DENR vows to stop illegal trade of endangered lizards in Cebu

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Environment authorities are clamping down on the illegal trade of two species of endangered lizards after a television show featured it.

The sale of  the Philippine Flying Lizard (Draco volans) and Philippine Sailfin Lizard (Hydrosaurus pustulatus) in Kawasan Falls in Badian town was featured in the television documentary “Born to be Wild” which aired in GMA-7 last Saturday evening.

The lizards are captured and being sold for P500 to P1,000 to collectors. Aside from being prized by wildlife collectors, the Philippine Flying Lizard, locally known as hambobokag, is used in traditional medical concoctions  to cure asthma.

The lizards are covered by  the Wildlife Resources Conservation Protection Act (RA 9147. Possession and selling of  protected  species and their by products is punishable by imprisonment of six years and a fine of at least P100,000 or both.

“We will apprehend right away the sellers of Philippine Flying Lizards and Philippine Sailfin Lizards,”  said Flordeliza Geyrozaga,  Community Environment and Natural Resources Office of Argao (which also covers Badian town).

The Philippine Sailfin Lizard which is also known as the water walking lizard is an oviparous or egg-laying lizard found  only in the Philippines.

The Philippine Flying Lizard, also known as flying dragon is found in Borneo Island, the Philippines and  India. It can grow up to 20 centimeters, with its wingspan usually 3/4 its body length.

“ Hambobokag and the  Philippine Sailfin Lizard are endangered species. They  have to be protected and their habitat conserved. People cannot just  collect them for business purposes,” said Geyrozaga. /Renan Alangilan, Correspondent

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