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Local environment office warns against hunting migratory birds

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines — The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) here warned the public against engaging in illegal hunting of wildlife including migratory birds especially this month, considered as the annual bird migration season in the country. 

CENRO officer Celso Salazar said despite recent episodes of avian influenza in a few towns, migratory birds should not be subjected to illegal hunting as provided for under Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, which prohibits this kind of activity. 

September, he said, has been considered as the month when migratory birds begin arriving in the country and settling along coastal and wetland areas as well as in forested sites for an interval of seven months for rest and refuelling before heading back to their breeding grounds by March the following year. 

The CENRO is strongly seeking the assistance of the city government in disseminating the public advisory issued by the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources against hunting these migratory birds, and called on the people to help protect them. 

The public is advised that culling, poisoning or chasing migratory birds is strongly discouraged for these are ineffective and counterproductive. Migratory birds such as ducks, gulls, hawks and eagles, rails and coots are also susceptible to highly pathogenic avian influenza virus and handling any sick or dead birds is discouraged.

 At the same time, domestic poultry should not be permitted to roam or be raised in areas frequented by migratory birds and must be kept separate from wild birds and other wildlife.

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