Antique's wetlands home to various migratory birds
by PS Mabaquiao
San Jose, Antique (6 February) -- Antique's wetlands is home to various migratory birds that visit the province especially during summer months, said John Temana, Information Officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Research conducted by the Protected Areas & Wildlife Coastal Zone Management Services of the DENR in connection with the Asian Water Bird Census for 2008 revealed that more than 400 migratory birds visited the province during the bird counting activity conducted last month.
Cattle Egret commonly called as Tulabong has the highest population with 243 heads with 108 Little and Intermediate Egret. There are 46 Black Winged Stilt, 2 Common Sand Piper, 3 Kenfish Plower and 1 Green Back Heron sighted in different areas in the province.
Most of the areas visited are swamp/fishpond areas in Lapaz, Hamtic, ricefields in Supa, San Jose, Cubay Napultan, Sibalom and Ilaures Bugasong and mangrove areas in Lipata, Culasi and Sebaste. DENR is also monitoring the endangered species such as Philippine Ducks which now cannot be found/sighted in the province anytime of the year.
Migratory birds come to the province for various reasons because of the tropical climate conducive for molting, feeding, and breeding, said Temana.
In line with the celebration of World Wetlands Day this February, the DENR is advocating for the preservation of wetlands like swamps, ricefields, mangrove forest, marshlands, rivers, lakes, aquaculture ponds among others not just for migratory birds but also for maintenance of the environmental health of the country and survival of mankind.
Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rainforest and coral reefs. They have been called "cradles of biodiversity" supporting a rich variety of species. Many birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates are found in wetlands, as are numerous plants, including rice-the staple food plant of about half the world's population. (PIA) [top]