DENR releases rescued endangered ‘pawikan’

A large female Green Sea Turtle (Cheloniamydas) was recently released after it was rescued in the coastal area of Brgy. Navitas, Numancia, Aklan.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Unit (DENR-PAMBCU) of PENRO-Aklan released the endangered species after it was established it is in good condition.

According to DENR, the marine turtle was accidentally trapped in the fishnet owned by Auxiliary Ensign Marcelo Bustamante of the Philippine Coastguard.

A fisherman at Brgy. Camanci Norte, also of Numancia, Bustamante sought the assistance of DENR-PENRO Aklan to check and document the turtle’s condition.

PENRO tagged the turtle for monitoring.

The turtle weighs 59 kilos with a carapace length of 101.6 cm and width of 106.68 cm.

Locally known as “pawikan”, the Green Sea Turtle is one of the six species of marine turtles in the world found in the Philippines.

It is widely distributed in the Philippines and some of its nesting sites are in the coastal areas of Panay, Palawan and Occidental Mindoro.

The Green Sea Turtle is one of the largest hard shelled sea turtles because it can grow up to 152.4cm in length, weigh over 300 kilos and has a life span of 80 years or more.

Sadly, the population of Green Sea Turtle is decreasing.

The Green Sea Turtle’s survival rate for the eggs to adulthood is very low, estimated at around one or two individuals per thousand. Some estimates go even lower, at one individual reaching adult for every 10,000 eggs.

Similarly, another female Green Sea Turtle was rescued after it was found tangled in a fish net owned by Tony Gregorio at Brgy. Centro Sur, Culasi Antique.

The turtle had a carapace length of 100 cm and width of 100 cm inches also. Before it was released July 7, 2017, DENR-CENRO Culasi tagged the marine animal with PH 1059K tag.

“The continuous appearance of these beautiful marine animals in our area is an indication that we have undeniably rich biodiversity. Let us not forget Republic Act 9147 or The Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001. Together with this Act we are constantly reminding the public to give importance to the vitality of these endangered species for they should be conserved and protected to sustain a healthy biodiversity,” said DENR 6 Regional Director Jim Sampulna.

The Green Sea Turtle is globally threatened and is included in the list of endangered species May 22, 2004 through the DENR Administrative Order 2004-15.

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