Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte - Personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region IX through its Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Zamboanga del Norte rescued and released a Philippine Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio pulverulentus) in the wetland area of Barangay Sinaman last August 19, 2021.
 
The waterbird was sighted walking alone in the front yard of Mr. Victor J. Laput near the Dipolog Public Cemetery at Barangay Estaka. Mr. Laput thought it was one of his neighbors’ chickens as they often visit his yard early in the morning. However, as he looked closely, he saw that its features are uncommon to domesticated poultries. He decided to turn it over to personnel of ZDN PENR Office for proper care.
 
Initial assessment made by PLO III Renerio Acama, OIC-Chief Monitoring and Enforcement Section of PENRO-ZDN and EMS I Nesse Cyringe Pagaran on the Purple Swamphen and revealed that it was in good condition and suitable for immediate release back into its natural habitat.
 
DENR is cautioning the public not to handle or touch migratory wetland birds with their barehands as these wildlife might be carriers of contagious diseases such as bird flu.
 
A Philippine Purple Swamphen inhabits marshy, vegetated freshwater bodies such as swamps, rivers, and lakes and commonly walks in pairs or small groups. It is listed by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as least of concern but should be fully protected and public awareness of the species and its status should be raised.
Photos by PENRO ZDN