By Ellaltn B. De Vera
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Visayas has strictly implemented the “no hunting, collecting, killing and harvesting of wildlife species” within the 10,452.60-hectare Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape (RSPL).
It covers the timberlands of the municipalities of Carmen, Sierra Bullones, Garcia Hernandez, Valencia, Dimiao, Bilar and Batuan.
“Our wildlife species play a very important component in preserving the state of balance of an ecosystem and its presence to a certain habitat contributes to the overall integrity of the environment,” DENRCentral Visayas Regional Director Dr. Isabelo Montejo said.
Known for its rich wildlife resources, the RSPL has recorded a total of 195 faunal species, 25 species of bats, 13 species of non-flying mammals, 120 species of birds, 20 species of frogs, seven species of lizards and 10 species of snakes. It also covers about 9,136 hectares of good secondary growth forests.
Study and assessment revealed that a major portion of the present RSPL is made up of natural forest stand dominated by several dipterocarp species and several natural and scenic attributes that were potentials for educational, scientific, and recreational uses.
At present, nearly 40 tamed long-tailed Philippine macaques are living inside the RSPL, which attract a lot of local and foreign tourists.
Likewise, there are 96 caves found within the 13 barangays under the coverage of RSPL, and which are subject for assessment by DENR.
By protecting and preserving through the active involvement of the communities themselves, Montejo added the wildlife species present there would be able to increase its population on its natural habitat.
It also has 1,000-square meter wildlife rescue center that serves as an acclimatization facility before the once captive species would be released to the wild after six months or more or when its health condition permits.