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Protection of ducks at Leyte park stepped up

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By Restituto A. Cayubit

Tacloban City – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources DENR has stepped up its campaign to protect the foreign and native ducks in the Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park (MVNP) in Leyte.

Dr. Eugenia N. Bautista, chief of the regional DENR’s Conservation and Development Division (CDD), told Manila Bulletin her office is monitoring the increase in the number of the migratory wandering whistling ducks (Dendrocygna arcuata) at the park.

The park is also home to the Philippine mallard ducks and other native birds.

Bautista said the DENR field personnel have noted the wandering whistling duck population has doubled from less than 1,000 in 2014.

She said the ducks come from Australia, Indonesia and Pacific islands.

Most of the migratory ducks are now considered “resident foreign ducks” since they have found a new home in the park’s two lakes, Mahagnao and Malagsum.

The birds could be forced to return to their place of origin if their flocks are disturbed, hunted for food or their habitat destroyed, Bautista said.

The ducks are added attraction for tourists and bird watchers who visit the park, she added.

Governor Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla said his office and the municipalities of Burauen, La Paz and MacArthur are helping preserve and protect the park.

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