6 eagles released on Mount Makiling
LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA—Six Philippine serpent eagles (Spilornis holospilsus) were released on the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve here this week, boosting the population of eagles in this mountain in Laguna province.
One male and five female adult serpent eagles are now part of the existing serpent eagle population at Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG), a 300-hectare natural forest situated on the northern eastern slope of the 4,244-hectare Mount Makiling.
The eagles came from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Biodiversity Management Bureau-Wildlife Rescue Center (BMB-WRC) in Quezon City.
Philippine serpent eagles are small raptors that are endemic to the Philippines. They are usually perched on dipterocarp trees (tall, hardwood forest trees) and feed on small mammals, rodents and snakes.
“It’s a sense of pride for us to be selected as a site,” said Dr. Rogelio Andrada II, deputy director of the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems and MBG head.
MBG was selected as home of the eagles because it is well-studied and protected, said Dr. Glenn Maguad, BMB-WRC veterinarian, in a telephone interview.
Maguad said they could easily monitor and get information about the condition of the eagles here.
The BMB-WRC is also planning to release more animals into MBG.
Among these animals are Asian box turtles, palm civets, reticulated pythons, red cuckoo doves, green imperial pigeons, rufous hornbills, and southern Luzon cloud rats, Andrada said.
Adding other animals to Mount Makiling’s wildlife population would benefit the area.
“For one, the population of small mammals will be in check. Second, they will add to the food chain on Mount Makiling. It’s also a tourist spot,” Andrada said. —KIMMY BARAOIDAN
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