Negros Wildlife Month Underway

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Negros Wildlife Month kicked-off today with a colorful 250-strong street parade of students, volunteers and concerned citizens dressed in masks and costumes to show many of the endemic and threatened species of Negros.

Leading the parade, which left from the Bacolod Public Plaza, were two Tay Tung students wearing spectacular bright yellow outfits and representing the threatened Visayan Leopard Cat

(l-r) NFEFI president Paul Lizares; Tay Tung students Kurt Patrick
Yu and Lezyl Coloso; Gov. Isidro Zayco

The students, 17-year-old Kurt Patrick Yu and 16-year-old Lezyl Coloso, said they chose to dress as Leopard Cats because these animals were graceful and beautiful and needed protecting.

In addition to leading the parade, they were also declared Mr. and Ms. Wildlife 2009 - 2010 and will serve as conservation ambassadors for the province.

The parade finished at the Negros Occidental Multi-Purpose Activity Center for the opening ceremony. Guest of honor was Gov. Isidro Zayco who said: "I hope Wildlife Month, which will now be an official annual event, will do much to create wider awareness among our people of the unique wildlife of Negros.

"We all have the responsibility to take positive steps to protect and preserve it."

Wildlife Month is organized by the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation, Inc (NFEFI) with the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PBCFI) and in close collaboration with the Governor's Office through the Provincial Environment Management Office; Department of Environment and Natural Resources; La Consolacion College-Bacolod; West Negros University and the Silliman University-Center for Tropical Conservation Studies.

Speaking at today's ceremony, NFEFI president Paul Lizares said that Negrenses must be part of the solution, not the problem.

"The fact there are so many young people here today shows the youth are definitely part of the solution," he said.

He urged students and young people to champion the environment and to make a real commitment to rally support to protect the fragile environment of Negros.

Wednesday's program will include the 5th Provincial Wildlife Quiz Bowl to be held at Robinsons starting at 9am.  On Thursday, there will be a series of environmental films screened from 10am to 5pm in La Consolacion College's Conference Hall.