CANDABA town is known to tourists and bird watchers as a sanctuary for various types of migratory birds.
Several species of birds flock to the Candaba swamp from October to February to seek refuge from the cold weather in their countries of origin.
But in the past eight years, migratory fowls flying on the swamp have gradually decreased from the more than 13,000 during the peak migration season in 2009 to only around 1,500 in 2018 — the lowest recorded migration rate by the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the past decade.
This was what prompted senatorial bet Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos to call for the rehabilitation and preservation of the Candaba wetlands for its continuous sheltering of migratory birds.
“We also have migratory birds in Paoay Lake, and we experienced the same thing not so long ago. That is why I am very committed in rehabilitating the wetlands of Candaba because I personally know its benefits to nature and the tourism industry in the area,” Marcos said during a press briefing in this capital city on Tuesday, February 12.
Paoay Lake in Ilocos Norte, the home province of Marcos, is also known as a sanctuary of migratory birds.
Marcos said the decrease in the number of birds refuelling at the Candaba swamp is due to the lack of fish in the wetlands which serve as food for the migrating fowls.
She stressed that the swamp must be replenished with different kinds of fish and water creatures to be able to feed migratory birds as well as to reset the natural cycle of the environment in the area.
Moreover, Marcos said the local government must impose measures to ensure that the Candaba wetlands are preserved and taken care of, and not be a dump site for residents in the area.
“It is really very saddening that fewer migratory birds are now visiting Candaba swamp which has once become their sanctuary. Let us join hands, especially the people of Candaba in reviving the beauty of Candaba swamp and welcome again our beautiful migratory birds there,” she said.