DENR XI Records Sighting of the Scanty Bird Chinese Crested Tern for Consecutive Years

It seems like the extremely rare Chinese Crested Tern (š‘‡ā„Žš‘Žš‘™š‘Žš‘ š‘ š‘’š‘¢š‘  š‘š‘’š‘Ÿš‘›š‘ š‘”š‘’š‘–š‘›š‘–) will be Davao’s regular avian visitor as it appeared in the wetlands of the region for over three years now.

It can be recalled that in 2021, the Chinese Crested Tern tagged as the “šš¢š«š šØšŸ š‹šžš šžš§š” surprised the conservationists with its presence during a bird counting in Davao del Norte. That, after its hiatus in the wild for several decades. In fact, some study say that it was last seen in around 1937 and had unconfirmed sighting years after.

As the DENR Davao regularly conducts the Annual Asian Waterfowl Census (AWC) for migratory birds, through its Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section (PAMBCS), the team, yet again, caught sight of the CCTs in 2022 at Davao rivermouth which appears to be its first record for Davao City and Davao del Sur.

While in January of this year, we say hi to at least three (3) CCTs! These rare and critically endangered birds were spotted in Panabo City and Carmen in Davao del Norte and in Bucana, Davao City.

The global population of CCTs remain sparse with only more or less a hundred of them left. Thus, the close monitoring and extensive effort for its conservation through keeping an eye on its breeding colonies.

Migratory seabirds, including CCTs, are usually seen migrating to the coastal wetlands in the Philippines in the first quarter of the year, during which its originating countries are on winter season which results to food scarcity. Avians move to warmer regions in search for warmth and sustenance.

Apart from CCTs, other migratory birds such as Eurasian and Far Eastern Curlew were also recorded in the region.

As part of the East Asian Australasian Flyway (EAAF), the Philippines actively participates in the annual Asian Waterbird Census which runs parallel to the other waterbird census in Africa, Europe, Central and West Asia, and the Latin America under the umbrella of the International Waterbird Census. Amid threat from climate change and environmental degradation, waterbirds serve as bio-indicator of ecosystem changes.

Let’s continuously protect our avian visitors by keeping distance from them!

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