DAVAO CITY – Davao City-based environmental group Interface Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS) found a dead Philippine Sailfin Lizard, considered an endemic species of the Philippines that is already vulnerable to extinction, which was reportedly shot along the riverbanks of Panigan-Tamugan watershed in Baguio District here.
IDIS executive director Mark Peñalver said, in an interview, that the dead creature, known to locals as “ibid”, was found during a routine river clean-up and brand audit conducted by the environmental group with members of Bantay Bukid last Wednesday, January 27, along the riverbanks of the watershed, considered as Davao’s next water source.
He added that the team also spotted another “ibid” lurking near where the dead creature was discovered.
Peñalver called on the local government to strengthen efforts to protect these creatures to live up to the city’s campaign slogan that “Life is here in Davao”, adding that this must include the “life of our natural resources, including those within it.”
“As what we always say in IDIS, a clean water means a healthy watershed. Let’s continue to protect and conserve our watersheds for us to have more sources of clean water,” he added.
The “ibid” has been listed by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “vulnerable species” due to habitat loss through land conversions, logging operations, human intrusions, and monocrop plantations.
The lizards are also being hunted for food, and are heavily collected as pets, he added.
He said there were also sightings of Philippine Long-tailed Macaque, considered by IUCN as “near threatened” species in the same watershed.
He said the presence of these creatures are an important indicator of a healthy and balanced watershed and of high endemism in the area.