Photos: Philippine Eagle Foundation

Philippines: Philippine Eagle rescued, released in Apayao

25th April 2016;

An endangered female Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) has been rescued by local fishermen in Pudtol, Apayao, while in search for food at the Nagan river, a hall of fame awardee as the cleanest and greenest inland body of water in the country.

Provincial Tourism Officer Rebekah Tamaken-Mamba told the Philippine News Agency on Sunday (April 24, 2016) that a local fisherman identified as Richard Tumas of Aurora village, along with six others, saw a giant bird lose control while trying to catch an approximately four-kilo freshwater fish locally known as “carpa”, or carp (F. Cyprinidae). Its feathers got submerged into the river.

Though unknown to them that it was a rare Philippine Eagle, they immediately informed an employee named Teddy Zuniga at the Pudtol local government, who reported it to local authorities.

Mamba said the four-year-old Eagle was found and rescued on April 21 and released on Sunday morning to its natural habitat — the Agora wildlife sanctuary in Barangay Lydia.

Joining a group from the Philippine Eagle Foundation, who is actively monitoring the presence of giant raptors in Apayao province, including representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Provincial Veterinary Office, Local government unit of Pudtol and other local officials, Mamba said they were amazed to hear a “cry” of another Eagle as they released “Ingagan” on Sunday, barely two days after she was rescued.

Ingagan’s name was derived from the Nagan river where she was found and rescued.

Prior to the release, Ingagan was brought by local authorities to Laoag City for an x-ray examination because of an old wound found in the body. Results showed an air gun bullet inside the body but authorities said it can be outgrown over time.

Apayao residents take pride of its nature’s richness as the provincial government of Apayao continue to implement measures and programs to protect its environment while promoting various eco-tourism sites to provide alternative livelihood and investment.

Last year, a live nest of the Philippine Eagle was found in Calanasan town. There were also more sightings in Mt. Lambayo in Pudtol, and in Mt. Asi in Kabugao.

To date, the Calanasan town government placed at least 25,000 hectares of its forests under the lapat system to ensure the protection and preservation of its flora and fauna.

For a giant raptor like the Philippine Eagle, it takes about 13,000 ha of untouched forests as its exclusive territory, prompting the Apayao government to draft a long-term plan to ensure that this natural heritage is preserved for generations.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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