Calauit island, the island reserve legacy of Ferdinand Marcos, the former president of Philippines, has become a killing field for African wildlife. Animal species including eight species imported from Kenya such as giraffes, zebras, impaias and gazelles, have struggled to survive on a shoestring budget from the Department of Natural Resources. The African gazelles have already given up the struggle as is apparent from their disappearance from the reserve.
The animals face threats from poachers armed with machine guns or bows and arrows. Another threat is from nature itself. With small populations to start with, the gene pool was limited and in-breeding inevitable. The result: animals with reduced resistance to disease and a propensity to genetic defects. Some indication of the troubles besetting the animals is the smaLler size of third generation giraffes, zebras and waterbucks which are a quarter smaller than their counterparts in Africa. Conservation measures are now underway to save the remaining species.