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Enthusiasts, environmentalists flock to Bataan for PHL's biggest bird fest

Published December 3, 2015 6:22pm


The country's biggest bird festival returns to Balanga, Bataan this month.

The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines together with the local government of Balanga City announced on December 2 at the Pandesal Forum in Kamuning Cafe that the forthcoming 10th Philippine Bird Festival will coincide with Balanga City's annual Ibong Dayo Festival.

"We are very happy to bring back the Philippine Bird Festival to Bataan, especially seeing that the message of preserving habitats for migratory birds, which was the theme of the 5th Philippine Bird Festival in Balanga City, has taken root through the annual award-winning Ibong Dayo Festival. It speaks of the commitment of the people of Bataan and their leaders towards the conservation of their natural heritage," says Gina Mapua, president of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines.

Happening from December 9 to 11, the Philippine Bird Festival seeks to celebrate the diversity of bird species in the country, as well as alert the public to the threat of climate change on this diversity. The speakers at the forum called for more greener spaces in cities to protect the existence of over 600 bird species, 230 of which are endemic or unique to the Philippines. In 2014, scholars estimated 25,935 migratory birds flocked to the wetlands of Balanga City, Bataan each day. Among the migratory birds that visit Bataan are egrets, which are already on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Joining the migratory birds flocking to Bataan are 25 international and local birdwatching organizations, including delegates from Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Britain, and Japan. This year's theme is "Ibon at Kalikasan, Kayaman ng Bayan" or "Birds and Nature, Our Nation's Treasure" and the festival will put a particular focus on the Green Racquet-tail, a rare parrot found in Morong, Bataan. - Aya Tantiangco/BM, GMA News

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