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Environmental threat
Cockatoo crisis
Loro Park’s conservation programme to save the Philippine Cockatoo in Palawan may be destroyed by the imminent installation of an Electricity plant close to the birds’ sanctuary.

01.05.2013 - The Loro Park foundation has invested around €1,050,000 and 14 years in the project to save the birds which are on the critically endangered list. It is estimated that there are less than 1000 examples of the Red-vented Cockatoo, as it is also known, left in the world and even achieving these numbers has constituted a concerted protection campaign by various organisations. However, the local government on the Philippine island of Palawan seems determined to allow the installation of a coal operated electricity plant in the zone. Apart from the pollution, the greatest threat to the birds’ safety will be the high voltage lines which will crisscross the sky around the cockatoos’ flying range, putting the birds in danger of electrocution and severely interfering in their daily search for food. The Philippine Cockatoo has been brought to its endangered state due to the destruction of its natural habitat and aggressive hunting of the chicks and eggs due to the high prices they fetch on the black market. For this reason much of the conservation work has included support for the local Katala Foundation that concentrates on education within the resident population. However, the huge success of the last few years may disappear in one stroke if the DMCI Power Corporation continues with its building programme. Despite massive protests against the move on both a national and international level, so far the local government has refused to consider alternatives. The only possibility left is a rethink by the Palawan Ministry for Sustainable Development which has the power to recommend that the plant is sited in a less environmentally sensitive area of the island.

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