Creation of Mt. Apo wildlife center pushed

In support of local efforts to protect the wildlife on the mountain
Creation of Mt. Apo wildlife center pushed
SunStar File Photo

THE Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is pushing for the creation of a Mt. Apo Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (MAWRCC) to help conserve wildlife biodiversity in the national park.

Mount Apo National Park, which was established in 1936, is the home of the rare Philippine eagle and 271 other species of birds. Also inhabiting are endemic animals, including wild pigs, bats, monkeys, civet cats, deer, rats, and squirrels.

In 2022, an injured warty pig was documented by a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) team who were climbing Mt. Apo. It was the first time a warty pig (scientific name Sus Philippensis) was found in the mountain.

The DENR team theorized that Mt. Apo provided a safe refuge for these vulnerable wild pig species. The warty pig sighting triggered massive calls for protection of the wildlife species in the 64,000-hectare national park.

This prompted government officials and agencies, including MinDA, to join hands in establishing a wildlife center on Mt. Apo.

MinDA Deputy Executive Director, Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro, said the push for a wildlife sanctuary is in support of local efforts to protect the wildlife on the mountain.

"A bill has been filed by Congressman Rudy Gadiongan of North Cotabato, particularly on the aspect of ensuing conservation of Mt. Apo wildlife, because over the years, kulang na kulang in terms of very specific concerted efforts to protect what is there,” Montenegro said during the press conference held on Feb. 16 on the occasion of MinDA’s 14th anniversary at SMX Davao.

He said a legislative effort is needed to make the project well implemented and funded.

“And that (legislation) has to be backed by solid research and dito papasok ang National Research Council,” Montenegro said, citing the need for a study to determine the loss of diversity, loss of endemism, and extinction of species, which are major challenges facing Mt. Apo.

House Bill 7430, filed by Gadiongan, with a Senate counterpart bill (Senate Bill 227) authored by Senator Cynthia Villar, proposes the establishment of a center whose goal is to protect the remaining population of wildlife species within the Mt. Apo area.

“To strengthen the enactment and enable legislation, MinDA sought the assistance of the National Research Council of the Philippines,” Montenegro said.

The researchers will bring in accurate data on Mt. Apo’s state of biodiversity.

The partnership also brings more stakeholders to the project. Late last year, MinDA had a consultation with the indigenous cultural communities to gather support for the project.

In 2022, MinDA conducted an advocacy campaign, coordination meetings, and networking with stakeholders for the proposed MAWRCC.

When realized, the MAWRCC will become a facility for animal rescue, conservation, breeding, education, research, and ecotourism. PIA DAVAO

Related stories:

Creation of Mt. Apo wildlife center pushed
PH warty pig spotted for the first time at Mount Apo
Creation of Mt. Apo wildlife center pushed
Mt. Apo as a geological monument gets support
Creation of Mt. Apo wildlife center pushed
Stakeholders unite for Mt. Apo wildlife rescue, conservation hub
Creation of Mt. Apo wildlife center pushed
Mt. Apo trails must not be cemented - group


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.