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PIA Press Release

DENR, Kiamba release 116 hatchlings of sea turtles

by M Calungsod-Locsin

General Santos City (4 February) -- In line with wildlife protection and conservation in the country, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) field office, based in the Municipality of Kiamba, Sarangani Province together with the local government officials released on January 21, 2009 116 hatchlings of marine turtles in the coastal barangay of Suli.

Barangay Suli is the site of the proposed Pawikan Conservation and Protection Center, an initiative of the DENR and the local government units (LGU) of Kiamba and Suli.

This was learned from the report of Forester Jessica Guilao, Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Section Chief, of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Kiamba.

Kiamba Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) Dirie P. Macabaning personally supervised the release of 24-day old marine turtles of the Olive Ridley species (Lepidochelys olivacea) in the presence of representatives of the Municipal Agriculture Office, namely Venancio Banquil and Alfie Ismael. Suli Barangay Kagawad Fred Balanag was also around for the event.

Karancho Kiamba Chapter Chairman Abdulbayan Kamad and Ronie Mamaclay also witnessed the affair. The coastal area of Barangay Suli is a known nesting site of marine turtles, locally known as pawikan.

Trained barangay volunteers earlier found 120 sea turtle eggs in November last year These residents took care of the eggs until 116 of these hatched on December 28, 2008 with four mortality.

The principal cause of the decline in population of sea turtles is the long-term collection of eggs and killing of adults. Olive ridley turtles are protected by various international treaties and agreements as well as Republic Act No. 9147, otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001. They are listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) which means that international trade of this species is prohibited. (JG/DENR XII/PIA SarGen) [top]

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