Exotic animals seized in Davao Oriental

A team from the National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army seized different kinds of exotic animals yesterday, April 8, in Barangay Dahican, City of Mati, Davao Oriental. This wildlife, mostly Indonesian birds, were said to have come from Papua New Guinea.

Two men, who are allegedly caretakers of the wildlife, were also arrested during the buy-bust operation headed by the NBI.

Accordingly, the apprehended wildlife species were already at the area for about a week and that the caretakers were being paid to feed them.

Initially, 447 species of birds and reptiles were identified and counted by the team from Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), the DENR Regional Office and DENR Provincial Offices in Mati. Some of the identified species were Black Palm Cockatoos, wallabies and Echidna. All the wildlife species were temporarily under the custody of CENRO Mati.

At present, the DENR team headed by Dr. Rogelio Demelletes of the BMB are tagging and identifying the smuggled species. The species will be identified according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) category as this will be the basis for the charges and penalties that will be imposed against the perpetrators.

CITES is an international agreement between governments and aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. CITES was conceived to regulate the trade of wildlife animals and plants across borders and safeguard certain species from over-exploitation.

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Philippine Eagles fly to Singapore for Breeding Conservation

As part of the Philippine government’s bid to protect and conserve the critically-endangered Philippine Eagle, a pair named Geothermica and Sambisig has been flown to Singapore yesterday, June 4, in time for the celebration of the 21st Philippine Eagle Week (June 4-10).

Carrying Philippine passports, the said pair is the first of their species to be covered by a wildlife loan agreement for adoption by a foreign country. The passports are said to emphasize the Philippine identity of both eagles and that they remain the property of the Philippine government.

Geothermica is a 15-year-old male Philippine eagle born on January 7, 2004, while Sambisig is a 16-year-old female born on November 17, 2002. Both were hatched and reared at the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) in Davao City.

The pair will be housed in Jurong Bird Park for the next 10 years for captive breeding under a Wildlife Loan Agreement between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), one of the leading zoological institutions in the world.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that these species are “ideal ambassadors of Philippine biodiversity, perfect for the purpose of generating awareness on the urgent need for conservation.”

“Sending Geothermica and Sambisig to Singapore acts as biosecurity measure to ensure the survival of the species and as a fallback population in the event of catastrophic events like disease outbreaks or extreme natural calamities taking place in their Philippine habitats,” he added.

On board flight PR 507, Philippine Airlines (PAL) airlifted the two eagles from Davao. DENR Assistant Secretary Ricardo Calderon, together with Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Meynardo Montealegre, PEF Chairman Edgar Chua and PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador led the ceremonial “send-off” at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.

Calderon said that with the partnership with the Wildlife Reserves Singapore and Singapore government commemorating 50 years of diplomatic relationship, the wildlife loan agreement highlighted the importance of the Philippine eagle.

According to the DENR, there are only around 400 pairs of the Philippine eagle left in the wild. With the threat of extinction, sending off the Philippine eagle pair is considered an insurance that the species will not be wiped out in case of a deadly disease outbreak in the Philippines.

 

#HaringIbon #PhilippineEagleWeekCelebration

#PhilippineEnvironmentMonthCelebration #TayoAngKalikasan

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