January - March 2023
392 pairs could be all that's left
392 Philippine Eagle pairs is the latest estimate of what's left out there in our forests. For all of us, this is a sound reminder that we have our work cut out for us in saving the species. With 392 pairs, the IUCN conservation status of the Philippine eagle remains as critically endangered.
Yet we push forward. Our conservation partners, sponsors, and donors, continue to stand by us in our efforts to save the Philippine eagle and consequently, all of Philippine biodiversity.
The latest paper we published together with our partners from The Peregrine Fund provides scientific basis for the latest count of Philippine eagles in the wild. "This helps us gain a better understanding of the current situation for the species, their status and needs", says Dr. Jayson Ibanez, Director of Research and Conservation at the Philippine Eagle Foundation, co-author of the new publication.
This data was obtained by measuring the range of forests available for nesting for the species, or are basically habitable for a Philippine eagle. Using satellite images to identify these healthy forests, and using tracking data of our Philippine eagles' movements is how our scientists were able to come up with these results.
"Priority conservation areas and a global population estimate for the critically endangered Philippine Eagle" is the latest publication providing the most updated estimate of remaining Philippine eagles in the wild. The paper is authored by Luke J. Sutton, Research Biologist and Spatial Ecologist of our Corporate Member, The Peregrine Fund, together with our very own: Director for Research and Conservation Dr. Jayson Ibañez, Executive Director Dennis J. I. Salvador, Senior Biologist Rowell Taraya, Forester Guiller Opiso, Field Biologist Tristan Senarillos, and Director of Global Conservation Science of The Peregrine Fund Christopher McClure.
Philippine eagle "Sinabadan"
Philippine eagle "Sinabadan" while she we still under the protection of the community that dwells near her nest site, the "Sinabadan community of Mt. Apo". Photos by PEF Senior Biologist Rowell Taraya
Philippine eagle "Sinabadan" is more than just another individual of the species to a lot of people. The Sinabadan community that protected her forest home and nest where she hatched see her as one of their sisters, a part of their group. Those who monitored her development and growth, viewed her as if she were a human child that they constantly need to watch over. One could only imagine the emotions that these people felt upon hearing she has been shot in the forest that she made as her new home.
We watched over Sinabadan from the day she hatched, up until she fledged and left the nest, and eventually when she found her pair in the mountains of Bukidnon. Information education campaigns were conducted in the communities that live where she was located at the time. We do all these to ensure that she will be able to find a pair, a new nest, and help introduce a new Philippine eagle into the world.
Sinabadan left Davao City and moved to North Cotabato around the year 2014. She spent a few years there before moving westward to the Northern Pantaron Range of Bukidnon. Mt. Tangkulan is where she settled and found a pair. Unfortunately, it is also the area where she was found injured last February 24.
But 8 years later, on the night of February 24, 2023, our field team received a report about a Philippine eagle that was captured at Mt Tangkulan in Sitio Blaas, Barangay Mabuhay, San Fernando, Bukidnon. Rosmie Odal, the PEF’s Local Community Organizer (LCO) from Mabuhay texted that she received a radio message from the forest guards about a caged eagle. It was Sinabadan. She was found in a creek desperately flapping her wings to avoid drowning.
She was retrieved on the morning of February 25, and immediately taken to Davao City for a full physical check up at Doc Bayani’s Animal Wellness Clinic in Davao City where she was further examined and treated by Dr. Bayani Vandenbroeck and his team. Two pellets had to be surgically removed, and they also found that Sinabadan's right eye had cataracts developing in them. By 12 AM, February 26, Sinabadan finally arrived at the Philippine Eagle Center to continue her rehabilitation program.
On the night of February 24, 2023, we received a report about a Philippine eagle that was captured at Mt Tangkulan in Sitio Blaas, Barangay Mabuhay, San Fernando, Bukidnon. We immediately moved to retrieve the eagle.
We thank the Local Government Unit of San Fernando Bukidnon led by their Municipal Mayor Rogelio C. Yeke for their unending support and partnership through the years. We also thank the MENRO and Tourism Offices of LGU San Fernando. We also extend our deepest gratitude to the DENR CENRO Valencia City, Bukidnon and the BLGU of Barangay Mabuhay, San Fernado Bukidnon. The forest guards of Barangay Mabuhay and the tribal leaders from San Fernando Bukidnon were very supportive during the rescue of the eagle. The forest guard program and rescue of eagle Sinabadan is supported by USAID-INSPIRE.
SUNTORY helps make powerlines Eagle-friendly
We are working with the local government and communities at Mt Sinaka in Arakan, North Cotabato to conserve a pair of Philippine eagles and their nesting territory. Mt Sinaka is the smallest Philippine eagle nesting habitat in the world, with only less than 2,000 hectares of forest cover. But in 2018 a Philippine eagle was found lifeless on the roadside, near an electric post. The official necropsy report of PEF Veterinarian Consultant Dr. Ana Lascano wrote "…eaglet have been (accidentally) electrocuted" because of the factors such as: burn marks, ruptured organs and the corpse being close to a power pole.
Our conservation partner, Dr. Toru Yamazaki, President of the Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network (ARRCN) of Japan intentionally sought out a sponsor in order to "insulate" the powerlines in Mt. Sinaka. We received the grant from Suntory on April 11 2022. After months of preparations, the installation work for the first 1.5 km of a 4.5 km retrofitted powerline system was finally launched last March 24, 2023 at Sitio Bagtok in Barangay Tumanding.
ROAD TO EDEN
After months of planning and coordination with the City Government of Davao, and with the commitment of financial support from of our principal funders, Boeing SEA, we finally began construction of the Philippine Eagle Conservation Breeding Sanctuary.
On January 31, a Panubadtubad ritual led by the elders of the Bagobo Tagabawa community, was held on the site. This solemn custom is observed whenever there are actions that may cause disturbance to the forest, making this a very important and necessary part of the procedure as we slowly begin building in the area. This is also a gesture expressing the full support of our partner community, the Bagobo Tagabawa of Toril. On February 2, we hauled a bulk of the materials needed for construction, with manpower and logistical support from the 11th Forward Service Support Unit. By March 14, a portion of the enclosures and the temporary housing for the workers are already in place.
In celebration of World Wildlife Day, local media partners joined us at the site to have a glimpse of what we are developing in Brgy. Eden, Toril. This helped us reiterate to the public two important things: (1) the PECBS will not be OPEN to the PUBLIC, and (2) that the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos will continue to be operational.
Representatives from the City Government of Davao and local media partners joined us in the Philippine Eagle Conservation Breeding Sanctuary in celebration of World Wildlife Day.
The PECBS is gaining progress in construction thanks to the support of Boeing SEA, City Government of Davao, Maria Mitchell Association, International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators, Animal Behavior & Conservation Connections, Environmental Incentives, Michelle Hershberger, together with: Solon Alvarez, James Brierl, Miriam Dominique Chavez, Stephen Klassen, Joselito Magtibay, Jennifer Miller, Divina Quinn, Sylvia Ramos, Ping Roque, Craig Wedge, Pagaspas ng Pag-asa (UPO), SB19 Ken Fanbase.
SGS Philippines joins roster of Philippine eagle adopters
On March 8, 2023, SGS Philippines committed a year of support for Philippine eagle "Maginoo", officially joining our roster of adopters. A MOA-signing was held at the Philippine Eagle Center where Maginoo's adopters got to see him in person.
"...we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, promoting sustainable practices in our operations and fostering a culture of sustainability throughout our organization... aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. By adopting Maginoo, we are reinforcing this commitment.", said SGS Philippines Managing Director Mr. Cres Maramot.
Maginoo is retired from our captive-breeding program as he is beyond the age where he regularly produces semen. But with him in the exhibit area of the PEC, he is one of our ambassador birds who show our guests the distinct characteristics of a Philippine Eagle.
The very first ALI-Davao Carbon Forest Thesis Conference
Students who chose the ALI-Davao Carbon Forest (ADCF) as their study site for their undergraduate thesis presented at the first ever ALI-Davao Thesis Conference. Students and teachers from Davao Doctors College (DDC), University of the Philippines Mindanao (UPMin), San Pedro College (SPC), and University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) delivered short presentations for their respective studies. Ms. Anna Gonzales, representative of Ayala Land, Inc., was part of the panel.
Delighted with the potential of the ADCF as a study site for urban reforestation and biodiversity studies, Ms. Gonzales expressed their interest to support future ADCF Thesis Conferences to come, with her hoping it eventually becomes an annual event.
Carbon offsetting site reaches 1-year milestone
On March 28, the PEF staff visited the Monkayo Pag-asa Carbon Forest (MPCF) to celebrate its first year anniversary. Over the past year, the 22.4-hectare forest restoration site now has 10,000 seedlings, consisting of over 60 native species of trees. The area is maintained with the manpower support of the Banlag Santol Kalikasan Workers Association a.k.a. BASAKWA - a people's organization in Banlag; who help us in ensuring the growth of every seedling planted in the MPCF plots, through daily maintenance and tree nurturing.
The MPCF initiative is supported by Reduce Reuse Grow Inc., Cantilan Bank, LGU Municipality of Monkayo , Barangay LGU of Banlag, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of Davao de Oro DENR - PENRO Davao de Oro, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office of Monkayo, TDCX Philippines, and the Banlag Santol Kalikasan Workers Association (BASAKWA). Students of Monkayo College of Arts, Sciences and Technology also joined us in the Information and Education Campaign at Banlag Elementary School.
SECURING OUR FUTURE
Understanding the relationship between the communities of Leyte and the Philippine eagle
AgiLaya is our ongoing campaign dedicated to attaining lasting freedom for the Philippine eagle, through a series of culturally sound behavioral change campaigns. But before we can influence positive behavioral change, we must first understand what the Philippine eagle means to the communities.
Our team conducted surveys across several barangays in Leyte to know if the people recognize the Philippine eagle and its ecological value. Moreover, we want to understand how the communities of the island perceive the Philippine eagle and if they're aware of measures being done to conserve them.
Although it may take some time for us to have the full analysis of this information, while we're there we took the opportunity to conduct activities such as film screenings, short lectures, and games for kids that help the communities gain a deeper appreciation for our national bird.
PEF at the DENR Multistakeholder Forum
DENR Sec. Toni Loyzaga personally invited our Executive Director Mr. Dennis Salvador and Research and Conservation Director Dr. Jayson Ibanez to attend the DENR Multistakeholder Forum 2023 from February 2-3, 2023 at the Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.
We were given a segment in the plenary session. In the presence of esteemed guests in the field of biodiversity, environment, and natural resource management, we called their attention to the Philippine eagle's value as the umbrella species and apex predator of our ecosystems. That if we protect the Philippine eagle, we are protecting the archipelago's natural resources so that they can be enjoyed by future generations.
Our trustee, Forester Tommy Valdez, Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility of San Roque Power Corporation, representing the Society of Filipino Foresters, Inc. in the forum, delivered a speech about Sustainable Forest Management.
Attending the forum helped us lobby our concerns to entities that are potential game changers in the conservation of Philippine biodiversity. We are grateful to Sec. Loyzaga for granting us that opportunity.
Wildlife is Here 2023: Sarangani's Wild
With the help of our conservation partners, we held this year's Wildlife is Here (WIH) 2023: Sarangani's Wild in SM City General Santos. For the first time, we celebrated WIH outside of Davao Region, to showcase the green and blue habitats of the Province of Sarangani, and the unique biodiversity living within them.
The week-long exhibit was officially launched on World Wildlife Day, March 3 with the theme “Partnerships in Conservation”.
Among the dignitaries present were, Hon. Dominador Lagare, Jr., City Councilor of General Santos City, Atty. Ryan Jay R. Ramos, Provincial Administrator (PA) of Sarangani Province, Mr. Ruben Tungpalan, Vice President of Corporate Affairs of Alsons Power Group, Dr. Thucydides Salunga, Head of the Science Department, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Mindanao State University - General Santos City, Dr. Roy Mejorada, DVM, of the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape Protected Area Management Office (SBPS-PAMO). From the PEF, we have Dr. Jayson Ibañez, Director for Research and Conservation, and Field Biologist, Tristan Senarillos delivering a short talk about "Avian Treasures of the Mt. Busa Key Biodiversity Area".
We brought our Philippine Eagle mascot Malaya to our information education campaigns in Kiamba National High School and James Alfred Strong Integrated School, Maitum. On March 5, various primary schools in the district of Pedro Acharon, Division of General Santos City, joined us in SM General Santos City for an art workshop facilitated by Pinta Okir, a student organization of MSU - GenSan.
Malaya visited Kiamba National High School and James Alfred Strong Integrated School, Maitum for Information Education Campaigns (IECs) facilitated by our Community Education and Public Awareness Officer (CEPA) Irick Francisco.
Pinta Okir, a visual arts student organization of MSU - GenSan conducts an art workshop for elementary school students of Pedro Acharon. The drawing and sketching activities help students recognize the unique appearance of our national bird, the Philippine eagle.
Wildlife is Here 2023: Sarangani's Wild was made possible by our partners: LGU General Santos City, Mindanao State University - General Santos, Environmental Conservation and Protection Center, Alson's Power Group, Sarangani Energy Corporation, Siguil Hydro, Conrado & Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, SM City General Santos, and the Provincial Government of Sarangani.
Recap AVP of the week-long celebration of WildLife is Here at SM General Santos City.
Video courtesy of: Sarangani Provincial Information Office.
WildLife is Here 2023: Sarangani's Wild
SARANGANI ENERGY CORPORATION
ALSON'S POWER GROUP
REDUCE REUSE GROW
BRGY MONKAYO LGU
BRGY BANLAG LGU
AYALA LAND, INC.
Philippines-Italy Debt for Development Swap
Program, Department of Finance
PHILIPPINE EAGLE ADOPTERS
MR AND MRS ENGELBERT AND SAMANTHA WEE
MR UY CHING SIONG CHANG
KIM AND FELICIA ATIENZA