Organisation: Philippine Eagle Foundation
Project focus: Maximising a Philippine Eagle’s chances for survival through release and monitoring in the Bislig KBA
Location: Bislig Key Biodiversity Area, Surgao del Sur, Philippines
Project date: November 2021 to August 2022
Species: Philippine Eagle Pithecophaga jefferyi
Supported by: Fondation Segré
The Philippine Eagle is endemic to the Philippines and is one of the largest birds of prey. Its small and highly threatened population has been at the brink of extinction for the past few decades. Habitat loss due to deforestation from timber extraction and shifting cultivation remain the primary long-term threat to the species. Hunting for food and as bycatch in mammal traps are also some of the recorded threats, while pesticide accumulation may be a potential threat.
Poor recruitment to the breeding population was previously thought to be a key factor in this species’s decline but recent research suggests that the dispersal and survival of juveniles and subadults is of greater concern.
The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) has rescued, tagged, and released 15 eagles since 2008, of which 6 were successful. They recently rescued a male Philippine Eagle, Rajah, which is believed to be over five years old and therefore likely to belong to a territorial pair. Therefore, it is important to release him back to the area he was rescued from as soon as possible and to implement activities that will maximise his chances of survival.
The project aims to successfully reintroduce and reunite the male eagle with his mate with the hope that they will produce several offspring. As the eagle’s reintroduction is time-sensitive, the project will:
- Identify a suitable release site within the Bislig Key Biodiversity Area (KBA)
- Attach a GPS/GSM transmitter to the eagle prior to release for monitoring
- Conduct patrols at the release site for 10 months for survival and behavioural monitoring
- Use the rehabilitation and release project to lobby for inclusion of the Bislig KBA in the wider protected area network
Photo credit: Philippine Eagle Foundation
The ASAP Species Rapid Action Fund is supported by: