SUN STAR CEBU
Thursday, August 30, 2007
by Linette Ramos
SANCTUARY AT POND B PROPOSED
Bird lovers ask Tomas to keep 40 species at SRP
Local and foreign delegates to the 3rd Philippine BIrd Festival birdwatching at the SRP.
Although the South Road Properties (SRP)
was developed to be an economic zone, a group of bird lovers
asked Mayor Tomas Osmeña to establish a sanctuary there.
That way, the 40 species of birds that have made their home
in the area can stay.
Officers of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines visited
the mayor yesterday and gave him their proposal for a two-hectare
park at the SRP.
They believe the park will be a good marketing tool for the
SRP, "because you will have an open park between the
The group is proposing to help set up[ within the 290-hectare
facility a small park that will be patterned after the Parañaque
Critical habitat and Ecotourism Area.
Wait for Locators
Osmeña said he is willing to keep
the migratory birds and other species endemic to the Philippines
once locators start moving to the SRP.
"We will try to set aside an area for the birds. It's
something that I take pride in that we have all those birds
there. We will try to keep them where they are," he told
a news conference yesterday.
A portion of the 40-hectare Pond B is home to 40 species of
birds, including egrets, seagulls, the Philippine duck and
Osmeña fears he will lose the birds once SRP is fully
"That's the greatest fear but we can enhance the attractiveness
of the place to the wildlife, we will try to do something
but what's important is that we look at models for this,"
He said, adding that he might visit bird sanctuaries abroad.
Wild Bird Club of the Philippines president Michael Lu said
they are willing to provide techinical assistance in the establishment
of the park but they will leave its management to the City
He and other officers agreed that birds should be allowed
to thrive in urban centers like the SRP.
The club proposed to transfer the birds to Pond A, but this
will have to be done gradually and the birds should have to
settle in their natural habitat where there are no predators.
"There is no contradiction between birds and urban areas.
In fact it's a good combination. If possibl;e, we are proposing
to have an ecotourism area on a smaller scalethat we can do
for Cebu and it's very doable at the SRP because we have birds
there and the SRP is much cleaner thanManila," said Anna
Gonzales of the Wild Bird Club.