The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and World Heritage Site is facing an unusual challenge as an estimated thousand birds have taken up residence on the roofs of the ranger station, patrol boats, and new construction areas, creating significant hygiene and maintenance issues.

Park manager Angelique Songco is now seeking help through a Facebook post about a number of birds roosting near the station resulting in excessive bird droppings on the station’s roof, patrol boats, and the new station under construction.

According to Songco, the number of birds grew to a thousand since they first noticed it in 2015.

“Since 2015, we have had a few birds roosting in structures near the station, but they were not such a nuisance then,” Songco said.

“Recently, however, about a thousand of them have taken up residence on the roof of the station, on the new station under construction when no work is taking place there, and on the patrol boats and dinghy. We are now dealing with excessive bird droppings on our properties,” she added.

The bird droppings are not only unsightly, Songco complained, but also pose health risks as they can carry diseases and fleas.

“Bird droppings can carry diseases, most with names that are hard to pronounce. You may look them up. They also have fleas that can carry diseases. The birds, most of them endangered, are now endangering our rangers!” she noted.

Songco also reported that park rangers are engaged in a continuous battle to keep the properties clean, often finding their efforts undone within hours.

“They scrub the patrol boats, the station, and the dinghy clean, only to find them covered in bird droppings again in a few hours. It’s a challenging job,” Songco lamented.

The uric acid in the bird droppings, which resembles a white paste, is particularly difficult to remove as it sticks like glue and requires significant effort to scrub off.

Despite various attempts to dissuade the birds, including hanging reflective objects and making noise, the birds persist in roosting on the structures.

“We’ve tried so many tricks to make them go home to either the Bird or the South Islet, to no avail,” Songco explained.

“Reflective objects like CDs were hung in lines; we made noise with empty cans on a clothesline when they came in to roost at night. We even hung a dead bird as a warning—they worked for no more than a day,” she added.

Songco is now seeking advice and suggestions to address this persistent issue.

“Cleaning bird poop off the boats and the station feels like a losing battle. The rangers are dedicated and hardworking, but this task is exhausting and never-ending. We need your advice. Your suggestions could really help lighten their load and make this tough job a little easier,” she posted