The PENRO Rizal conducted a camera handling and wildlife photography workshop aligned with the celebration of National Environmental Awareness Month, Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week, and National Day for Youth in Climate Action. 25 participants engaged in Biodiversity Monitoring, Communication, Education, and Public Awareness (CEPA) Campaign, Documentation, as well Photography hobbyists and enthusiasts participated in the activity. The participants come from PENRO Rizal, CENRO Real, and the University of Rizal System (URS).
The activity was held within Presidential Proclamation No. 1636 located within the Sierra Madre Mountains of Rizal and Quezon Province. MaRiLaQue or the Marikina, Rizal, Laguna, and Quezon hi-way particularly in KM 94 to KM 112 has an abundance of various flora and fauna. It is known for its rugged mountains that attract many nature enthusiasts.
Engr. Maribeth Esteva, Head of Environmental Education and Biodiversity Research Center (EEBRC) of URS emphasized the importance of the different shooting techniques that will enhance the participants' creativity. This technique will improve not only the quality of the photo but also, provides a direct message to audience. In addition, proper handling, care, and maintenance of the cameras and accessories were also discussed.
A pre-workshop on basic wildlife photography was spearheaded by Mr. Mhark Ban Gatela, a wildlife photographer and a research contributor for Robert S. Kennedy Bird Conservancy. He discusses the different approaches when engaging in wildlife photography and how pre-research on habitat types and locations can help during activity. The do’s and don’ts, as well as the personnel experience of Mr. Gatela, are collaboratively shared with participants.
During the birding proper, with the expertise of Mr. Gatela, the group had the chance to experience shooting using 600mm zoom lenses, apply shooting techniques, and properly observe wildlife species. They recorded and photographed 16 bird species,three (3) reptile species, two (2) amphibians, three (3) arthropod species, and other various fauna species. Some of the bird species sighted were Buzzing Flowerpecker, Bicolored Flowerpecker, Amethyst Brown Dove , Philippine Hawk Eagle, Philippine Hanging Parrot , Oriental Honey Buzzard. Barred Coral Snake, Common Skink Luzon Giant Forest Skink for reptiles and Green Paddy Frog and Common Puddle Frog for amphibians.
Birders are advised to review the BMB Technical No. 2017-02 the Birding Guidelines in the Philippines and the Updated National List of Threatened Philippine Fauna and their categories under DENR Administrative Order No. 2019-09 for information, reference, and guidance.