Wildlife comes back to Mt. Mayapay
by Graziella C. Harting
Butuan City (28 June) -- Three deers were reportedly caught while a Tarsier was sighted in the vicinity of the Mt. Mayapay Rehabilitation Project (MMRP) between February and March of this year.
This was reported by the hired workers of the DENR?s Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) ? Nasipit to the Monitoring Team composed of NEDA and COA staff, who visited the project area on May 25 and June 1 of this year to assess the status of trees planted and managed and maintained by the DENR?s CENRO.
The horns of one of the slaughtered deers was shown to the Team. Accordingly, they first noticed the presence of these creatures late last year when they saw tracks and footprints in certain parts of the project site. These creatures have allegedly eaten the leaves of the Kakawati and African Tulip planted in those areas. At first, they thought that it was the doings of the wild pigs, which are still dominant in Mt. Mayapay. However, two (2) of the hired workers caught these Deers and unfortunately slaughtered them, one of which weighted approximately 50 kilos. Portion of the meat were sold at P180 per kilo. The monitoring team warned the hired workers that henceforth, wild animals should not be killed, but turned-over to the DENR for proper disposition and management.
It may be recalled that exactly 2-years on May 25, 2010 the MMRP was launched with no less than the House Speaker Prospero Nograles gracing the activity at Barangay Nongnong Butuan City. Funding of P1.6 Million, released in tranches, was provided by the Hon. Jose S. Aquino II thru the Mt. Mayapay Rehabilitation Task Force (MMRTF) jointly led by NEDA, DENR, LGU of Butuan and AFP. Since its launching, a series of tree planting activities were conducted which generated voluntary participants from the various government agencies, private institutions, nongovernment organizations, academe and civil society organizations.
To date, the MMRTF has planted a total of 66,272 seedlings of various species of trees such as Mahogany, Acacia Mangium, Kakawati, fruit trees and African Tulip covering a total area of 150 hectares out of the 375 hectares project area of the MMRP. Aside from planting, maintenance of the planted area was also undertaken by the DENR CENRO - Nasipit through its hired laborers.
With the project, improvement in the vegetation of the area is observed. The trees planted through voluntary participation of different institutions are already growing, some reaching the height of three (3) meters. The DENR?s CENRO-Nasipit estimated the survival rate at 80%.
Aside from the planted trees, endemic species of trees are already noticeably sprouting as no more bush fire is observed within the project area. The Task Force continues to enjoin the public to support the rehabilitation of the Mt. Mayapay as a showcase of government, military and community?s joint involvement and cooperation. (NEDA-13/PIA-Caraga) [top]