DENR Bicol backs Cabusao Critical Habitat as Ramsar Site

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol will push the recognition of the 27 hectares (has) Cabusao Critical Habitat as Ramsar Site or Wetland of International Importance.

“Being listed among the Ramsar site will give the needed boost for our conservation effort for Cabusao wetland in Camarines Sur, that likewise will complement to our future ecotourism paradigm for the said critical habitat” DENR Bicol Regional Executive Director Gilbert Gonzales explained.

RED Gonzales said a Ramsar site designation will mean international recognition, which will likely translate to a beefed up conservation program and ecotourism package, hence would be beneficial to the local community in general.

A report from the Protected Areas and Wildlife Division of the Biodiversity Management Bureau V disclosed that the local government of Cabusao and PAWD are in the process of submitting compliance to the standards of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands for possible annotation of the same to its list of wetlands of importance.

The same report hinted of the proposed inclusion of the wetland as part of the East Australian Flyway, a major flyway network of migratory birds in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Earlier, Dir. Gonzales disclosed that in 2013 more than eight thousand five hundred waterbirds were monitored in the Cabusao Critical Habitat, and the most observed species were the Northern Shoveler, Philippine Duck, Northern Pintail, Pacific Golden Plover and other shorebirds.

Cabusao wetland serves as feeding and nesting ground for some sixty eight species of birds, thirty four of which are native species, while another 34 are migratory species, it was also declared as critical habitat for the endemic Philippine duck through DENR Administrative Order No. 2011-10 signed by DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje.  

         In the Philippines, six wetlands are included as Ramsar sites, the Agusan Marsh in Mindanao, Naujan Lake in Mindoro, Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Cebu, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan and Tubattaha Reef National Park in Sulu.

Press Release: February 10, 2014