DAVAO CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 11 (DENR-11) has started bird counting activities in different municipalities in the region to gain information on the population of migratory birds and monitor the status of wetlands.
In a statement, the DENR-XI said the bird watching and counting activities were being conducted through its Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section (PAMBCS).
It added that the activities were in line with the Annual Asian Waterfowl Census (AWC) for migratory birds.
“There are nine migratory flyways in the world and one of which is the East Asian-Australasian Flyway where the Philippines is a part of it. All these flyways are also conducting its census,” the DENR said Monday.
It said migratory birds from other countries, such as Siberia, China, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, come in numbers during the annual bird migration season, which begins in September and extends until February of the following year.
“The migratory birds prefer the Philippine wetlands for their nesting, feeding and breeding grounds while escaping the cold season from their country of origin,” DENR said.
“Last week, DENR-11 team, together with one of its partner bird expert and photographer Pete Simpson, sighted several migratory birds including the critically-endangered Chinese Crested Tern in Carmen, Davao del Norte,” it said
Carmen town was among the areas being monitored by the PAMBCS. The other areas were Busaon, Davao del Norte; Banaybanay and San Isidro, Davao Oriental; Malalag and Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur and; Bucana, Davao City.
To raise awareness about the significance of migratory birds, the DENR said the World Migratory Bird Day is being celebrated every second Saturday in May and in October every year. It said the Wetlands Day is also celebrated every February 2 of each year “to highlight the importance of conserving and protecting waterfowls and its habitat. “
“In the Philippines, volunteers from all sectors are encouraged to join this annual census for them to learn and appreciate the importance of the migration season and its flyways as stop overs for the birds,” it added.
The DENR also reminded the public that illegal hunting and selling of migratory birds is strictly prohibited.