The Philippines, for the first time, participated in the Annual Wader Conservation World Watch of the Wader Quest Group through an entry submitted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region IX headed by Regional Executive Director Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez and Assistant Regional Director Dante A. Oporto together with PENRO Zamboanga Sibugay personnel.
Wader Quest Group Chair of the Board of Trustees Rick Simpson expressed his heartfelt thanks to the DENR-IX group for putting the Philippines in the global scene by participating in this annual event of monitoring migratory bird species occurring within the Sibugay Coastal Wetlands from October 31 to November 02 of this year.
RED Rodriguez said that DENR IX takes pride in this achievement to share that, because of this effort, DENR IX was requested by Wader Quest Group to serve as the coordinator for the Philippines in the succeeding events. This request will be channelled through DENR Central Office, particularly the Biodiversity Management Bureau, for their consideration, support and positive response.
Wader Conservation World Watch of the Wader Quest Group is an international event that is purposely celebrated to highlight waders and the problems they are facing, and also to celebrate the people who are involved, either professionally or voluntarily, in their conservation efforts. It lives with a message of “thank you” for the conservationist and “I care” from the participants, who in their simple gesture have shown their care for the species.
This year 53 countries participated with 489 observers (10 from PENRO Sibugay) with 167 reported species (Philippines reported 17 species). The organizers even featured in one full spread of its publication the photographs of Banded Wanders documented by ARD Oporto as well as selected photos of PENRO Sibugay CDS staff Jino Salvador.
Every year since 2014, on the first weekend of November the anniversary of the start of the Wader Quest, which occurred on the 1st of November, 2012,began to be celebrated. The wader all over the world has been declining. Herewith are highlighted facts about:
- 48% of known wader populations are in decline;
- 6 wader species are already extinct;
- 8 wader species are critically endangered;
- 4 of those are probably already extinct;
- 9 wader species are Endangered (2 added to the list recently);
- 9 wader species are Vulnerable;
- 29 wader species are Near threatened (6 added to the list recently);
- The Yellow Sea is being devastated;
- 80% of UK Northern Lapwings have disappeared;
- the Spoon-billed Sandpiper is heading for extinction;
- hay meadow nesting chicks are being destroyed by early mowing;
- thousands of waders are still hunted every year;
- Hooded Plovers still can’t find a place on the beach to breed;
- Wetlands are being drained at an astounding rate;
- 97% of Irish Breeding Eurasian Curlews have gone;
- Black Stilts only cling to existence due to captive breeding;
ARD Oporto said that the challenges among these key migratory species need to be addressed through timely public awareness and strong effort of conservation and that this event is a very remarkable platform towards the attainment of the conservation goals.