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The 175-hectare Las PiñasParañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) is a gem of a space in the metropolis as the zone comprises a mangrove forest with eight species, 114 hectares of tidal mudflats, secluded ponds and a coastal lagoon.

It is a haven for indigenous and migratory birds that use the mangrove trees as roosts and nesting areas and the beach and the mudflats as their feeding grounds.

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Over 80 rare bird species have been recorded at LPPCHEA by the Wild  Bird Club of the Philippines ( WBCP ) which has been doing the annual census of waterbirds in coordination with the Department of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for 12 years now.

Migrating birds within the Manila Bay use the LPPCHEA as their pit stop, highly dependent on the mudflats for their rest and food.

Thinking of a place to bring your family during weekends? Try bringing them to the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Eco-Tourism Area.

Senator Cynthia A. Villar, who has been leading the fight to protect and preserve the area, is now promoting the concept “voluntourism” to increase awareness of this natural oasis amidst a highly urbanized area.

Villar stressed that park is a critical site that needs special protection especially from man-made threats. “Not only is it home to various species of birds, the area also serves as first-line of defense against storm surges and other natural disasters.”

LPPCHEA’s 36 hectares of mangrove forest is the thickest and most diverse among the remaining mangrove areas in Manila Bay. There are currently 11 mangrove species growing in the area.

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“These mangroves serve as spawning and nursery grounds for coastal fishes. The more mangroves we have, the better for the fish population in the area, thus providing a vital source of livelihood for more than 300,000 fisherfolk in Manila Bay,” Villar said.

Apart from mangroves, Villar also opened a bambusetum or a bamboo museum inside the park.

In 2013, LPPCHEA was included as one of the world’s most important wetlands in the world by the RamsarConvention.

Villar, chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, presented to the delegates the conservation efforts at the wetland park, including the facilities that now make visiting the park more convenient.

For your unique commune with nature and exciting bird watching activity, contact DENR NCR LPPCHEA Management at (02)4352410, look for Aida Esguerra, Rey Aguinaldo or Lito Castañeda.

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