SOS grantee Katala Foundation Incorporated (KFI), working to protect the Critically Endangered Philippine cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia expresses serious concerns after the recent approval of the construction of a coal-fired power plant opposite Rasa Island, about one kilometre from the project's site.
These concerns and what follows were reported to SOS by the grantee in explaining the situation on the ground. Rasa Island is declared a wildlife sanctuary and is of global importance for conservation due to the high number of threatened flora and fauna present including the Philippine cockatoo.
Since 1998, KFI, so called after the local name of the cockatoo, has implemented a comprehensive conservation project on the island and adjacent mainland, which harbours about one quarter of the world's population of this extremely rare parrot.
Project Director, Peter Widmann believes the 15 Megawatt coal-fired power plant in operation will have several negative impacts on the Rasa Island population including casualties from collisions and potential electrocution by power lines as well as blocking the flight path to and from the birds' foraging area from the mainland to the island.
According to Widmann this could in turn reduce the carrying capacity of Rasa Island for Cacatua haematuropygia limiting parent birds' ability to feed their young.
Apart from the impacts on the Philippine cockatoo, Widmann also believes the impacts on the local ecosystem and community's health need to be assessed and taken into consideration with respect to how the situation progresses.
To keep up to date on developments around Rasa Island and the proposed power plant, visit the Katala Foundation website.