Community-led mangrove and migratory bird conservation project updates

Community-led mangrove and migratory bird conservation project updates

Hey there! Let’s continue our journey on setting up a Community-led Mangrove and Migratory Bird Conservation program. This time we head out to our chosen project site in Bais City in Negros Oriental. We went there to conduct an ocular inspection on the bird occurrences in the area and study their activities and behavior. 

But before we proceed, here’s a quick recap of what we have done so far.

Last time, Mark, our Field Officer for this project, took us to Olango Island in Lapu-lapu City, Cebu on an immersion tour. With the purpose of getting a deeper understanding of how a bird watching tour program is operated. Know more about it in this short 1-minute Instagram reel.

There are a number of other areas within the country similar to Olango Island, where migratory birds spend the winter season to forage for food, breed, and rest. We scoured the country conducting site reconnaissance trips to shortlisted areas with the goal of choosing a project site. Read more about it here – Flying for Hope: Towards Migratory Birds Conservation.  

The Talabong Island Mangrove Park has been serving as home to migratory birds of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) for years. It is vital to keep the island this way to ensure a sustained provision of ecosystem services to migratory birds. It is a place where they can stay, forage, and breed when it’s too cold to do such activities in the northern part of the globe where they are from. 

We were accompanied by friends from the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) last January 27-30, 2024 to conduct an ocular inspection. The purpose is to study Talabong Island as well as the areas around Barangays Capiñahan and Looc. We took records of bird species as well as their locations and activities (foraging grounds, roosting ground, etc.).

WBCP President Mike Lu, as well as Secretary, Wildlife Biologist Nikki Realubit – bird experts and our project consultants – have graciously agreed to help us achieve the goals of this project most especially the training on birdwatching ecotours for the community.

What’s next?

Information gathered from this ocular will be used in the creation of a training curriculum on conducting bird watching ecotours. Our chosen people’s organization, the United Fisherfolk Association of Capiñahan have agreed to be our stakeholders and beneficiaries. Upon completion of their training, they will spearhead the bird watching ecotours around Bais City. Supported fully by the city’s Local Government Unit, this project is on full throttle. We hope for it to be emulated by other cities/municipalities with mangrove and migratory bird presence.

Watch out for more updates on this project. We proceed with the training and ultimately launch the bird watching ecotourism program in the area. See you soon!

Together for our planet!