DENR National Capital Region, through its North Field Office (NFO), retrieved a Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) in Navotas City.
The reptile was caught by fisherman in the waters of Manila Bay off Barangay Daanghari in Navotas City and was surrendered to the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of said city. CENRO Navotas informed the NFO about the presence of the turtle and requested assistance for its retrieval and care. The NFO immediately brought the turtle to the Wildlife Rescue Center (WRC) at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City for health checkups and rehabilitation.
Green turtles are one of five marine turtle species found in the Philippines. It is classified as endangered under the DENR Updated List of Threatened Species (DAO No. 2019-19) and the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for the Conservation of (IUCN) because of its declining population in the wild. This decline, according to experts, is mainly due to the negative impacts of human activities such as commercial and traditional turtle and egg harvesting, incidental capture, habitat alteration and degradation, marine pollution, boat strikes, and disease.
The presence of marine turtles in Manila Bay nonetheless attests to it being a haven for wildlife. In light of this, Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan has consistently called and asked Metro Manilans to help DENR National Capital Region and other mandamus agencies in the cleanup and rehabilitation of Manila Bay. “We want the next generation of Metro Manilans to see Manila Bay thriving with life, which is why we call on everyone to help us in the conservation, management, development, and sustainable use of Manila Bay”, Director Caancan said.