Bamboos eyed to give more green covers at Samal bat sanctuary

Feb. 18, 2019

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A new kind of environment will soon greet those who frequent the Monfort Bat Cave Sanctuary in the Island Garden City of Samal.

After the management inked a partnership deal with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bamboo Council of Davao del Norte early this month, changes in the greenery at the bat sanctuary will be observed in the coming months.

Norma I. Monfort, also known as “Bat Mama” told reporters that visitors will soon be fascinated with the various species of bamboo trees specifically planted in different areas inside the sanctuary.

“We already signed the memorandum of agreement with the DENR and the Bamboo Council to conserve and preserve the various species of bamboos in the country. The program is called Bambusetum,” Monfort said.

She added that 130 bamboo trees of various species were already planted since last week inside the sanctuary.

“More bamboo species will be planted to cover more areas inside the bat sanctuary,” Monfort added.

The new program under the Bambusetum also aims to plant and conserve Philippine species of bamboos in other parts of Samal Island, Monfort said.

She added that aside from conservation, bamboo production in the island will also serve as sources for bamboo furniture.

“This added attraction at the bat sanctuary will also generate additional jobs for local residents and attract more tourist to visit the bat cave and other tourist sites in the island,” Monfort pointed out.

The Monfort Bat Cave Sanctuary is hosting around 2.5 million Geoffroy’s rousette bats (Rousettus amplexicaudatus), a species of megabat or Old World fruit bats inside the 23-hectare bat cave in the island.

“We are going to build a livelihood training center that will also teach technologies from China for furniture making,” she added.

Monfort also told reporters that the bat cave management is still working for the establishment of Chiropterium or a man-made cave for the bats considering that their numbers has been increasing since 2011.

“It is my own advocacy to give them an additional sanctuary so I’m doing everything I can,” she said.

The Chiropterium is a PHP2.3-million project eyed to be installed in the area as an additional hub. It will be made from recycled 40-meter container vans. (

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