Distribution of Cowries in the Different Ecological Habitats in the Selected Sites in Davao Occidental
Asian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Research, Volume 21, Issue 1,
Aims: The primary aim of this study was to assess the species of cowries in the different ecological habitats of Barangay Buhangin, Tubalan, and Tanglad, Davao Occidental. Specifically, it sought to identify species of cowries found in the study area, population density, abundance, and diversity.
Place and Duration of Study: Barangay Buhangin, Tubalan, and Tanglad, Davao Occidental, April 10 – 30, 2022.
Methodology: The study employed a transect-line-quadrat method. There were three stations were established in the selected areas. The quadrat was used to determine the density, abundance, dominance, and diversity of cowries. A 1m x 1m quadrat was thrown randomly on the established layout of 50 ㎡ (25m x 2m) parallel to the shore. Gears, such as diving goggles and snorkel were used to determine the cowries inside the quadrat and were hand-picked for species identification.
Results: The study revealed that there were ten (10) species of cowries recorded and identified. In Station 1 (Barangay Buhangin), seven species were found namely: Monetaria annulus (Gold ring cowry), Cypraea tigris (Tiger cowry), Mauritia arabica (Arabian cowry), Monetaria caputserpentis (Serpent’s head cowry), Naria erosa (Eroded cowry), Monetaria moneta (Money cowry) and Luria isabella (Fawn-coloured cowry). In Station 2 (Barangay Tubalan) two species were recorded and identified, namely: Cypraea tigris (Tiger cowry) and Mauritia arabica (Arabian cowry), while in Station 3 (Barangay Tanglad), eight species were recorded and identified, these were: Monetaria annulus (Gold ring cowry), Cypraea tigris (Tiger cowry), Mauritia arabica (Arabian cowry), Naria erosa (Eroded cowry), Monetaria moneta (Money cowry), Lyncina vitellus (Calf cowry), Lyncina lynx (Eyed cowry), and Palmadusta asellus (Littleass cowry). In Station 1, Coral Reef Habitat has the most diverse species with five (5) species found, while the seagrass bed habitat is the most abundant in terms of population with nine (9) cowries found, and the mangrove habitat only houses one (1) species of cowry with a population of three (3).
Conclusion: Station 3 was the most diverse in terms of cowry species with 8 species identified. Station 1 and Station 2 have the highest population of juvenile cowry species with a total of 127 juvenile species, and Station 2 has the highest population of adult cowry species with a total of 17 adult species. There were four (4) cowry species found in the mangrove habitat, four (4) cowry species were also found in the seagrass bed habitat and nine (9) cowry species were found in the coral reef habitat thus making it the most diverse among all ecological habitats.