Lopez, QUEZON ― In relation to the celebration of World Migratory Bird Day 2021, originally marked 9 October of each year, the DENR-CENRO Calauag opted to spearhead a bird watching activity on 20 October 2021 for the youth sector residing within the perimeter of Lalaguna Marsh in Brgy. Lalaguna, Lopez, Quezon.
With this year’s theme, “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!”, World Migratory Bird Day 2021 focuses on the global awareness that highlights the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. At the same time, this brings to attention the connection and reconnection of people to nature by means of watching birds and listening to their calls.
During the Information Education and Communication (IEC) Campaign, Alternate Information Officer, FR Ria Rose D. Yasoña provided the overview and history of the celebration of World Migratory Bird Day. The latter said that the celebration was created by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) that aims to raise awareness on the condition of migratory species of wild animals.
Principal Information Officer, FT II Cesar S. Arenas Jr. added that October is the season of annual avian migration in the Philippines, wherein birds from the northern hemisphere migrate to escape the winter season, find shelter, and feed along wetlands and forests across the country.
On the other hand, In-charge of Conservation and Development Section, EMS II Novet Joy S. Pantalunan asserted that World Migratory Bird Day 2021 is therefore not only a celebration of birds but also an important moment to reflect on our global relationship with nature that focuses on our desire to get involved in the protection of birds and nature.
Migratory birds that had been observed during the activity include little egret, intermediate egret, cattle egret, black-crowned night heron, wandering whistling duck, purple heron, Philippine duck, yellow bittern, little grebe, white-collared kingfisher, red turtle dove, Asian glossy starling, yellow-vented bulbul, black-naped oriole, white-breasted wood swallow, large-billed crow, swiftlet, brown shrike, and reed warbler.
The said bird-watching activity was conducted simultaneously with the semestral monitoring of migratory birds through the conduct of the Asian Waterbird Census (AWC). Of which, Lalaguna Marsh is one of the twenty-five (25) identified bird monitoring sites of CENRO Calauag, with an influx of bird voyagers migrating during the winter season.
Some of the critically endangered species of birds like Aythya baeri commonly known as Baer's Pochard has sightings in the area; subjecting the Lalaguna Marsh as a prospect “critical habitat” as the term was defined in DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2007-02 otherwise known as “Guidelines on the Establishment and Management of Critical Habitat”.
The CENRO Calauag, Quezon with the support of Lopez LGU and continuous coordination of the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of DENR, Lalaguna Marsh is nearing to be declared as a “critical habitat”.
After the discussion, the participants consisted mostly of youth participants from Brgy. Lalaguna signified support to continuously conserve and protect the Lalaguna Marsh.
A Series of short films were viewed containing topics on migratory birds. Also, sustainable IEC materials (bookmarks portraying migratory bird photos with their local and scientific names and their conservation status) were distributed to the participants.
The DENR-CENRO Calauag, through the management and supervision of CENR Officer Joselito D. Barros still believes that the youth is the hope of our environment. Imparting the right information and knowledge to them on the significance of birds in our ecosystem, there can be a great chance for a brighter future towards the country’s sustainable development. ###