A local botanist was killed in crossfire between the Filipino military and suspected communist guerrillas with the New People’s Army on Monday, reports the Inquirer.net.
Leonardo L. Co, a botanist, working at the time with the Energy Development Corp. (EDC), was reportedly collecting seeds from an endangered tree when he, as well as an engineer and forest guard, were caught in the crossfire and all three killed.
Prior to his death, Co worked with traditional healers in the Philippines to catalog the medicinal plants employed, including use and dosage. He was also involved in discovering a new species of Rafflesia, which was named after him: Rafflesia Leonardi.
In addition, Co was the president of the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society and a previous employee of Conservation International—Philippines.
He authored the books: Common Medicinal Plants of the Cordillera Region: A Trainor’s Manual for Community-Based Health Programs, and the Forest Trees of Palanan, Philippines: A study in population ecology.
The incident is currently under investigation.
(04/07/2010) Scientists have discovered a new species of giant lizard in the unlikeliest of places: a highly populated, deforested landscape in the Philippines.
(08/18/2009) The wild population of the Critically Endangered Philippine crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis has just received a very welcome boost. Fifty crocodiles have been released into Dicatian Lake, Isabela Province on Luzon Island.
(08/11/2009) A newly discovered carnivorous plant in the central Philippines is large enough to catch a rat, according to a story by the BBC. Nepenthes attenboroughii, named after naturalist and broadcast David Attenborough, is a member of the pitcher plant family, so-called because it is shaped like a large pitcher. The plant preys on insects and animals that fall into its gaping maw.