Rare plants and animals abound at the upper Calinog, Iloilo area, site of the multi-billion peso Jalaur River Multi-purpose Project (JRMP) of the national government.
The area, known collectively as GMA or barangays Garangan, Masaroy and Agcalaga is home to the indigenous people in Central Panay Island.
In a fact-finding mission conducted by young Agham scientists of the University of the Philippines Diliman on August 31-September 3, 2012, the team discovered an initial 40 tree species, 78 flowering plants and 7 ferns, some of which are considered rare.
The team also discovered the presence of endangered warty pigs and spotted deers still roaming in the forests while eagle hawks locally called binanog soared by. The area is also loaded with snakes and turtles.
The team of biologist John Warner Carag, physicist Niel Laurent Caidic and geologist Adrian Raymund Fernandez said the trees and plants species are on top of 10 ecologically important species, 18 with therapeutic purpose, 15 for food consumption and 19 for other uses.
The river itself is rich of food such as fishes, eels and crabs while medicinal plants such as herba, alibhon, kasla and other leaves are used as medicine by the indigenous people in the area.