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The Conservation of the World's Rarest Bird of Prey, the Philippine Eagle
Some facts about the Philippine Eagle
- It has the longest wingspan among any birds in the world which could surpass 8 feet in length.
- It is regarded as the tallest eagle
- Its scientific name is Pithecophaga jefferyi.
- It is being conserved by the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF).
- It is the rarest eagle in the world.
- It is the second largest eagle next only to Harpy Eagle which is found in the Americas.
Pictures or Images of the Philippine Eagle
This week's HubMob will certainly be a blast for many Hubbers!
Facing extinction few decades ago PEF made a turnaround to preserve this mighty animals.
If the American Bald Eagle is the symbol of United States' free-wheeling and vibrant democracy, the Philippines has its own emblem for her national sovereignty and freedom as well. The mighty Philippine eagle, swift, agile and a ferocious predator is indeed one of the most fascinating of its kind in the world. Regarded as the second largest worldwide, the Philippine Eagle is also dubbed as Philippine Monkey-Eating Eagle (the eagle's diet is not primarily monkey, it also stalks on small mammals, other birds, snakes and pythons) and fondly called Haribon by local folks. The Philippine Eagle which is considered to be one of the finest gliders in the open air is also reputed to be the rarest. However, this majestic yet humble creatures are critically endangered as their numbers is rapidly dwindling down, no thanks to the loss of their habitat due to development in rural areas that spurs progress and illegal logging that results to the denudation of the forests in the country. Although protected by the government, problems like hunting for its meat and illegal poaching continues to be a bane in the conservation efforts of these consummate predators. Their population is reducing at an alarming rate then, but thank goodness, there is the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) to the rescue which is based in the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City which is near to the magnificent and hot tourist spot destination the Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the country.
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For more than 15 years of painstaking research and sheer perseverance, the PEF is now an expert in the breeding, hatching and rearing process of the Philippine Eagle. The captive-breeding also endeavors to release some of these rare birds in the wild.
The first captive-bred Philippine Eagle that was hatched and reared in this program includes Pag-asa who just celebrated its 18th hatch day (not birthday, this is a bird :D) last January 15, 2010. Pag-asa whose meaning is hope in local vernacular got enough national attention and interests from the very day it hatched out from its shells until now. Pag-asa which its name suggests, truly brought home hope and joy to the entire nation for it is the product of captive breeding whose objective is to preserve their kind and help them stave off extinction.
Dr. James Grier, one of the stalwarts in Philippine Eagle research programs stated that little is known about the Philippine Eagle outside of the Mindanao archipelago as he said, " Eagles in Luzon, Samar, Leyte and some parts in Mindanao, have not been studied so far, but we know there has been some sightings." True enough, four more Philippine Eagle were sighted in Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park from 2003 to 2005.
Dr. Grier also said, "The PEF has made significant advance in several fronts with the eagle and rainforest conservation. Their integrated approach work with the wild birds, conservation, breeding, socio-economic and education programs. They are working with other groups and spreading their expertise and knowledge with these trainings (provided to participants in the preservation of the Philippine Eagle)."
In April 2005, fourteen of the 18 captive-bred eagles survived including a chick which hatched very weak and almost succumbed to death. After enduring the treacherous task of coming off its shell, the chick lived miraculously and one year later it is pronounced healthy by the PEF staffs.
But a sad fate happened, just a week before Pag-asa celebrated its 13th hatch day, Kabayan another captive-bred eagle was electrocuted at the PEF Sanctuary in Mount Apo when it was released in the wild as a part of the conservation program. Kabayan was named after the monicker of Vice President Noli de Castro, which means compatriot. The remains of this unfortunate bird of prey was stuffed and made into a statue.
All in all, the PEF accomplishments in taking good care of these wonderful creatures are astounding and truly inspiring. With their unparalleled efforts, now the majestic Philippine Eagle has a good chance of averting extinction
My mighty thirteenth hub in the HubChallenge.
And a HubMob Contribution.
Pets and Animals
Flora and Fauna in the Philippines