Rare species

By Bert Eljera

– The critically endangered Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) can still be found in the thick forests of Samar Island, bird watchers reported.

THIS FILE photograph taken on April 9, 2011 shows a Philippine eagle at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao, Mindanao. -- <i>AFP</i>
THIS FILE photograph taken on April 9, 2011 shows a Philippine eagle at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao, Mindanao. — AFP

An eagle was spotted on March 10 in the forests of Barangay San Rafael, Taft, Eastern Samar — the first time the bird had been seen in Samar in two years. The area is part of the Philippine eagle sanctuary and the Ulot Watershed Model Forest, said Purificacion S. Daloos, regional information officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Eastern Visayas.

This is according to a report of the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) which said bird watchers belonging to the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines have been monitoring the presence of the Philippine eagle and other bird species in the area, she said.

The last time the Philippine eagle was seen in Samar was in June 2011 when it was spotted in Mt. Nahulopan in Taft as well as in General MacArthur, Eastern Samar and Barangay Aguingayan, San Jose de Buan town in Samar.

Ms. Daloos said avid bird watcher Ruth Francisco visited the SINP in March to look for another bird species, the Mindanao bleeding heart, but found the Philippine eagle instead.

“The recent sighting in Taft offers a ray of hope for the majestic bird of prey,” Ms. Daloos said.

ENDANGERED
Manolito D. Ragub, DENR regional executive director, said the Philippine eagle remains a critically endangered species and government and public support are needed to ensure its survival.

“Hunting and massive destruction of their natural habitat remain their biggest threat,” Mr. Ragub said.

“The Philippine eagle has a very high socio-cultural value. It has economic value because it helps regulate animal population. It’s also our national symbol and tags the Philippines as the habitat of the world’s largest eagles,” Mr. Ragub added.

The Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) said about 340 Philippine eagle breeding pairs are in the wild and in need of protection.

Bird watchers have caught sight of the eagle in the shared boundaries of Burauen, Jaro and Ormoc City in Leyte as well as in Calbiga and Basey towns in Samar.

Ms. Daloos said the DENR conducts regular surveys in these areas.

“Surveys are conducted in September when the bird builds nests, courts and mates. Target area is from the forest areas of Borongan City down to the southern town of General MacArthur in Eastern Samar, where the forests are still rich,” Ms. Daloos said.

ENDEMIC
Endemic to the Philippines, the majestic and mighty bird can only be found in eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.

The Philippine eagle was first recorded by John Whitehead, an English explorer and naturalist, on June 13, 1896 in Barangay Bonga, Paranas, Samar.

The name given to the newly discovered bird was Pithecophaga jefferyi, from the Greek word “pithecus” which means “ape” or “monkey,” and “phagus” or “eater of” because it was believed then that it exclusively preyed on monkeys. The name “jefferyi” commemorates Jeffrey Whitehead, the father of John Whitehead.

It was only later that it was discovered that the Philippine eagle also eats civets, large snakes, monitor lizards, and flying lemurs, among others.

In 1995, the Philippine eagle was declared the country’s national bird.

Mr. Ragub said protection and conservation efforts are being implemented to ensure the survival of the Philippine eagle, citing the National Greening Program, the government’s flagship reforestation project.

The DENR-PAWB also runs the Philippine Raptors Conservation Program, which aims to raise awareness of, conserve, and protect the Philippine eagle and other species of raptors through information campaigns.

– See more at: http://www.bworldonline.com/weekender/content.php?id=72490#sthash.ZYmccidE.dpuf

The critically endangered Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) can still be found in the thick forests of Samar Island, bird watchers reported.

THIS FILE photograph taken on April 9, 2011 shows a Philippine eagle at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao, Mindanao. -- <i>AFP</i>
THIS FILE photograph taken on April 9, 2011 shows a Philippine eagle at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao, Mindanao. — AFP

An eagle was spotted on March 10 in the forests of Barangay San Rafael, Taft, Eastern Samar — the first time the bird had been seen in Samar in two years. The area is part of the Philippine eagle sanctuary and the Ulot Watershed Model Forest, said Purificacion S. Daloos, regional information officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Eastern Visayas.

This is according to a report of the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) which said bird watchers belonging to the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines have been monitoring the presence of the Philippine eagle and other bird species in the area, she said.

The last time the Philippine eagle was seen in Samar was in June 2011 when it was spotted in Mt. Nahulopan in Taft as well as in General MacArthur, Eastern Samar and Barangay Aguingayan, San Jose de Buan town in Samar.

Ms. Daloos said avid bird watcher Ruth Francisco visited the SINP in March to look for another bird species, the Mindanao bleeding heart, but found the Philippine eagle instead.

“The recent sighting in Taft offers a ray of hope for the majestic bird of prey,” Ms. Daloos said.

ENDANGERED
Manolito D. Ragub, DENR regional executive director, said the Philippine eagle remains a critically endangered species and government and public support are needed to ensure its survival.

“Hunting and massive destruction of their natural habitat remain their biggest threat,” Mr. Ragub said.

“The Philippine eagle has a very high socio-cultural value. It has economic value because it helps regulate animal population. It’s also our national symbol and tags the Philippines as the habitat of the world’s largest eagles,” Mr. Ragub added.

The Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) said about 340 Philippine eagle breeding pairs are in the wild and in need of protection.

Bird watchers have caught sight of the eagle in the shared boundaries of Burauen, Jaro and Ormoc City in Leyte as well as in Calbiga and Basey towns in Samar.

Ms. Daloos said the DENR conducts regular surveys in these areas.

“Surveys are conducted in September when the bird builds nests, courts and mates. Target area is from the forest areas of Borongan City down to the southern town of General MacArthur in Eastern Samar, where the forests are still rich,” Ms. Daloos said.

ENDEMIC
Endemic to the Philippines, the majestic and mighty bird can only be found in eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.

The Philippine eagle was first recorded by John Whitehead, an English explorer and naturalist, on June 13, 1896 in Barangay Bonga, Paranas, Samar.

– See more at: http://www.bworldonline.com/weekender/content.php?id=72490#sthash.ZYmccidE.dpuf

The critically endangered Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) can still be found in the thick forests of Samar Island, bird watchers reported.

THIS FILE photograph taken on April 9, 2011 shows a Philippine eagle at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao, Mindanao. -- <i>AFP</i>
THIS FILE photograph taken on April 9, 2011 shows a Philippine eagle at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao, Mindanao. — AFP

An eagle was spotted on March 10 in the forests of Barangay San Rafael, Taft, Eastern Samar — the first time the bird had been seen in Samar in two years. The area is part of the Philippine eagle sanctuary and the Ulot Watershed Model Forest, said Purificacion S. Daloos, regional information officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Eastern Visayas.

This is according to a report of the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) which said bird watchers belonging to the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines have been monitoring the presence of the Philippine eagle and other bird species in the area, she said.

The last time the Philippine eagle was seen in Samar was in June 2011 when it was spotted in Mt. Nahulopan in Taft as well as in General MacArthur, Eastern Samar and Barangay Aguingayan, San Jose de Buan town in Samar.

Ms. Daloos said avid bird watcher Ruth Francisco visited the SINP in March to look for another bird species, the Mindanao bleeding heart, but found the Philippine eagle instead.

“The recent sighting in Taft offers a ray of hope for the majestic bird of prey,” Ms. Daloos said.

ENDANGERED
Manolito D. Ragub, DENR regional executive director, said the Philippine eagle remains a critically endangered species and government and public support are needed to ensure its survival.

“Hunting and massive destruction of their natural habitat remain their biggest threat,” Mr. Ragub said.

“The Philippine eagle has a very high socio-cultural value. It has economic value because it helps regulate animal population. It’s also our national symbol and tags the Philippines as the habitat of the world’s largest eagles,” Mr. Ragub added.

The Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) said about 340 Philippine eagle breeding pairs are in the wild and in need of protection.

Bird watchers have caught sight of the eagle in the shared boundaries of Burauen, Jaro and Ormoc City in Leyte as well as in Calbiga and Basey towns in Samar.

Ms. Daloos said the DENR conducts regular surveys in these areas.

“Surveys are conducted in September when the bird builds nests, courts and mates. Target area is from the forest areas of Borongan City down to the southern town of General MacArthur in Eastern Samar, where the forests are still rich,” Ms. Daloos said.

ENDEMIC
Endemic to the Philippines, the majestic and mighty bird can only be found in eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.

The Philippine eagle was first recorded by John Whitehead, an English explorer and naturalist, on June 13, 1896 in Barangay Bonga, Paranas, Samar.

– See more at: http://www.bworldonline.com/weekender/content.php?id=72490#sthash.ZYmccidE.dpuf

The critically endangered Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) can still be found in the thick forests of Samar Island, bird watchers reported.

THIS FILE photograph taken on April 9, 2011 shows a Philippine eagle at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao, Mindanao. -- <i>AFP</i>
THIS FILE photograph taken on April 9, 2011 shows a Philippine eagle at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao, Mindanao. — AFP

An eagle was spotted on March 10 in the forests of Barangay San Rafael, Taft, Eastern Samar — the first time the bird had been seen in Samar in two years. The area is part of the Philippine eagle sanctuary and the Ulot Watershed Model Forest, said Purificacion S. Daloos, regional information officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Eastern Visayas.

This is according to a report of the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) which said bird watchers belonging to the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines have been monitoring the presence of the Philippine eagle and other bird species in the area, she said.

The last time the Philippine eagle was seen in Samar was in June 2011 when it was spotted in Mt. Nahulopan in Taft as well as in General MacArthur, Eastern Samar and Barangay Aguingayan, San Jose de Buan town in Samar.

Ms. Daloos said avid bird watcher Ruth Francisco visited the SINP in March to look for another bird species, the Mindanao bleeding heart, but found the Philippine eagle instead.

“The recent sighting in Taft offers a ray of hope for the majestic bird of prey,” Ms. Daloos said.

ENDANGERED
Manolito D. Ragub, DENR regional executive director, said the Philippine eagle remains a critically endangered species and government and public support are needed to ensure its survival.

“Hunting and massive destruction of their natural habitat remain their biggest threat,” Mr. Ragub said.

– See more at: http://www.bworldonline.com/weekender/content.php?id=72490#sthash.ZYmccidE.dpuf

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