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
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