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DENR, WBCP take census

Punto ! Central Luzon
February 4, 2012

DENR, WBCP take bird census
By Ernie B. Esconde

Jan 30, 2012

Egrets were some o the most common species
counted during the census

BALANGA CITY - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in coordination with the Wild Birds Club of the Philippines (WBCP) conducted early morning Sunday the yearly Asian census of migratory birds here.

After lengthy evaluation, the group counted the presence of a total of 14,899 birds of various species for that day only.

Michael Lu of WBC said Balanga is one of the top five birdwatching sites in the country. He said that in Luzon they assist DENR in the census of migratory birds in Balanga, the Candaba marsh in Pampanga and the coastal lagoon in Paranaque City.

He said that the census is done yearly either on the 1st week, 2nd week or 3rd week of January.

Group 1 counters tallying the census with Mayor Joet Garcia
at the Information Center of the Balanga Wetland Park

“This is part of global census for water birds,” Lu said while watching a big number of egrets of all sizes and black-winged stilt feeding on the dry portion of fishponds in Barangay Sibacan.

He said that so far they have counted lots of egret, tern, black-winged stilt and marsh sandpiper.

Balanga City Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III said the count of migratory birds will guide them in their program for the environment.

“Mahalagang malaman kung dumarami ba ang dumadayong ibon upang malaman kung gumaganda ba ang kapaligiran para sa wild life at kung paanong mapapanatiling malinis ito,” the mayor said.

Members of the WBCP and DENR undertaking the census were divided in three groups and assigned in the villages of Sibacan, Tortugas and parts of Puerto Rivas.

The Wetland and Nature Park, the first wetland park in the country, is located in Tortugas.

The park has an information center and two viewing decks adjacent to Manila Bay.

Migratory birds evading the cold weather from foreign countries begin coming to Balanga first week of September and leave last week of March.

The birds can be seen on fishponds, especially dry ones, and on ricelands, even near the highway.