PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines – (UPDATED) Environmental authorities rescued around 129 Palawan hill mynas from a wildlife poacher in Bataraza town in southern Palawan.
The birds, commonly sold as pets, were confiscated at 10 pm Thursday from Genesis Palasigue in Barangay Bono-bono through an enformencement operation.
The birds were stuffed in cramped cages and baskets.
Endemic to Palawan, the charismatic Palawan Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa palawanensis) is categorized as critically endangered by the PCSD, an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
PCSD wildlife specialist Levita Lagrada said the hill mynahs are best left in the wild as they help maintain ecological balance. “[They are responsible for] pollination and regulation of insect population,” she told Rappler.
Palawan hill mynas are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Bird Species.
As per records, Palasigue had also been previously charged for possessing 11 talking mynah birds and two leopard cats in February 2014, but was able to evade arrest.
The rescued threatened bird species were brought to the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center for quarantine and would be later released back into the wild.
Palasigue, under the custody of authorities, will be subjected to inquest proceedings for violation of Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act.
The enforcement operation that led to Palasigue’s arrest was jointly conducted by the operatives of Palawan police, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Enforcement Team, and Bantay Palawan of the Palawan Provincial Government. – Rappler.com
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