The 20 live pangolins (Manis culionensis) that were rescued in Barangay Pasadeña, El Nido town from a “notorious” wildlife trafficker, have been released back into the wild by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).
Jovic Fabello, the spokesperson of the PCSD, declined on Tuesday to disclose details regarding the release site to protect the habitat but pointed out that they intend to enforce stricter patrol measures on the “porous” borders to prevent the same.
“Maraming facets ang environment enforcement at kailangan pa namin pag-igihin ang pagbabantay [para hindi na ito maulit],” he said.
Wilter Tenorio, 33, the culprit who was apprehended on January 25 by joint law enforcement and environmental authorities is now facing charges for violating Republic Act (RA) 9147 or the Philippine Wildlife Act.
The Council also intends to involve the local community in ensuring the ground-level conservation efforts for the “most-trafficked wildlife in the world”.
The Philippine pangolin faced “extremely high risk of extinction” as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species reclassified it as a critically endangered species in December 2019, formerly listed as endangered for the past seven years.