Camiguin town declared as wildlife sanctuary

By Ercel Maandig

February 26, 2024, 6:07 pm

<p>Google map of Camiguin Island province.</p>

Google map of Camiguin Island province.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The local government of Catarman in Camiguin Island province 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.

The town is also sharing the 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.

“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.

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.

Devotees would trek the walkway surrounding "Mount Vulcan," a dormant volcano, passing by human-sized stations of the cross.

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

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)