Saving wild animal species are important as protecting ourselves from acquiring coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that has endangered the public health worldwide.
One of the initiatives to start protecting our wild animals’ species such as hornbills is to promote its conservation.
The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENRO) Antique joined the local government unit (LGU) of Antique in the launching of the Dulungan Month at Brgy. Flores, Culasi, Antique, recently.
By virtue of Provincial Ordinance 2020-208, the provincial government of Antique declared the month of August as Dulungan Month to increase awareness on the biological, ecological and cultural importance of Dulungan.
Dulungan is a local name for Walden’s Hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni). It is an endemic species of hornbill in the Philippines considered as Critically Endangered (CR) by International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.
The activity was participated by the different provincial offices, national government agencies and non-government organizations with limited number of participants to observe social distancing.
A tree planting activity along the riverbank was also conducted to conserve biodiversity and enhance air quality that can benefit the future generation.
The preservation of wild animals such as hornbills will maintain the ecological balance of our ecosystem. This will also prevent transmission of zoonotic diseases that causes the emerging COVID-19 which has infected over 20 million people worldwide.
Meanwhile, a resident from Brgy.Paningayan, Culasi turned-over a male juvenile Dulungan in the afternoon after the launching of Dulungan Month Celebration. The hornbill is in good condition however it was brought to Mag-aba Rehabilitation Center in Mag-aba, Pandan, Antique for veterinary check-up prior to its release to the habitat.
“With the rising cases of COVID-19 around the world, it is important to stop wildlife trade to avoid animal borne diseases. Let us save ourselves by saving our wildlife,” said regional executive director Francisco E. Milla, Jr.
Enhanced biodiversity conservation is among the top ten priority programs of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR6