Protecting wildlife is one of the noblest things anyone could do. When encountering a weak and defenseless animal, most people would do the right thing and report these incidents to the right authorities. Still, it’s regrettable to say that some would succumb to greed and imprison them and put them up for sale at black markets.
Through sheer chance, Rolly Bongcawil, a Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) personnel, found a Philippine Serpent Eagle in a forested area of Purok 1, Brgy. Mialen, Oroquieta City, at around 4 pm on January 8, 2024, and quickly informed authorities. The animal seemed to be weak and unable to fly. Fortunately, help arrived shortly after in the form of Dr. Maynard Bongacayao from the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO), who brought the bird to the Provincial Veterinary Office. It has now been relocated to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of the DENR for appropriate care.
Despite being listed as an endemic species of ‘least concern’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, its conservation status remains uncertain due to the threats of loss of habitats.
Measures such as Republic Act 9147 or the ‘Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act’ were put into effect to prevent the exploitation of wildlife, but the illegal possession of endemic fauna is still a rampant issue within the country’s borders.
Let us all do our small part in ensuring the continued survival of species endemic to the Philippines.