A group of tipsy drinkers in Brgy. Yapak, Boracay Island were surprised seeing turtle hatchlings crawl up their legs on the night of February 25, 2020, at around 11:00 o’clock in the evening.

Boracay Island once again saw the birth of 90 Hawksbill sea turtle hatchlings -considered critically endangered (CR) species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.

Due to the lights from surrounding houses however, the hatchlings must have been disoriented, followed the light and walked the path to Yapak’s main road instead of heading to the shores.  “Nagulat yung mga lasing na biglang may gumagapang na turtles sa legs nila,’’ disclosed Haron Deo Vargas of CENRO Boracay.

One concerned citizen that saw numerous hatchlings wandering away from their nesting grounds, the Puka Beach, informed the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Boracay which sent out its personnel to respond immediately on the evening prior to the release.

Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) species known for its narrow head and hawk-like beak is world widely distributed and also has Atlantic and Indo-Pacific subspecies.

Out of ninety (90) hatchlings, a total of eighty-seven (87) Hawksbill Sea turtle hatchling were released to the shores on early morning of February 26, 2020. Unfortunately, the three other hatchlings are found dead by CENRO personnel during the rescue.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources through its CENRO in Boracay continuously responds on public reports of such incidents to turn-over any wildlife for handling and release to its natural habitat.

“We are glad that we now have an active community on the island of Boracay, who readily responds to the need of wildlife protection, even during the wee hours of the night,’’ said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

The continuous information, education, and communication (IEC) campaign help in informing the public immensely which causes an increase in the number of turn-overs and incident reports on the island.

Enhancing biodiversity conservation is one among the ten priority programs of the Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.#DENR6