𝐆𝐋𝐀𝐍, 𝐒𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐢 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐞 – Environmentalists here released on Tuesday (January 10) in Sarangani Bay a critically endangered female hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) after 74 days of recuperation from Pawikan Rescue Center in Barangay Burias, this town.
DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENRO) of Glan Dr. Rosalinda B. Cortez said the weak and stranded turtle, locally known as “pawikan,” was found and rescued by barangay officials along the shores of Barangay Big Margus during the height of tropical storm “Paeng” last October 28, 2022 which was eventually turned over to Protected Area Ranger Hajerol Diabal for proper care and handling.
During its rehabilitation, the pawikan was monitored constantly by Diabal together with two ‘bantay dagat’ Jomar Desin and Joel Don Driano with the guidance of Dr. Roy Mejorada, in-house veterinarian of Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape Protected Area Management Office (SBPS-PAMO).
Based on the assessment of CENRO Glan Ecosystems Management Specialist I Marivic G. Quisto, the sea turtle is healthy and fit for release.
The pawikan was tagged for the purposes of identification and monitoring of its feeding and nesting ground before it was released back to its natural habitat.
Hawksbill sea turtles are categorized as critically endangered species under DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2019-09. Likewise, all wildlife in the Philippines are strictly protected under Republic Act 9147 also known as the “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.” (With report and photos from DENR-CENRO Glan) | RSCIGM