Two juvenile Philippine Scops Owls (Otos megalotis) were recently turned over to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Iriga by the PLDT Telecommunications Company.

According to Mr. Rex Lepiten, a PLDT crew, they were conducting maintenance operation and replacement of wooden service post displaced by past typhoons, when they observed two owlets inside the hole of a rotten post. They immdeiately rescued it and turned over the wildlife species to the Office.

Upon inspection by the CENRO Iriga staff, one owlet weighs 190 grams and has a wingspan of 60 centimeters (cm) while the other weighs 130 grams and has a wingspan of 54 cm,both were found to be in good condition.

Since the wildlife species are still juvenile, the same were turned over to the Albay Parks and Wildlife for temporary care and custody until it can be ready for release.

The Philippine Scops Owls belong to the non-threatened species but there is still a need to conserve and protect these wildlife. These owls are not recommended to be made as pets given their nocturnal nature. They prey at night on insects and small mammals, hunting them from perches in semi-open landscapes.

Likewise, all wildlife in the Philippines are protected under Republic Act No. 9147, otherwise known as the "Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act".

The DENR V continuously calls on the public to report such incidents and turnover any wildlife to proper authorities for proper handling and release to its natural habitat. Continuous information, education and communication (IEC) campaigns are being conducted by the DENR, which have caused increasing numbers of public turn overs to the office. (With report from CENRO Iriga)