A veterinarian provides initial treatment to the injured Philippine Eagle.

Philippines: DENR chief lauds regional office for saving injured Eagle
By Jonathan L. Mayuga, 30th December 2017;

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu recently lauded the field personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Caraga Region Office for saving the life of an injured Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) in Tago town, Surigao del Sur province, on December 10.

The members of the DENR-Caraga enforcement division acted with dispatch and provided initial treatment to the raptor after receiving a report of the rescued Eagle’s condition.

The Philippine Eagle, the Philippines’ national bird, is the largest bird of prey in the world and it is endemic to the Philippines. It can be found in four major islands namely, Eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.

The DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau believes there are less than 400 pairs of breeding Eagle left in the wild although there are recent reports of sightings of juvenile Eagles mostly in Mindanao.

Habitat loss, hunting for food and trophy and illegal wildlife trade are among the reasons for the species’ population decline.

The rescued Eagle was suffering from a broken wing, a potentially fatal injury, after when rescued by residents in the mountainous village of Anahao Daan, it was learned.

“This proves that the DENR personnel even in the local field offices are vigilant in caring and protecting our precious wildlife treasures, such as the Philippine Eagle,” Cimatu said in a statement. The Eagle is now being treated at the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) in Davao City. The PEC is a conservation breeding facility operated by the Philippine Eagle Foundation.

DENR-Caraga Officer in Charge Director Charlie Fabre said the raptor was turned over to the PEC, a day after it was rescued.

He said the bird’s cartilage bone on its left wing had to be cut off “to save its life.”

According to Forester Modesto Lagumbay, chief of the local enforcement and wildlife division, residents found the 4-kilogram Eagle limping along the riverbank and turned it over to Barangay Chairman Datu Aralito Enriquez.

Enriquez brought the Eagle to Mayor Rogelio Pimentel, from whom the DENR team retrieved the raptor.

The wounded Eagle had to be brought fast to an Eagle sanctuary in Davao City, where the veterinarian had immediately performed a surgery on it, Lagumbay said.

“Most likely, the Eagle must have been caught from a snare and struggled to get free and wounded its wing in the process,” Lagumbay added. The Eagle, estimated to be around two years old, will be released once it has fully recovered from injury.

Source: Business Mirror

Photos: Ginatilan Police Station, via SunStar Cebu Facebook

Philippines: Sea Turtle found dead in Ginatilan
12th December 2017;

A Sea Turtle, about 60 years old, was found dead on Monday morning, December 11, in the seawaters off Barangay San Roque, Ginatilan, Cebu.

Municipal Environment and Natural Resources officer John Rosen Ferraren said the Turtle either died of old age or it was hit by a disease.

He said the Turtle, which weighed more than 100 kilos, may have been dead for several days.

The Turtle’s length is a little over 100 centimeters and nearly a meter in diameter.

Police are looking into the possibility that the marine mammal was killed by a poacher.

Fishermen who retrieved the turtle found a rope tied around its neck. The front right and rear flippers were missing, while the internal organs were rotten.

Baho na kaayo ang pawikan,” Ferraren said in a phone interview.

They buried the Turtle in a lot in San Roque rented by the Municipal Government.

Ferraren said Turtles often frequent their marine sanctuaries of San Roque and Poblacion.

He said they often remind fisherfolk not to catch endangered species and the municipal personnel conduct regular inspection in the market.

Source: Sun.Star Cebu

This is likely to be a Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas).

Philippines: Virus strikes Bulacan pond, kills 101,383 Tilapia – report

By Jasper Y. Arcalas, 7th December 2017;

The lethal Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) has arrived in the Philippines, killing 101,383 Tilapia (likely Nile Tilapia) (Oreochromis niloticus) in a lone Bulacan-based pond in June, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

In a notification submitted to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Livestock Enrico P. Garzon said TiLV killed 101,363 Tilapia out of the 300,000 susceptible population in a Bulacan-based pond, representing a 33.78-percent mortality rate.

Garzon added the outbreak was confirmed last June 29 and has already been resolved by the DA on September 15.

“An unexplained daily mortality of Tilapia fingerlings was observed in the nursery pond of a private farm after stocking on May 16, 2017. Elevated mortality after 15 days reached approximately 25 percent. Affected fish showed distended abdomen and bulging of the eyes,” he said in the notification dated November 23.

Garzon said on May 31, the DA collected samples from the affected farm and were submitted to the Fisheries Biotechnology Center (FBC) in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

“Semi-nested RT-PCR exhibited positive results using reported Tilapia Lake Virus [TiLV] primers. Other samples submitted to National Fisheries Laboratory- Fish Health of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also showed positive results by insulated isothermal PCR [iiPCR],” he said.

The DA official added the laboratory results indicated that the “amplified 3 segment of the viral ENE [expression and nuclear retention element] has 94 to 95 percent nucleotide similarity to Israel TiLV strain.”

Garzon said the movement of fingerlings from the affected pond has been restricted and monitored. He added that the results of the last two samplings showed negative for TiLV.

On May 26 the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations warned countries of TiLV as it is considered a “lethal threat” to food security.

“The outbreak should be treated with concern and countries importing Tilapia should take appropriate risk-management measures—intensifying diagnostics testing, enforcing health certificates, deploying quarantine measures and developing contingency plans,” the FAO said.

“Tilapia-producing countries need to be vigilant, and should follow aquatic animal-health code protocols of the World Organisation for Animal Health when trading Tilapia. They should initiate an active surveillance program to determine the presence or absence of TiLV, the geographic extent of the infection and identify risk factors that may help contain it,” the FAO added.

The FAO said the TiLV poses no public health concern, but could decimate infected populations. The TiLV has been reported in at least five countries in three continents: Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel and Thailand, according to the FAO.

“Tilapia are the second most important aquaculture species in volume terms, providing food, jobs and domestic and export earnings for millions of people, including many smallholders,” it said.

“In 2015 world Tilapia production, from both aquaculture and capture, amounted to 6.4 million tons, with an estimated value of $9.8 billion, and worldwide trade was valued at $1.8 billion,” the FAO added.

Source: Business Mirror

Philippines: Virus strikes Bulacan pond, kills 101,383 Tilapia – report

Photo: Dr. Jeneveve Sulliva, via Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Philippines: Beached Pilot Whale rescued in Ilocos Norte
6th December 2017;

Authorities rescued a female Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) found beached in Currimao, Ilocos Norte.

At about 6:00 a.m., coastal residents in Salugan village tried to get near the stranded marine mammal but due to strong winds, it was drifted to the sandy shores of Barangay Victoria, in front of the Sitio Remedios Resort in Currimao town.

The locals reported the incident to concerned authorities, responders for endangered marine mammals in the province immediately proceeded to the area to rescue the stranded whale.

One of the responders, Provincial Fisheries and Regulatory Officer Arthur Valente, said in an interview that the endangered marine animal is now recovering. “She can now float while supportive care is being administered,” he said of the Whale.

Valente added that the responders are still doing their best to stabilize the stranded marine animal before they can release it back to the open sea.

Representatives from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, local government units, village officials, Philippine Maritime, fisherfolk community and the Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network based in the province are jointly conducting monitoring of the stranded Whale.

Based on initial assessment, Valente said the Pilot Whale appeared to be stressed and had bruises around the face.

Over the years, Ilocos Norte has been considered as one of the hot spots for stranded marine mammals, with a number of them successfully rehabilitated and released.

Source: PageOne.ph

Photos: Dr. Jeneveve Sulliva

A 3.85 m adult female Short-finned Pilot Whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) stranded in Gaang Bay, Currimao, Ilocos Norte this morning. The animal was released but restranded. PMMSN 1 lead by BFAR 1, LGU-Currimao, PVO and OPAG of Ilocos Norte, Brgy. VIctoria officials and fisherfolks are attending to the animal.

Source: Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Update, 6th December 2017 16:43

We regret to inform everyone that this Pilot Whale died early this morning. Necropsy is currently being conducted by Dr. Jeneveve Suliva and her team from the PVO of Ilocos Norte.

Source: Friends of PMMSN – Philippine Marine Mammal Stranding Network Facebook

Photo: Dhanjorvan Rasay

A male female Pilot Whale stranded in Brgy Victoria, Currimao, Ilocos Norte this morning. It is now being inspected by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Picture and report by Dhanjorvan Rasay.

Source: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines Facebook