Department of Environment
and Natural Resources website
Publishing date: Monday, Jan. 14, 2008
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary
Lito Atienza today warned the public that killing, collecting
or inflicting injury to wildlife, including bird species is
unlawful, with violators facing imprisonment and payment of
Atienza issued the warning following reports that some groups
and individuals are actively engaged in hunting down birds
-- some of which have been classified as vulnerable or threatened
-- as a hobby or as a commercial venture.
“I have issued an order to DENR field personnel to look
for or monitor the activities of bird hunters and act accordingly,
in coordination with local government and police officials,”
Atienza said. “We have a Wildlife Act aimed at conserving
and protecting wildlife resources and habitats. This law explicitly
prohibits the killing, collecting, hunting or possessing wildlife,
their by-products and derivatives. We must implement this.”
The DENR chief expressed serious concern about reports that
bird hunting expeditions are being organized by certain groups.
Some have even brazenly advertised on the internet, soliciting
public participation in bird hunting activities.
But DENR officials learned that some of these controversial
web sites had been shut down following an uproar about photos
posted on the web showing a group of individuals, with hunting
rifles slung on their bodies, proudly displaying lifeless
Philippine ducks or Philippine mallards.
The Philippine duck is a wild bird endemic to the country
and classified as a vulnerable species. Though not yet endangered,
the Philippine duck is under threat from adverse factors throughout
their range and is likely to move to the endangered category
in the future.
The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines severely criticized
the photos which showed the faces of the hunters and the dead
birds as a “blatant disregard for the law.”
The association appealed to hunters to stop all sports hunting
activities. “Shooting at vulnerable species, posing
with them in great numbers and plastering them on websites
does not inspire confidence that the hunters, claiming to
be conservationists, are indeed so or that they can police
their ranks to be so,” the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines
Atienza directed the DENR legal division to study the filing
of charges against the bird hunters.
The penalty for killing or destroying vulnerable wildlife
species is imprisonment of two years and one day to four years
and/or a fine of P30,000 to P300,000.