Regional Releases

ONE AMONG MANY. A Great knot with the flag of Indonesia (left) was photographed in Brgy. Agustin Navarra in Ivisan, Capiz during the Annual Waterbird Census in January this year, while left photo shows Great knots flying overhead on the same site./photos by Rachel A. Casio & Vincent Isada Bolante/DENR 6


It’s a one-of-a-kind snapshot of a Great knot (Calidris tenuirostris) with the flag on its right leg that was spotted in Brgy. Agustin Navarra, Ivisan in Capiz province during the Annual Waterbird Census last January 13, 2021.

The flag with upper black and lower orange colors belongs to the country of Indonesia, as listed in Shorebird Color Flagging Protocol on the East Asian–Australasian Flyway (EAAF). Brgy. Agustin Navarra has recorded 780 migratory birds with 29 species, 7 of which are considered additional species.

Researchers who capture, mark and release migratory birds use flags, colour rings and tags to study their migration route along the Flyway. It also allows the bird to be identified even from a distance.

The Great knot is a medium-side shorebird with a straight, slender bill of medium length and a heavily streaked head and neck. They feed on bivalve molluscs, snails, worms, crustaceans and, very occasionally, sea-cucumbers. They are the long-distance migratory shorebirds of the EAAF, with migration route from Australia to Siberia covering around 6000 kilometers. They would nest and breed in eastern Siberia, and Philippines is one of their migration stopover sites.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed Great knot as endangered and critically endangered in Australia due to its decreasing population with the loss of its stopover sites.

The EAAF covers the length from Russian Far East and Alaska, southwards through East Asia and Southeast Asia to Australia and New Zealand which encompasses 22 countries. It thereby made the EAAF one of the world’s nine major “flyways”, which are routes the migratory waterbirds traverse annually.

“The fact that migratory waterbirds flock to our coastal wetlands is a proof that our wetlands here are rich feeding grounds for them,” said DENR 6 regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr. “By our protecting and conserving our wetlands, we provide the needed refuge for these important species,” he added.

The DENR, under the leadership of Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, is pursuing the Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation program for sustainable use of the country’s natural resources./DENR 6

Five students from the province of Aklan signed a Memorandum of Partnership Agreement (MOPA) with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Aklan province for the Tayo Ang Kalikasan (TAK) ENR Ambassador Project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that aims to involve the students in the protection and conservation of our environment through Information, Education and Communication (IEC), social mobilization and partnership-building.

PENR Officer Merlene B. Aborka represented the DENR–PENRO Aklan, while the five (5) partner schools, namely: Libacao National Forestry Vocational High School, Madalag National High School, Malinao School for Philippine Craftsmen, Tamalagon Integrated School, and Naile National High School were represented by their chosen students as TAK Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Ambassador with their respective school heads and teachers signed the MOPA last February 15, 2021 at Bakhawan Nature Study and Eco-Park in Brgy. New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan.

The MOPA officially binds the commitment between DENR and Partner Schools through their chosen ENR Ambassadors for the protection, conservation and management of the environment in the Province of Aklan through Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities, partnership building and social mobilization and shall use the various online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube to promote environmental advocacies.

ENR Ambassadors also served as DENR's partner in the promotion of ENR Program for Restoration, Rehabilitation, and Development (PRRD) with the end goal of achieving the behavior change needed to raise the people’s level of environmental awareness.

PENRO Aborka expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the school heads, teachers, parents and ENR Ambassadors/students for their full support and active participation in the project.

“I hoped that through this project, the Ambassadors will be able to spread ENR Programs, Activities and Projects to the community especially to their fellow students/youth by means of media relations and public affairs,” Aborka said.

  The office of Tayo Ang Kalikasan (TAK) and DENR 6 Regional Strategic Communication and Initiatives Group (RSCIG) has provided some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face mask, face shield and alcohol, a pocket wifi for the Ambassadors to assist them in this time of pandemic and to expedite communication and coordination activities.

A mangrove planting activity was also conducted on the same day signifying the commitment and partnership among DENR, Partner Schools and the Ambassadors.

“As we gradually shift to social media platforms for information dissemination and interaction, the youth can also help mobilize information that will educate the community in protecting and preserving the environment. Indeed, the youth are our hope for the future of the country’s environment,” said Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

The TAK ENR Ambassador Project aims to help achieve successful results of the DENR priority programs and projects of the Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR 6

An Eastern grass owl (Tyto longimembris) was turned over to Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) Guimbal by Miag-ao Municipal ENR Officer Isidro Mosura and staff.

The owl was seen in a rice field of Brgy. Potrigo, Miagao, Iloilo last February 7, 2021. Upon assessment, it was found out that the bird has injured wings. Authorities believed an airgun pellet caused the injury.

The grass owl was kept safe and is still under observation at CENRO Guimbal’s temporary rescue center in Brgy. Kirayan Tacas, Miagao, Iloilo. After healing the owl will be released to the wild – in  Maasin Watershed Forest Reserve.

Bird expert Godfrey Jakosalem of the PhilBio was tapped by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 for bird identification.

The Eastern grass owl (Tyto longimembris) is rarely seen but is adapted to life on the ground. They normally hide in long grasses and are more silent than the Barn owl. Fluffy owlets of the Eastern grass owl often gets exposed during the harvest season in agricultural areas.

“This bird is just an example that shooting or killings of our faunas are still active in the community. Let us not forget their importance, they too balances our ecosystem,” DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

Conservation of all bird species is part of the “Enhancing biodiversity conservation,” one of the top ten priority programs of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR 6

Left: Two policemen from Arevalo Police Station turned-over the eagle to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Iloilo on January 21, 2021 as represented by Park Maintenance Foreman Rey Lamanero. Right: The Philippine serpent eagle (Spilornis holospilus) will undergo a check up before its release to its natural habitat. (Photo credit: PENRO Iloilo)


ILOILO CITY – A small raptor was found in Arevalo District, this city and was immediately reported to the Regional Strategic Communication and Initiatives Group (RSCIG) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 6 with the help of media partners.

A certain Jza Perocho and her family in Zone 13, Brgy. Calaparan, Arevalo, Iloilo City found a limping juvenile Philippine serpent eagle (Spilornis holospilus) at their backyard. They sought the help of a local media outlet who called up the office of the RSCIG for assistance. On January 21, 2021, police personnel of PNP Arevalo located the Perocho family in Brgy. Calaparan who turned over the serpent-eagle to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Iloilo in Parola Street.

The Philippine serpent eagle has a trace of wound on its right leg but is well enough for release. From PENRO Iloilo it was transferred to the Community ENR Office in Guiboingan, Miag-ao and was eventually released in Maasin Watershed Forest Reserve on Saturday, January 23, 2021.

An endemic species in the Philippines, the Philippine serpent eagle is mostly found on major islands in the country except Palawan. It is considered as least concern (LC) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN Red List) and BirdLife International.

These snake and lizard-eating eagles are capable of adapting to changing environments compared to some eagle species. Juveniles are brown from above with rufous to buff edges and they have a white crown. The mantle is streaked and spotted with brown and there are two dark patches behind the eyes. The feathers along the wing-coverts are white at the base and the tail is dark brown with a light-colored tip and three brown bands. The undertail is gray-white. Underparts are cream to white with heavy rufous markings along the breast and paler rufous streaking along the belly and thighs. Eyes are gray.

The Philippine serpent eagle’s call is a sharp rising and falling whistle. Although they are common within their range, their existence is threatened by habitat loss.

“I am grateful for the environmentally responsible citizens for their continuous support in the protection and conservation of our species and the environment here in Western Visayas. These efforts are precious as it allows us to see eagles and other birds fly and soar high in the sky,” said Francisco E. Milla, Jr. DENR 6 regional executive director.

Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation is among the ten priority programs of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR 6

Boracay Island is still a turtle haven as it keeps on sending sea turtle hatchlings into the sea. The beautiful marine creatures happily crawled their way back home to the vast ocean.

At the start of the year, some 196 sea turtle hatchlings were found and recorded in different parts of Boracay Island and were susbsequently released to the sea.

With the collaborative effort between the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Boracay and the private sector, sea turtles were conserved in the island.

In the early morning of January 4, 2021, sea turtle hatchlings were recorded and released in the shores of Crimson Resort & Spa Boracay, located at Punta Bunga Cove, Brgy. Yapak in Malay Aklan. They numbered 102 Olive ridley and two Hawksbill hatchlings.

The team of personnel from CENRO Boracay and Crimson Resort &Spa Boracay along with some tourists and nearby residents came to witness the beautiful sight of releasing the hatchlings as they use their seemingly fragile flippers to move towards the sea.

During a post-nest evaluation along the coastal area of Sitio Bolabog, Brgy. Balabag, Malay, Aklan, CENRO Boracay has recovered 61 critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtle hatchlings on January 8, 2021 at around 4:30 o’ clock in the afternoon.

Eagerly looking for more hatchlings in the coast of Bolabog, another six hatchlings were found the next day “live-in-nest” by the beach cleaners. Thus, a total of sixty seven (67) hatchlings were released by the team of CENRO Boracay in the shore of Bolabog in Brgy. Balabag on January 9, 2021.

In the serene beach of Tambisaan in Brgy. Manoc-manoc, a total of twenty five (25) Olive ridley hatchlings were found on its shore last January 10, 2021 and were immediately released the next day.

The Olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) is considered vulnerable (VU) species while Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is considred critically endangered (CR) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.

Boracay Island is not only the world’s best beach because of its white sandy beach and turquoise water, but is also the perfect nesting ground of sea turtles. This is where they found a haven for their existence.

“Boracay’s ongoing rehabilitation keeps the island clean and our team from CENRO Boracay and the Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group (BIARMG) goes an extra mile and continue with its effort to help conserve the wildlife in the island especially the sea turtles,” said Francisco E. Milla, Jr. DENR 6 regional executive director.

Enhancing biodiversity conservation is one of the ten prority programs of the Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR 6