Introducing the Conservation Area - Pawikan Patrol

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Pawikan Patrol

Brgy. Udalo - Abra de Ilog - Occidental Mindoro - Philippines

Brgy. Udalo, Abra de Ilog,
Occ. Mindoro, Philippines
Pawikan Patrol Logo
Pawikan Patrol

Brgy. Udalo - Abra de Ilog - Occidental Mindoro - Philippines

Brgy. Udalo, Abra de Ilog
Occ. Mindoro, Philippines
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Sea turtles have roamed the world's oceans for millions of years. It is mainly in the last two centuries that their modern-day descendants are brought close to extinction by man-made threats to their lives and habitats.
A swimming Green Turtle
Photo credit: Marine Servonnat (Sep. 2016)
Today, sea turtles are officially protected by international laws and most countries, including the Philippines, have added their own strict rules and regulations - though these are not always being enforced.
Five of the seven sea turtle species roam the Philippine waters. Three of those five were observed nesting and foraging along the coast of Abra de Ilog in Occidental Mindoro where the municipal waters extend into the Verde Island Passage, an internationally acknowledged hotspot of marine biodiversity.
A sub-adult Green Turtle is being released after being caught in a fishing net.
Udalo is one of ten barangays within the Municipality of Abra de Ilog in the province of Occidental Mindoro. The barangay is situated along the northern shore of Mindoro Island, the 7th largest island of the Philippine archipelago. Travelling to the nation's capital Manila (110 km) would include a ferry ride to the port of Batangas in Calabarzon, then onward by private or public land transportation.
A topographic map of the Philippines featuring the location of Mindoro
An adapted Google map of Udalo's coast showing major orientation points.
Adapted Google map of Udalo's coastline to show landmarks as major orientation points
The geographic location is significant: the municipal waters are located within the Verde Island Passage which is recognized by scientists around the globe as the "Center of the Center of Marine Biodiversity".  The coast is equally diverse: rocky outcrops, steep cliffs, sand and pebble beaches and river deltas with wetlands interchange each other. As a farming and fishing community, villages with mostly Tagalog inhabitants are scattered along the coastal area. The ethnic minority of Iraya-Mangyan has settled further upland in the mountainous regions on Udalo's southern border. Road access is limited: boat rides and walking are the main means of transport. The area is still rich in faunal and floral biodiversity.

We observed and documented three sea turtle species that live and nest along this diverse coastline. The main project area centers around Sigman and Diumanod beach in the west. Sea turtle occurence and nesting observations from the east up to the provincial border to Oriental Mindoro are also included.

EAST: small villages and rice fields stretch to the provincial border of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro.
Aerial view of Udalo's eastern coast.
Photo credit: Felix Cybulla (Ivakale/February 2020)

WEST: pathway along Munting Buhangin, then Diumanod beach, the village of Sigman and Abra de Ilog's ferry pier in the distance.
Aerial view of Udalo's Western coast with the port of Abra de Ilog in the distance.
Photo credit: Felix Cybulla (Ivakale/February 2020)
Copyright © 2021 - M. S. Webb for "Pawikan Patrol"
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Logo of our project partner in Germany: Ivakale e.v.
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