Establishment of ‘critical habitat’ for Boracay’s endemic, threatened species eyed

Shara Mae Balce
PUBLISHED April 12, 2018 03:20 pm

(Inside Manila) Following the verdict on Boracay’s six-month closure starting on April 26, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has proposed the creation of “critical habitat” in the island’s certain areas for endemic and threatened species.

Over 100 hectares of forest lands and about 600 hectares of coastal marine areas have been identified by the DENR to be tagged “critical habitat” for colonies of Boracay’s flying foxes, marine turtles, and developing corals.

During the stakeholders’ meeting in his office on Wednesday, April 11, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said the creation of the proposed Boracay Island Critical Habitat is to conserve forests and coastal marine areas in Balabag and Yapak villages.

Cimatu also pointed out that “human disturbance, aggressive infrastructure, and unregulated tourism” caused the dwindling population of golden-crowned flying foxes and the destruction of Boracay’s wildlife. Thus, tourist activities as well as the number of visitors in the identified critical habitat areas will be limited.

According to Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Mundita Lim, the administrative order that will be signed by Cimatu will consist of such protection measures that should be implemented by those in the affected areas.

Those who will be found violating the rules in these certain areas will be penalized.



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