MIGRATORY BIRD SITES
MIGRATORY BIRD SITES
Candaba Swamp in Pampanga is an important staging and wintering area for ducks and other threatened waterbirds. As part of the East Asia-Pacific Migratory Flyway, the Philippines has 117 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) covering 32,302 square kilometers that act as refuge for as many as 115 globally threatened species of water birds.
Driven by sheer instinct to save their own species, many animal species, especially birds, make an annual escape from the cold winter of the temperate regions to the welcoming warmth of the tropics to feed and breed. In the Philippines, the peak months for birds migrating to the South are usually from September to November, while those traveling North often occur between February and April.
IBAs are key sites for conservation. They hold significant numbers of one or more globally threatened species, and can be a habitat – though temporary – to exceptionally large numbers of migratory or congregatory species. Some of the migratory bird species spotted in Philippine bird sites are egrets and herons (Ardeidae family), ducks (Anatidae family), and the endemic Philippine mallard (Anas luzonica).
Often, IBAs are already part of protected areas. Among the 117 IBAs identified by Birdlife International, 47 are protected, 23 are partially protected, and 47 are unprotected. (Birdlife International is a global partnership of conservation organizations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity.)
Migratory bird sites are often threatened by human activities, such as overexploitation and conversion of ecosystems for development purposes.
The DENR, through the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, closely works with organizations of bird watchers and other wildlife enthusiasts to protect migratory bird sites.
For more information on the PAWB’s programs, click here: http://www.pawb.gov.ph/
For more information on the IBAs in the Philippines, visit: http://www.chm.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=212&Itemid=99