Two Chinese egrets  were monitored by the joint team of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 and PhilBio sometime from December 2019 until February 2020 with a tracker on their backs in Brgy. Tibsoc, San Enrique in Negros Occidental province.

This may be an alien thing to many. But the tracking of migratory birds served an important purpose, not only for wildlife biology, but more so on how human activities are impacting the movement of the birds.

Migratory birds provide humans with important ecosystem benefits such as pest control, pollination of plants and they also serve as food sources for other wildlife. Many wetland areas in the world have become ecotourism sites and places of recreation with migratory birds as its main attraction. Thus, tracking their migration pattern has become essential in determining the locations they visit and the protection of those areas as well.

What then, is the ecological significance of migration? “It enables fast-moving animals to exploit fluctuating resources and to settle in areas where life would not be tenable for animals incapable of rapid travel. On the other hand, peaks of food production would be unexploited without the periodic presence of migratory populations,” said website.

“Many of us have enjoyed seeing the unique migratory birds. Nonetheless, let us not forget that their presence serves as indicator of a good ecological condition where they still have food to eat. We therefore should protect our wetlands in this region where they love to visit,” said DENR 6 regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

The Philippines is part of the East Asian/Australasian Flyway (EAAF) that received annual visits from thousands of migratory bird species from China, Japan, Siberia and other parts of the world.

In Western Visayas, the Negros Occidental Coastal Wetland Conservation Area (NOCWCA) is a wetland of international importance or the 7th Ramsar site. It is host to thousands of migratory birds every year.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu is eagerly pursuing the Enhanced Biodioversity Conservation as one of his ten priority programs which aims to attain sustainable development for the Filipino people.