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PIA Press Release

2009 Asian waterbird census held in Kalawit and Labason wetlands

By Maribel Acama

Dipolog City (3 February) -- The annual internationally coordinated Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) conducted recently in the two permanent monitoring sites and wetland areas in Zamboanga del Norte has found 316 waterbirds at the wetland areas of Kalawit and Labason towns.

One hundred sixty eight water birds belonging to four species such as wandering whistling duck, Philippine duck, cattle egret, terns and Brahminy kite were identified at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) wetland area in Kalawit town, while 148 waterbirds were also found at Labason wetland area more particularly on Murcielagos island, a protected landscape and seascape area.

Flock of wandering and whistling Philippine ducks at the Philippine Carabao Center Wetland Area

Kalawit Wetland at Philippine Carabao Center in Kalawit municipality

These birds on Murcielagos (also known locally as Bayangan) island are said to belong to five different species identified as little ringed plover, green sandpiper, common sandpiper, common tern and black-naped tern.

The AWC Team conducting the waterbird census was composed of specialists and technical personnel from the Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Services (PAWCZMS) of the provincial office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the persons of Almario M. Kaabay, Jr., Elsie A. Adorable, Richard P. Lim, Mary Jane T. Daarol, Alex M. Calalas and Franco S. Lopez.

The team was equipped with binoculars and digital spotting scope. The data were encoded using the Asian Waterfowl Census (Southeast Asia) Count Form and were submitted to Wetlands International through the Protected Areas and Wildlife Division of DENR, Region 9 in Pagadian City.

Bayangan Island in Labason

The waterbird count became successful through the active leadership of PENRO Carlito M. Tuballa and CENRO Edgardo S. Callanta of CENRO Liloy in collaboration with Director George M. Realiza of the Philippine Carabao Center in Kalawit municipality as well as Mayor Eugenio B, Baliling, Sr. of Kalawit; and Labason Mayor Wilfredo S. Balais. (PENRO/PIA-ZN) [top]

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