the central Philippines. Since the late 1980s, Panglao and nearby Dauis and Balicasag Island have been a source of precious deep-water specimens, collected with tangle nets by small-scale fishermen for the international shell trade. The site thus offers a unique opportunity to combine academic approaches on molluscan biodiversity and the social dynamics of the shell trade and its impact on the household economy.
Professors and students from the University of San Carlos work together with the world renowned scientists, and transmit to the French National Museum of Natural History, in Paris the data collection of specimens from Panglao for scientific analysis.
Once the Philippines sites have been investigated, there will be results of comparable nature, obtained by the same research team using the same techniques, for 5 sites: Koumac (west coast of New Caledonia), Touho (east coast of New Caledonia), Lifou (Loyalty Islands), Rapa (Australes archipelago), and a site still to be selected in the Philippines