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With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines needs to urgently strengthen its twenty-year-old Wildlife Protection Act to help stop potential outbreaks.

Numerous global scientific studies have shown that most new infectious diseases emerge when pathogens are transmitted from animals to humans – or what we call zoonotic disease transmission. These diseases emerge not because of the existence of wildlife, but because of people who exploit them and destroy their habitat.

Economic growth has disrupted ecosystems and habitat through unplanned urbanization, land degradation, and deforestation. This has allowed people to closely interact with wildlife, leading to hotbeds of zoonotic disease transmission.

common shelduck

On 20 October 2021, four (4) heads of Common shelducks (Tadorna tadorna) were spotted in the mudflats of Tanza Marine Tree Park located in Tanza, Navotas during the regular monitoring of the Conservation and Development Division of DENR - National Capital Region.

Common shelducks are short-billed ducks with a goose-like appearance. They feed mostly on small invertebrates like snails, molluscs, crustaceans, insects and, sometimes, on small plant particles. Common shelducks are known to breed in Central Asia and East Siberia and winter in East Asia. This rare migrant has only been recorded a few times in the Philippines.

pldt smart turn over1Left to right: PLDT-SMART Sustainability Executives Nova Concepcion and Edmar Pasilaban; PLDT-SMART Corporate Sustainability Office and Investor Relations Head, Melissa Vergel de Dios; DENR-BMB Director Datu Tungko M. Saikol; Caves, Wetlands and other Ecosystems Division (CAWED) OIC Anson M. Tagtag and CAWED Staff Jeffrey Jaymes Mesias.

The Philippines’ telecommunication giant and digital services provider PLDT, Inc. (PLDT) and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) turned- over additional equipment to strengthen the protection and enforcement activities at Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWS) during the ceremonial turn-over ceremony held on October 25, 2021 at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.

Twelve (12) portable radios and 200 vests were handed-over by PLDT-Smart which will be used to strengthen the enforcement activities of Bantay Danao volunteers in Caimpugan peatland and other peatlands within the AMWS.

tamaraw month 2021

“The continuous survival of the Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) mainly depends on the unified and concerted efforts not only of the Mindoreños but all the Filipinos.” This is the very essence of Presidential Proclamation No. 273 that declares October of every year as a “Special Month for the Conservation and Protection of the Tamaraw in Mindoro”. The Proclamation urges all government offices, agencies, and instrumentalities in the whole Island of Mindoro to implement activities geared toward the conservation of the Tamaraw and its habitats, and continuously intensifiy the same by having the month of October of every year as a special occasion to commemorate the month of Tamaraw, the critically endangered species – THE PRIDE OF ALL FILIPINOS.

wmbd2021

Here comes the migratory birds again! This season marks the annual bird migration in the Philippines, whereby influx of birds from the northern hemisphere is expected to commence around September (southward migration) to escape the winter, take refuge, and feed along wetlands and forests throughout the country. These birds will return to their breeding grounds by March (northward migration).