Treasures of Cebu Island-A A +A
Saturday, February 9, 2013
THERE’s more to Cebu Island than just the recently held Sinulog Festival in Cebu City. The forests of this neighboring island is also home to the Cebu Hawk-Owl, a recently discovered species described as yellow-eyed with light to dark brown feathers.
Mr. Godfrey Jakosalem is one of the local Filipino scientists who recently conducted an ecological study of this new species of hawk-owl under a fellowship grant from the Ford International Fellowship Program.
A picture of the Cebu Hawk-Owl taken by Sir Godfrey made it to the Landbank Calendar 2013 entitled “Unraveling New Species in the Philippine Ecosystem”. This bird of prey graces the page for the first two months of the year 2013. The species is described as “possibly critically endangered” because of the destruction of its habitat due to deforestation.
Sir Godfrey is a native of Cebu City. He graduated from Southwestern University in Cebu City with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He worked with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office in Region 7 and was involved with the identification and monitoring of migratory birds at the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary.
In 2003 he joined the Cebu Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc as Field Projects Officer. This is where he got the opportunity to conduct research expeditions in the Philippines under the supervision of world-renowned ornithologists and wildlife biologists.
It was during his stint with the CBCF where he was trained under The Wetlands Trust-UK in bird handling, bird ringing and bird flagging. He underwent an intensive field course on mark-capture-recapture techniques for migratory birds.
Sir Godfrey or Godo, as he is also known, was in town for a speaking engagement at the Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod auditorium regarding the Causes and Effects of Climate Change and how we can all make a difference. Said talk was held last January 28, 2013 during the Engineering Week 2013 celebration of the said school. The challenge posed by Sir Godo to the engineering students was for them to develop solar panels that could be commercialized as an alternative to conventional form of energy.
Sir Godo and I are friends in Facebook and lately I have been acquainting myself with the different species of birds that he has photographed along the wetlands of Negros Occidental. His work experience includes training of DENR technical staff on water bird identification and monitoring in the country. This was during his stint as Junior Waterbirds Specialist of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the DENR.
He recently obtained a Master’s Degree in Applied Ecology and Conservation from the University of East Anglia in the UK and he is presently connected with the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 10, 2013.