Sun Star Pampanga
Thursday, January 17, 2008
By Raymond C. Garcia
CANDABA -- The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines
(WBCP) recently criticized several websites that demonstrate
what the group describes as "blatant disregard for the
law," particularly the Wildlife Resources Conservation
and Protection Act or Republic Act (RA) 9147.
The group said the pictures in some websites clearly
show faces of the hunters and dead birds, some of
which are considered as endangered under the Red List
of threatened birds of the world.
Network Online's coverage of the Sinulog 2008 Festival
According to the group, the penalty for killing or
destroying endangered wildlife species as stated in
RA 9147 is imprisonment of two years and one day to
four years and/or a fine of P30,000 to P300,000.
The law specifically states further in Section 27
that unless otherwise allowed in accordance with the
act, it shall be unlawful for any person to willfully
and knowingly exploit wildlife resources and their
habitats, collecting, hunting or possessing wildlife,
their by-products and derivatives
As such, even the mere possession of these
species, evidenced by their very own pictures on their very
own websites is punishable by law.
"We accept the hunting of game for food, culling (in
the case of overpopulation of certain species) and for ritual
purposes, but we fail to see how defiance of the law qualifies
sports hunters as conservationists, especially when what they
proudly display are dead birds of a vulnerable species, one
that is found nowhere else in the world and of which not enough
studies have determined tile capacity to survive the loss
of habitat and other threats," the group said.
Also, according to
their survey, the Philippine Duck counts as one of the
many birds that are displayed on several websites as
having been shot down in numbers that horrify scientists
and birders alike.
They also said unless hunting is based on figures, unless
sports hunting revenues can pay for the conservation
of sufficient wild habitat, until they have a need to
cull specific invasive or pest populations and until
the ranks of hunters can police themselves to strictly
follow the rules, they cannot accept that hunting contributes
in any way to conservation.
"For as long as vulnerable and endemic species
whose numbers are dwindling before our very eyes and
whose habitats are fast being taken over by development
that is unfriendly to the wild co-inhabitants of this
archipelago, any form of sports hunting should be prosecuted
to the fullest extent of the law," they furthered.
The group appealed to the Department of Environment
and Natural Resources (DENR) saying that, "we appeal
to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
and to the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau to demonstrate
speedy and effective enforcement of the Wildlife Resources
Conservation and Protection Act These are crimes against
the Filipino people and future generations in the global
community who may never know these creatures being hunted