DENR, Albay provincial government, Phil. Navy to ensure protection of pawikan eggs

Three agencies are now working in unison to ensure protection of the eggs of the giant leatherback turtle which laid eggs last Sunday (July 14) evening in the coastline of Brgy. Rawis, Legazpi City.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol Regional Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales announced today that the DENR will be working with the Provincial Government of Albay and the Philippine Navy (Naval Forces Southern Luzon) to guard the eggs and ensure that it will hatch within the protocol of the Department.

“This one event is historical and a first ever documented laying of eggs by a giant leatherback turtle in the Philippines, hence, it is imperative that we should see to it that these turtle eggs will be accorded with proper protection so as to ensure survival of the hatchlings,” RED Gonzales emphasized.

Some DENR technical personnel were ordered to improve the makeshift fence to protect the intrusion of people and animals. They are also tasked to establish a perimeter fence for the no entry zone until personnel from the Pawikan Conservation Project of the DENR Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) arrive and shall take the lead in assessing whether or not the eggs will be transferred to a safer ground.

“I already assigned focal persons from the protected area and wildlife division to monitor the eggs frequently until they hatch within the incubation period, and also to make coordination with adjacent coastal barangays through their local officials in monitoring the beach head for a possible return of the giant leatherback turtle to lay eggs again after two weeks” he added.

According to the director, the provincial government through Gov. Joey Salceda is also monitoring the occurrence and employing means to complement the conservation and protection effort while the Phil. Navy has stationed personnel to watch the nesting area against possible intrusion.           

       Last Sunday evening, villagers had seen the leatherback turtle laying eggs which thereafter returned to sea. Based on eyewitness account and photos, the giant marine reptilian measures about two meters by one meter, in length and width, respectively and is touted as the largest of its kind and the first ever documented nesting in the country to date.

Press Release: July 18, 2013