LAST June 4, a pair of Philippine Eagles was delivered to Singapore as part of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) captive breeding program. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) signed a Wildlife Loan Agreement with the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS). According to Dr. Jayson Ibañez, PEF’s Director for Research and Conservation, this will be a safety net for the eagles since they are threatened by climate change and the bird flu. A male eagle, Geothermica (15 years old), and a female, Sambisig (17 years old), were being paired at the PEF Philippine Eagle Center in Davao. They will be under the care of the Jurong Bird Park for the next 10 years. These keepers have already been trained in the care of the eagles at the center. Any offspring from the pair in Singapore will be returned to the Philippines for release back to the wild.
According to The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN Red List), there are only 250-750 eagles left. The decline in their population is primarily caused by deforestation due to the timber industry and shifting cultivation. Poaching and hunting are also a threat. These eagles are vital for controlling the population of other animals such as snakes, monitor lizards, birds and bats. It is also declared as the Philippine national bird because of its notable strength, and uniqueness. The Philippine Eagle Foundation monitors and protects wild populations of the eagles. They also conduct captive breeding programs that produces offspring for releasing back into the wild or for more breeding pairs for the program. The Philippine Eagle is protected in wildlife protected areas in the Mt. Kitanglad and Mt. Apo National Parks of Mindanao and the Sierra Madre National Park in Northern Luzon.