DENR frees olive ridley turtle, retrieves sailfin lizard

ZAMBOANGA. Environment authorities release an olive ridley turtle back to its natural habitat in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte last week. A photo handout shows members of the releasing team and spectators documenting the return of the turtle back to the sea.
ZAMBOANGA. Environment authorities release an olive ridley turtle back to its natural habitat in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte last week. A photo handout shows members of the releasing team and spectators documenting the return of the turtle back to the sea. (SunStar Zamboanga)

AUTHORITIES have released an olive ridley turtle back to its natural habitat in Zamboanga del Norte while a Philippine sailfin lizard was retrieved in Zamboanga del Sur, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office said Thursday, January 25, 2024.

The DENR regional office said the turtle was released back into its natural habitat by the personnel of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office-Piñan in collaboration with the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources last week in Dawo village, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.

The DENR said the marine turtle with a carapace measuring 66 centimeters in length and 63 centimeters in width was rescued in Tag-ulo village, Dapitan City by Theodor Racho, a fisherman, who promptly reported his find to the Cenro Dapitan.

The olive ridley turtle was properly tagged before being released to its natural habitat to ensure the traceability and monitoring of the rescued turtle, according to the DENR.

“The successful rescue and release of the Olive Ridley turtle underscore the importance of community involvement in safeguarding endangered species. As the marine ecosystem faces numerous threats, local initiatives like these play a crucial role in preserving biodiversity and promoting sustainable practices,” the DENR regional office said.

“The collaborative efforts of Cenro Piñan, the local government units, and vigilant community members exemplify the commitment to environmental stewardship in the region,” the DENR said.

The DENR urged the public to promptly notify authorities of any sightings or encounters with Olive Ridley Turtles as such species is classified as endangered according to the Updated National List of Threatened Philippine Fauna and their categories.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Sailfin Lizar was retrieved from the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG) Zamboanga del Sur Office in Pagadian City also last week.

The DENR said the lizard was found during the clean-up activity of the PNP-MG at the boulevard of Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.

The juvenile lizard, which weighs around 275 grams, stretches up to 45 centimeters from head to tail.

It was initially assessed to be healthy and can be released back into the wild.

It was immediately transported to Mount Timolan Protected Landscape for further assessment before releasing it back into the wild, according to the DENR. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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