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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Foundation to mount Wildlife Is

THE Philippine Eagle Foundation will mount a Wildlife Is, an interactive poster exhibit this coming June 4, 2018 which will feature the charismatic endemic wildlife species in the Davao Region.

PEF education administrator Rai Gomez, during the Connect media forum held at SM Lanang Food Hall Friday, June 1, said that these are species found here in Davao City.

She enumerated that among the endemic species they will showcase are Guaia bero, Rufous-lored kingfisher, golden-crowned flying foxes, Philippine flying lemur and Pinsker's hawk-eagle.

Guaia bero or the green-colored parrot, according to Gomez, is an endemic parrot found in the Philippines. Like the Philippine Eagle, it is found in Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. But different sub-species exist in these areas, and if these sub-species in Mindanao will be lost then they will be extinct forever.

"We have seen many people selling this species... in San Pedro, Uyanguren, and it is impossible that these come from legal breeding facility because they tried to breed Guaia bero in Manila in 1933, and while they were able to breed it, they had a hard time because it is actually a very sensitive bird, the chicks did not successfully live, and so they stopped the breeding, so since 1993 they stopped legal breeding," she said.

Gomez said that although this species is not threatened as it is tolerant to disturbance, trade of this bird endangers their population, and such activity is also illegal under Wildlife act. Even the buyers can be sued.

The green-colored parrots are Guava harvesters, and they are stumpy looking.

Rufus lored Kingfisher, moreover, is also among the species that are not fish eaters and needs large trees to survive.

"They are vulnerable because of deforestation, they are sensitive to the laws of forest," she said.

Another species to be highlighted is the Pinsker's Hawk-eagle, which was recently found to be different from Mindanao Hawk-eagle, and because of this it now has an endangered status with only a population of 600 to 800.

"At the center we successfully breed this species naturally. It is both male and female, loyal partners, only lays one egg yearly, hindi sila ganoon kabilis magparami, just like the Philippine Eagle," Gomez said.

According to her, the challenge there is that there’s not much study conducted on this species as the other species mentioned.

Flying lemurs also added to the list of the endemic species since they are the favorite food of the Philippine Eagle, and they also do not reproduce fast, one adult usually produces one pup at a time.

Golden-crowned flying fox, called by locals as Barukkan are hunted for food, a favorite since it can weigh 1-2 kilos.

Nectar eaters, these flying foxes are agents of pollination, and while its hunting was stopped after the campaign against its hunting was led by Department of Environment and Natural Resources in 2005, Gomez said that they recently heard reports again that some people still hunt this species and the hunting is done outside the protected area.

It takes years for a golden-crowned pup to be sexually mature. These species are also picky on the type of trees they roost, as they only choose to stay on trees with horizontal branches that’s why any disturbance to the bats that carry their pup it usually results to falling of their pup.

The exhibit is in line with the 20th Philippine Eagle Week to be celebrated this coming June 4 to 12, with the theme, Citizenship through conservation: I love my Philippine Eagle, I love my Philippines.

The whole series of events aims to encourage and remind the Filipino people of our social responsibility to conserve our environment and wildlife. (KVC)


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