The Philippine Eagle inhabits dipterocarp and montane forests that are now confined mostly in steep and rugged mountains.
Each breeding pair requires a range of 25-50 square miles to feed and rear a chick successfully. The need for such an expanse means that the species is particularly vulnerable to deforestation, which is continuing at an alarming rate in the Philippines. Trees are being cut down for timber and to make way for agriculture, and a large amount of the remaining forest is within mining concessions. The birds are hunted for food and often get caught in traps made for deer and pigs. Although there is little research on the impact of pesticide accumulation, this may prove to be detrimental to the species’ breeding success. Collisions with power lines have also been an issue for this species.
The species is listed in CITES Appendices I and II. Conservation initiatives to save the Philippine Eagle have been going for over forty years. Earlier programmes that included captive breeding and creating awareness about the bird by changing its name from the Monkey-eating Eagle, had little success. During the 1980s, conservation groups struggled with lack of funding, attacks on research camps and local economic disaster. Despite these setbacks, they succeeded in raising awareness about the plight of the eagle.
The Philippines Eagle Foundation (PEF) was established in 1987 and has since been spearheading conservation efforts, with an improved level of research and greater understanding of the socio-economic factors affecting the species. Awareness and respect for the eagle increased when it was named as the national bird of the Philippines. Since 2000, a number of surveys have been carried out on the distribution, nesting density and behaviour of the eagle. Continued success with captive breeding means that initiation of reintroductions is already underway. The small wild populations persist in several protected areas including Northern Sierra Madre National Park on Luzon and Mount Kitanglad and Mount Apo Natural Parks on Mindanao. Legal pressure has also been put into place, with the killing of an eagle now punishable by up to 12 years in jail.
The project aims to gather and establish baseline information on Philippine Eagles of Mt. Mingan, increase local awareness on the importance of conserving the species, and facilitate protection its protection by establishing Critical Habitats with management plans specific for the species and its habitat.
I’m an EDGE fellow working on the conservation of Philippine Eagles in Mt. Mingan, Philippines.
The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is the national bird of the Philippines and is locally called the Haring Ibon, which means the "King of Birds"
I'm an EDGE Fellow currently working on the conservation of the species in the Mingan Mountain Range, Luzon Island, Philippines.
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