Public warned against hunting, handling migratory birds

THE Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Dagupan City warned the public against hunting of wildlife including migratory birds this month, which is considered as the annual bird migration season in the country.

CENRO officer Celso S. Salazar said that aside from the fact that the country was recently affected by avian flu, hunting of migratory birds is illegal and punishable under R.A. No. 9147 or the “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act”, which prohibits it.

He said migratory birds begin arriving in the country every September and settle along coastal and wetland areas as well as in forested sites for an interval of seven months to rest and recharge for their journey back to their breeding grounds in March the following year.

CENRO has sought the assistance of the city government in disseminating the public advisory issued by the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) against hunting these migratory birds even as it called on the people to help protect the birds.

The public advisory warned that handling, culling, poisoning or chasing migratory birds should be avoided. Ducks, gulls, hawks and eagles, rails and coots are also susceptible to highly pathogenic avian influenza virus.

At the same time, it warned that domestic poultry should not be permitted to roam or be raised in areas frequented by migratory birds and must be kept separate from wild birds and other wildlife.

Salazar enjoined residents to inform the nearest DENR office, the city government or the police if they anyone has harmed any migratory bird or found dead wild birds in their area. (With report from CIO/JCB)