LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Bicol released three Philippine serpent eagles (Spilornis holospilus) back to their Mt. Masaraga habitat on Thursday, March 3.
Francisco Milla Jr., the regional director of DENR, led the release of the three eagles at the Mt. Masaraga Campsite in Barangay Amtic, Ligao City, as part of the local celebration of World Wildlife Day.
The three serpent eagles had been turned over to the Albay Parks and Wildlife, which took care of the birds before the release to their original habitat.
Milla said this year’s World Wildlife Day theme, “Recovering Key Species for Ecosystem Restoration,” serves as a reminder to the public of its responsibility to help protect the country’s biodiversity.
“Protect our wildlife to protect ourselves. The 2022 World Wildlife Day celebration serves as a reminder on the significant role of the society in order to attain a balanced and healthful ecology for the present and the generations yet unborn,” Milla said.
The regional DENR office will continue to enhance the biodiversity conservation of the region’s remaining forested areas like those in Mt. Masaraga, he added.
Albay Provincial Veterinarian Officer Pancho Mella said the population of the Philippine serpent eagles and all other wildlife species face threats as forest cover is lost due to anthropological activities and climate.
Mt. Masaraga is one of the watershed forest reserves under the Protected Area Management Board (MMWR-PAMB).
“Being one of Albay’s famous beautiful mountain trios, the Tulong Bulod (three mountains), Mt. Masaraga of Ligao City creates a dramatic presence seen throughout the province. Its stunningly formed landscape with an elevation of 1,328 meters covered with nature’s woodland is one of Bicol’s best kept hiking secrets,” the DENR official said.
Mt. Masaraga in Ligao City is a sharp-topped inactive stratovolcano, with an elevation of 1,328 meters and covered by a thick forest with lush vegetation.
The two other famous Albay mountains are the very active Mt. Mayon and the still potentially active stratovolcano, Mt. Malinao, which sprawls across Albay and Camarines Sur and hosts the Tiwi Geothermal Power Plant.
Mt. Masaraga is part of the Bicol volcanic chain. The inactive volcano is a favorite campsite of adventurists across the country. – Rappler.com