Meet 'Pawi': Turtle mascot aims to raise awareness of endangered species

Harris Julio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2018 11:59 AM

"Pawi", a Hawksbill turtle, is the new brand ambassador of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to represent the marine sector for its flagship project for the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park. Penro Isabela

DINAPIGUE, Isabela - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) unveiled its brand ambassador that will represent the marine sector in their 12-year flagship project for the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park.

‘Pawi,’ a mascot resembling a hawksbill turtle, was introduced on Wednesday in a parade at the coastal town of Dinapigue.

Pawi’s presence in various activities will boost communication, education and public awareness on the protection as well as conservation of marine resources, according to Racquel Caldez, DENR Isabela Information Officer.

“The selection of this specific species of turtle was a decision made in consideration of its many functions in the marine ecosystem besides its being declared critically endangered,” said Caldez.

Hawksbill turtles are typically found in coastal reefs, rocky areas, estuaries and lagoons. Every two or four years, a female turtle will come out of the water to lay their eggs along the seashore. Each female turtle could nestle eggs on average four times at interval of 15 to 18 days.

“This is the reason why we need to inculcate knowledge, awareness and call for an action about the importance and protection of sea turtles. We also need a progressive and active involvement of the community,” added Caldez.

In a program following the parade, Pawi was seen dancing and performing together with a bird mascot named “Isalvon” that depicts the province’s Oriole, a type of bird believed to be in near extinction.

On March 2016, Isalvon become the symbol of the campaign on wildlife conservation. Its name was derived from a winning online slogan-making contest “Isabela Saves the Oriole of the Nation.”

The two mascots will help in promoting environmental campaigns for the safeguard of the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, the largest protected area in the country.