PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Dec. 22 — An islet in Palawan that is host to dozens of bird species is in the brink of going under seawater due to continuous erosion.
The bird islet on the North Atoll of Tubbataha Reefs was confirmed undergoing a progressive erosion as officials of the Tubbataha Management Office raise the alarming situation.
The territory is within the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in the island-municipality of Cayancillo in Palawan province.
The 1.5 hectare tiny islet is home and haven to approxamtely 100 species of birds. It is considered the last intact seabird habitat in the Philippines.
The entrusion of sea water is already threatening the vegetation area.
There are two islets in the natural park, the Bird islet in the North Atoll and the South islet in the South Atoll.
These tiny land forms are home and breeding grounds for at least over 38,000 seabirds at some time of the year.
The management office claimed that the area is the main rookery and breeding ground of the seabird species Red-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Greater Crested Tern, Sooty Tern, Black Noddy and Brown Noddy.
It is also the “only known breeding area of the Worcestri subspecies of Black Noddy, one of the few breeding areas of Sooty Tern and Brown Noddy” in the country.
The critically endangered Christmas Island Frigate bird (Fregata andrewsi), regularly occurring with up to five individuals at a time, as well as the Chinese Egret, Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel, Eurasian Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit, also findrefuge in the islets.
Believed to be locally extinct over 20 years ago, the Masked Booby reappeared again on the bird islet on May 11, 2016.
Bonus- Video of a Frigate bird:
H/T: PNA, Wikipedia, Youtube