La Cimatu reiterates its call to modify the wildlife law to protect the eagle PH
MANILA —Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu renewed his call for lawmakers to amend Republic Act 9147 or the Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 wildlife resources to ensure tougher penalties for the increasing number of Philippine eagle rescues during the pandemic. .
Cimatu made the statement after the release of a Philippine eagle named “Godod” in the municipality of Godod, province of Zamboanga del Norte, on January 10.
“Experts in biology and ecology of the Philippine eagle believe that the increase in rescues during this period means that the culprits are intruding into the forests to hunt for food and as a source of income, thus causing habitat disturbance. forests,” Cimatu said in a statement. Sunday press release.
“We must remain vigilant and let perpetrators know that there are environmental laws they must face if they continue to commit such evil acts. Confronted with such acts continuously, we urge our lawmakers to help us protect the Philippine eagle and other wildlife,” he added.
Godod, a female Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), was rescued following a report that she was “trapped and in captivity by a resident somewhere in Barangay Bunawan, Godod in Zamboanga del Norte”.
The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte, dispatched a team to immediately rescue the raptor.
After its rescue, the raptor underwent an X-ray as part of standard operating procedures for rescued birds to reveal if it had suffered any broken bones and other injuries.
Tests for AI or avian flu and NCDs or New Castle disease were also undertaken to find out if the bird had contracted any diseases.
After a thorough and comprehensive examination, Zamboanga Sibugay provincial veterinarians recommended that the bird was fit and healthy for release.
Regional Executive Director and Deputy Regional Director of Technical Services for DENR-Zamboanga Peninsula, Ronald Gadot, pointed out that the Philippine Eagle is an “indicator species in terms of assessing the richness of forest ecosystems and biodiversity in a region”.
“As a top predator, the Philippine eagle dwells where food and prey are abundant. The mountainous areas of Godod are home to wild animals such as monkeys, hornbills, snakes, flying lemurs, wild pigs , feral cats and a host of other wildlife that form an important part of its diet. Dipterocarp’s narrow forest canopy and elevation make the area an ideal home for these eagles to thrive,” said Gadot.
Prior to release, the eagle was tagged and installed with a Global Positioning System or GPS tracker, and the release site was assessed for its suitability as a habitat.
The Philippine Eagle is a Critically Endangered species under DENR Administrative Order 2019-09 known as the Updated National Lists of Threatened Philippine Wildlife and Their Categories and Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or CITES, in which said species is threatened with extinction.
It is also included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (PR)