The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Eastern Visayas rescued a juvenile Philippine scops owl (Otus megalotis) in Brgy. Burak, Tolosa, Leyte.
Ms. Rachel Costiniano, a resident of Brgy. Burak said the scops owl was given to her husband by some children who found the wildlife species earlier this May. They kept the owl under their care to ensure that this will not be harmed by the children and stray animals.
Ms. Costiniano added that they have observed an adult owl bringing in food for her juvenile during the evening. “We think it is the mother of the owl bringing feeds to the juvenile owl”, she said. “We really intend to free the bird, but we want to make sure it is safe and in good shape”, she adds.
Through RMN reporter, Justin Grace Traya, the incident was reported to the DENR. A team from the office checked on the condition of the bird, and found it fit for immediate release.
The Philippine scops owl is endemic to the Philippines and is listed under the category of Other Wildlife Species per DENR Administrative Order No. 2019-09.
DENR Regional Executive Director Tirso P. Parian, Jr. lauded the efforts of the concerned citizens in saving the wildlife species. “It is important that the community understands how wildlife species maintain the ecological balance of nature”, he said. “Owls, for instance, provide natural pest control to the environment. They eat insects and pests that are usually bothersome to homes and agricultural areas”, he added.
RED Parian urged the public to immediately turn-over and report to the nearest DENR office rescued or captured wildlife species. He also warned the public against inflicting harm or keeping wildlife species as pets, since this is in violation of Republic Act 9147, An Act Providing for the Conservation and Protection of Wildlife Resources and their Habitats.