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    Catarman, Camiguin declared wildlife sanctuary

    By Ercel Maandig

    The local government of Catarman, Camiguin province has declared the area as a wildlife sanctuary, paving mechanisms that enforce environmental protection.

    In a statement on Monday, Catarman Mayor Kiterio Antonio Palarca II said he signed an ordinance seeking to preserve the natural flora and fauna of the town, which is home to giant bats, monkeys, and different species of butterflies.

    A colony of agolden crown flying fox locally known as “kabug” numbering about 500 hovers over theirdwelling place in Barangay Poblacion, Catarman, Camiguin

    The town is also sharing provincial ocean waters where dolphins, whale sharks, and squid species are still thriving.

    In the town’s barangay Bonbon, sightings of six adult whale sharks have been reported recently.

    Schadenberg’s Burrowing Skink

    “A century-old Balite tree is now being preserved at the town center because the tree is now the home of around 700 giant bats,” Palarca said.

    The giant bats have become one of the town’s main tourist attractions that has historical value since the tree is among the oldest in the province.

    Purple-throated Sunbird

    Tourists and Lent

    Meanwhile, the provincial government said it is preparing for the influx of tourists as the observation of the Lenten season is approaching in April.

    The province is a popular venue of pilgrimage for Catholic devotees during the Holy Week of the year, where the annual “Panaad” is held.

    Yellow-lined Smooth-scaled Gecko

    Devotees would trek the walkway surrounding “Mount Bulkan,” a dormant volcano, passing by life-sized stations of the cross.

    common seahorse

    Governor Xavier Jurdin Romualdo said the province is targeting  500,000 tourist arrivals in a year.

    Painted Frogfish

    Romualdo said that from January 1 to February 22 alone, the province already has recorded 32,688 tourists, of which 29,193 are domestic.

    Last year, the province’s tourist arrival was recorded at 250,000. (PNA)

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