DENR National Capital Region, through its South Field Office (SFO), retrieved a juvenile Philippine Scops Owl in Barangay Pilar, Las Piñas City last week.

A concerned citizen, called for the assistance of the SFO to retrieve the young owl after her husband saw it at the back of their house in Barangay Pilar, Las Piñas City. The SFO then immediately assembled a team to retrieve the owl and bring it to the Wildlife Rescue Center at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City for temporary custody and care and possible release back in the wild in the future.

There are 17 known species of owls found in the Philippines. Of these, 9 are endemic or unique to the country. This includes the Philippine Scops Owls (Otus megalotis).

The Philippine Scops Owl is listed as a species of “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) despite its decreasing number in the wild. Just the same, its well-being is an important public concern because of the role they play in maintaining ecological balance.

Philippine wildlife, moreover, is protected under Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Conservation and Protection of 2001. Hunting, harming, possession, and trading, and/or selling of wildlife species is prohibited and punishable under Secs. 27 and 28 of the law.