Press release from the Office of Senator Juan
Published on Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star and
Bulletin Today on December 25, 2008
Losing any of them to extinction would be
breaking a link in the chain of life not only of those birds
but all of us, said Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, author of
the "Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act"
(RA 9147), on reports of bird massacre in Negros.
" These poachers should be punished and the penalties
to be slapped should be strong enough to stop these practices
and serves as a warning to others." Zubiri, a conservationist
and executive director of the Philippine Cockatoo Conservation
program and the Philippine Deer Foundation, was worried of
the angry comments from signatories. The online global petition
showed pictures of dead doves, mallards, whistling ducks and
This isn't just about conservation, it's about biodiversity,
natural heritage, legacy and ecological balance, noting that
collections of insects and agricultural pest also surged in
On top of penalizing poachers, we should put a stop to the
massive destruction of their habitats to logging, human settlements
and fire, among others.
Zubiri advised hunters who claimed they value wildlife, that
"instead of putting out life, hunters should modify their
motivations to that of creating life. It will be better for
them to enjoy wildlife by setting up wildlife breeding farms
for conservation, trade and/ or scientific purposes."
Instead of seeking a gun permit, they should apply for a breeding
permit that's even available for commercial purposes under
Hunting is only allowed for indigenous people as part of their
subsistence and hunting-and-gathering way of life and in very
few circumstances only. The law is biased towards conservation
not destruction as the strict permitting process could allow.
Zubiri explained that "no endangerd species should be
hunted or captured except for research or conservation through
breeding in captivity. We strictly ban the trade and killing
of hundreds of species of birds."
Killing these birds for self-gratification or amusement is
the height of insensitivity. Even the indigeous people have
to follow strict traditions for hunting.
In 2004, the Convention of International Trade in Endangered
Species (CITES) Appendix I released by the Protected Areas
and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) listed 27 species of endemic and
indigenous flora and fauna nationwide. It consists of 5 mammals,11
birds,9 reptiles,1 insect and 1 plant. This was in addition
to the earlier list in 1995 under CITES I at 30 species. This
includes the decline of protected mammals from 11 in 1995,
to 5 in 2004.
Under Appendix II, flora and fauna species increased to 115
in 2004 from 104 in 1995. The 115 species consist of 21 mammals,
69 birds, 8 reptiles,2 insects and 15 plants. However, the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature and natural
resources listed 265 species for priority protection.
Of the known 591 birds species in the country, 195 were endemic
and 198 migrant. Of mammals, there are 107 endemic,71 resident
and 7 migrant.
These flora and fauna are our country"s treasures. Some
of our flagship species are the Cebu Black Shama, Tamaraw,
Philippine Tarsier, Philippine Teak serving as icons of the
provinces where their habitats are located.