The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Region 9 continues to grow their focus on conservation efforts amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.

DENR-9 Regional Executive Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez said there is an increase in wildlife rescue and releases across the region, despite the lockdowns and house quarantines implemented due to COVID-19.

The Protected Areas Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section of the Conservation and Development Division recorded a total of 60 individual mammals, like birds, reptiles, and marine turtles rescued from January to date.

DENR-9 also released 942 marine turtle hatchlings, composed of 837 Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea), and 105 Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) back to their habitat. One of their wildlife releases highlight was that of juvenile Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) named Siocon, which was rescued in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, and released after a month in Baliguian, Zamboanga del Norte.

Rodriguez noted that the number of wildlife rescue, retrieval, and releases this year has increased compared to the same period last year.

Even though several communities are under quarantine, DENR said they maintained a skeleton workforce to act as a quick response team to deal with enforcement of environmental laws.

Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act was the national law to protect the country’s wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainability.

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