BACK TO SANCTUARY. An Asian Giant Softshell Turtle (Pelochelys cantorii), a native freshwater turtle in the Philippines, was released yesterday to the Addalam River, one of the major tributaries of the Cagayan River in Cabarroguis, Quirino.
The turtle was released by the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 2 and the Barangay Local Government Unit of Eden.
According to Glenn Maguad, veterenarian of the BMB, the species had to undergo medical care and recovery before release.
"Kinailangan muna namin siyang gamutin at alagaan dahil may silo siya sa lalamunan nung nai-turnover," said Maguad explaining that the turtle was captured in the midst of Typhoon Ulysses' flooding last year.
The barangay local government committed to protect the released species by conducting regular monitoring in the river.
"May provincial ordinance po kami na nagbabawal sa pagkuha ng anumang resources sa ilog kaya sure po na safe yung softshell turtle," told barangay kagawad Joseph Estrada. He added a portion of the Addalam River in their barangay is a 'no-take zone' since it was declared as a sanctuary for aquatic resources.
The Asian Giant Softshell Turtle listed as threatened species under DENR Administrative Order 2019-09, is a scavenger that is beneficial to the ecosystem in the Cagayan River, one of the identified main sanctuaries of the said species in the country according to BMB.#