The Department of Environment and Natural Resources IX (DENR) Regional Wildlife Rescue Center marks the celebration of World Environment Day as it releases its 100th rehabilitated wildlife in Brgy. Don Eleno, Sergio Osmeña Sr., Zamboanga del Norte (ZDN) on June 5, 2021.
 
The event was spearheaded by DENR IX Regional Executive Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez together with Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Ronald D. Gadot, Piñan CENR Officer Adelaida R. Borja, Representative of ZDN Provincial Governor Robert Uy Provincial Administrator Mr. Joey Alfonso Q. Bernad, Sergio Osmeña Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer John G. Fuerzas, Don Eleno Brgy. Captain Edilberto Abila, personnel from the ZDN-Provincial Information Center, and personnel from DENR IX regional, provincial and community offices.
 
Released back to the wild were a pair of juvenile Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) and a juvenile Pinskers Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus pinskeri). The species mentioned were the 98th, 99th and 100th releases made by DENR IX among the wildlife rescued and rehabilitated at the Regional Wildlife Rescue Center in Baclay, Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur.
 
DENR DAO No. 2019-09 and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the Pinsker’s Hawk-eagle as Endangered and the Brahminy Kite as Other Wildlife Species (DENR DAO 2019-09) and Least Concern (IUCN).
 
DENR 9 RED Rodriguez said that the releasing of wildlife in Sergio Osmeña signified the three environmental celebrations: June 4-10 as Philippine Eagle Week, June 5 as World Environment Day and the whole month of June as Environment Month.
 
“We would like to tell the people that our wildlife should remain in the wild. Let’s not capture them. If there are instances that you see or observe birds that are stranded, injured or sick, please report it to our nearest CENR Office or you can go to your respective Local Government Unit. Just a reminder, that the threat of Bird Flu is still there, so please don’t touch the birds with our bare hand, but instead, report it to the authorities for they know what to do to the captured wildlife,” she added.
 
Community education and public awareness on the illegal acts under Republic Act 9147 otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act was also conducted through the distribution of fliers among the barangay residents for them to be informed of the “dos and don’ts” when encountering the released wildlife species.
 
Since April 2019, the Regional Wildlife Rescue Center (RWRC) has been fully functional with its major operational activities – rescue, rehabilitate and release. In partnership with the Department of Agriculture IX and the Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Veterinary Office headed by Dr. Anita J. Chua, the RWRC has been providing medical attention, shelter and rehabilitation to the rescued wildlife prior to their release back to their natural habitat.
 
World Environment Day is celebrated annually on June 5 as the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment. With this year’s theme, “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore”, the releasing of rescued and rehabilitated wildlife is one way of supporting ecosystem healing and restoration.
 
The month of June of each year is declared as Philippine Environment Month under Presidential Proclamation 237 to generate awareness and advocacy towards the protection, conservation and sustainable development of our environment and natural resources.