Palaquium mindanaense, also known as ‘Pinulog’, is a species of large tropical tree endemic to the Philippines. Beyond being endemic to the Philippines this tree is only found on the island of Mindanao (its namesake), particularly in the provinces of Lanao and Cotabato, growing in low altitude primary tropical rainforest. The only available herbarium collection was made in Cotabato in 1902. The previous IUCN assessment of this species in 2019 lists it as Critically Endangered and describes its population as declining due to habitat degradation. While the exact population size is unknown, the single collection suggests that the number of individuals in the wild is very small.
This is the rarest Nato species (eastern mahogany) in the Philippines with an extremely restricted and fragmented endemic range. P. mindanaense was only re-documented in 2013 after it was first collected in 1902 – 111 years later! This species is now critically endangered with a declining population due to habitat degradation. It is known only from the provinces of Lanao and Cotabato on the island of Mindanao – areas which have lost 416 km2 of tree cover. This particular species now has an extent of occurrence less than 100km2, with the population severely fragmented. Protecting and conserving this species will reverse its continuing population decline but will also protect other associated species in its natural habitat.
Building local knowledge is important for the long-term conservation of this species. Local communities will be equipped with the skills to grow the species in community nurseries. Selling saplings will also provide an additional and sustainable source of income. Working with local authorities, local ordinances for the protection of the species will be prepared. Natural populations will also be increased through reinforcement planting and facilitating natural regeneration. In order to raise awareness and public knowledge of the importance of conserving this and other threatened Philippine tree species, educational material will be created and shared.