Philippine cobra, 12 other reptiles now ‘threatened’

THE Philippine cobra and 12 other reptiles have joined the Philippines’ official list of threatened species, former Sen. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Pilipinas Ecowarriors convenor, said Sunday.

Zubiri named the 12 other newly threatened reptiles as the Loggerhead turtle, Southeast Asian box turtle, Spiny terrapin, South-east Philippine spitting cobra, Equatorial spitting cobra, King cobra, Southeast Asian softshell turtle, Batanes pit viper, Panay monitor lizard and three subspecies of the Malay monitor lizard.

The Philippine cobra was previously categorized only as near threatened. However, the snake’s nonstop population decline led to the downgrading of its conservation status to threatened-endangered, according to Zubiri, former chairman of the Senate environment and natural resources committee.

A highly venomous burly snake averaging a meter in length, the Philippine cobra (Naja philippinensis) thrives in low-lying plains, from thick jungles and forested areas to open fields and grasslands. It preys mostly on small rodents and frogs and occasionally, other snakes, lizards and birds.

Predators of the Philippine cobra include humans, birds of prey, the king cobra, and the mongoose.

Philippine species are tagged threatened once their habitats have suffered extreme depletion and their populations have shrunk to a level below which the species or subspecies will be totally extinct, Zubiri said.

He said threatened species are further sub-classified either as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered.

Vulnerable species are under threat from serious adverse factors all over their range and are believed likely to drop to the endangered category in the near future, the former senator said.

Endangered species are at great risk of being wiped out and survival is unlikely if casual factors continue to function, he said.

Of the 13 newly threatened reptiles, Zubiri said only one – the Panay monitor lizard – was labeled critically endangered. The rest were tagged either vulnerable or endangered.

The Philippines keeps a registry of wildlife species of priority concern for protection and conservation, in compliance with existing international and national laws. The catalogue is updated regularly by the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau.

Zubiri attributed the rapid decline of the Philippine cobra and other reptiles to the devastation of their habitats due to indiscriminate land conversion.

“We are pushing for highly concentrated conservation efforts at the provincial level to look after our threatened species, and safeguard our biodiversity,” he said.

Zubiri’s Pilipinas Ecowarriors is a non-profit, registered non-governmental group that keeps watch over potential violators of environmental protection and conservation laws, including wildlife poachers.

The Philippines has committed to achieve the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

One of the eight development goals is “to ensure environmental sustainability.”

Among the indicators used to measure achievement of the goal is “reduced biodiversity loss, to include a decreasing number of species threatened with extinction.”

Philippine cobra, 12 other reptiles now ‘threatened’

The Philippine cobra and 12 other reptiles have joined the Philippines’ official list of threatened species, former Sen. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Pilipinas Ecowarriors convenor, said Sunday.

Zubiri named the 12 other newly threatened reptiles as the Loggerhead turtle, Southeast Asian box turtle, Spiny terrapin, South-east Philippine spitting cobra, Equatorial spitting cobra, King cobra, Southeast Asian softshell turtle, Batanes pit viper, Panay monitor lizard and three subspecies of the Malay monitor lizard.

The Philippine cobra was previously categorized only as near threatened. However, the snake’s nonstop population decline led to the downgrading of its conservation status to threatened-endangered, according to Zubiri, former chairman of the Senate environment and natural resources committee.

A highly venomous burly snake averaging a meter in length, the Philippine cobra (Naja philippinensis) thrives in low-lying plains, from thick jungles and forested areas to open fields and grasslands. It preys mostly on small rodents and frogs and occasionally, other snakes, lizards and birds.

Predators of the Philippine cobra include humans, birds of prey, the king cobra, and the mongoose.

Philippine species are tagged threatened once their habitats have suffered extreme depletion and their populations have shrunk to a level below which the species or subspecies will be totally extinct, Zubiri said.

He said threatened species are further sub-classified either as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered.

Vulnerable species are under threat from serious adverse factors all over their range and are believed likely to drop to the endangered category in the near future, the former senator said.

Endangered species are at great risk of being wiped out and survival is unlikely if casual factors continue to function, he said.

Of the 13 newly threatened reptiles, Zubiri said only one – the Panay monitor lizard – was labeled critically endangered. The rest were tagged either vulnerable or endangered.

The Philippines keeps a registry of wildlife species of priority concern for protection and conservation, in compliance with existing international and national laws. The catalogue is updated regularly by the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau.

Zubiri attributed the rapid decline of the Philippine cobra and other reptiles to the devastation of their habitats due to indiscriminate land conversion.

“We are pushing for highly concentrated conservation efforts at the provincial level to look after our threatened species, and safeguard our biodiversity,” he said.

Zubiri’s Pilipinas Ecowarriors is a non-profit, registered non-governmental group that keeps watch over potential violators of environmental protection and conservation laws, including wildlife poachers.

The Philippines has committed to achieve the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

One of the eight development goals is “to ensure environmental sustainability.”

Among the indicators used to measure achievement of the goal is “reduced biodiversity loss, to include a decreasing number of species threatened with extinction.”

loading...

About accounting

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply