Two Philippine cockatoo hatchlings were banded by the Katala Foundation Inc. (KFI) and Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) in Barangay Montible on June 22 to monitor their presence inside the prison property.
ICF information officer CTO II Levi Evangelista said the two hatchlings were among the 11 cockatoos that were banded this year.
He added that the lowland forest of the ICF is home to the critically endangered Philippine Cockatoo and other threatened wildlife. It also hosts the third most important population of the Katala globally, based on KFI.
“Pagri-ring to monitor the katala kung ilan na sila so umakyat tayo ng bundok, five kilometers going up. Napakarami ng katala na nagsi-stay doon. Sa bilang nila ay 55 so sama-sama ‘yon. Dalawa ang nalagyan natin, sila naman ay nag-aanak once a year. Dahil sa protection ng Montible Sub-Colony, doon na nanunuluyan ang mga katala at patuloy natin ‘yan imo-monitor,” Evangelista said.
According to a Facebook post of Indira Dayang Lacerna-Widdman, Katala Foundation Inc. (KFI) chief operations officer, both hatchlings were found in the 60-meter Manggis or Koompassia Excelsa, which is one of the important tree species that provide nesting place in the penal reservation within the Victoria Anepa’an Mountain Range (VAMR).
KFI also stated that the banding schedule was also an opportunity to record other bird species in the forest areas of Montible.
“In a span of two hours, we recorded 40 species. Among them were some rare endemics like Palawan peacock pheasant and Palawan flycatcher,” said Peter Widmann of KFI.
Evangelista pointed out that the presence of hatchlings in Montible is an indication of their success against illegal activities within the forests covered by the ICF management.
“Nakatutuwa, as per ma’am Indira, sa world is number three yong hatchery o pinaglalagian ng mga katala especially diyan sa Montible, diyan talaga makikita. At iyan ‘yong mga lumilipad sa Puerto Princesa, sa baywalk, namamasyal din daw sila. Ang indication niyan ay nakokontrol natin ang illegal settlers. ‘Yang Manggis na ‘yan ay magagandang klaseng kahoy, iyan din ang gustong putulin ng illegal loggers,” he said.
“May mga kasunod pa ‘yan kasi isang nest pa lang actually ang nakita natin ngayon. Estimate natin na two months old ang na-ring natin na DENR number 65 and 66. For this year alone ay nasa 11 na bagong hatch na cockatoo,” he added.
CSupt. Joel Calvelo also expressed support and commitment to protecting the remaining forest within the penal reservation in cooperation with other agencies.
The management will also push tree planting activities and develop a tourist spot within their premises.