Threats to survival of Philippine Eagle persist

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 March) – Threats to the survival of the Philippine Eagle remain to persist amid efforts of private organizations to educate the public about it.

Andi Baldonado, fund raising officer of the the Philippine Eagle Foundation, said that the hunting of the eagle remains constant.

It is good to know, however, that in the years that went by, the reported number of hunting cases did not, in any way, go up, she pointed out.

“Threats to the philippine eagle remain constant,” Baldonado said. “These include hunting and deforestation.”

She said that the foundation continues with its efforts to educate people who live near the nesting sites of the eagles in the uplands.

It is interesting to note, however, that it’s not the lack of education that’s causing the threats to recur.

People are said to end up shooting the bird when it preys on their livestock, which are their source of livelihood.

This is why the foundation also strengthens its livelihood support projects.

For instance, the PEF is closely working with the Obo Manobos in Carmen (an eagle nesting site) to help protect the place.

Baldonado said that they have forest guests from the indigenous group who constantly monitor the sites.

Currently, there are 34 eagles under the care of PEF. Some of these eagles are bred in captivity, others are for release, while there are some that are rescued and cannot be returned to the wild.

Eagles who can’t return to the wild are those who have become too familiar with the sight of humans. Baldonado said that when eagles become too comfortable with humans, they tend to become vulnerable, hence, hunted or killed.

Data from the PEF estimates that there are about 400 pairs of Philippine Eagles remaining in the wild.

The bird, which is endemic to the country, nests in large, old dipterocarp trees in forests.

The eagle lays a single egg every two years. Parent eagles tend to their offspring until these babies are mature enough (two years) to make it in their own. It is only until then that the parent eagles get to produce another.

An upcoming project of the foundation to raise funds for the critically endangered bird is a 23-kilometer fun bike ride on March 22.

Ride For The Eagle 2015 will have proceeds of the registration directed to the foundation to fuel research, conservation, breeding, and education.

The same event last year gathered over 456 participants and raised P50,000.

Registration for the March event is ongoing in the Marco Polo Davao hotel.