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Taxidermied “Geothermica” Unveiled at the National Museum during Philippine Eagle Week

Taxidermy Mount of Geothermica. Photo courtesy of Aissa Domingo | National Museum of the Philippines.


On June 05, 2024, an unveiling ceremony for eagle “Geothermica”s taxidermied mount was organized by the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) as part of the celebration of the Philippine Eagle Week. The preserved Philippine eagle was unveiled and currently on exhibit at the Shell Philippines Centennial Upper Courtyard of the Natural History level of the NMP.

 

"Geothermica" is the male eagle of a Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jeferryi) couple sent to Singapore last June 04, 2019 under a 10-year Species Loan Program to help save the Philippines’ “critically endangered” national bird. The female eagle is named “Sambisig”. The eagle pair was housed at the renowned Jurong Bird Park, a reputable zoological facility owned and managed by the Mandai Wildlife Reserve Singapore, now Mandai Nature. Serving as ambassadors for their species in Singapore, the eagle pair captivated over 1.2 million park guests worldwide, showcasing the Philippine Eagle's majesty and evolutionary uniqueness.

 

In June 2023, the eagles were transferred to their new enclosures at Mandai’s new facility, the Bird Paradise. Sadly, on September 07, 2023, the 19-year-old male, Geothermica, succumbed to lung infection. Geothermica’s body was carefully preserved and repatriated to the Philippines early this year.  

 

Leading the unveiling event was Secretary Ma. Antonia "Toni" Yulo-Loyzaga of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

 

In her inspiring message, she emphasized how the current threat status of the Philippine eagle mirrors the way we humans currently relate with the natural world. She also cautioned about the potential negative consequences to our own survival if we fail to improve the quality of our relationship with nature.  

 

“…we must keep in mind the inextricable linkage between climate action, biodiversity conservation, pollution management, and ocean protection and how these are all part of the lifeblood for all civilizations.” was her passionate reminder.

 

PEF Chairman Edgar Chua also commended the on-going cooperation to save our imperiled national bird from extinction.  

 

"I am grateful and proud that Geothermica's journey testifies to the unwavering dedication of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, its partners, and supporters. Indeed, there is power in collaboration and sheer determination in the face of challenges as we step up together in this conservation mission.”

 

Miss Nell Breckenridge, the interim president of the Boeing Company-Southeast Asia, which supported Geothermica’s upkeep in Singapore, also underscored the role of the private sector in nature conservation and sustainable development.

 

"Our commitment to the Philippines goes beyond business; it's about creating sustainable solutions and empowering local communities. Boeing’s partnership with the Philippine Eagle Foundation represents the company’s commitment to environmental protection and stewardship at all levels, making a positive difference and addressing pressing challenges such as preserving the unique wild heritage and biodiversity of the Philippines," said Nell Breckenridge. “Geothermica served and will continue to serve as an ambassador for the Philippine Eagle’s conservation”, she added.

 

Among the event’s distinguished guests are Director-General of the NMP Jeremy Barns, Energy Development Corporation Head of Strategic Communications and Corporate Relations Ms Nancy Ibuna, Biodiversity Management Bureau-DENR Director and concurrent Assistant Secretary Marcial Amaro, and others.  

 

The pioneering Species Loan Program for the Philippine Eagle between the Philippines and Singapore is a shining example of how diplomatic ties can bring about tangible cooperation to save species at the brink of extinction. 

 

As Geothermica's contribution to the survival of his species was memorialized, it is clear that the enduring spirit of moral obligation to help a non-human species in distress and the power of collaboration can unite people to this noble cause.


Along with the unveiling of Geothermica is an exhibit that features additional conservation work done for the Philippine eagles.


Philippine eagle “Nariha Kabugao” of Apayao was featured as the latest case of a successful rescue, rehabilitation and release of a wild eagle. On the other hand, the pioneering work to reintroduce eagles to vacant forests featured eagles “Carlito” and “Uswag” – the first two eagles that will soon be transferred from Mindanao and released to Leyte Island where PEF believe eagles have been lost. Lastly, the role of Indigenous peoples in eagle conservation was also showcased through the PEF’s culture-based conservation approach.









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