Beachgoers and residents gather around a beached Whale in Babak, Samal on Saturday, December 17, 2016. The Whale was alive Friday night, but died Saturday
Photo: Dean Ortiz

Philippines: Beached Whale had plastic trash, fish nets in stomach
By Yas D. Ocampo, 18th December 2016;

An initial check conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) here reportedly revealed that the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus), which was found beached in front of a resort in Babak District in the Island Garden City of Samal Saturday, had large amounts of plastic trash, fishing nets, hooks and even a piece of coco lumber in its stomach.

According to BFAR Region 11 Director Fatima Idris, the debris were found inside the stomach of the 37-foot Whale as the agency conducted a necropsy Sunday. She said the Whale was a juvenile male.

Cetacean expert Darrel Blatchley had earlier suspected that the Whale could have either choked on plastic trash or was mortally wounded by propellers of vessels plying the Davao Gulf.

News of the Whale washing up the beach on a resort in Samal broke out late Saturday afternoon.

BFAR has a marine mammal stranding network which is always on the look-out for Whales that could be stranded in the Davao Gulf.

Netizens shared video clips of local officials using a backhoe to drag the carcass of the Whale to shore.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Beachgoers and residents gather around a beached Whale in Babak, Samal on Saturday, December 17, 2016. The Whale was alive Friday night, but died Saturday
Photo: Dean Ortiz

Philippines: Dead Sperm Whale found beached in Samal
Expert suspects plastic choking or propeller injuries in giant mammal’s death
By Yas Ocampo, 17th December 2016;

A 37-foot Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) washed up in front of a resort along Babak district in the Island Garden City of Samal.

The giant marine mammal was found beached on Friday night, December 16 before dying Saturday.

Cetacean expert Darrell Blatchley, who responded to the beaching, said the Whale’s carcass will be transported across the Davao Gulf to the Bone Museum in Davao City.

Curious residents and beachgoers gathered around the Whale, which was already bleeding by Saturday.

A backhoe was used to slowly drag the Whale toward the shore. One netizen shared on Facebook the hauling of the Whale.

The Whale will be deboned onsite, with the meat of the carcass to be thrown at the Samal Sanitary Landfill.

As of press time, the cause of death is unknown.

But Blatchley suspects the Whale either choked on plastic trash or got injured by propellers of vessels regularly plying the Davao Gulf.

The Davao Gulf shores have repeatedly seen various beached marine mammals. Last week, Blatchley also responded to a beaching of a smaller cetacean.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Philippines: Dolphin interment
29th June 2016;

A Spinner Bottlenose Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) which perished at Tondaligan Beach last Tuesday is carried to the Fish Cemetery at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources compound on Wednesday for proper burial. The Dolphin was discovered with blood oozing from its mouth and may have been wounded due to blast fishing activities in the area. The practice of burying dead marine creatures was started in 1999 to heighten awareness on the importance of respecting, preserving and protecting marine resources.
Photo: Jojo Riñoza

Source: Manila Bulletin

Photo: Philippine Coast Guard

Philippines: Coast guard rescues a Sperm Whale in Antique
By Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce, 15th May 2016;

Coast guards rescued a Sperm Whale which was stranded at the shorelines of a village in Antique, over the weekend.

“A disoriented Sperm Whale was beached at the shorelines of Barangay Marina, San Jose, Antique around 9:30 a.m. yesterday,” the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) stated in a report which was posted on its website yesterday. It measures 546 centimeters in length, 76 centimeters in width and weighs 80 kilograms.

According to the PCG, Ronald Charlie Ledesma, 24, found the distressed mammal 10 meters from the shoreline. He immediately reported the incident to the Coast Guard Station (CGS) in San Jose de Buenavista.

The area was then cordoned-off by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources personnel and volunteer residents until the Coast Guard has successfully guided the Whale towards the deeper portion of the sea 150 meters off the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) premises.

The Sperm Whale eventually swam off to the ocean.

Source: Manila Bulletin

The photo shows a prominent dorsal fin and pointed flippers, features not found in Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus). If the size reported is accurate (although the weight given seems awfully low), it’s more likely that this was a Short-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) or False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens).

Photos: Philippine Eagle Foundation

Philippines: Philippine Eagle rescued, released in Apayao

25th April 2016;

An endangered female Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) has been rescued by local fishermen in Pudtol, Apayao, while in search for food at the Nagan river, a hall of fame awardee as the cleanest and greenest inland body of water in the country.

Provincial Tourism Officer Rebekah Tamaken-Mamba told the Philippine News Agency on Sunday (April 24, 2016) that a local fisherman identified as Richard Tumas of Aurora village, along with six others, saw a giant bird lose control while trying to catch an approximately four-kilo freshwater fish locally known as “carpa”, or carp (F. Cyprinidae). Its feathers got submerged into the river.

Though unknown to them that it was a rare Philippine Eagle, they immediately informed an employee named Teddy Zuniga at the Pudtol local government, who reported it to local authorities.

Mamba said the four-year-old Eagle was found and rescued on April 21 and released on Sunday morning to its natural habitat — the Agora wildlife sanctuary in Barangay Lydia.

Joining a group from the Philippine Eagle Foundation, who is actively monitoring the presence of giant raptors in Apayao province, including representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Provincial Veterinary Office, Local government unit of Pudtol and other local officials, Mamba said they were amazed to hear a “cry” of another Eagle as they released “Ingagan” on Sunday, barely two days after she was rescued.

Ingagan’s name was derived from the Nagan river where she was found and rescued.

Prior to the release, Ingagan was brought by local authorities to Laoag City for an x-ray examination because of an old wound found in the body. Results showed an air gun bullet inside the body but authorities said it can be outgrown over time.

Apayao residents take pride of its nature’s richness as the provincial government of Apayao continue to implement measures and programs to protect its environment while promoting various eco-tourism sites to provide alternative livelihood and investment.

Last year, a live nest of the Philippine Eagle was found in Calanasan town. There were also more sightings in Mt. Lambayo in Pudtol, and in Mt. Asi in Kabugao.

To date, the Calanasan town government placed at least 25,000 hectares of its forests under the lapat system to ensure the protection and preservation of its flora and fauna.

For a giant raptor like the Philippine Eagle, it takes about 13,000 ha of untouched forests as its exclusive territory, prompting the Apayao government to draft a long-term plan to ensure that this natural heritage is preserved for generations.

Source: Manila Bulletin

ENDANGERED – A veterinarian administers medicine on ‘Matatag,’ the Philippine Eagle which was shot in the wild last Sunday.
Photo: Philippine Eagle Foundation

Philippines: Brothers surrender after shooting ‘Matatag’
By Jonathan A. Santes, 24th February 2016;

Two brothers were jailed for shooting an endangered Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) named “Matatag” last Sunday in Barangay Tambobong, Baguio District, Davao City.

Police identified them as Tiburcio, 24, and Rolando Aparesio 18, both residents of Sitio Mangas of the same district.

The two voluntarily surrendered to Bagiuo Police Station last Monday after a witness pinpointed them as the ones who shot and wounded Matatag, a captive Eagle that was released to the wild by the Philippine Eagle Foundation sometime January 2015.

Police report gathered by Manila Bulletin said Tiburcio immediately brought the wounded Eagle to the Philippine Eagle Foundation in Malagos, Calinan where it is now being cared for.

Baguio Police Station commander Leonardo Pamplona said Tiburcio mistook Matatag as the one preying on their farm chickens, and when he saw the Eagle in their vicinity, he shot it using a .22-caliber rifle and hit the Eagle’s wing.

The Philippine Eagle has a wing span of up to two meters and is also known as one of the three largest and most powerful Eagles in the world.

The bird was declared as protected in the Philippines under Republic act 6147 promulgated by the Philippine government in 1970.

It carries a penalty of imprisonment up to 12 years and a fine amounting to P1million.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Personnel of the Albay Park and Wildlife show the dead Philippine Hawk Eagle on Tuesday.
Photo: Nino Luces

Philippines: Rare Philippine Hawk-eagle shot dead in Albay
By Nino Luces, 27th January 2016;

A one-year old rare Philippine Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus philippensis), which is endemic in the country, was recovered at the mountainous part of Camalig town, Albay; but then later died, January 25, 2016.

Dr. Luis Adonay, Albay Provincial Veterinary Office chief confirmed that the rare bird has a gunshot wound at the left lower breast which caused the death of the bird. “It is possible that the internal organs were hit by the bullet which resulted in death,” Adonay said.

He said that the Hawk-eagle has a wingspan of at 1 meter, 2 kilos and was at least 1 year old.

“We will send people to Camalig tomorrow (January 27, 2016) to at least know the origin of the eagle. Mati-trace natin yun. I believe na alaga siya at nakawala dahil na rin sa katawan nitong mataba,” Adonay narrated.

He added that the bird was shot by a still unidentified person at around 1 to 2 p.m. of January 26, 2016, due to the fresh wound at the body.

Dr. Manny Victorino, veterinarian of the Albay Park and Wildlife, said that the bird was found at Quituinan Hills by a concerned citizen then turned over to Camalig Philippine National Police, then later turned over to Albay Park and Wildlife.

Meanwhile, Albay Governor Joey Salceda said that based from report of the Provincial Agriculture Services (PAS), the juvenile bird is not a Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) which was reported earlier, but a Philippine Hawk-eagle.

“I will still ask the PAS for remedial measures. But our IEC on endangered and vulnerable is strong except that you cannot control trigger-happy (air gun) once they see a safe target,” Salceda said.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Philippines: Green Sea Turtle ‘Maamo’ doing well in Zambo marine facility

14th September 2015;

The Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) named “Maamo” (Tamed) rescued 21 days ago by fishermen with severe head trauma is responding well “to treatment and is now recuperating.”

This was announced by Roservirico Tan, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional information officer, saying Maamo was now recuperating at the marine facility of the Zamboanga State Colleges of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST) in Zamboanga City.

Maamo was rescued by fishermen on August 24 in the seawaters of Naga in the nearby Zamboanga Sibugay province and was turned over to Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel.

The PCG then reported Maamo’s rescue to the Naga Municipal Environment Officer, who in turn informed the DENR regional office.

Tan said Maamo was taken on August 25 to the ZSCMST’s marine facility in Zamboanga City and underwent a five-hour surgery spearheaded by neurosurgeon Gaudencio Ligutom, Dr. Anton Mari Lim, a veterinary doctor, and volunteers of the Tzu Chi Foundation, a non-government organization.

Tan said the consensus of the agency’s joint team of protected area management and biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management specialist and biologist is that Maamo was first hit by a boat propeller and subsequently received blunt force trauma to the head as “X-ray results ruled out gunshot wounds.”

He said the joint team is regularly monitoring the health of Maamo who is now at the marine facility of the ZSCMST in Zamboanga City.

Maamo weighs about 140 kilograms and measures approximately 120 by 92 centimeters and is “now marked with Tag No. PH-0170-J.”

Source: Manila Bulletin

Philippines: Green Sea Turtle ‘Maamo’ doing well in Zambo marine facility

DEAD DOLPHIN — Fishermen carry the carcass of a female Dwarf Spinner Dolphin that died onshore in Barangay Wawa II, Rosario, Cavite, last Saturday. (Ali Vicoy)

Philippines: Dolphin dies on Cavite shore; probe launched
By Anthony Giron, 12th January 2015;

A female Dwarf Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris roseiventris), with wounds in the body, died before dawn Saturday on the shore of Barangay Wawa II, this municipality.

Authorities said that the dolphin was still alive when found by a fisherman named Wendel on the shore but had died later, believed due to injuries she had on her body.

Observers believed the dolphin was harmed by someone else who may wanted to catch her while on sea. It was the first time that a dolphin had drifted and died in Rosario (also called Salinas) territory.

Mayor Jose “Nonong” Ricafrente, Jr. has called for an investigation on the death of the dolphin.

The lawyer-mayor said that those liable for wounding the dolphin could be charged for violating Republic Act 8550 (a law against individuals who do not comply to the development, management and conservation of the fisheries and aquatic resources.)

The wounded dolphin on the shore was found by Wendel as he was about to board a banca to catch fish in the sea. Wendel reported the find at once to Nestor Llanoza, Barangay Isla de Bonita (Island of Beauty) chairman.

Municipal Media Affairs Coordinator Sid Samaniego, citing a report of Llanoza, said that the dolphin had several wounds believed inflicted by a blunt, pointed instrument.

Local Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Chief Rodel Marasigan said the dolphin was about three-years old, six feet in length and one foot in width and weighs 40-45 kilograms.

What caused the wounds in the dolphin’s body is now under investigation.

Dolphins are reportedly sighted in the waters near El Fraile (Fort Drum) and Corregidor Islands in Cavite City. Rosario is the second coastal town from Cavite City after Noveleta.

The sea area is called “Daang Barko” or “Boat Way” with the numerous fishing and commercial vehicles passing by the turf day and night.

It could not be determined yet as to who indeed had wounded the dolphin that drifted to Rosario shore.

Ricafrente and other municipal officials are one in saying that dolphins, which are intelligent, friendly and playful mammals, would have to be saved and cared for.

Aside from dolphins, butandings (Whale Sharks) (Rhincodon typus), which are endangered species, and other big fish were also sighted in the waters of Rosario and some other coastal municipalities of the province.

Source: Manila Bulletin

12-TON LOSS — A female Sperm Whale lays dead on the shore of San Fernando City, La Union, last Monday. (Erwin G. Beleo)

Philippines: 12-ton whale dies on shore
By Erwin G. Beleo, 14th October 2014;

A female Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) with a length of 10 meters (or twice the length of an L-300 van) and weighing 12 tons (the same as an average tourist bus) was found dead on the shore of Barangay Lingsat, this city, on Monday.

Officials from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) tried to revive the whale as villages and representatives from the City Fisheries Office tried in vain to push the sea mammal back into the sea.

“The sea creature did not survive due to its illness, infection from parasite bites, and further examinations like necropsies will be conducted to take samples before it’s buried near the sea,” Henry Canlas, BFAR officer-in-charge of fisheries associations, said.

It took at least three rescue teams, a payloader, two heavy vehicles, and fourd hours to get the whale’s carcass off the shore.

Source: Manila Bulletin