DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 June) – The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) in Malagos in Baguio District here is preparing 17 adult Philippine eagles for the start of the breeding season beginning next month.
Dr. Jayson Ibañez, director of research and conservation of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, said the center is preparing three natural pairs and five mal-imprinted male eagles and six mal-imprinted female eagles for the courtship period from July until August. (A mal-imprinted eagle means it is so attached to its keeper and recognizes the latter as its mate.)
Female eagles are expected to lay eggs between September and November, he said.
The center currently has 32 Philippines eagles under its care.
Since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak began, Andi Baldonado, PEF development project manager, scaled down its services to core purpose as a breeding and rehabilitation facility for the Philippine eagles and other raptors.
The center’s conservation education program has already been made available online while field research is sustained at a limited capacity due to the quarantine measures amid the COVID-19 outbreak, she said.
“We are getting by but because we rely completely on donations, we need the constant support of the public especially while the PEC is closed. We are grateful for the support that we’ve been receiving since we started our crowdfunding last March 24,” Baldonado said.
She said the foundation hopes to reopen the center at a limited capacity once the city shifts to the modified general community quarantine.
“But we will have to wait for further info and guidelines on that. But part of our considerations for reopening is the downsized capacity of the PEC in accommodating guests in tandem with enhanced biosecurity measures to make sure that we can safely operate according to the government’s mandate,” she said.
In June 2019, the country sent Philippine Eagles “Geothermica” and “Sambisig” to Jurong Bird Park in Singapore for a 10-year loan program agreement signed by the Philippine government with Wildlife Reserves Singapore to protect the critically endangered raptors from extinction due to calamities and diseases.
Geothermica and Sambisig were adopted by Energy Development Corporation and Dow Chemical Philippines, Inc., respectively. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)