DENR releases wildlife in the forests of N. Ecija

SEVEN WILDLIFE species have returned successfully to their natural habitat after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Nueva Ecija released them into the wild area of Pantabangan watershed, environment officials here announced yesterday.

Alfredo Collado, head of the provincial DENR in Nueva Ecija said four species of serpent eagle (Spilornis holospilus), two species of reticulated python (Python reticulatus) and species of pond turtle have been released in their original home after almost five years of captivity in the DENR regional wildlife rescue center in Palayan City.

“The rescue center has been their temporary shelter. The wildlife had undergone care and rehabilitation after being rescued by our wildlife officers under various circumstances. And now they are released back in their natural home”, he explained.

He said it is important that wildlife species is released back to the wild after their captivity to regain their natural instinct that they can learn to live and hunt on their own.

“The wildlife species were declared fit for release after the diagnosis made by the provincial veterinarian to ensure that they are healthy and free from any form of disease”, he said, saying that the biggest threat to the survival of wildlife is the exploitation of local communities.

He appealed to the public to report to the nearest DENR office any suspicious wildlife trading activity, including illegal hunting.

“Let us be vigilant in the protection of our animals. They played a crucial role in human survival and are important part of the ecosystem”, he said.

Earlier, the DENR has also released 12 bramminy kites (Haliastur indus), five monitor lizards (Varanus salvator) and 30 box turtles (Terrapene carolina) in the 62,300-ha Angat Watershed Forest Reserve in Bulacan.

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DENR intensifies protection of marine resources in Zambales

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here recently intensified its campaign on the protection and conservation of marine resources in the more than 7,000-ha Masinloc-Oyon Bay Protected Landscape and Seascape (MOBPLS) in Masinloc town in Zambales through the launching of a flagship species mascot named “Maggie”, under the Costal and Marine Ecosystem Management Program (CMEMP), environment authorities said.

Arthur Salazar, deputy director for Technical Services of DENR Central Luzon said the mascot Maggie symbolizes the blue spotted rabbit fish scientific Siganus corallinus, which is now threatened in the MOBPLS.

“Maggie was named after the pristine Magalawa Island in Zambales. The fishing for this flagship species is now being regulated by the local government unit because of its declining population,” he explained.

He said the blue spotted rabbit fish was chosen by local communities as flagship species because of its economic and ecological importance, being a major food source and livelihood for the fisher folk in the area.

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