Archive for the ‘endangered species’ Category

Palawan wildlife faces near extinction

September 14, 2008

In the illegal bird trade, each of them have a measly price tag between P2,000 and P5,000 ($50-120) and the white feathered Philippine cockatoos are ravenously hunted and have become critically endangered. Victims of bird fanciers who seek them for their astonishing beauty, the birds are losing habitat due to forest destruction in Palawan, Philippines.

The talking black mynah (Gracula religiosa ssp. palawanensis,) the blue-headed parrot with flaming red beak and bright green plummage (Thanygnathus lucionensis,) and the cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygi,) a helmet-crested white psittacine wonder with a flamboyant red undertail—all Gods’ irreplaceable gifts to our planet, are being decimated like other threatened avian species worldwide.

Palawan is covered by a special law, Republic Act No. 7611, which categorizes old growth forests and areas above 1,000 meters in elevation as “core zones,” or areas exempt from human development.

There is a mismatch in the protected area systems and the requirements of important species. All threatened species in Palawan live in what had been designated as buffer areas and these are open to exploitation, primarily mining….alluding to dozens of mining applications all over Palawan, particularly in the nickel and chromite-rich southern Palawan….not taking into consideration Palawan’s endangered species. It is easier to secure a mining permit than to request for a permit to conduct scientific expeditions” —Aldrin Mallari, ornithologist (Inquirer, 09/14/08, Anda,A)

Scientists and conservationists warned of the imminent extinction in a three-day conference participated in by an international group of bird-watchers and conservation experts.

Monitoring illegal traffic of birds and wildlife, Katala Foundation, a conservation group, disclosed three groups of wildlife traders in the chrome and nickel-rich island of Palawan where the famous pristine Tubbataha Reef is also located. According to Katala, 13 mammalian species and 11 bird species are critically at risk of being permanently wiped-out because of deforestation, bird captures, and human intrusions which lead to black market sales in Manila and elsewhere.

Without the support of the community and the government, the extinction of these species seems inevitable. Alarmed experts are pessimistic if appropriate legislation without implementation and sluggish wildlife education can ever do enough to preserve and rescue wildlife from danger. Photo Credits: Palawan Council for Sustainable Dev’t; nicky; Borneo@27)=0=