Tag Archives: wildlife

Beyond The Rolling Hills

Beyond The Rolling Hills

Just got back from Malandag, Sarangani Province in Mindanao. We took a land trip to Davao City and the flight back to Manila was horrible. We have to go through a three to four hour delay due to bad weather. Davao City was on halt due to flooding. Upland in Sarangani, flooding is not an issue but the lack of forest cover is sure less protection from  a heavy down pour down  hill.

Clear cut land is a usual site in my travels and it has been common in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.  Land has not been properly utilized to maximize its benefits. People in power and  the mass and hordes of proverty stricken people have brazenly utilized land towards degradation without foreseeing the possible tragedies that may lie ahead. Regardless of periodic and seasonal tragedies that were already experienced, not much has changed. Population grows grows grows and land is used brazenly, may be this is what we really want small steps towards our total destruction or we just make ourselves blind because not knowing is not hurting.


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November 1, 2013 · 1:38 pm

Remote Locations

Spent four days in a remote location. I was trying to practice night photography during one of those free times at night.  Power plants have to be in remote locations which is the norm but no one can stop population growth and urbanization that one day, remote locations are no longer remote anymore. We may have to move these power generating facilities offshore.  If we come to think of it, maybe the aggregate impact of population growth and uncontrolled urbanization without adequate land use planning may emit more greenhouse gas than a thermal power plant, just may be, but without the proper inventory we really could not tell.


October 6, 2013 · 12:29 pm

‘Lolong’ Dies In Captivity…Mourning Mode

taken from professional heckler…

It is really sad to hear the news of Lolong dying in captivity.  Not only of the townsfolk where he had spent his last days but generally the wildlife and biodiversity situation here in the Philippines. The Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau and the local government unit which captured the crocodile were not in good terms in terms of handling the world’s largest crocodile, somewhat, I do agree with PETA’s stance to release the crocodile to wild  that can assure its  physical health while in its natural habitat, but the problem however is that his natural habitat is now shared with the local people who occasionally fall prey to the crocodiles.



Filed under Biodiversity, Ecotourism, Sustainability

PH’s biggest croc’s habitat in critical condition

By Florante S. Solmerin | Posted on July 25, 2012 | 12:12am |

The Agusan marshland is in “critical condition’ due to unabated cutting of trees, the Anti-Illegal Task Force said on Tuesday.

Lolong’s lair. The Guinness-certified biggest saltwater crocodile, “Lolong,” thrives in Agusan marshlands.

The AILTF made the observation after conducting an aerial observation of the area. The task force said if unchecked, this could lead to heavy siltation that could trigger more destructive flashfoods to lowland populated areas.

The Agusan marsh is where “Lolong,” certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s biggest crocodile in captivity, was captured.

“If we talk of the CARAGA area, there was aggressive cutting of trees which is very alarming especially in the PICOP (Paper Industries Corp of the Phil (PICOP) area where there was no government presence.  The forest condition in the region though is relatively okay except for the Agusan marshland area and the PICOP area. The Agusan marshland is a very critical area; it is one of the best marshlands in the world where the specie of our very ‘Lolong’ thrives, the biggest crocodile in the world. It is practically a big marshland area on top of a plateau. We  should stop cutting trees within and outside the marshland area to preserve this beauty of nature or else siltation is just around the corner,” AILTF Executive Director Renato Miranda said.

PICOP, a company engaged in the pulp business, went bankrupt because of “mismanagement” and its concession area in CARAGA was seized by the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) because the company reportedly owes the bank billions of pesos in loan.

“The area (PICOP) is right now controlled by the LandBank, which is not capable of managing [it],” Miranda said.

PICOP owns properties in Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur Sur, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, but the bulk of its operation was in Surigao del Sur and its center of trade was located in Bislig City.

A large part of the marshland is located in Agusan del Sur where the 51,000-hectare Agroforestation Complex of the Manobo tribe is found, which is also in danger of ecological destruction because of illegal logging and mining activities.

“The marshland is so big that it stretches up to Compostela Valley. When I say big, it’s almost half of Metro Manila. When we say marshland, it is abundant with trees but during our aerial survey we found out traces of cutting activities. There is a potential threat of siltation,” the retired Marine general said.

“This situation of the marshland, I think, should be given to the experts for study. I don’t know what to suggest but I think the situation there right now is the natural habitat is really in danger,” he said.

Aside from illegal loggers, slash-and-burn farming (kaingin) is also prevalent in the area.  Miranda said the marshland is slowly turning into a “wild, wild West.”

“The area is a public domain or owned by the government but what’s happening is that everybody now wants a piece of the land. There is this so-called NCIP (National Commission on Indigenous People) lots, kaingeros’ lots, illegal loggers’ domain, and so on and so forth. The government is at a loss and maybe that is the reason why there is aggressive cutting of trees. That is why I’m strongly recommending that the government should take hold of the PICOP area,” Miranda said.


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HK repatriates 18 rare turtles from Palawan

HK repatriates 18 rare turtles from Palawan

HK repatriates 18 rare turtles from Palawan.

IT TOOK them a while to return to the Philippines, but the 18 rare turtles taken by a Chinese student from the wilds of Palawan several months ago are back and under protective custody, a wildlife conservation group said Friday.

Environment officials fetched the turtles from Hong Kong following the repatriation proceedings there, said Juan Miguel Zubiri, President of the Katala Foundation.

“They’re back, but I’m dismayed that our authorities were not able to prevent these animals from leaving the country,” Zubiri told reporters.

The 18 forest turtles, which are found only in Palawan, are considered to be nearly extinct. The Chinese consider them novelty pets or exotic food.

The turtles were among the various animals taken from the Philippines and intercepted in  Hong Kong’s airport on Feb. 8. The illegal shipment included 24 lizards, 16 pythons, a flying snake, two mangrove snakes and a common mock viper.

Zubiri, a former senator, said he will seek an investigation into how the turtles were able to leave the country.

“Our airports and seaports are the last line of defense in our fight against illegal wildlife trade. I call on the authorities to investigate,” he said.

Officials said the turtles will be nurtured and then released to the wilds in Palawan.


(Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on /2012/April/28)


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Filed under Biodiversity, Environmental Audit, Sustainability