Pawikan on FB: Facebook as a Source of Information on the Current State of Sea Turtles in the Philippines with an Emphasis on Mortality

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Superio, Daryl L.
Luceno, Myrna T.
Bendalian, Maria Venessa T.
Yap-Zerudo, Anna May A.
Ciriaco, Joel A.
Estante-Superio, Erish G.
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Citizen science; Philippines; sea turtles; social media; wildlife conservation.
Sea turtles or “pawikan” are threatened and protected species in the Philippines. In fact, since 1979, the Philippine government has enacted several laws and policies and implemented programs for the conservation of the five of the seven species of sea turtles that could be found in the Philippines. However, reports on poaching, egg collecting, stranding, by-catch, and even slaughtering of sea turtles become more evident than ever, especially on social media (SM) despite these efforts. SM has proven to be one of the most effective platforms for information sharing as anyone who has an account, and an internet connection could easily share information. This study will present data on the threats facing sea turtles in the Philippines by analyzing Facebook (FB) posts of organizations, communities, and individuals about sea turtles from 2008-2019. Only posts that contain visual evidence such as photos and/or videos will be considered. Information on the species, location, and status of the sea turtles will be provided. Moreover, the mortality causes for dead specimens will also be presented. Furthermore, to determine the awareness of the public on the status of sea turtles as threatened and protected species, sentiment analysis will be done to the reactions, comments, and opinions on every post that will be considered in the study.
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