Hawk-eagle 1st in captivity to be hatched, bred in Davao

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LULLABY IN BIRDLAND. This white and fluffy Pinsker’s hawk-eagle chick is the first of its species bred and hatched in captivity at the Philippine Eagle Foundation in Davao City. Its sex will be known only within the next five years. It’s classified “valuable” because its small population is rapidly decreasing. Superimposed at right is its mother hawk-eagle who goes by the code name FAMSG captured in Maguindanao. Photo courtesy of Philippine Eagle Foundation

DAVAO CITY—After a successful Philippine eagle captive breeding program that spanned two decades, the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) on Saturday announced that it has successfully bred and hatched another threatened species of bird of prey.

Dennis Salvador, the PEF director, said the first Pinsker’s hawk-eagle (Nisaetus pinskeri) bred in captivity broke its shell on April 2 at the PEF Center in Malagos village in Calinan district here.

The Pinsker’s hawk-eagle is endemic to the Philippines and known to thrive in the subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest. It belongs to the Acciptridae family and is considered threatened because of the loss of its natural habitat.

Salvador said the first Pinsker’s hawk-eagle bred in captivity was the product of a natural pair. It weighed a mere 57.2 grams.

“We have to carefully and constantly monitor the chick and make notes on its progress since it is the first Pinsker’s hawk-eagle hatched under our breeding program,” Salvador said.

Real challenge

Salvador said ensuring the Pinsker’s hawk-eagle’s survival in the wild is a real challenge especially with the “fast diminishing forests and destruction of their habitats.”

“We need everyone’s contribution to ensure that the Pinsker’s hawk-eagle population will increase, especially in the wild,” Salvador added.

The PEF, a nonprofit, nongovernment organization focused on saving the Philippine eagle and its habitat, made a breakthrough in January 1992 with the birth of Pag-asa, the first Philippine eagle bred and hatched in captivity and conceived through artificial insemination.

The successful hatching was the result of 10 years of research and experimentation on the country’s national bird in an effort to beef up the dwindling eagle population in the country.

Before Pag-asa, only 37 eagles had been identified to exist in the Philippines—13 in captivity and 24 associated with wild nests.

The PEF has successfully bred over 20 eagles since then.

Kabayan soars

In April 2004, Kabayan, a product of artificial insemination, became the first captive-bred eagle to be released to the wild. He was, however, found dead nine months later after he perched on a high-voltage power line and was electrocuted.

Hatched in 2002, Kabayan’s release was part of a reintroduction program to augment eagle populations in the wild, according to the PEF.

The Philippine eagle is a 3-foot-tall rainforest raptor with a wingspan of 7 feet—the broadest in the world. Deforestation and hunting have threatened its survival.

As of 2011, PEF estimates that there are some 400 pairs of these eagles in the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. Thirty-six eagles, 18 of them bred in captivity, are housed at the PEF Center.

Besides the Philippine eagle, another threatened and endangered bird was successfully bred and hatched in captivity in the country.

A Philippine eagle-owl, which is endemic to the country, was hatched in Negros Occidental in November 2005, the first time a bird of that species was successfully hatched in captivity, according to the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation Inc.

Model breed

Salvador said they hoped to replicate the success of their Philippine eagle breeding program in the newly conceived Pinsker’s hawk-eagle breeding program.

“Hopefully, it will survive and we will be able to improve our breeding techniques of this species through this experience,” he said, referring to the recently hatched chick.

Salvador said the gender of the chick would be known four to five years from now, the period within which Pinsker’s hawk-eagles mature.

The parents of the chick Pinsker’s hawk-eagle are male Gino, which was captured in Mlang, and a female code-named FAMSG, which was captured in Maguindanao. With a report from Roli Pinsoy, Inquirer Mindanao, and Inquirer Research

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OHOD5EA75DBBUH53UKLRXRK764 Mang Teban

    This great news for the Philippines!
    We have two endemic birds that has been successfully bred in captivity and the Philippine Eagle Foundation should be commended for their efforts.

    The Philippine eagle and this Pinsker hawk, if they increase in population, will also improve the biodiversity in the country. Flora and fauna in the forested areas will thrive in the natural cycle of the food chain. Its biggest enemy is man. When hunters shoot down birds for fun and “pride”, they accelerate the extinction of the few remaining bird species of the Philippines. Man also destructs the habitat of the birds by unhampered logging and mining operations.

    Our government should now declare the endangered habitat of the endangered birds off-limits to logging and mining operations. This approach is much better than the “earth balling” technique to clear pine trees up in Baguio City. In fact, the local city government should take back the business permit of SM and declare the area where century-old endemic pine trees abound in Baguio. Under the principle of eminent domain, government has the right to take back lands from private owners, if I am not mistaken.

    It is about time that we have to get down to business about protecting our national heritage of endemic animals (land, water, and air) and natural forest foliage! It is about time to stop monopolies of commercial establishments like SM that destroy the future and health of our environment! It is about time to stop politicians to favor private big businesses in logging and mining to the detriment of the folks living in their ancestral domain!

    Mother Nature has blessed us with the birth of the Philippine eagle and Pinsker hawk bred in captivity as a signal for us to protect her. May every Filipino contribute to campaign for protecting our environment and discourage hobbyists who buy captured endangered animals. God has blessed our country with such magnificent array of diverse flora and fauna never seen in other countries and yet we are not doing our best to keep them away from extinction!

    • WeAry_Bat

       Very good also.

  • WeAry_Bat

    Very good.

  • Iam TanJi

    This is a Good News. Kudos to PEF

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