By Edith B. Colmo
Bacolod City, Negros Occ. – Governor Alfredo Maranon, Jr. is strongly condemning the destruction and poaching of wildlife in the forests of Hinobaan, as reported by Task Force Ilahas.
Task Force Ilahas headed by Provincial Legal Office head, Atty. Enrique Pinonggan conducted a four-day inventory of the area last month, from November 19-22, 2014.
In the “wilderness area” located at Brgy. Damutan, Hinobaan town, there were 232 trees marked and tagged with GPS Coordinates. Also there were 70.66 cubic meter (29,959.84 board feet) of fallen logs; and 1,128 cubic meters (478,598,48 board feet) standing trees inside the area.
According to Police Supt. Gabriel Gutierrez, the Task Force members observed freshly cut trees within approximately an hectare of rice field within the area.
Timber and wildlife poaching are evident. Native hornbills and parrots laying eggs in nests up in the tree tops were taken by wildlife poachers while cutting the stems of the trees and harvesting the newly-hatched birds, Task Force Ilahas said in its report.
Task Force members destroyed nets and foot traps installed by the poachers even as they said they will continue conducting an inventory of the remaining portion of the area.
Marañon has agreed to the Task Force’s recommendation to deputize civilian volunteers as forest guards in the area to minimize or stop altogether forest degradation.