DAVAO CITY (January 5, 2017) – With the rescue of a juvenile Philippine Eagle in Maitum, Sarangani, the immediate step would be to verify if there is a breeding pair, look for their active nest and install a community-based conservation program spearheaded by the local government units (LGU) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
This is the recommendation of Dr. Jayson Ibanez, director for research and conservation of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), after assessing the physical condition of the young Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), the national bird.
He said the implication is that “we still have a breeding pair, a nesting pair” in Maitum specifically in Barangay Batian.
“We are quite excited about this because I think this would become the entry point, it would become the start of a systematic Philippine Eagle conservation program within Maitum and also across the mountain range, Mt. Busa,” Ibanez told Sarangani Information Office.
The eagle was found Monday (January 2) by Gibson Badal, a resident of Barangay Batian which is within Mt. Busa complex, a declared key biodiversity area and an important bird area. It is home to critically endangered, threatened, vulnerable and rare bird species.
“The presence of an eagle pair means meron kang adequate habitat,” Ibanez pointed out. “Very special yong nesting territory because the Philippine Eagle is very loyal sila doon eh. They use it across generations, meaning as long as intact yong nesting site mo, tuloy-tuloy yong reproduction which is really very important for a critically endangered species like the Philippine Eagle.”
The rescued eagle arrived at the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, Calinan at 2am. Wednesday (January 4).
Maitum municipal accountant Elizabeth Ramos, who represented Mayor Alexander Bryan Reganit during the turnover of the bird to PEC, said “the rescue of Maitum Philippine Eagle was made possible thru the joint effort of the DENR-CENRO Kiamba, LGU Maitum, and the Philippine Eagle Center.”
“Initially, a video and photos of the juvenile Philippine Eagle was sent to me via Facebook messenger by my relative Alver Caasi, informing me about the capture of this creature. The rescue followed after,” said Ramos, who is also the municipal information officer.
According to Ibanez, the bird was severely dehydrated. It is overly thin, which “means hindi sya nakakuha ng adequate nourishment from the parents.”
X-Ray result showed an embedded pellet in its left groin area. A PEC veterinarian inspected the possible entry point of the bullet but “wala namang entry wound so ibig sabihin it is an old wound na nag heal na. Normally hindi na namin ginagalaw kung hindi naman fatal.”
The eagle has received fluids to address dehydration and also shots of vitamins and antibiotics.
The bird’s appetite is “okay” and the bird is “relatively healthy.”
“Overall, medium to good yong prognosis,” Ibanez said. “If it is cleared by our veterinarian for release, ibabalik natin sya sa kanyang territory.”
He said the bird is more or less one year old. “At that age very dependent pa sya sa parents nya. If we can release the bird within two to three weeks, we are confident na pakakainin pa sya ng parents.” (SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)