DAVAO CITY—The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR XI), other government and private organizations have embarked on a series of campaign activities on understanding and protecting the Davao Region’s wildlife.
The activity is in line with the UN Wildlife Week held in March 3 to March 9. PEF director for research and conservation Jason Ibanez said the advocacy is an alternative activity for the youth to keep them away from the gadget-base lifestyle.
“We have evidence that too much exposure to gadgets are stressful to children so we are trying to offer an alternative as they may not know that they can also do it,” he said. He said the children forget to exercise their senses by interacting with nature. Ibanez said there are at least 370 species of birds found only in the Davao Region and out of this number, 116 are endemic in the Philippines.
He said Davao City has a rich wildlife that even the smallest parrot in the world can only be found here named Parrakeet and the Guiabero Parrot particularly in the forest near Las Terrazas. Contrary to some people who think Davao City has few bird species, Ibanez further said the Silvery Kingfisher can be seen at the PEF center in Malagos, Calinan.
There are unique wildlife species in the Davao Region like the kind of rodent found at the Bonsai Forest of Mt. Hamiguitan discovered in 2008 by a group of biologists both Filipinos and Americans led by a team from the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, USA.
Also found in the mountain are 10 species of pitcher plants that could only be seen in the bonsai forest, he said.
“I think these are interesting and enjoyable things that the youth had overlooked,” he said.
“With our advocacy, people may realize that there are species of wildlife that can only be found in the Philippines and we should be proud of it,” he added.
Ibanez said this is the reason PEF and other agencies are strengthening their advocacy for the Dabawenyos to be aware of Davao’s wildlife.
He said their campaign is ongoing and “we are into consolidation on youth education campaign specifically on wildlife and we will continue look for avenues for wider reach and stir the youth’s interest in biodiversity and encourage appreciation of our rich and unique wildlife”.
This year’s celebration is highlighted by the holding of the quiz bowl, essay writing contest, lectures, an interactive photo exhibit at the SM malls here, Ibanez added.