Annual Asian waterbird census held
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR participated in the recent conduct of Asian waterbird census through consecutive bird watch at Magat-Maris Dam in Alfonso Lista, Ifugao and at Talaca, Tabuk, Kalinga ON January 12-13 and January 17-18, respectively.
Ecosystems Management Specialist II Linda Claire Pawid said the waterbird census primarily aims to “monitor the existence of various waterbird species especially the endangered ones”.
This year, an estimate of 20,000 egrets were observed in Kalinga while they were about 4,000 egrets; 2,000 ducks and more than 400 herons observed in Ifugao.
The waterbirds which passed the region were mostly from China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Australia.
According to Senior Ecosystems Management Specialist Trinivic Silang, November to February is the season of migratory birds wherein the month of January is the peak.
The results of the census are eyed to serve as basis for waterbird population and the changes in waterbird area distribution.
In the Cordilleras, the DENR-CAR was joined by the local government units of Alfonso Lista and Tabuk; officials from barangay Namnama; Department of Tourism-CAR; Philippine National Police-Alfonso Lista; National Irrigation Authority; National Power Corporation; SN Aboitiz; Kalinga State University; Ifugao State University-Alfonso Lista Campus; Benguet State University; Baguio-Benguet Wildbird Photographers Club; Wildlife Enforcement Officers of Alfonso Lista.
Prior to the bird count and monitoring, the participants had an orientation about the activity. The orientation was conducted not only for the participants to know how the waterbird census is done but for them to have increased awareness and knowledge about waterbird species, wetlands and their importance at the local, national and international level.
The Asian waterbird census is an annual activity conducted across Asia and Australasia wherein government agencies, local government units and organizations dedicated to wildlife visit wetlands in their areas and count waterbirds.
The activity is part of the global waterbird programme called the International Waterbird Census led by Wetlands International.
Apart from the Asian waterbird census, the DENR-CAR also participated in the International Black-faced Spoonbill census on January 1-4. The objective was to monitor sightings of the endangered species. Unfortunately, such was not observed in the region. |GJNF