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Philippine Eagle

Pithecophaga jefferyi


The Philippine Eagle is one of the world’s largest, most powerful birds of prey.

It was formerly known as the Monkey-eating Eagle, as reports from natives told that the raptor preyed exclusively on monkeys. This was later found to be incorrect as more recent studies have revealed the species to prey on a variety of animals ranging from rodents and bats to pigs and monitor lizards. They are monogamous and mate for life, unless one of the pair dies, and they have a long breeding cycle that lasts for two years; with the male and female sharing parental care for a total of 20 months.

Endemic to the Philippines, the eagle’s small, rapidly declining population has been feared close to extinction for the past 40 years. In light of this, it recently acquired the status of the National Bird of the Philippines, which has helped greatly to increase awareness of the bird and its plight. They are under threat from declining and fragmented habitat, through commercial timber extraction, expanding agriculture, mining operations, uncontrolled hunting, pesticide accumulation, and also severe weather events, such as Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Population: 250-270
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 86-102 cm
  • Weight: 5-7kg

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.64 (?)
ED Score: 16.61 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


This species is endemic and found on only four islands in the Philippines: Leyte, Luzon, Mindanao, and Samar. The majority of the population is found on Mindanao.

Habitat and Ecology

The Philippine Eagle inhabits montane forests – mostly in steep and rugged mountains. Its diet varies depending on the availability of prey on different islands. Their primary prey species is the Philippine flying lemur, although they also hunt palm civets, monkeys, snakes, monitor lizards and sometimes other birds of prey.

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This wordcloud illustrates the threats facing this species. The size of each word indicates the extent of a species range that is affected by that threat (larger size means a greater area is affected). The colour of the word indicates how much that threat impacts the species (darker shades of red mean the threat is more severe).

Extreme weather Crops Mining Hunting Logging Native species Agriculture

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
Available at:

Download the survival blueprint for this species below. Each survival blueprint is compiled by an EDGE fellow working on the species with input from collaborators and stakeholders. The survival blueprint provides a status review (information on the distribution, protection status, habitat & ecology, threat and stakeholder analysis) and more information on the action programme listed here. 

Vision (30-50 years)

A bountiful, sustainable and ecologically balanced habitat of the Philippine eagle managed by participative, self-determined, empowered and environmentally-conscious community.

Goal (5-10 years)

To develop and restore the Philippine eagle habitat through continuous protection and conservation of Mt. Mingan by key stakeholders


Conduct research to establish baseline and monitor PE population in Mt. Mingan. Critical
Ensure protection of PE habitat and enforcement of forest and wildlife laws and ordinances. High
Generate resources to support Critical Habitat management. High
Restore degraded and fragmented Mt. Mingan using indigenous species. Medium
Participate in enforcement and regulation of laws, and involve the community in supervising the Critical Habitat of Philippine Eagle. Medium
Develop biodiversity friendly livelihoods for forest dependent communities. Low

J Kahlil Panopio

  • Project name: Philippine Eagle conservation in the Mingan Mountains, Philippines
  • Project site: Mingan Mountains, Luzon Island, Philippines
  • Active: 2015 - 2017
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