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Palawan steps up drive vs wildlife trafficking PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 June 2007

Hill MynaPUERTO PRINCESA - The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), the provincial government's environmental arm, has stepped up its campaign against the gathering and trading of wildlife birds in the province.

PCSD personnel, together with other law enforcement agencies, recently arrested Frank Arcino for trading 33 hatchlings of hill mynahs, locally known as “kiao” and 15 blue-naped parrots in barangay Campong Ulay in Rizal town, some 207 kilometers south from this city.

Arcino is now facing a criminal charge for violating R.A. 9147 or the Wildlife Act. 

PCSD Konek 7007611 records clearly identified Rizal as a hot spot for wildlife trafficking as most, if not all, past apprehensions pointed to Rizal as source of birds sneaked out of the province for trade.

The PCSD Konek 7007611 is a quick response campaign of the PCSD staff in partnership with Smart Communication Inc. Palawan Peacock Pheasant

The project's concept is to link PCSD to Palaweños through the short-messaging system (SMS) and report environmental violations in their areas. 

Alex Marcaida, PCSD information officer said with his arrest and the birds' confiscation, Arcino and his alleged financier lost an estimated P400,000 income.

Marcadia said that after rehabilitation, the rescued birds will take its flight again in the woodlands of Palawan with potential worth of unimaginable plus earnings for province’s ecotourism programs and biodiversity.

The wildlife specialist cited that exotic birds stake a jewel price in the market.

Many of these birds end up in pet shops in Manila, he said.

Enforcement agencies further admitted that it is hard to track down illegal operators as these are surreptitiously conducted with the recent transactions done through the intePalawan Hornbillrnet.

PCSD is chaired by Rep. Abraham Khalil Mitra. PCSD, created under R.A. 7611 or the Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) for Palawan, is tasked to oversee the implementation of the Wildlife Act in Palawan.

Presently, Mitra is intensifying the alert call to all enforcement agencies to ensure that Wildlife Act is strictly enforced and the birds are protected.

He said more people are adhering the call to protect birds as they become more aware on the birds' important role in the environment. 

Marcaida said that many of the birds' species like sunbirds and flowerpeckers serve as pollinators while others help on seed dispersal, helping in restoring the forest.

Some like the Palawan peacock pheasant and Palawan hornbill serve as bio-indicators because of their sensitivity to environmental changes, he added Blue Naped Parrot

Environmentalists suggested a stronger cooperation among government entities and all stakeholders to protect the wildlife.

Strict implementation of laws and continuing information, education and communication campaign, especially in remote areas, must be done to increase awareness.

Local government units (LGUs) in the province are also enjoined to declare more protected areas to help save the wildlife from the brink of extinction and ensure the sight of birds still enjoying unguarded flights in the woodlands of Palawan. (PNA)

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