According to Haribon Foundation, the Philippine Eagle is one of the tallest, rarest, largest and most powerful birds in the world. In 1978, the Philippine Eagle was declared as our national emblem, and in 1995 it became the national bird. By 2007, it was included in the list of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered. The Philippine eagle is also on the watchlist of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), an organization which regulates and prohibits the commercial import of wild animal and plant species, threatened by trade. Thanks to the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) that is dedicated to save and protect one of the world’s most endangered birds of prey and its habitat in Davao.
The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) is about 30 kilometers and an hour away from the city, located in Calinan district. PEF undertakes research, captive breeding, and rehabilitation of the Philippine Eagle. The foundation was able to successfully produce the first generation of Philippine Eagles that were hatched and bred in captivity in Davao. They are “Pag-asa” (Hope) and “Pagkakaisa” (Unity).
Inside the center are huge cages where eagles are housed. It was sad seeing the magnificent birds confined in cages, but they're safer in those cages than in the wild. Walking around the center, it was evident that big corporations and individuals support the foundation---cages are marked with their names. There are now 32 Philippine Eagles in the center, 16 of these were bred in captivity. PEC also rehabilitates 10 other bird species, 2 reptile species, and 4 mammal species. I spotted a crocodile, wild boars, spotted deer, monkeys and hawks.
I’ve read that American scientists have isolated the DNA of the Philippine Eagle and found it to be one of a kind. It is endemic in the Philippines and not related to eagles in other parts of the world. Our rain forests are their only home…but with the Philippine rain forests rapidly shrinking, evidently, the Philippine Eagles are at an evolutionary dead end.
Certainly, the loss of this magnificent bird from our midst would steal some of the world’s wonder.
a mounted eagle
entrance to the Philippine Eagle Center