Photo credit: Neon Tomas Buenaflor Russell, II
The Philippine Eagle, Pithecophaga jefferyi, is listed as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. It is found in the Philippines on the larger islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. It is the world’s second-largest forest eagle and the most endangered of all raptors. Today, there are estimated to be fewer than 500 of these eagles left in the wild.
The Philippine Eagle feeds mainly on flying lemurs, palm civets and monkeys, hence the alternative common name of ‘Monkey-eating Eagle’. The number of these majestic birds has seen a steep decline, primarily due to habitat destruction. Since the 1960s, vast tracts of tropical forest have been cleared for commercial development, cultivation and mining activities. Hunting also poses an additional threat, as many local people mistakenly think the eagles take their chickens as prey.
Law in the Philippines protects this eagle, as does CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). A major captive breeding programme is underway in Mindanao, but the key conservation need is to prevent any further forest loss within the range of this species.
To learn more about the Philippine Eagle, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
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