The program has produced 27 captive-bred Philippine Eagles to date. The captive- bred eagles will either be set for release in the wild where they can naturally augment their species’ population or kept in the Center for breeding purposes. The program also involves rehabilitating injured eagles recovered from the wild and the care and management of other raptors and animal species housed at the Philippine Eagle Center.
The goal of this program is to help increase the species’ population in the wild. To do this, we work with rehabilitated birds and breed them in captivity, which involves the following activities:
Reproducing the Philippine Eagles
The PEF focuses on natural breeding and pairing them with each other whenever possible. In instances when Philippine Eagles are mal- imprinted on humans, cooperative artificial insemination is employed.
Incubation, Fostering, and Hand- Rearing the Philippine Eagles
Natural Incubation: Philippine Eagles immediately start incubating right after their egg is laid. Both parent eagles take turns in brooding the egg but the female spends more time in this duty.
Artificial Incubation: Whenever necessary, an egg is placed in an artificial incubator to increase its chances of a successful hatch.
Puppet Rearing and Mentoring: Puppets are used to feed eaglets to prevent them from mal- imprinting on humans. Later, these chicks are exposed to adult eagles as behavioral mentors.
Our research agenda is focused on answering the many targeted questions that will provide the basis for the hands-on management of the eagles in the wild. The work involves locating active nests, monitoring the breeding status of wild eagles and juvenile dispersal, tracking them to establish pattern in home ranges and habitat use, and other aspects of the bird’s life history. Our field research also focuses on designing and executing habitat management plans and establishing forest corridors to bridge the small patches of forests remaining in Mindanao. Additionally, our team also responds to the retrieval and rescue of wildlife captured by locals.
Our research projects are supported by private corporations, government agencies, and NGOs, such as the San Roque Power Corporation, Insular Life, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, The Foundation for the Philippine Environment, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, and Peregrine Fund, among others.
Our research and conservation efforts began in Mindanao, where most Philippine Eagles occur. Through our research projects, we are able to gather substantial first-hand data on the eagles’ population distribution, feeding behaviour, breeding ecology etc.
We conduct tagging and monitoring of wild eagles to understand how they use their habitats. Tagging also helps us determine home range. To understand further their breeding behaviour in the wild, our team routinely conducts nest surveys and monitors Philippine Eagle pairs to ensure their chick successfully matures and fledges. To make these possible, we have engaged communities to help us monitor and protect the nest sites within their area.
We also conduct experimental releases of eagles that are captive-bred and those rescued from the wild. Lessons drawn from these releases will be used as we embark on a full reintroduction program.
The PEF conducts the first-ever systematic Philippine Eagle survey in Luzon. The results of this survey provided solid evidence of Philippine Eagle presence in the Northern Sierra Madre Range in 2003, Southern Sierra Madre Range in 2007, and in the Northern Cordillera Range in 2011.
We are currently expanding to include nest searches, locating other sub- population, furthering public awarness and education, and establishing partnerships with local government units and civil societies where eagles occur.
We are already working with San Roque Power Corporation (SRPC), Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF), the local governments of Calanasan, Quirino, and Isabela, and the Department of Natural Resources (DENR).
Since the 1980's, it was believed that the Philippine Eagles were extinct in Leyte. Operating on this premise, we launched a project with the University of the Philippines Institute of Biology and the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) to reintroduce new populations in this island.
In the process of acsertaining that the forests were vacant, the species was inadvertently found in two disparate forest fragments!
We are currently investigating these sub- populations further and we will also check reported sightings of the species in Samar.
But on March 3, 2013, PEF biologists finally found the eagles after weeks of extensive search in the forests of Leyte.
This project was launched in partnership with the University of the Philippines Diliman- Insitute of Biology with support from the Biodiversity Management Bureau.
The PEF team continues to monitor and survey the eagles in Leyte and aims to investigate their status in the island of Samar.
Arakan Forest Corridor Project
When the Philippine Eagle nest in Mt. Sinaka, Arakan Valley, North Cotabato was first discovered, the state of the municipality’s forest was already in dire condition. Commercial logging in the 1980s and the agricultural expansion that followed had stripped the valley of its lush forest until what remained are three isolated fragments – a total of 2,908 hectares which is only roughly 4% of Arakan’s total land area. These fragments -Mt. Sinaka, Mt. Mahuson and the Kabalantian-Binoongan-Kulaman (KABIKU) range – became the only refuge for the wildlife in this once rich valley.
The Arakan Forest Corridor Development Project (AFCDP) aims to connect these three forest fragments (Sinaka, KABIKU, and Mahuson) to provide new habitats for mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and other Philippine wildlife. The AFCDP promotes science-based forest restoration efforts that address environment and biodiversity problems. Formally launched in 2000, AFCDP started reforesting a 28-kilometer riparian stretch that will link the three forest fragments of KABIKU, Sinaka, and Mahuson. It also advocates forest restoration programs that result in positive economic and social changes in target communities. This initiative provides support for livelihood and basic services, facilitate a suite of skills training and capacity-building practices, and creates a widerange network of community partners and supporters.
This project is conducted in partnership with the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE). The project is supported further by the Philippine Long Distance Company (PLDT), and Globe Telecom.
Biodiversity Partnership Project
The Biodiversity Partnership Project is a state- funded project launched to promote biodiversity and agricultural practices within Key Biodiversity Areas.
The BPP in Mt. Hamiguitan was launched in 2012 to apply systems, policies, tools and capacities for a landscape-level biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in Mt. Hamiguitan KBA through multistakeholder collaboration. Our role revolved primarily around facilitating the science- based technical expertise to meet project goals. Mt. Hamiguitan is of special interest to the PEF as it is presently occupied by Philippine Eagles.
Our long standing work in the area helped establish Mt. Hamiguitan's outstanding universal value as a world heritage site.
We are actively working with the provincial government of Davao Oriental and the local government of Mati, San Isidro, Governor Generoso, and the DENR.
Philippine Eagle Conservation (Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund)
Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund’s support has enabled the PEF to continue its existing conservation efforts in research and conservation, conservation education, and conservation breeding.
Through Disney’s support, we were also able to continue to engage local communities in protecting the eagles and build community capacities in 9 eagle nest sites. Members of these local communities took on roles as forests guards and patrols to monitor eagle nest sites (through the “Adopt- a- Nest” program) and habitat monitoring.
This project also enabled us to continue with our education programs, reaching out to schools and disseminating information about the eagles. We aim to conserve at least 7 unprotected eagle territories to make these a viable venue for eagle release. Our conservation efforts hope to contribute to scientific information that will be valuable for the DENR and BMB in developing and implementing national policies to conserve the Philippine Eagle.
Sagip Agila Initiative
This project basically provides complementary support and addresses funding gaps in PEF’s actions on community- based conservation, law enforcement, conservation breeding, conservation education, conservation research in Luzon, and eagle research and monitoring in Mindanao.
The PEF collaborated with the DENR Region X, Region XI and in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) with financial support BMB, and with the cooperation of the local government units, and local communities in Mindanao and Luzon.
Forest Protection and Management Project (FPMP)
The objective of the project is to install forest protection and management regime to sustainably protect the ancestral domain and the eagles’ habitat.
An Indigenous People- based monitoring system was established to integrate scientific knowledge and how the Obu-Manuvu traditionally identifies healthy forest and wildlife resources.
Aside from forest patrolling, a nursery was developed where the forests guards gathers seedlings
This project is supported by the Euro Generics International Philippines, Inc. (EGIP).
Caring for Banwa: Indigenous Community-based Conservation of Environmentally Critical Areas in Eastern Mindanao
The Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor (EMBC) is the largest mosaic of forest blocks and probably the largest eagle habitat in the Mindanao Island. Of the 21 known nests here, five (5) were recorded in Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) along the corridor. These areas are also ancestral domains, local watersheds, protected areas, mineral and stewardship areas.
Caring for Banwa aims to empower two indigenous Mandaya communities for sustainable management of forest biodiversity in at least 5,000 hectares of “Environmentally Critical Areas” within two ancestral domains inside the Tagub-Kampalili KBA. This is done through capacitating the Indigenous communities in forest protection, monitoring, and management. Communities also engage in participatory action research and planning, implementing of Conservation Agreements, and rainforestation. We aspire to reduce unsustainable practices including timber poaching, unregulated slash-and-burn farming, and excessive wildlife hunting while improving the lives of indigenous communities through sustainable livelihoods.
This projects is supported by the PTFCF.
Philippines Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+Wiser) Program
The B+Wiser program is DER project which aims to improve forest and watershed management and monitoring, and implement forest restoration initiatives. 1
The PEF participated in the program through conducting ecological surveys in Mt. Apo Natural Park and Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park, two of the seven priority areas covered by the program. Through the data gathered from the surveys, we can assess the habitat value of the area and contribute to science- driven policy reform interventions to enhance the management of protected areas.
The data from the ecological survey and inventory will also determine the status of the forests and wildlife of these areas, and its viability for the Philippine Eagles as a habitat.
This program targets urban and rural communities in developing public awareness and understanding of wildlife conservation issues. Our partners and network include teachers, students, local government units, private business corporations, and indigenous cultural communities as well as the print and broadcast media.
We provide venues and develop materials such as the Open Classroom Project which makes lessons in the natural sciences fun for children and young adults. The Conservation Education team facilitates tours around the Philippine Eagle Center, field trips, school visits, and public exhibits on a regular basis. An Advocacy and Extension Services team also works closely with local government units, schools and communities in areas where eagles occur.
- Open Classroom Project (OCP): Concentrates on school children from pre-school through high school to further their understanding and appreciation of biodiversity. Modules and themes on life sciences are designed to make their learning experience enjoyable and fun. We also hope to influence teachers in using the latest techniques and information concerning wildlife and environment conservation as supplements for their classes.
- Keeper Talk: Animal keepers will discuss about raptor biology, ecology and behavior. The guests will also have an up- close observation with our five bird ambassadors: Rose, a White-Bellied Sea Eagle; Amor, the Pinsker’s Hawk Eagle; Tsok, the Philippine Scops Owl; the Giant Scops Owls Hedwig and Choco; and the Brahminy Kites Alex and Kida.
- Tree of Hope: We engage our guests to directly contribute to the conservation of our forests. For every donation of Php100. 00, one seedling is planted in support of the Arakan Forest Corridor Project.
- Guided Tours: Our volunteers, whenever available, will share their knowledge to our guests. The volunteers will discuss about the Philippine Eagle Center and the different raptors and endemic animals that are on exhibit.
- Birdwatching: Our Education Officers will guide guests in spotting the wild birds that fly around the PEC. Grab your binoculars before heading out to the PEC and get to know these amusing and colorful birds.
- Wild trail: Leave your mark by having your name engraved in the cemented paths of the Center for Php 300.00
- School Caravan: We educate children from pre-school to college to raise awareness on the Philippine Eagle and the need to conserve the environment. The CE team visits schools to conduct lectures and activities about the Philippine biodiversity and the PEF’s conservation efforts.