Malaybalay villagers surrender 3 owlets to DENR

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/06 March) – Three owlets rescued from a grassland fire on Monday in a village here have been turned over to the local office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR), an official said.

Acting Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer Vergilino Alima said Romeo Villanosa, Delfin Mahusay, and Nonoy Landasan, all from Sitio Panamucan in Barangay San Jose turned the birds over on the same day.

He said they welcomed the act as a response to their call on World Wildlife Day on March 3 to turn over to government wildlife that they may catch in their areas.

He said in a statement that the three owlets will be taken care of before they will be released back to the wild.

Forester Jessica Mandajoyan, caretaker at the CENRO’s Protected Area Wildlife Management Services said the owlets are of the Philippine Grass Owl species, which are commonly found in grasslands with scattered patches of trees.

Mandajoyan clarified that the grass owl (local name manghak) is part of Bukidnon’s treasured wildlife but is neither an endangered nor threatened species.

She, however, said the act of the three villagers showed people are now more aware of the importance of the wildlife to the environment.

World Wildlife Day is commemorated annually to remind the public of the obligation to conserve wildlife resources and protect their natural habitats as provided for in Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001.

On March 3, Alima urged the public to turn over wild plants and animals to the DENR that they found or confiscated from vendors.

“You should report it right away to the DENR,” he added. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)