PH eagle rescued from chicken trap in Eastern Samar forest
TACLOBAN CITY – A young Philippine eagle was rescued in Maslog, Eastern Samar and is now under the care of the Philippine Eagle Foundation Center in Davao City.
The Philippine eagle, believed to be just three years old, was found inside a chicken trap in a forest in Barangay Carayacay on June 17, the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said.
On that same day, Maslog Vice Mayor Septemio Santiago reported the discovery of the Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) based in the nearby town of Dolores, also in Eastern Samar.
A team from the regional DENR office immediately went to Dolores to conduct an assessment of the eagle, which they named ‘Maslog E.S.,’ referring to the town and the province where it was recovered.
“Sightings of the Philippine eagle is extremely rare and protecting them is a challenge,” Crizaldy Barcelo, DENR regional executive director, said.
The rescued Philippine eagle, while said to be in good condition, was brought to the Davao City-based Philippine Eagle Foundation Center on June 26 for further examination.
Maslog E.S will be released back to its natural habitat in the forest of Maslog, a remote town in Eastern Samar.
The discovery of the eagle confirms the “presence of this critically endangered species in Eastern Samar,” Barcelo said.
“Its presence in our region is a testament that we still have healthy forests which we need to sustainably manage and protect,” he said.
A Philippine eagle was last seen in the forests of Calbiga, Samar and Taft, Eastern Samar in September 2014.
In 2013, a Philippine eagle was spotted near the boundaries of Baybay City, Burauen and Albuera—all in Leyte province, and Silago, Southern Leyte, months before Supertyphoon “Yolanda” struck the region.
Hunting of the Philippine eagle is strictly prohibited under the Philippine Wildlife Conservation Act of 2001, with penalties of up to 12 years imprisonment and a fine of up to P1 million.
In 1995, former president Fidel Ramos declared the Philippine eagle the country’s national bird.
It is endemic to the Philippines and can be found in the islands of Eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao.
The Philippine eagle is one of DENR’s priority threatened species for conservation and is listed as “critically endangered” per DENR Administrative Order No. 2004-15 on the list of terrestrial threatened species and their categories and under the International Union for Conservation of Nature. (Editor: Leti Boniol)
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