Monday, May 16, 2011

Candaba Swamp and Wild Duck Sanctuary

The Candaba Swamp is located 60 kms north of Metro Manila. It encompasses about 32,000 hectares of wetlands located mostly in the town of Candaba, Pampanga, and is bounded by the towns of Baliuag, San Ildefonso and San Miguel in Bulacan, San Luis and Arayat in Pampanga, and Cabiao in Nueva Ecija. Situated at 11 meters above sea level, the swamp is the lowest point in Central Luzon. It acts as a natural flood retention or catch basin holding wet season overflows from the Maasim, San Miguel, Garlang, Bulu and Penaranda rivers, and draining into the Pampanga River. The natural retention capacity is approx 1.5 billion cubic meters. The swamp is the staging and wintering area for migratory birds from October up to April of every year. It is a significant part of the East Asia-Australiasian Migratory Flyway that includes Siberia, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, South Korea and Singapore. WHAT TO SEE: Migratory birds spend winter in the Philippines or pass through the islands on their way to points South and North on their return trip to their native habitats. Egrets and indigenous birds like the rare salaksak and batala can be observed especially during dry months when the fishponds turn to rice fields - when large numbers of egrets descend on shallow pools teeming with snails and small fish. In 1982, about 100,000 ducks were observed in a single day, thus having the largest concentration of birds in the country.

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