The official website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines
The official website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines

Back to Home

WWF sounds alarm on bird hunting

By Jocelyn Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted date: January 17, 2008

MANILA, Philippines -- An environmentalist group has sounded the alarm against hunting and collection of migratory birds in the country.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the World Wildlife Foundation said the growing popularity of bird hunting could be validated by a trip to Cartimar in Pasay City or at the Arranque alley in Quiapo, Manila.

The pet shops in these shopping complex reveal "rows and rows" of caged Philippine endemic birds such as the Luzon bleeding-heart pigeon, Rufous Hornbill and various types of fruit-doves sold alongside the staples of lovebirds, parakeets and macaws, the group noted.

"Birds and all wildlife have important roles to play in the circle of life and decimating their populations would threaten the viability of all ecosystems," said WWF Project Manager Yeb Sano, urging bird hunters to respect and apply environmental laws protecting these birds.

The WWF admonition came on the heels of bird hunting tour advertisements which were openly posted by several Philippine bird hunting groups on the Internet.

The hunting expedition ads and photos -- or what the organization described as "grisly trophy displays" -- of dead birds have been recalled following protests and adverse reactions from environmentalist groups.

The WWF said some of the photos posted on the Internet showed carcasses of the Philippine Mallard, which the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources have classified as vulnerable, with less than 10,000 remaining in the wild.

Over 200 Philippine birds are included in the World Conservation Union's "red list" of critically endangered species such as the Philippine Cockatoo, the Negros Fruit-Dove and the Philippine Eagle.

Following the reports, Environment Secretary Lito Atienza immediately ordered a crackdown on these illegal bird hunters and traders.