Manila, Philippines- The Island of the Philippines as we all know is very diverse. It has a lot of different species of animals, plants, insects, and even flowers. Many of these species are endangered and at risk of getting erased in the world.  Let me give an example, The Philippine Cockatoo.

So what is a Philippine Cockatoo? The Philippine Cockatoo is also known as the red vented cockatoo or kalangay. It is a bird with a good white feather with a touch of red. This specific bird is on the verged of extinction, because of its rapid loss of habitat, illegal caging, and illegal trapping of the birds.

In the light of the situation some institutions took the situation at hand, having the “The Philippine Cockatoo Conservation Program” which aims to preserve our nearly extinct Philippine cockatoo. This program won the Galing pook awards 2015.

The main objective of this program is the “community-based conservation of the Philippine cockatoo and its habitats” in Narra, Palawan. Although this is the main objective of the program, it also has its sub-objectives. The recovery of the Philippine cockatoo subpopulation in Narra, Palawan, development of a wildlife warden scheme/nest protection scheme involving ex- poachers, protection and management of Rasa Island Wildlife sanctuary, capacitating of the protected area management board, and increase of knowledge and pride among stakeholders regarding Philippine cockatoo and Rasa Island.

The main strategy of the program is to use a wildlife warden system. The wildlife warden system, using even the ex-poachers, does not only proved the program with valuable indigenous for its management, but because they are using ex poachers, the threat for the cockatoos are also remove using this kind of system. Also with this system the wildlife warden can monitor and protect the nest from various threats such as weathers or pest that can be harmful for our Philippine cockatoo.

So, where does the program get the funds to utilize this kind of preservations? The institutions that fund this program are Katala Foundation Incorporated (KFI), Local Government Narra (LGU-Narra), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). These institutions has a budget totaling 3,959,830.00

Is the Philippine cockatoo conservation program effective? The answer lies on the statistics. It is proven that since the inception of the program, there is a vast recovery of the Philippine cockatoo from 23-25 birds in 1998 to more than 300 residing now in Rasa. Comparing this to other habitats of the Philippine cockatoo, the birds are now extinct. Rasa now has been the habitat of 30% to 50% of the Philippine cockatoo all over the world. This was the result of the conservation program that was initiated by this various institutions. Since 1997, the place is protected under municipal ordinance, then being under the Presidential Proclamation No. 1000 since 2006. The place now is identified as the “Philippine Cockatoo Capital of the World”.

The program, that has now been proven effective, has been replicated in five more areas. Three of these are showing positive result. Many challenges may still occur, particularly the viability of the cockatoo population as well as the feasibility to properly monitor wardens and the areas.

This program and effort may not be there if we learn to take care of our ecological system in the first place. Although extinction is a natural process, we can prevent it with collective effort from our society. Hopefully, this kind of program will teach us a lesson to preserve our world.

Written by Jhon Estorninos for:
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