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Puerto Princesa eyes Simpocan in west coast as eco-birdwatching site PDF Print E-mail

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, March 17 (PNA) -– Birdwatching, also known as birding, which is the observation of birds in their natural environment as a recreational activity and scientific study, is being eyed in this city as an eco-tourism option that can earn income for travel businesses as well as educate people on the fragility of the environment, said the Birdwatch Palawan Ornithological Society (BPOS) on Friday in a three-day workshop.

BPOS President Rainier Manalo said the goal of the 2nd Birdwatching Basics Training for Eco-Tourism is to primarily consult tourism stakeholders on the possibility of offering bird observation as an eco-friendly activity to enthusiasts, and to others, who can be educated about birds as useful tools for environmental education and awareness on green issues.

“Birds exist everywhere and are accessible, and they convey the importance of respecting nature and the vulnerability of ecosystems. Their colors and the way they live in their environment not only give pleasure and enjoyment, but also raise environmental appreciation among people”, Manalo said.

Of the 13 birdwatching sites in the Philippines, three are located in the city and province, namely the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) at Sitio Sabang, Barangay Cabayugan with 195 species of birds, including the Palawan Peacock pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis) and “Talusi” or the Palawan Hornbill (Anthracoceros marchei) ; Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary (RIWS) off the shores of the municipality of Narra in Southern Palawan for 104 bird species, including the Philippine Red-Vented Cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), Grey Imperial Pigeon (Ducula pickeringii) and the Mantanani Scops Owl (Otus mantananensis); and Lake Manguao (formerly Lake Danao) in the Northern Palawan town of Taytay for 126 species of birds, including the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca), Ashy-Headed Babbler, and Grey-Cheeked Bulbul.

Now, the BPOS, in cooperation with the city government, wants to introduce Barangay Simpocan on the west coast of Puerto Princesa as a new birdwatching site for its exceptional bird population.

Characterized by white sand beaches, rolling terrains and thick greeneries that extend to the water's edge, the place is home to many species of birds, among them the Common Hill or Talking Mynah, a bird of the Starling family whose body is covered in jet-black feathers, and famous for its ability to mimic human sounds.

Manalo also said eco-birdwatching activities in Simpocan can further boost the city’s and the province’s tourism industry, as well as provide residents of the barangay an alternative source of livelihood.

At least 60 participants, most of them tour guides, attended the birdwatching basics training organized by the BPOS. Stanley Chang, creative director of Eco-Education and Resources Center based in Hongkong, who was guest speaker, said Puerto Princesa and Palawan’s potential as a birdwatching site will make it the favorite of birding enthusiasts not only in the Philippines, but Asia and probably other countries in Europe once advertised. (PNA)





















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