The environmental frontliners of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) were able to rescue two wildlife species in Metro Manila and Rizal province last week despite the limitations brought about by COVID-19 quarantine restrictions.

Led by the personnel of the DENR Hotline under the DENR Action Center and the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), a crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) and peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) were rescued in separate operations last August 16.

The DENR Hotline received a report from a concerned citizen that an eagle has crashed through a house that was under construction in San Mateo, Rizal.

On the same day, a falcon was reported to have hit the windshield of a vehicle in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Secretary Roy A. Cimatu lauded the DENR employees for their hard work despite the limitations brought about by the quarantine restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

"Even with the implementation of ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), I am confident that our personnel, particularly those whom we call our environmental frontliners, can discharge their duties and show their commitment to their responsibilities," Cimatu said.

The DENR chief also gave the assurance that the department will continue to safeguard the country’s biodiversity amid the pandemic.

"We in the Department believe that our responsibility to take care and secure our wildlife does not end even with the implementation of the strictest lockdown," Cimatu pointed out.

"No lockdown can hamper our task to protect our wildlife resources," he added.

The rescued eagle and falcon were immediately brought to the BMB Wildlife Rescue Center in Quezon City for physical examination where they were found to be in good health.

After a few days of treatment for minor wounds, the eagle and falcon were released back to their natural habitat.

Cimatu encouraged the public to immediately report similar incidents and to support the DENR in caring for the country’s wildlife. ###