DAVAO — The Philippine Eagle Center in Davao – a group that is trying to stop the extinction of the world’s largest eagle – the Philippine Eagle.
With a stunning 6.5 feet wingspan at 3 feet tall, the majestic Philippine eagle is the largest in the world.
But these iconic Philippine birds of prey are critically endangered species.
This 4-year-old eagle named Mabuhay is among the less than 400 Philippine eagles left in the Philippines.
“Critically endangered so meaning, palapit na palapit na sila toward extinction, so kailangan nating I-breed no,” said biologist Dominic Tadena.
Thanks to the Philippine Eagle Foundation, about 36 of these majestic birds are being raised in captivity in Davao.
Hatched in 1992 – Paga-asa is the first Philippine eagle to be bred and hatched in captivity.
Pag-asa is turning 26 in January.
This Filipino biologist’s father – Domingo Tadena — successfully pioneered an artificial insemination program that gave birth to Pag-asa.
Their breeding program has successfully produced 28 baby eagles over the last 25 years, including Pag-asa’s daughter, Mabuhay.
“Yun ang pinaka goals and vision ng foundation, Philippine Eagle Foundation is to breed birds in captivity for release po,” said Tadena.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, deforestation and uncontrolled hunting are the leading threats to the extinction of Philippine eagles.
That’s why conservation efforts are essential to their survival.
“Yes we still have Philippine eagles in the wild, so we go to communities, we go to the forested areas, look for Philippine eagles, meron pa naman tayo na-a-identify, mt apo, bukidnon, ten north cotabato, then yun ang isa sa mga projects ng usaid is to locate Philippine eagles and to track them, then lalagyan ng radio transmitters to locate them.”
Designated as the Philippine national bird — the Philippine Eagle is a protected animal.
Killing a Philippine eagle is punishable by up to 12 years in jail. Tourists in the Philippines can only see these majestic birds up close at the Philippine eagle center in Davao City.