The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), in partnership with non-government groups led by the Katala Foundation, has launched an effort to arrest the spread of a virus discovered in some pet birds in Palawan.
Jovic Fabello, information officer of PCSD, said the initiative is aimed at the early detection of a virus called Psittasine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) a virus that affects the beak and feathers of birds.
“Hindi pa naman alarming, pero gusto nating ma-avoid ang pagkalat nya sa ibang species ng birds sa Palawan,” he said.
As of the present, there is no information yet on the number of affected birds but what their office is certain is that said disease has been detected and confirmed.
He further explained that Palawan being the country’s biodiversity hotspot has diverse bird species and many of which are considered as threatened species.
“Ibang klase ang bird dito sa Palawan. Marami dyan nasa threatened list na, tapos madagdagan pa ng ganyang sakit,” he said.
He said that early prevention and detection is necessary so that disease like this will not spread to other birds in the locality.
“Hindi to makakahawa sa tao. Virus ito na –na spread sa kapwa ibon,” he added.
Fabello said the disease, which affects the bird’s beak and feathers, is different from the Avian Influenza which is very toxic.
“Mas matindi lang yung avian influenza kasi saglit lang ay patay agad”.
He said they are now working to capacitate several individuals particularly the wildlife enforcers and their personnel at the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Unit (WTMU). As of the present, there are twenty-four enforcers taught to collect feather and blood samples and were capacitated to handle the early detection and prevention of the disease.