The Negros Forest Park
It might as well be Central Park. This 1.2-hectare jungle located beside the Negros
Occidental Capitol, ostensibly Kilometer Zero, is home to critically endangered
animals endemic to the province. The so-called Big Five are here: the Visayan
Spotted Deer, the Rufous-headed Hornbill, the Visayan Warty Hog, the Tarictic
Hornbill, and the gracious yet enigmatic Negros Bleeding Heart Pigeon.
Begun in the mid-1980s as the Biodiversity Conservation Center under the Negros
Forest and Ecological Foundation, in 2018 the Talarak Foundation assumed its
management, renaming it Negros Forest Park. At any given time the park is home
to some 150 animals, including birds of prey, wild cats, and reptiles. Their cages
are camouflaged among endemic tree species that once covered the rainforests
of Negros, bringing this recreated habitat as close as possible to its original look
This “jungle classroom” amid modern infrastructures bears intrinsic appeal to a
wider audience. Its sheer magnificence as a wooded area in a highly urbanized
space makes it a rare occasion to marvel at the wonders of nature, so that from
that place of awe, people might pull themselves by the bootstraps and embrace
conservation work in earnest.
Negros Season of Culture believes that nature is part of human heritage. In
September and October this year, the NSC will pursue an environmental issue
featuring three efforts that have proven success in environmental conservation
and protection in Negros Occidental. The series includes Danjugan Island,
PeacePond, and the Negros Forest Park.
For more on Negros heritage, visit www.negrosseasonofculture.com and like us
on FB and IG @NegrosSeasonOfCulture.