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The 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition, spearheaded by the California Academy of Sciences, is in full swing.

“The 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition is the largest expedition undertaken by the Academy. It will be the first expedition to make a comprehensive survey of both terrestrial and marine diversity. Between April 26 and June 10, 2011, Academy botanists, entomologists and marine biologists, will explore shallow-water reefs, the deep sea, and terrestrial and freshwater areas for new life and document the biodiversity of this island nation. Educational outreach will be conducted on location and back at the Academy.” (http://www.calacademy.org/science/hearst/)

Joining the Academy’s expedition team are researchers from the University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, Philippine National Museum and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. The expedition is also being organized with groups like Conservation International-Philippines, Pusod, and Philippine Science Centrum. ¬†Research areas include the Verde Island Passage, Mt. Makiling, Mt. Isarog and Taal Lake.

Right now, the expedition’s shallow water team members are based in Mabini, Batangas and are finding all sorts of amazing underwater creatures, a number of which are new species! For regular updates, visit the expedition blog at¬†http://www.calacademy.org/blogs/expedition/

In the meantime check out this video of spawning corals that the team was able to document!

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