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Angelico Jose C. Tiongson (Likko)

M.Phil. Candidate

E-mail: angelico(AT)                                            likko.tiongson(AT)

Academic Record
  • M.Phil. Candidate, The University of Hong Kong (2016 – present)

  • B.Sc. (Biology), Silliman University, Philippines (2012)

  • Exchange student, International Christian University, Japan (2010 – 2011)


Dr. Leszek Karczmarski, The University of Hong Kong

Project Synopsis
Population ecology of sympatric delphinids in Tañon Strait Protected Seascape, Philippines.

Very little is known of the socio-behavioural dynamics of island-associated cetaceans, and even less about multi-species communities such as those seen in the Philippines. Tañon Strait is a large, semi-enclosed body of water in central Philippines, with pelagic characteristics and bound by two islands, Negros and Cebu, with a shallow northern opening, and a narrow southern opening. In my postgraduate research, equipped with photo-identification techniques, I investigate inter- and intra-species dynamics of several dolphin species inhabiting the strait; I estimate their demographic parameters and population size, and with the application of geographically referenced data I map their patterns of habitat preferences and range use. While working on several species, I place particular emphases on the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus as a species of a particular regional conservation concern, and the spinner dolphin Stenella longirostris, historically caught as by-catch in large numbers. These two species exhibit contrasting life history strategies; bottlenose dolphins are known to rely on coastal resources and shallow waters and tend to form smaller groups, while spinner dolphins form large groups of up to several hundred individuals and, contrary to other island-associated spinner dolphins elsewhere, in Tañon Strait they often aggregate in considerably deeper water. I am interested in how these animals respond to the availability (or lack) of important resources in this unique semi-pelagic habitat of the Strait and how this has shaped their behaviour and population structure. In a broader scale, this study will advance our understanding of the population structure and socio-spatial dynamics of island-associated cetaceans, which will in turn generate information directly applicable to their conservation as part of the management plan for the Tañon Strait Protected Seascape.

Research Grants

As Co-PI

  • 2014/2015: Conservation by design: establishing a framework for delphinid conservation in a tropical protected seascape, Tañon Strait, Philippines. (with L. Karczmarski) – Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong.


Tiongson, A.J.C. and Karczmarski, L. (2016).  The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in Tañon Strait, central Philippines. Marine Biodiversity Records 9:85 DOI: 10.1186/s41200-016-0088-4

Karczmarski, L., Huang, S-L., Or, C.K.M., Gui, D., Chan, S.C.Y., Lin, W., Porter, L., Wong, W-H., Zheng, R., Ho, Y-W., Chui, S.Y.S., Tiongson, A.J.C., Mo, Y., Chang, W-L., Kwok, J.H.W., Tang, R.W.K., Lee, A.T.L., Yiu, S-W., Keith, M., Gailey, G., Wu, Y. (2015).   Humpback dolphins in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta:  Status, threats, and conservation challenges.  Advances in Marine Biology 73: 27-64. 

Tiongson, A.J.C. and Estacion, J.S. (2015).Morphological differentiation of two morphotypes of the seagrass Halophila spinulosa (R. Br.) Ascherson from Ilacaon Island, Negros Occidental, Philippines. Philippine Journal of Natural Sciences 20: 1-4.


Tiongson, A.J.C. and Karczmarski, L. (2017).  Spatio-behavioural habitat partitioning by two sympatric island-associated dolphins in Tañon Strait, central Philippines.  22nd Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Tiongson, A.J.C. and Karczmarski, L. (2015). Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Tañon Strait, central Philippines: Early research findings and health concerns. 21st Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. San Francisco, USA.

Tiongson, A.J.C. and Karczmarski, L. (2014). Preliminary observations of a population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in Tañon Strait, Philippines with notes on the prevalence of various skin disorders. 46th Annual Convention of the Federation of Institutions for Marine and Freshwater Sciences. Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines.

Tiongson, A.J.C. and Sabater, E.R. (2013). Patterns of mixed-species associations of small cetaceans in the Northwest Bohol Sea. 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Tiongson, A.J.C. and Estacion, J.S. (2013).Morphological differentiation of two morphs of the seagrass Halophila spinulosa (R. Br.) Ascherson (Hydrocharitaceae) from Ilacaon Island, Negros Occidental, Philippines. Joint meeting for the 50th anniversary of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation & Organization for Tropical Studies, San Jose, Costa Rica.

Relevant Experience
  • Research Assistant, Cetacean Ecology Lab, The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong (2013 – 2015)

  • Research Assistant, Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences, Silliman University, Dumaguete City, Philippines (2012 – 2013)

  • Research Volunteer, Behavioural Response of Australian Humpback whales to Seismic Surveys (BRAHSS). Sunshine Coast, Australia. (Sep – Oct 2011)

© Stephen Chan

© Likko Tiongson

© Katrina Perandos

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