Philippines: Find endangered eagle’s killer, officials ordered

By Dona Z. Pazzibugan, 26th August 2014;

Environment authorities in Davao City have been ordered to track down whoever is responsible for shooting dead a Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) outside a protected area on Mount Apo, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said.

The female eagle, which has been monitored by conservationists for years, was found dead on Aug. 14, although Paje apparently learned of it only last Saturday.

“We are appalled by this awful news. It is sad to think that while we are trying to save the endangered Philippine Eagle from extinction, there are those who are undermining our conservation efforts,” Paje said in a statement.

The eagle was possibly shot to death, he added, citing an autopsy that showed a crack in its keel bone (attached to the breastbone).

The mother eagle left behind a seven-month-old eaglet and its father, the official said.

The Philippine Eagle is considered one of the biggest, rarest and most powerful birds in the world, and has been declared the country’s national bird. But the massive loss of its habitat due to deforestation has made it a critically endangered species.

Paje said he had ordered regional environment officials in Davao City to seek assistance from the police and the local government to track down the eagle’s killers and charge them in court.

Stricter measures vs poaching

He also urged the Protected Area Management Board of Mt. Apo to institute stricter measures against poaching, and directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources regional office to conduct a massive information campaign in the area.

The hunting and killing of the Philippine Eagle, also known as the Monkey-eating Eagle, is punishable by 12 years in prison and hefty fines under the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 1970 (Republic Act No. 6147).

The Philippine Eagle Foundation reported that the eagle’s decomposing carcass was retrieved in Barangay (village) Kapatagan in Davao City, some 10 kilometers from the eagle’s nesting site in Sitio (settlement) Mitondo in Sibulan, Davao City.

Paje said the DENR would give funds to assist in the supplemental feeding of the eagle’s seven-month-old hatchling.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines: Find endangered eagle’s killer, officials ordered

Philippines: Search for Philippine Eagle killer: DENR asks Philippine National Police help

By Edith Regalado, 26th August 2014;

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is seeking police assistance in tracking down the killer of a breeding adult female Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) that was shot on Mt. Apo in Davao over a week ago.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje directed regional officers to help in the search for the killer.

The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) said the death of the mother eagle has left its seven-month-old eaglet fending for itself.

Jayson Ybañez, PEF research and conservation division head, told The STAR that the bird was tagged with radio and satellite GPS transmitters. It was released last April 9 in Barangay Sibulan.

Mt. Apo encompasses Davao City and the provinces of Davao del Sur, North Cotabato and Bukidnon. Its peak can be reached through the trails established in those areas.

DENR officials have sought police assistance to determine who shot the giant raptor.

Ybañez reported that the GPS satellite transmitter attached to the eagle showed that something happened to the bird.

“Based on the GPS readings on Aug 11, we saw satellite readings clustered in an area at the base of Mt Apo, which was unusual,” Ybañez said.

A monitoring group composed of PEF biologists and indigenous Bagobo Tagabawa volunteer forest guards went to the area to track down the eagle on Aug. 14.

“The signals were in mortality mode. This normally happens when the radio unit is not moving, indicating either the transmitters fell out of the bird, or the bird itself died,” he said.

After nearly an hour, the group saw the “skeletonized carcass” of the eagle.

Ybañez said the bird apparently fell head first based on the position of its skeleton, with the left wing still hanging onto the ferns.

PEF veterinarian Ana Lascano inspected the bird and found it to have a crack in its keel bone.

“We are entertaining the possibility that the puncture was caused by a bullet, but we have yet to consult a ballistic expert to find out whether the puncture is caused by a bullet,” Lascano said.

Ybañez said a few days after the GPS satellite was tagged on the eagle, it was seen delivering a bat as food to her eaglet at the nest.

PEF executive director Dennis Salvador said the death of the adult eagle “is doubly unfortunate because it is also left motherless her seven-month old baby back at the nesting site in Sibulan.”

“With this, the job of feeding the young rests on the male eagle,” Salvador said.

He said they are monitoring the progress of the young eaglet, also equipped with a GPS satellite unit for monitoring.

“But as of the latest feedback last Saturday, the young has been begging noisily for food and has not been fed by the male since last Aug. 17. We have organized a supplemental feeding initiative with the Regional Eagle Watch Team of DENR Region XI and the Lumad forest guards and active provisions of food will begin next week to prevent the bird from dying from starvation,” Salvador said.

The death of the mother eagle is the second case this year. The first breeding female died on Mt. Kitanglad, Bukidnon.

The first was accidentally strangled to death by a native noose trap intended for wild pig and deer. It was caught by the noose while walking on the ground in search for food.

The monitoring of the adult eagles at Mt. Apo is possible through a grant from the Peregrine Fund, Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the DENR.

Source: The Philippine Star

Philippines: Search for Philippine Eagle killer: DENR asks Philippine National Police help

My hands did tremble when I carried her and her unborn child into the rescue van. A road kill that cost 2 lives.

I know it will always be a tough battle to convince humans that Long-tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis) are highly misunderstood. But I also know that for one life lost, there are thousands out there in dire need of help. And I also know that I will do my best to tell their story, even if they are faced with death.

Source: Sabrina Jabbar Facebook [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

The heart-wrenching scene of the alpha male of the troop guarding and protecting a member of his troop, even though she was already dead.

Upon close observation, the victim was a heavily pregnant female. Rescue officer felt the shape of the unborn baby on her belly. It was highly suspected that she was knocked and then dragged under the vehicle, as suggested by marks on her body.

The impact from the collision caused her massive internal bleeding.

The emotions of the alpha male and the troop mourning the death of their family member is symbolic of us humans. Losing a family member is traumatising. And these are the very same emotions macaques express when when they are trapped and sent away to be killed.

She could have been alive today. And she could have even given birth. But such is the reality our wildlife have to face. Crossing a road may be simple for you, but for them, it is a battle they have to face just to make it out alive.

Source: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) Facebook (More photos available at the link)

Tropical Swallowtail Moth (Lyssa zampa)
Punggol, 2nd July 2014