Anti-wildlife poach­ing drive on in Bo­hol for­est

Manila Bulletin - - News - By EL­LA­LYN B. DE VERA

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bo­hol — The Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR) in Cen­tral Visayas has strictly im­ple­mented the “no hunt­ing, col­lect­ing, killing and har­vest­ing of wildlife species” within the 10,452.60-hectare Ra­jah Sikatuna Pro­tected Land­scape (RSPL).

It cov­ers the tim­ber­lands of the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of Car­men, Sierra Bul­lones, Garcia Her­nan­dez, Va­len­cia, Dimiao, Bi­lar and Bat­uan.

“Our wildlife species play a very im­por­tant com­po­nent in pre­serv­ing the state of bal­ance of an ecosys­tem and its pres­ence to a cer­tain habi­tat con­trib­utes to the over­all in­tegrity of the en­vi­ron­ment,” DENRCen­tral Visayas Re­gional Direc­tor Dr. Is­abelo Mon­tejo said.

Known for its rich wildlife re­sources, the RSPL has recorded a to­tal of 195 fau­nal species, 25 species of bats, 13 species of non-fly­ing mam­mals, 120 species of birds, 20 species of frogs, seven species of lizards and 10 species of snakes. It also cov­ers about 9,136 hectares of good sec­ondary growth forests.

Study and as­sess­ment re­vealed that a ma­jor por­tion of the present RSPL is made up of nat­u­ral for­est stand dom­i­nated by sev­eral dipte­ro­carp species and sev­eral nat­u­ral and scenic at­tributes that were po­ten­tials for ed­u­ca­tional, sci­en­tific, and recre­ational uses.

At present, nearly 40 tamed long-tailed Philip­pine ma­caques are living in­side the RSPL, which at­tract a lot of lo­cal and for­eign tourists.

Like­wise, there are 96 caves found within the 13 barangays un­der the cov­er­age of RSPL, and which are sub­ject for as­sess­ment by DENR.

By pro­tect­ing and pre­serv­ing through the ac­tive in­volve­ment of the com­mu­ni­ties them­selves, Mon­tejo added the wildlife species present there would be able to in­crease its pop­u­la­tion on its nat­u­ral habi­tat.

It also has 1,000-square me­ter wildlife res­cue cen­ter that serves as an ac­clima­ti­za­tion fa­cil­ity be­fore the once cap­tive species would be re­leased to the wild af­ter six months or more or when its health con­di­tion per­mits.

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