Police and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources arrested a group for allegedly shooting migratory birds in Candaba town, Pampanga, on Thursday.
According to the police, 2 great egrets were killed by the group, including 6 suspects, in their alleged illegal hunting in Barangay Paligui.
The detainees were identified as Jaime Buenaventura, Pablo Cunanan, Jose Carlo Dizon, Michael Gamos, and Vicente Pangan Rodrigo Canlas.
The suspects were allegedly from the neighboring town of Santa Ana.
Authorities seized 4 units of air rifles, 3 carbon dioxide (CO2) tanks, 37 air gun pellets, and 2 dead great egrets from the suspects.
The arrested were charged with violation of Section 27 of Republic Act 9147 (Wildlife Resources and Conservation and Protection Act of 2001), and Provincial Ordinance No. 756 concerning Republic Act 11332 (Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act of 2018) because they are not wearing face masks.
If the suspects are found guilty, they can be jailed for up to 6 months and fined P100,000.
DENR-PENRO Pampanga appeals, immediately report to their hotline + 63945-368-5303 any wildlife hunting, buying, or selling.
According to the DENR, the great egret with the scientific name ardea alba, or better known as the common egret, are migratory birds often found in Candaba swamp.
6 arrested for killing migratory birds in Pampanga
They can also be found in Africa, America, and southern Europe.
Candaba swamp is one of the three “most important wetlands” in the country and is always on the Asian Bird Map list as an important wintering area for migratory birds.
According to the DENR, 54 species of resident birds and 68 migratory birds have been found in the Candaba wetlands since 1940. In 2019, the Asian Waterbirds Census recorded more than 2,000 birds.
Bird migration is the regular seasonal movement, often north and south along a flyway, between breeding and wintering grounds. Many species of bird migrate. Migration carries high costs in predation and mortality, including from hunting by humans, and is driven primarily by food availability.
It occurs mainly in the northern hemisphere, where birds are funneled onto specific routes by natural barriers such as the Mediterranean Sea or the Caribbean Sea.