Nido nest-mak­ing birds un­der threat in Tay­tay

Palawan News - - ENVIRONMENT -

The Nido nest-mak­ing swift­let birds (balin­sasayaw) are un­der threat due to ram­pant “land clear­ing” ac­tiv­i­ties on Pan­galan Point in Mayteguid Is­land. Pan­galan Point has caves that serve as nest­ing ar­eas for the swiftlets while its sur­round­ing forests are their for­ag­ing grounds, said for­mer Tay­tay mayor Roberto Ro­driguez on Sat­ur­day. Ro­driguez said there is a high de­mand for the ed­i­ble bird’s nest be­cause each kilo at farm gate prices sells for P180,000. He said un­der­brush­ing ac­tiv­i­ties have been done in the area for the plant­ing of some co­conut trees, ba­nana, mango, and oth­ers in front of the is­land’s beach. “The area is re­stricted and clas­si­fied as tim­ber­land and it is also be­ing pro­posed as one of the main sell­ing points for the com­muni- ty-based sus­tain­able tourism (CBST) in­dus­try in Tay­tay,” said Ro­driguez. Joie Matil­lano, Tay­tay mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment tourism of­fi­cer, be­lieves that com­mu­nity-based tourism can help em­power lo­cal vil­lages and Pan­galan Point is an area that should be pro­tected. He also said that one of the plans of the lo­cal tourism coun­cil is to cap­i­tal­ize on the com­mu­nity-man­aged balin­sasayaw in­dus­try as one of the unique fea­tures of ex­pe­ri­en­tial tourism. By do­ing so, this will em­power them to be­come more pas­sion­ate about pro­tect­ing and sav­ing the re­main­ing habi­tat of balin­sasayaw in Tay­tay.

Among the many is­lands in Tay­tay Bay, only the is­lands of Mayteguid and Pa­bel­lon are the re­main­ing habi­tat of the balm-sasayaw. With il­le­gal land clear­ing or un­der­brush­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, the lo-cal in­come op­por­tu­nity for the "buceadors" or bird's nest har-vesters is un­der threat. "I am very ap­pre­hen­sive that the loss of the balin­sasayaw habi­tat will de­stroy not only the nat­u­ral beauty of the is­land but also the in­come op­por­tu­ni­ties of the lo­cal res­i­dents who have been har­vest­ing the bird's nest since the time of their forefa-thers," Ro­driguez said. Ro­driguez said he had no-ti­fied the DENR about the con-cern but there has been no ac-tion taken yet.

"We hope that the con-cerned agen­cies will take ap-pro­pri­ate ac­tion to pre­serve our nat­u­ral and cul­tural her­itage be-cause the un­der brush­ing ac­tiv­ity is still con­tin­u­ing even un­til now," he added.

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