Thursday Feb, 20 2020 07:35:40 PM

DENR-12 personnel sighted thousands of waterbirds in Sultan Kudarat

Climate Change/Environment • 16:00 PM Thu Jan 30, 2020
MMMaulana and photos by DYIBalindong
Several Cattle Egrets seen in Lake Buluan. Another photo shows PAWS Chief Mama Mulipay (leftmost) together with other DENR-12 personnel during the AWC activity at the Lake Buluan in Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat

TACURONG CITY – Thousands of various waterbird species were sighted at Lake Buluan in Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat during the recently conducted annual Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) activity of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12.

The AWC activity was spearheaded by Tacurong City Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) last January 22 to 23 to provide basis for estimates of waterbird population, determine changes in their numbers and improve knowledge of little-known waterbird species and wetland sites.

Mama Mulimpay, CENRO Tacurong City Protected Area and Wildlife Section Chief said that the DENR annually conducts the AWC to determine the current number of waterbird species in the area.

“We are conducting this activity every year so that we can compare the current condition and population of various waterbirds to our data in the previous years,” Chief Mulimpay said.

Forester Sainoding Hadjimanan of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Sultan Kudarat said that aside from bird counting, the AWC also helps the DENR to monitor the possible illegal activities like bird hunting.

“The DENR, in cooperation with the local government units of Lutayan and Buluan, Maguindanao conducts a regular monitoring in the area not only during the celebration of AWC. We are doing this to protect and preserve the various species of waterbirds in the lake,” Forester Hadjimanan said.

According to the Municipal ENRO of Lutayan, the Lake Buluan has an estimated area of 6,300 hectares. The area which covers the Lutayan side is around 3,600 hectares.

During the bird counting, some 8,928 waterbirds were counted using direct counting and unit-sampling estimates.

The species sighted by the team composed of personnel from DENR-12 Regional Office, Sultan Kudarat Provincial ENRO and Tacurong City CENRO were Great Bittern, Cinnamon Bittern, Black Crown Night Heron, Rufous NH, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, Great Egret, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Javan Pond Heron, White-breasted Waterhen, Barred Rail, Banded Rail, Water Rail, Common Crane, Philippine Duck, Lesser Whisling Duck, Serpent Eagle, Brahminy Kite and Wanderin Duck.

According to the DENR, the number of waterbirds in Lake Buluan, specifically in Lutayan side, is quite big compared to other areas due to the abundance of food and serenity.

“There is a decrease in the population of waterbird species in the area especially the Brahminy Kite, compared to our previous sightings. The possible reasons are disturbance, climate change and other birds are migratory,” Chief Mulimpay said.

“We will conduct an information drive in the area to increase public awareness on the importance of these waterbirds especially to the people living near the area,” Chief Mulimpay added.

The DENR also reminds the public not to harm and capture these birds because they contribute a lot to a balanced ecosystem.

The AWC is an annual event and takes place once a year, during the second and third weeks of January.

The census was initiated in 1987 in the Indian subcontinent, and has grown rapidly to cover 26 countries of South Asia, East Asia, South East Asia, Pacific, as well as Russia Far East. 

Image may contain: sky, outdoor, water and nature

Image may contain: sky, bird, outdoor, nature and water



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