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Pawikan hatchlings released in 2019 point to their reemerging population in Davao

AP Reputation Management | April 15, 2019

AboitizPower subsidiaries in Davao City have, so far, already released a total of 207 sea turtle hatchlings back to the sea in 2019, highlighting the work these business units have been doing to protect the environment over the years.

Therma South, Inc. (TSI) set free 115 baby Olive Ridley hatchlings last March 29 while Davao Light, which manages the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park in Davao City, released 92 Hawksbill hatchlings last April 3.

Three pawikan nests have also been discovered along the coast of TSI facility in the last four months. The first nest was found on December 14 last year and the second one on February 23. Since the discovery of these nests, TSI has been working with various groups, including a team from Aboitiz Cleanergy Park, to ensure that the nests remain well protected and well cared for.

 

 

The hatchlings released at TSI emerged from an undiscovered third nest along the shore of the baseload power plant’s compound. TSI named this batch of hatchlings “Team Stingray” after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s son, whose birthday was on the same day.

This occurrence reinforces the diversity of our marine ecosystem in the city. Having a coal-fired power plant playing host to these hatchlings makes this event more interesting.

– Sara Duterte-Carpio, Mayor, Davao City

For his part, AboitizPower-Coal Business Unit President and Chief Operating Officer Danel Aboitiz described the occasion as “an eye-opening experience” that is an “indicator that our environmental stewardship efforts are bearing fruit.”

The presence of these endangered creatures inside the plant is proof of sustainable environmental conditions resulting from the steps we have taken to operate our power plants responsibly.

– Danel Aboitiz, President & COO, AboitizPower Coal BU

 

 

Aboitiz Cleanergy Park is a known nesting ground of the critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtle. Since the park was unveiled in 2014, Davao Light has released 3,482 hatchlings back into the ocean.

However, no nests were discovered at the park in 2016 and 2018. The re-emergence of new nests this year are signs that the group’s environmental stewardship initiatives are bearing fruit.

A female pawikan lays eggs three to five times in two-week intervals during mating season, which is between November and February in the Philippines.

The Hawksbill turtle lays the most number of eggs, called a clutch, at over 200. The average turtle lays only 110 eggs per nest.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), hawkbills are threatened by the loss of nesting and feeding habitats, excessive egg collection, fishery-related mortality, pollution, and coastal development. WWF also pointed out that they are most threatened by wildlife trade.

Despite their international protected status, there is still a disturbingly large amount of illegal trade in hawksbill shells and products.

AboitizPower drives change for a better world through sustainable efforts to protect and conserve endangered species such as the pawikan and its habitat.

The Cleanergy Park, a partnership project of Davao Light and Aboitiz Foundation, is an initiative that models urban-based habitat conservation and biodiversity management. In addition to being a turtle sanctuary, it has become a bird sanctuary with more than 70 discovered species, a haven for different species of trees, a mangrove forest with thriving schools of fish, a fish sanctuary, seagrass beds, and coral reefs.

In 2017, the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park was recognized by the city Davao City government for its contribution to environmental protection and conservation.