Olango bird sanctuary needs facelift

Posted on November 21, 2012

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The spotting station of the Olango Island Bird Sanctuary has one its side railings defaced. The Lapu-Lapu City government is developing the island as its tourism frontier. (NORMAN V. MENDOZA)

Bird watching facilities in Olango Island, off the coast of Mactan Island have been found dilapidated by tourism officials of Lapu-Lapu City.

As part of the drive of the Lapu-Lapu City government to develop Olango Island as the new tourism frontier of the city, the tourism office inspected the Bird Sanctuary Center in the island last week.

Hembler Mendoza, city tourism chief said that bird spotting station is already dilapidated.

Olango Island has been declared a sanctuary for migratory birds from the northern hemisphere.

Migratory birds of various species have been migrating to Olango Island to feed during the winter season in the northern hemisphere, which is around the last quarter of the year early February.

The bird sanctuary is co-managed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the local government of Lapu-Lapu City.

Mendoza said his office will recommend to Mayor Paz Radaza and the City Council improvements of the bird sanctuary facilities.

This he said is part of Radaza’s plan to develop tourism in the island.

Meanwhile, the city government is developing new tourism products and services in Olango Island.

Among the tourism services and products being developed are the home stay program, night fishing or “panulo” in a mangrove trail, culinary tour in the island which offers “salbaro” (crispy biscuit), “lamaw” (a mixture of young coconut, its juice and milk with ice as salad) and “Pan Bisaya” (homemade bread).

A bike tour will also be offered to tourists.

The Olango bird sanctuary has a mangrove area of more than 500 hectares, the protected area is about 1,030 hectares, it has 920 hectares of coastal wetland which lies at the southern part of the Island, an island about 10 kilometers off the east coast of Mactan Island.

Tony Quijano, the park warden of the bird sanctuary who was detailed there since 1997 said, there are 42 species of resident birds that can be found and 48 species of birds that are migratory, during the month of February more birds can be seen there, as birds coming from the north and south will stay in Olango to replenish their fat reserves by feeding on the rich supply of invertibrates in the area.

The Olango Wildlife Sanctuary was declared a protected area through Presidential Proclamation 903 signed by President Corazon Aquino on May 14, 1992. /Norman V. Mendoza, Correspondent

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