Candaba Swamp is located in the Candaba, Pampanga municipality, 60 km northeast of Manila in the Philippines. It encompasses about 32,000 ha, made of freshwater ponds, swamps and marshes surrounded by seasonally flooded grasslands.
The entire area becomes submerged underwater during the wet season. It dries out during the months of November to April. Then the swamp is converted to ...
farmland by the locals. Watermelon and rice are usually planted, comprising the vegetation of the flood plain, together with patches of Nipa palm and some mangrove species.
The Candaba swamp also acts as a natural flood retention basin during the rainy season. It holds the overflow from five smaller rivers (Maasim, San Miguel, Garlang, Bulu and Peñaranda), then drains into the larger Pampanga River.
Candaba Swamp and Wild Duck Sanctuary Candaba Marsh News
It was cold, dark and awfully quiet when we left a resort in San Simon on a bus to the nearby town of Candaba. It was 5:30 a.m. on February 2, the World Wetlands Day (WWD).
The bus stopped in the middle of a highway surrounded by rice paddies on both sides.
From an unexciting bus ride, we got to experience an adventurous ride on carabao sled, sitting down tight and holding on firmly to avoid falling after every curve.
Occasionally, we heard chirping sounds from a distance, adding to our excitement.
As we drew near the area where hundreds of native and migratory birds flock during t ...
With the sun shining beautifully that morning, we thought that the road to the back ponds of Candaba would be dry and accessible. It wasn't. Thanks to Bong's 4-wheel drive SUV, and his driver, Rudy's expertise and determination, we somehow made it at least to the former mayor's house. Another sad thing was the dearth of birds. What used to be wetlands had been converted to rice fields. The lack of sufficient bodies of water resulted in only a few birds staying there. In our 3 hours or so of birding we only managed to photograph 13, yes, only 13, species.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has urged the public to protect wetland areas in Central Luzon that serve as habitat of migratory birds from other countries during October to March.
DENR Central Luzon Director Francisco Milla said wetlands are critical parts of the natural environment and ecological system.
These areas include Angat Dam in Bulacan, Pantabangan and Paitan Lake in Nueva Ecija, Puerto Rivas in Bataan, Uacon Lake in Zambales, Canarem Lake in Tarlac and Candaba Swamp in Pampanga.
"Wetlands provide countless ecosystem services and benefits to loca ...
Environmental group Haribon Foundation marked its first birdwatching activity this year in search for the endangered Black-faced Spoonbill (Platalea minor) in the wetlands of Candaba, Pampanga.
The Black-faced Spoonbill is a long-legged wading migratory bird with a white plumage, black face and an elongated spoon-shaped bill. The IUCN red list estimates less than 4,000 Black-faced Spoonbills in 2017 worldwide. They are recorded as Endangered due to foreseen rapid population decline over the next years because of habitat loss.
"The Black-faced spoonbill has been seen many times in Candaba ...
It had to happen. The day we were going to Candaba it rained heavily the night before. Which meant muddy roads to the mayor's house. So goodbye to the White-shouldered Starlings, Purple Herons and Marsh Harrier. We can't go there anymore for fear of being stuck in the mud.
Water birds, which took refuge from the cold Siberian winds in two spots at the Candaba Swamp here, number only 1,449, the lowest recorded migration rate since 2010, according to the combined tally made on Saturday by the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the 2018 Asian Waterbird Census (AWC).
Migratory fowls normally make the trip to the swamp from October to February.
"For the first time, I did not use a calculator to count the birds," said Mike Lu, a WBCP executive committee member, when he joined the recent tab ...