THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro), has released last week a Philippine Purple Swamphen in the wetland area of Sinaman village, Dipolog City, the province’s capital.

The waterbird was sighted walking alone in the front yard of Victor Laput near the Dipolog Public Cemetery in Estaka village.

Laput thought it was one of his neighbors’ chickens as they often visit his yard early in the morning.

However, as he looked closely, he saw that its features are uncommon to domesticated poultries.

He then decided to turn it over to Penro personnel for proper care.

Renerio Acama, Penro Monitoring and Enforcement Section chief, said the Purple Swamphen was in good condition and suitable for immediate release back into its natural habitat after he and Nesse Cyringe Pagaran of the Environment Management System conducted an assessment on the condition of the bird.

A Philippine Purple Swamphen inhabits marshy, vegetated freshwater bodies, such as swamps, rivers, and lakes and commonly walks in pairs or small groups.

It is listed by the International Union of Conservation of Nature as least of concern but should be fully protected and public awareness of the species and its status should be raised.

The DENR cautions the public not to handle or touch migratory wetland birds with their bare hands as the wildlife might be carriers of contagious diseases such as bird flu. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Source: SunStar (