The Crocodylus Porosus Philippines, Inc. (CPPI) launched early this week its information drive to protect saltwater and freshwater crocodiles in Brooke’s Point town.
Mellie Corvera, research assistant of CPPI said, “Our mission is to open mind of the community about the importance of the crocodile to a balanced ecosystem, develop and implement management programs to re-establish viable wild populations of the Indo-Pacific Crocodile or Crocodylus Porosus or the saltwater crocodile, specially the Philippine crocodile also known as the Crocodylus Mindorensis or freshwater crocodile which is now an endangered species.”
The CPPI launched it in three big national high schools, namely Ipilan National High School, Abueg National High School, and Maasin National High School — all in Brooke’s Point.
The NGO’s awareness campaign on crocodile care and conservation are in partnership with the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).
Rainier Manalo, a crocodile expert and researcher, said “though much maligned, crocodiles play important roles in keeping the balance in freshwater and estuarine ecosystems. “
“The more that people know about them, the better they can understand them,” Manalo said.
“Malaki ang ginagampanang tungkulin ng mga buwaya sa ating ecosystem, ang dumi ng buwaya ay pagkain ng maliliit na isda na kinakain naman ng malalaking isda at pagkain din ng tao. Mas maraming isda, mas maraming pagkain ang tao. Kapag may buwaya ang isang ilog, siguradong mayaman din ito sa lamang dagat o tubig tulad ng alimango, isda, at iba pa,” he pointed out.
Crocodiles are not dangerous, Manalo said, as long as people do not abuse their natural habitats, like the mangroves.
“Ang mga incident ng pag-atake ng buwaya sa tao ay hindi intentional kasi as long as gumagalaw sa kanilang paningin mapa-tao, hayop, o ano pa man at gutom sila, aatakihin nila ito dahil ang iniisip nila pagkain,” he said.
Meanwhile, student Joel Jordan of the Alfredo Abueg National High School said the info drive was helpful in making him understand the crocodiles.
“Mas malinaw po ngayon sa akin na di pala dapat katakutan ang buwaya kasi di naman ito naghu-hunt ng tao, katulad din natin sila na gusto rin ng tahimik at ayaw pakialaman sa kanilang teritoryo, and malaki ang naitutulong sa paglago ng likas na yaman sa ating mga ilog,” Jordan said.
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