FINGERS CROSSED FOR A FERTILE EGG
This breeding season, for the first time, Philippine Eagle “Viggo” was able to produce viable semen. The sample was used for cooperative artificial insemination (CAI) on “Pin-Pin”, a female mal imprint eagle.
It’s been seven years since we last employed the CAI method due to various challenges in our breeding program.
One of the biggest hurdles was the male eagles getting past their reproductive age. Another are the disturbances from the neighboring farm lot, which to this day disrupts the eagles’ breeding activities.
Our natural pairs MVP Matatag & Ariela, Mayumi & Phoenix, and Hiyas & Magilas have also copulated. With these developments, we anticipate the females to lay an egg soon and we can only hope that they are fertile.
These exciting developments in breeding are made possible through the generosity and support of our crowdfunding donors and our Philippine Eagle adopters: Eagle Cement Corporation (Viggo), Boysen Philippines (Pin-Pin), PLDT (MVP Matatag), Seda Hotels (Mayumi), Holcim Philippines (Hiyas), and Shell Philippines (Magiting).
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PEF PROPOSES A PHILIPINE EAGLE CONSERVATION BREEDING FACILITY IN EDEN, TORIL
We are working on establishing a Philippine Eagle breeding facility in Barangay Eden, Toril. This will advance our conservation breeding program in producing suitably reared eagles for release in the forest. To this end, we presented the plans to the local and Indigenous Peoples’ community group in the area for a productive partnership moving forward.
Last August 14, we met with the Bagobo Tagabawa community in Tungkalan, Toril, Davao City to present the site development and work plans on the proposed new conservation breeding facility in Eden.
As a result, a resolution was formulated on how the community can support the PEF’s proposed project such as fortifying the Forest Guard Program.
Less than a week later we followed through with an orientation on the biological and social feasibility study on the proposed facility. It was attended by the ancestral domain management organization leaders and members, Bantay Bukid, and co-researchers. We started data collection for socio-economic profiling and conducted a survey as part of the feasibility study on social perspective.
We also conducted a Community Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) Campaign in Barangay Eden.
HEALTH AND SAFETY FIRST IN OUR FORESTATION ACTIVITIES
With the rise in COVID-19 cases in Davao City in the past few months, we are taking extra precautions in all our forestation sites. We lessened volunteer activities to just essential work and limit access to the ALI Davao Carbon Forest (ADCF).
As of September, only 5 forest guards at a time can go on duty at the ADCF. For the safety of our staff and our Bantay Bukid volunteers, we strictly comply to minimum health protocols onsite which includes presenting a vaccination card upon entry to the ADCF.
Despite restrictions, we continue to make progress with the Bantay Bukid volunteers of Davao City at the ADCF.
We cleared and planted a total of 1,679 new seedlings in our para grass-infested plots in the last quarter. We also reached our planting stock target bringing the total to 28,851 seedlings housed in our nursery.
As a way of saying thank you to our forest guards, our conservation partner Malayan Colleges Mindanao, who also previously planted trees at the ADCF, generously donated 100 food packs.
Meanwhile, we planted 75 legacy trees together with the Kaguko-Paraiso-Pormon Environmental Conservation Association (KPP-ECA) in Mt. Sinaka, Arakan, North Cotabato. We observed wearing masks and maintained social distancing throughout the activity.
The tree planting was in commemoration of one of our longtime conservation partners PLDT’s Chairman, President and CEO Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan’s 75th birthday. Mt. Sinaka is an active Philippine eagle nest site and home to other wildlife since the 1990s.
SECURING OUR FUTURE
with COVID-Adaptive Community-based Conservation, Education, & Fundraising
WORK FROM COMMUNITY
Challenges in fieldwork are mounting since the pandemic started.
From limited movement in project sites, we have now cancelled fieldworks and are remotely conducting community-based conservation. As such, we depend on our partner communities more than ever while we cannot return to the field.
We are relying on our local community organizers (LCO) to sustain forest restoration, guarding, and eagle monitoring. For this, we are conducting online workshops with the LCOs from different project sites.
Our team of biologists, project coordinators, and forester facilitate online courses on the basics of community organizing, finance, community mapping, forest restoration, forest guarding including cyber tracking, and eagle monitoring.
LEARN WITH MALAYA
The Open Classroom Project (OCP) is a series of experiential learning activities that teaches about wildlife and their forest habitat through interactive sessions and games. The program aims to teach and encourage nature appreciation engaging through various learning styles such as visual, aural, and interpersonal.
Pre-pandemic, the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) was the open classroom where the project was conducted during field trips and academic excursions. Now, it has evolved to a more adaptive program we call Learn with Malaya (LWM).
Malaya, our official mascot, joins our Education Team in bringing fun in learning about the Philippine Eagle, the biodiversity it represents, and its forest home.
LWM is compatible with both in-person and online sessions. We conducted LWM for the children of our partner Indigenous group the Manobo-Tinananon in Sitio Macati, Bgy. Ganatan, Arakan North Cotabato. It was a day of storytelling and fun games plus the children got to meet Malaya.
There is also an opportunity in LWM to collaborate with civic organizations. In July, our partner JCI Kadayawan hosted the program for a community they are supporting in San Roque, Panabo. Through their initiative, 40 kids in the community benefited and we were able to raise P16,000 from registration fees and merchandise sales. It was our only in-person LWM in the third quarter. The program fully complied to the standard health protocol.
Considering the city’s quarantine guidelines, we focused more on the online sessions. With a reliable Internet connectivity and a smart phone or a computer, children aged 9 to 16 can now experience LWM wherever they may be. Another partner TDCX, Inc. sponsored an online LWM for their employees’ kids. There were 80 participants.
LWM can also be booked exclusively. We also integrated the program to our crowdfunding campaign dedicated to our breeding Philippine Eagles at the PEC. This quarter, through the support of our partners, online LWM generated P63,000. The funds will fuel our upland IEC, which we intend to continue once the COVID situation eases up.
The all-time low in visits at the PEC due to the pandemic resulted to us losing the chance to engage our audience onsite.
This year, our monthly average number of guests is just 300 – a far cry from the over 8,000 monthly guests coming to the PEC pre-COVID. With an astounding decline in guests, we needed to adapt and find ways for our education initiatives to reach the PEC audience we are losing.
One was through “Nature Talks” – a series of online educational videos on various conservation topics centered on conservation. Each episode is about three minutes long with topics targeted to an audience as young as 13 years old.
Launched in August 2020 on our YouTube channel, Nature Talks has featured subjects such as “The Watershed”, “Philippine Biodiversity”, about “How Trees Survive” and how birds evolved and thrive.
This year, we launched six new episodes underscoring the significance of protecting wildlife and its natural habitat to our wellbeing. Nature Talks is designed as a supplementary video for online classes of high school freshman.
We thank our co-presenter Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Davao, our donors FDC Utilities, Inc., and Rainbow Bridglink Ideas, and sponsors NCCC Cares, TDCX, Inc (Phils.), and JCI Manila for supporting Nature Talks and helping us raise Php 385,000. This will hugely help in sustaining our education initiatives in this pandemic.
SUPPORT BREEDING PHILIPPINE EAGLES CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN
When Davao City reverted to modified enhanced community quarantine in June, the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) had to close again. Just when we were trying to bounce back and recoup our losses from last year, our resources are depleting even more with the closure that lasted over a month. It is likely that we will not be able to rely on our entrance fees anytime soon.
Despite the mounting challenges, we have been able to keep the work going because of the public’s trust and support to our crowdfunding campaigns since the pandemic started. With a wider reach and inclusive giving options, more individuals from anywhere in the world can support the cause. You, our donors, are a lifesaver to the mission.
With the second closure of the PEC, we once again asked the public to help maintain the facility as a sanctuary for our national bird and other wildlife.
As the only conservation breeding facility for the Philippine Eagle in the world, it is critical that we keep the PEC safe from biosecurity threats. We also need to maximize the limited area we have and improve conditions so that the PEC is conducive and safe for our pairs and mal imprint eagles to breed.
For the first time, exclusive online Keeper Talks were held via Zoom featuring our natural pair Mayumi and Phoenix and mal imprint eagles Viggo and Fighter.
Participants got to interact with Keepers Lohwana Halaq and Dominic Tadena as they introduce the breeding eagles. They also got an exclusive sneak peek of Mayumi and Phoenix’s mating behaviors via CCTV footages. While Viggo and Figther were featured in never-before-seen video clips from their surrogate mate Dominic and Lohwana respectively.
The Keeper Talks were also fundraisers along with the Live Virtual Tour. From these activities, we raised Php 20,753.75 which is part of the total amount of PHP 541,344.93 generated during the crowdfunding campaign from July to September. Funds will fuel PEC operations and our conservation breeding initiatives.