The Katala Foundation Inc. (KFI), in partnership with the local government of Dumaran, DENR CENRO- Roxas and other concerned stakeholders, have released seven rescued cockatoos, locally known as ‘Katala’, on Friday, January 27, at Sto. Tomas, Dumaran, Palawan.
According to Indira Widmann, KFI Project Manager, five of the birds were rescued from the massive effect of El Niño in Dumaran last year, while the other two were rescued from Puerto Princesa. KFI took care of the cockatoos for around six months until the birds reached higher chances of survival.
There are three indicators that a Katala is ready for release, said Peter Widmann, KFI Science Director: “First, they are able to fly, they have strong muscles already. Second, they recognize locally available foods, and third they are able to recognize predators.”
The Katala is one of the 21 cockatoo species in the world. Based on records, there are around 640 to 1,100 Katala in the world that can be found in 28 sites in the country, tagged as ‘Oceanic Philippines’. In Dumaran, the local cockatoo population currently reaches to around 30 to 40 birds. The bird is a common target of poachers and pet traders because it is charming and is considered as among the most intelligent of cockatoo species, said Widmann.
The KFI aims to conserve the cockatoo population of Palawan and the Philippines in light of these threats to their population. “They are living in low-land forest. We co-exist. We share the same place to live,” Indira Widmann said. In relation to this conservation effort, certain areas of Dumaran have been identified as cockatoo reserve areas and have been declared as critical habitat by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development