Due to complaints of abusive and impertinent behaviour, only comments that further the cause of preservation and propagation of our precious wildlife, and those that respect the laws will be tolerated in this petition.
I WOULD LIKE TO APOLOGIZE FOR OFFENSIVE REMARKS POSTED BY SOME PERSONS IN THIS FORUM. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF SOME ATTITUDES CONSERVATIONISTS IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE TO PUT UP WITH. THANKFULLY THEY ARE MOST CERTAINLY NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE AS A WHOLE WHO CARE DEEPLY ABOUT THEIR ENVIRONMENT AND THEIR CHILDRENS FUTURES.
To check the actual status (IUCN) of the Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica) please visit http://www.iucnredlist.org/search/details.php/1241/summ where information based on the long term FIELD studies and observations is written:This duck is listed as Vulnerable because it has a small population which is undergoing a rapid and continuing decline owing to extensive over-hunting and widespread conversion of its wetland habitats
THANK YOU FIRST OF ALL FOR ALL THE OVERWHELMING SUPPORT YOU HAVE SHOWN FOR THIS PETITION! This petition has managed to gain some media attention already but hardly enough considering its gravity and implications of possible extinction of several species due to some people warped view of sportsmanship. To date the Bacolod Air Gun hunting Clubs website and friendster site has been closed down due to increasing attention but that does not mean by far, that they are not hunting anymore. Some hunters have commented in their forum that they will just wait for this issue to die down so that they can resume their murderous activities! Also further research into these hunting activities has shown that this is a nationwide network of sportsmen involving BIG, influential personalities with money and the political connections such as members of the Philippine Shooting Team who have used helicopters to scope the ducks in flight. http://onlovinganimals.blogspot.com/2008/01/members-of-philippine-shooting-team.html I have added the photographs which have since been removed from their website these are educated individuals from privileged backgrounds who should know better. Instead they show their total disregard toward the environment and the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. This is unacceptable. More than before we need all the help we can get in getting more people to sign the petition to reach the 10,000 target and particularly please email me if you would somehow like to help fight this issue. I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT I AM NOT ASKING FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE. We would like to get people organized, particularly filipinos who can help get the word around about the disastrous effects of hunting and help us in organizing a group that will make sure this issue doesnt simply die down by next weeks news. If you would like to help with this issue please email me at email@example.com for further information thanks!
STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE WILD BIRD CLUB OF THE PHILIPPINES
We, members of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, have recently come across several websites that demonstrate a blatant disregard for the law, particularly the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act RA # 9147.
The pictures in these websites clearly show faces of the hunters and dead birds, some of which are considered as vulnerable under the Red List of threatened birds of the world. The penalty for killing or destroying vulnerable wildlife species as stated in RA # 9147 is imprisonment of two (2) years and one (1) day to four (4) years and/or a fine of Thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00) to Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000.00) . The law specifically states further in Sec. 27 that unless otherwise allowed in accordance with the Act, it shall be unlawful for any person to willfully and knowingly exploit wildlife resources and their habitats, collecting, hunting or possessing wildlife, their by-products and derivatives. As such, even the mere possession of these species, evidenced by their very own pictures on their very own websites is punishable by law.
We accept the hunting of game for food, culling (in the case of overpopulation of certain species) and for ritual purposes, but we fail to see how defiance of the law qualifies sports hunters as conservationists, especially when what they proudly display are dead birds of a vulnerable species, one that is found nowhere else in the world and of which not enough studies have determined the capacity to survive the loss of habitat and other threats.
The Philippine Mallard or Philippine Duck Anas luzonica counts as one of the many birds that are displayed on several websites as having been shot down in numbers that horrify scientists and birders alike. It is endemic to the Philippines and classified as vulnerable, with only 5,000 to 10,000 birds left. The majesty of these creatures in flight, having been often seen by many a proud birder, cannot fail to inspire. That is why the interruption of their delicate V formation by the shots of hunters including some members of the Philippine National Shooting Team makes us shudder.
Many hunters call themselves conservationists and we cannot argue with the closeness to nature that hunting may inspire, coming as it does from our very evolutionary story as a species. But it is time to take a step back and consider our common impact on the planet as a species. It takes more than closeness to prey to know the current status, remaining numbers, range and the extent of remaining habitat, conservation status and the feeding requirements of our co- inhabitants. Conservation is painstaking work of watching, recording, watching, comparing and watching again, and nowhere in this process involves killing except for the necessary type specimen.
We understand that hunters want habitat conservation as well, for them to continue enjoying their sport. May we remind them that the law was passed because there is precisely very little wild habitat left in this country. In other countries, wild habitats are kept due to the high fees charged for highly regulated hunting activities. Hunters here know how quickly these wild places dwindle into settlements, farms and urban areas and this alone should be a message that unless we are able to restore the balance, revive the wild places, hunting should have no place in this country.
While hunting gives a certain opportunity to immerse in the wild, the kind of conservation that this country, the hottest of the hotspots, sorely needs is an entirely different kind. A kind that finds out how much is left and how to save and expand on that. Shooting at vulnerable species, posing with them in great numbers and plastering them on websites does not inspire confidence that the hunters claiming to be conservationists are indeed so or that they can police their ranks to be so.
We believe that hunters are people who can be reasoned with and if they know the score, will restrain themselves from wiping out species. We appeal to them to find out as much as they can in terms of their impact on remaining habitats, breeding populations, and act with the precautionary principle in mind. We urge them to stop all sports hunting in observance of the law until strict regulation that can aid conservation is proven by scientific and objective data and analysis. Self-regulation by the hunters and high-level monitoring by an empowered and resource-rich State may be pre-requisites to a Philippines wherein hunting could be allowed.
Unless hunting is based on figures, unless sports hunting revenues can pay for the conservation of sufficient wild habitat, until we have a need to cull specific invasive or pest populations, and until the ranks of hunters can police themselves to strictly follow the rules, the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines cannot accept that hunting contributes in any way to conservation.
For as long as vulnerable and endemic species whose numbers are dwindling before our very eyes and whose habitats are fast being taken over by development that is unfriendly to the wild co- inhabitants of this archipelago, any form of sports hunting should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
We appeal to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and to the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau to demonstrate speedy and effective enforcement of the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. These are crimes against the Filipino people and future generations in the global community who may never know these creatures being hunted to extinction.
My name is Josef and I am an avid lover of the environment. In the past years I have been engaged in bird conservation work on Negros Island, Philippines, considered to be one of the world's biodiversity hotspots where many species are threatened by the unbrideled onslaught of illegal activities such as HUNTING, ILLEGAL LOGGING, SLASHING AND BURNING, MINING etc. My family and friends have spent a lot of time, resources and effort in trying to provide a safe and healthy environment for birds and other animals. Consequently I had the shock of my life whilst browsing Google for bird information yesterday. An innocuous looking link popped up in the search results and it took a while for the header to sink in : "The Bacolod Air Rifle Hunting Club". My curiosity being piqued I decided to click the link and do some exploratory browsing with a bit of a heavy feeling in my stomach, but nothing could have prepared me for the "Quarry" and "Photos" section of this ghastly website. It was like being stabbed through the heart, hundreds of hundreds of massacred doves of all kinds, mallards. whistling ducks and snipes. It was unbelievable seeing all this. One man in the pictures you will see has more dead ducks around his neck than i have ever seen in the wild. This is a screaming injustice and DECIDEDLY ILLEGAL. PHILIPPINE LAW STIPULATES HUNTING OF ALL WILDLIFE AS ILLEGAL, regardless of which species. What is even more disconcerting is the fact that clubs such as these proliferate throughout the Philippines, from Albay to Isabela to Coron to Negros, Cebu and Mindanao this is not just a local phenomenon its a national one. I am very intent on getting the media and the public to focus on this issue as these "hunters" have apparently been doing this for quite some time and in the process been reducing the already dwindling wild populations of these beautiful endemic birds to alarming proportions. The two of us alone cannot achieve much but if we all work together perhaps we may be able to create enough attention to shame these misguided souls into stopping this wholesale massacre and bring the responsible felons to justice. I would like to request of you to save the webpage before it gets shut down and spread the link and this email to the press and any friends who you may have who could help make this outrageous "clubs" activities public. The resulting stir may be enough to force our government into action and bring these criminals to justice.
By signing this petition we will show the Media and the Philippine government that we will not tolerate the exploitation of our WILDLIFE by anyone and express our indignation at the slaughter of innocent animals for "FUN" and "SPORT".
Below I have copied and pasted the links for you to browse to see for yourself the great tragedy that is befalling our islands native species.
Thank You In Advance for signing this petition! You are making a difference!
MASSACRE noun Etymology:Middle French Date:circa 1578 1: the act or an instance of killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty 2 : a cruel or wanton murder 3 : a wholesale slaughter of animals 4 : an act of complete destruction
Here is an overview of links (newspapers, television, private blogs) featuring the hunting issue :
We the undersigned believe that you are our only hope in getting the Philippine governments attention in stopping the illegal activities of these organized "sportshunters". These clubs proliferate all over the Philippines and are one of the causes of the decline and possible extincition of our unique endemic species!
By signing this petition we are showing that we will not tolerate the exploitation of Philippine ENDEMIC WILDLIFE by anyone and express our indignation at the slaughter of innocent animals for "sport".
Below are the links to the website of the hunting club and also a copy of the section of RA 9147 deeming this an illegal activity.
Section 27. Illegal Acts. - Unless otherwise allowed in accordance with this Act, it shall be unlawful for any person to willfully and knowingly exploit wildlife resources and their habitats, or undertake the following acts;
(a) killing and destroying wildlife species, except in the following instances;
(i) when it is done as part of the religious rituals of established tribal groups or indigenous cultural communities;
(ii) when the wildlife is afflicted with an incurable communicable disease;
(iii) when it is deemed necessary to put an end to the misery suffered by the wildlife;
(iv) when it is done to prevent an imminent danger to the life or limb of a human being; and
(v) when the wildlife is killed or destroyed after it has been used in authorized research or experiments.
(b) inflicting injury which cripples and/or impairs the reproductive system of wildlife species;
(c) effecting any of the following acts in critical habitat(s)
(i) dumping of waste products detrimental to wildlife;
(ii) squatting or otherwise occupying any portion of the critical habitat;
(iii) mineral exploration and/or extraction;
(v) logging; and
(d) introduction, reintroduction or restocking of wildlife resources;
(e) trading of wildlife;
(f) collecting, hunting or possessing wildlife, their by-products and derivatives;
(g) gathering or destroying of active nests, nest trees, host plants and the like;
(h) maltreating and/or inflicting other injuries not covered by the preceding paragraph; and
(i) transporting of wildlife.
Thank you for taking your time to read this letter! Your action is very much appreciated!
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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