Tuesday, March 9, 2010

An eagle has landed

The 23rd blessing for Mindanao and the rest of the world was delivered on Sunday evening. Kudos to the men and women of the Philippine Eagle Foundation for adding another life for the environment.

A new Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) was hatched Sunday at 6:12 p.m. at the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) conservation in Malagos, Calinan District in Davao City.

The eaglet weighs 137.5 grams is the 23rd eaglet bred and born under the PEF conservation breeding program.

The new baby eagle is the offspring of natural eagle pair Tsai and Princess Maasim. The PEF is responsible for producing eagle icon Pag-asa in 1992 and 21 other Philippine Eagles at the Center.

The PEF’s breeding program is intended to supplement eagle populations in the wild by replacing those lost tohunting and by reintroducing captive-bred birds to vacant habitats and habitats occupied by unpaired wild eagles.

PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said the hatch ushers in another new chapter in the organization’s history. “The PEF’s first milestone was Pag-asa’s birth in 1992, when we broke through the challenge of breeding these eagles in captivity. Once our breeding techniques stabilized, we were then able to do the first test release of a captive-bred eagle to the wild in 2004, to see how captive-bred birds fare in their forest habitats," Salvador said.

The PEF is looking for partners to support the release program. The partner will have the privilege of naming the eagle chick.

The Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is considered an endangered species because of its rapidly declining population. At least 400 pairs remain in the wild according to estimates from both the government and private conservation groups.