Photos: Philippine Eagle Foundation

Philippines: Rescued Philippine Eagle released in Apayao
By , 2016;

A rescued Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) was released into the wild in the province of Apayao recently.

According to DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer Dr. Candido Tuscano, the female bird was rescued by a group of fishermen along the Tawit River in the municipality of Pudtol, Apayao on April 21 at around 10AM.

Based on the accounts of a fisherman Richard Tomas, they saw a large bird struggling to fly so they decided to rescue it. They turned over the bird to an employee of the Municipal Government of Pudtol identified as Teddy Zuniga, who informed DENR and the Philippine Eagle Foundation based in Calanasan, Apayao.

Provincial Veterinarian Ralph Verzon was asked by the PEF to inspect the bird and confirm its species. Upon confirmation that the bird was indeed a Philippine Eagle, PEF Director for Research and Conservation Dr. Jayson Ibanez together with the DENR officials brought the eagle to the Ranada General Hospital in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte to undergo diagnosis for fauna. The bird underwent X-ray exams which revealed that there was no bone fracture but has an airgun bullet in its right leg. However it did not have any new wounds meaning the bullet was there for quite some time.

The bird was brought at the Galves Pet Clinic also in Laoag City for other lab tests including DNA, CBC and WBC which showed that the bird was in good condition.

The bird weighing 5.5 kilograms was brought back to Pudtol, was tagged with a radio and a satellite transmitter to easily monitor its location, and was released into the wilderness of barangay Lydia on April 24.

Prior to its release, Pudtol Mayor Batara Laoat named the female eagle “Ingagan” which was meant for the preservation of the Ingagan clan of the Isnag including their indigenous culture and belief.

Laoat said that the presence of the Philippine Eagle might be due to the Nagan-Maton River Conservation System in the municipality. The program mixed with the Apayao custom ’lappat’, a practice where some zones of the forest and the river are prohibited for hunting and fishing because of the Isnag belief of the guardian anitos, proved to be effective in preserving the forest, water shed and became a habitat for different species, he said.

The Mayor calls for the participation of locals and even tourists not to disturb the habitats for preservation. “You can only observe, admire, but are not allowed to pick or get anything from certain zones in the forests and rivers because they are declared as lappat.”

The province of Apayao was dubbed as New Home of the Philippine Eagle in n 2015 following the discovery of their habitat in Calanasan, Apayao.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

Photo: Negros Daily Bulletin

Philippines: Social media leads to Green Turtle killers
By Easter Anne D. Doza, 28th March 2016;

A vigilant social media – Facebook user post led to the identification and eventual filing of complaint to the suspects who slaughtered a Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas).

The Facebook user posted four photos of the suspects slaughtering the Turtle on March 18, in Barangay San Isidro, Calatrava town, which went viral.

This prompted the operative from Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office – Community Environment and Natural Resources Office Cadiz to conduct an in-depth investigation to know the whereabouts and exact location of the offenders.

With the aid of social media, the DENR operatives and the Philippine National Police and barangay officials identified the suspects to be Jolito Dela Torre and alias Sitoy Caraca, both residents of Barangay Ermita, Sipaway Island of San Carlos City, the release from DENR-CENRO said.

CENR Officer Edgardo Rostata of DENR Cadiz City filed a complaint against the suspects for violation of Section 27 (a) of RA 9147, otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

“Killing and destroying wildlife species is illegal in accordance RA 9147, plus the fact that the marine species is considered endangered in accordance with the CITES Conservation Status,” Rostata said in the release.

DENR-NIR Legal Division lawyer Cheryll Rose Librero assisted in the case by building documentation and gathering of evidence.

PENR Officer Andres Untal added that the case is considered isolated considering that this is the first case filed under the jurisdiction of CENRO Cadiz City for the said offense.

Meanwhile, CENRO Cadiz City is intensifying efforts in addressing this similar concern and have informed the respective local government units and Bantay Dagat teams of the incident and to keep monitoring for similar incident.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

Philippines: Philippine Eagle Matatag shot, survives

24th February 2016;

A Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) was shot and wounded in Barangay Tambobong in Baguio District, Davao City last Sunday (Feb. 21).

It was identified as Matatag, the Eagle which underwent rehabilitation at the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) in Davao City and was released to the wild in December 2014.

The suspects Tiburcio Aparecio and his younger brother Rolando Aparecio surrendered to the police. They are currently detained at the Baguio Police Precinct.

The brothers will be held liable for violation of Administrative Order 235 series of 1970 which prohibits the wounding, taking, selling/ exporting, processing and killing of the Philippine Eagle and Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

The police is also charging them for violation of the Commission on Elections gun ban as the shooter had use 22. caliber rifle which was recovered by the police.

Tiburcio initially surrendered to the police, however his brother Rolando later owned up to the crime.

Matatag meanwhile survived the shooting which hit his left wing, the Eagle is now being treated at the PEC.

The Eagle was formerly a caged bird turned over in 2011 to the Philippine Eagle Foundation, he was known for being contemptuous and aggressive towards his handlers, a sign that he was meant for the wild.

In late 2014 he was released in the ancestral forests of the Obu Manuvu indigenous people in Barangay Carmen, Davao City. In January this year PEF had monitored that Matatag has been moving away from his birth place and release site.

Scientists call this phase as a dispersal stage when Eagles already free from parental care wander away from their birth place. It begins at two-years old until the time when the sexually-mature Eagle pairs up with another Eagle of the opposite sex and establish their own territory.

Matatag had an attached radio transmitter on his back with indigenous forest guards monitoring his movements using radio telemetry.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

Philippines: Philippine Eagle Matatag shot, survives

Philippines: Marine group says infection killed Dolphin in Jagna

By Rey Anthony H. Chiu, 27th January 2016;

New findings from a marine group have shed more light on the details surrounding the dead dolphin that washed ashore earlier in Pangdan, Jagna.

According to necropsy reports published on Balyena.org and shared to the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines (MWWP), the Dolphin was a female Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) and not a Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops sp.) as earlier reported.

Police and municipal fisheries and aquatic resources authorities earlier erroneously identified the Dolphin as a Bottlenose, measuring an overall length of 2.2 meters and a girth of 37 centimeters.

It had inflicted wounds on its body, more prominent of them has been an identified Cookiecutter Shark bite about five inches from its dorsal fin.

While observers believed the abrasions on the left side of the animal could have caused the death, Balyena.org in their necropsy report stated that the animal had a severe infection of roundworms (nematodes) in its stomach and tapeworms (cestodes) in its blubber and muscles.

“The parasitic infection caused ulcerations in the stomach and most likely led to blood loss and eventually to perforation and peritonitis,” the report which was shared by MWWP showed.

Balyena.org, a non-profit non stock organization conducting Dolphins and Whale research in the Philippines, also added that the two Cookiecutter Shark bites were not the cause of death.

Contrary to what most people think, these oval bites are not fatal.

Cookiecutter Shark bites on cetaceans are fairly common, Balyena.org, in a separate post on their Facebook account, shared.

These sharks, Isistius brasiliensis, or the Cigar Shark, are a member of the Family Dalatiidae or “Sleeper Shark” family.

It is named after the cookie-shaped wounds that it leaves on the bodies of larger fish and marine mammals.

These are also known as the Cigar Shark because of its dark brown and long, cylindrical body shape. It lives in the deep-waters of warmer areas worldwide. Because it emits a greenish glow, it is also known as the Luminous Shark.

The Cookiecutter Shark is considered a “facultative ectoparasite which means it feeds on the flesh of other species causing them harm but not death and it is not dependent on these species for survival.”

The Fraser’s Dolphin that stranded in Pangdan is the second which Balyena.org found there.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

Philippines: Marine group says infection killed Dolphin in Jagna

Philippines: Dead wounded Dolphin washes up in Bohol town

By Rey Anthony H. Chiu, 26th January 2016;

Local authorities recovered a dead Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops sp.) which washed ashore in Pangdan, Jagna on January 22. (It’s not a Bottlenose Dolphin.)

Jagna sits on the southern coast of Bohol across Mindanao sea and is facing a major dolphin and whale migration highway, which also has become a habitat for Dolphins due to the supply of food available in the area.

The sea is also heavily fished, plied by commercial sea-traffic and shares with the Dolphin and Whale-watching activities in Panglao and the seas of southern Bohol.

According to police reports, on or about 9:30 in the morning of January 22, Jagna Chief of Police Chief Inspector Almirante Bacayo and his companions recovered a dead Bottlenose Dolphin in the shores of Pangdan.

The Dolphin, with an overall length of 2.2 meters and a girth of 37 centimeters, had wounds on its body, most prominent of which is a 3-inch circular wound about 5 inches from its dorsal fin.

By the nature of the wound, marine mammal rescuers compare it to a Cookiecutter Shark (Isistius brasiliensis) bite.

A marine mammal protection advocate, Jesse Acebes said she does not know yet if the wound is the cause of death but knows the wound is inflicted by a Cookiecutter Shark.

Cookiecutter Sharks leave cookie-bite wounds and usually attack traumatized Dolphins.

Also, on the left side of the marine mammal are abrasions, which could be the possible cause of trauma.

Experienced stranding rescuers of the Bohol Rescue Unit for Marine Vertebrates (BRUMV) point out the possibility of a boat propeller hit which caused the abrasion on the left side of the Dolphin.

This, however, needs to be thoroughly examined to determine the extent of the injury which the animal suffered for it to be weakened enough to present itself as an easy prey for the Cookiecutter Sharks.

Bohol coastal resource management officer Adelfa Salutan, upon looking at the pictures of the dead Dolphin, said: “That is a Cookiecutter Shark’s bite. Perhaps this Dolphin was already weak and ill before he was chased and bitten by the Shark. He became weaker that he was looking for an area where to strand.

While it is rather difficult for the Cookiecutter Shark to bite a usually agile Dolphin, the theory that it must have been hit and was suffering from a trauma would make an easy prey to Sharks.

A Dolphin with a trauma would almost always swim belly up, which also presents an easy bite for the cookie cutter.

With Chief Inspector Bacayo in the recovery were PO1 Adolfo Jr., Non-Uniformed Personnel (NUP) Betsy Aceron, Roderick Virtudazo Fish Technician from Department of Agriculture and Ronie Jamisola, Jagna Municipal Fisheries And Aquatic Resources Management Coodinator (MFARMC).

Source: Philippine Information Agency

It was a female Fraser’s Dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) that stranded in Jagna, not a Bottlenose Dolphin.

Philippines: Dead wounded Dolphin washes up in Bohol town

Philippines: 3 dolphins die in Pangasinan, La Union shores

By Venus May H. Sarmiento, 27th January 2015;

Three of 17 wounded Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops sp.) have died after they beached separately on the shores of La Union and Pangasinan.

Two dolphins which beached separately in Barangay (village) Bonuan Tondaligan in Dagupan City and in Binmaley town died Tuesday morning while the other died Monday night after it beached on the shores of Barangay Alaska in Aringay town in La Union.

Dr. Westly Rosario, interim executive director of the National Integrated and Fisheries Development Center (NIFTDC) of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), said five wounded dolphins were reported yesterday in the waters of Barangay Alaska.

Of the five dolphins, one was reportedly taken by fishermen and another died. The other three were released back to sea.

The Dagupan city government also reported a dolphin in Barangay Bonuan Tondaligan while four more dolphins beached in Barangay Pugaro also in Dagupan.

“We have instructed the veterinarians to inject antibiotics to the wounded dolphins,” Rosario said.

He added the wounded sea creatures are better off in the sea rather than being placed in tanks.

By Tuesday morning, more wounded dolphins were found in various parts of Pangasinan waters.

These were brought to the BFAR-NIFTDC in the city on board speedboats and trucks and were buried at the Fish Cemetery in the same compound.

The numbers have been increasing since Monday night and authorities fear there could be more wounded as the dolphins were found scattered in various places.

The mammals have yet to undergo necropsy but Rosario said these could have been hit with spears, possibly by commercial fishermen, as the inflicted wounds were large.

It was the second attack against dolphins in Pangasinan waters. The first was in 2000 in Sitio Sabangan in Barangay Bonuan Gueset in the city where 11 dolphins were wounded. Of the number, one was pregnant and two were saved by BFAR-NIFTDC.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

Based on photos posted in other articles, the dolphins in at least some of these stranding incidents appear to be Fraser’s Dolphins (Lagenodelphis hosei) instead of Bottlenose Dolphins.

Philippines: 3 dolphins die in Pangasinan, La Union shores

Philippines: Dolphin dies moments after it beached off Ilocos Norte shores

By Freddie G. Lazaro, 17th November 2014;

A Pantropical Spotted Dolphin (Stenella attenuata) died few hours after being rescued by local fishermen off the shore of Barangay Maglaoi here last Friday.

Ilocos Norte’s Provincial Fishery Regulatory Coordinator Arthur Valente said the dolphin died due to its alleged exposure to sunlight while residents tried to get it back to the water.

The dolphin’s body, which had scratch wounds, measured 1.84 meters length with approximate weight of 60 kilograms.

Valented earlier said the dolphin was very weak and needed to recover its strength before it could return to sea.

Valente said that a high tide ushered the dolphin to the beach shores but failed to get back to the water when low tide occurred.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

Philippines: Dolphin dies moments after it beached off Ilocos Norte shores