A 13 Year Surprise
An abandoned conservation effort appears to have paid off in the Philippines, as wardens at the Northern Sierra Madre National Park reported in early February that four out of 47 protected areas were used as nesting places for an endangered sea turtle species.
According to the Philippines Business Mirror, park superintendent William Savella said that the nesting sites were those of the endangered green sea turtle and the hawkbill sea turtle. He cited the efforts of locals for keeping the turtle population protected. Townspeople from Bantay Kalikasan and Bantay Dagat have partnered with the Philippines Department of Environment to protect the nesting sites and to stop the practice of stuffing turtles for international sale.
Though 13 years elapsed since the previous sighting of the turtles in the park, the news is nonetheless a success for the Sierra Madre area, which began life as a conservation project by the World Wildlife Fund sponsored by the Royal Government of the Netherlands. The plug was pulled on the project because, it was claimed, local support was too weak to sustain the program. Now, it seem as though fortunes have changed, if only slightly.
-Equatorial Press Staff Report. Photo Courtesy of Yoewatzup/Flickr.