November 1, 2005
Manila Standard Today
Stay away from migratory birds, Bataan folk urged
By Butch Gunio
BALANGA CITY, Bataan – The government yesterday warned
the public not to get too close to migratory birds flocking
to the seaside village of Puerto Rivas, amid growing concerns
that the deadly bird flu virus sweeping through Asia and Europe
would reach the Philippines.
Brahminy Kite release on Mt. Samat
WBCP President Mike Lu, Bataan
Congressman Albert Garcia and Dan Brimmer
Officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
said tourists and local folk might be tempted to catch the
wild birds that run the vast wetlands in Puerto Rivas white.
They said farmers should also stay away from the herons that
go to their rice fields to feed while palay harvest is ongoing.
DENR provincial chief Ricardo Lazaro said thousands of cattle
egrets, terns, herons and other birds from the Soviet Union,
Australia and New Zealand have been migrating to Puerto Rivas
since October as winter sets in in other countries.
Lazaro said the swampy Puerto Rivas has been visited by more
water birds than any other areas in the country.
Tourism officials, on the other hand, are eyeing Puerto Rivas
as a bird-watching preserve to attract local and foreign tourists.
Michael Lu, president of the Wild Birds Club of the Philippines,
said more than 13,920 species of migratory birds were recorded
in the area last year.
Lu was in Mt. Samat on Friday with DENR officials to witness
the ceremonial release of two Philippine lawin or Brahminy
In Leyte, meanwhile, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal
said he would issue a pastoral letter asking for special prayers
to save the city from bird flu.