Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 142: Endangered

On my way back to the car after grocery shopping this morning, I chanced upon a small crowd along the sidewalk. Curious about the apparent commotion, I eased my way into the throng and discovered these animals being shown off by their handlers. When I saw these poor things being paraded for all to see, I had a sagging feeling inside. My first thought was that these may well be endangered species and shouldn't be peddled along the streets. I saw two uniformed policemen looking over from afar and decided to approach one of them to ask whether they knew which agency I should contact to report about the incident. Well, of course, they didn't know and I wasn't surprised that they didn't seem bothered by what they were seeing.

Further research online revealed that out of the three species above, the Philippine Sailfish lizard has been classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as threatened or having high risk of endangerment in the wild. On the other hand, the Asian Palm Civet (Alamid) was categorized under least concern by the same entity and there wasn't any conservation status tagged to Monitor lizards. My primary fear about the Alamid is that there have been studies that have linked it to the SARS virus outbreak some years back. Regarding the Monitor lizard, their predatory nature and large size are factors that can hinder having them as pets.

For most people in the crowd, these animals seem to be some form of entertainment for them and it didn't seem they were concerned about their status. Personally, I think it really should be the lookout of every Filipino to be more conscious about our natural resources and ensuring their safety and care.

If you have any information about which government agency I should deal with to report this incident, please feel free to leave comments on this page. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

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