- DENR flags resort for failing to release endangered turtles
THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources sent a Notice of Violation (NOV) to a resort in Island Garden City of Samal following its reported refusal to release the endangered turtles
The DENR Davao, through the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office-Panabo, issued the citation on Jan. 17.
The resort’s Facebook post on Jan. 15 prompted DENR- XI to check the area on Jan. 16. Inspectors found a total count of 130 heads of Hawksbill turtle hatchlings, categorized as “Critically Endangered” or at high risk of extinction under Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2019-09.
“Right there and then, DENR-XI ordered the release of the hatchlings but the resort staff refused to do so. As what was posted on the Facebook Page, they will provide care and ‘release them after 6 months,’ a plan which is totally wrong and will definitely alter the already low chance of survival of the hatchlings,” DENR-Davao wrote in a Facebook post.
During the inspection, DENR-XI found the hatchlings placed in styroboxes and are fed with pellets for freshwater tortoises which can have adverse effects on their survival instincts.
The NOV states that the resort violated Republic Act 9147 or the “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act”, where willfully and knowingly exploiting wildlife resources through collecting, hunting, or possessing wildlife, by-products and derivatives is considered unlawful.
Offenders may face a fine of P30,000 to P300,000 two to four years of imprisonment.
JV Agan of DENR Davao told TIMES in a phone interview on Jan. 19 that the resort has not reported back to their office to submit proof of release. As stated in the notice, the department will take appropriate legal action if the owner does not release the hatchlings within 24 hours of receipt of the letter.
TIMES tried to reach the resort’s management through text message but did not receive a reply.
Photo courtesy DENR Davao Facebook
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