Philippines: Province seeks ‘understanding’ in eagle’s death

23rd August 2015;

The heritage officer of Davao Oriental province on Friday appealed for understanding and urged the people and the UN heritage agency not to condemn them for the death of Pamana, the Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) that had been released in the province’s wildlife sanctuary.

Dolores Valdesco, speaking on behalf of the provincial government of Davao Oriental, said it was unfair of people to judge them as “incapable of protecting important wildlife species with just that one isolated case.” As host to Pamana’s new habitat, the provincial government was also “very concerned about the incident,” she said.

Capable of protection

“By the continued rich biodiversity of the Mt. Hamiguitan Range, we have already proven to the world our capability to protect [wildlife],” she said, noting that Davao Oriental was identified as one of the provinces with the most number of Philippine Eagles.

Dennis Salvador, executive director of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), earlier said Pamana’s killing showed “we have problems in our protected areas.”

“Basically we have problems in our protected areas, whether it’s the ability to enforce the law or the will [to enforce it],” Salvador said.

Pamana was released back to the wild on Mt. Hamiguitan in Davao Oriental on June 12 after undergoing rehabilitation at the PEF center here for two gunshot wounds she sustained in Iligan City in 2012.

Recovery

On Aug. 16, her decomposing remains were recovered by PEF biologists and forest guards near a creek on Mt. Hamiguitan. She had apparently died from a gun pellet wound in her right chest.

Valdesco said they were investigating the incident to find the culprit.

“It is very heartbreaking and very unfortunate that it happened in our province and on Mt. Hamiguitan Range,” she said.

She added the eagle was found outside the core of the Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary.

Reward offered

The reward offered for the identification and arrest of Pamana’s killer has grown to P300,000. A day after a national agency, a governor and a television personality raised P200,000 in reward money, a civic organization in Davao del Norte — The Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) — announced it was pitching in P100,000 for the reward.

“We would like to support efforts for the quest of justice for the fallen national bird to which we owe our name,” Dennis Denora, president of one of the FOE clubs in the Davao region, said.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines: Province seeks ‘understanding’ in eagle’s death

Pamana’s remains as they were found on the forest floor, August 16.
Photo: Philippine Eagle Foundation/AFP

Philippines: Rare Philippine Eagle killed by unknown perpetrators
19th August 2015;

Just two months after it was released back into the wild, a rare Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) was found killed in Mt. Hamiguitan, Davao Oriental, a UNESCO-recognized wildlife sanctuary.

The Eagle, named “Pamana”, was rescued as a young eaglet in 2012 in Iligan City, where she was found injured with two gunshot wounds, one each on her left breast and left wing.

Experts from the Philippine Eagle Foundation in Davao City, where she was brought for treatment, believed that poachers targeted the bird for her talons, which could fetch up to $200 a pair in the black market.

Pamana made a full recovery and was released back into the wild on Independence Day, June 12, only to be found dead with a gunshot wound to its chest last August 16.

The raptor’s remains were found on the forest floor last weekend with a gunshot wound on its right breast, the foundation said.

Other body parts of an Eagle, including its head, feathers and wings, are also valued by collectors.

Pamana was the 30th Philippine Eagle to be found dead or wounded out of an estimated population of just 400 pairs in the wild, which reside mainly on the large southern island of Mindanao, its executive director Joseph Salvador said.

“Unfortunately, one person with a gun thinks he can shoot anything,” Salvador told AFP, adding no one has been arrested in the latest incident.

“The potential to teach people the importance of the Eagles to wildlife and biodiversity has been compromised.”

Famed for its elongated nape feathers that form into a shaggy crest, the Philippine Eagle, one of the world’s largest, grows up to a metre (3.3 feet) long with a two-metre wingspan.

Authorities hope that a radio transmitter attached to Pamana for tracking purposes will reveal more clues as to the exact location and possible circumstances of its killing.

Philippine Eagles kill Macaques (Macaca fascicularis) and other smaller animals for food and need vast tracts of forest as hunting grounds, routinely driving away rivals from their territory.

Gunshots accounted for nine out of every 10 Philippine Eagle casualties recorded by the foundation over seven years.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the Philippine Eagle as “Critically Endangered,” facing severe habitat loss and an extreme fluctuating population.

Source: GMA News Online

Philippines: Endangered Philippine Eagle shot dead three years after rescue

19th August 2015;

A rare giant Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) has been shot dead two months after being released back into the wild following treatment for another shooting, in a blow to efforts to save the species from extinction, conservationists said Wednesday.

The raptor’s remains were found on a forest floor last weekend with a gunshot wound on its right breast, three years after it was rescued and treated, the Philippine Eagle Foundation said.

It was the 30th to be found dead or wounded out of an estimated population of just 400 pairs in the wild, which reside mainly on the large southern island of Mindanao, its executive director Joseph Salvador said.

“Unfortunately, one person with a gun thinks he can shoot anything,” Salvador told AFP, adding no one has been arrested in the latest incident.

“The potential to teach people the importance of the Eagles to wildlife and biodiversity has been compromised.”

Famed for its elongated nape feathers that form into a shaggy crest, the Philippine Eagle, one of the world’s largest, grows up to a metre (3.3 feet) long with a two-metre wingspan.

The Swiss-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists the species as “Critically Endangered”, due to the depletion of its tropical rainforest habitat and hunting.

Philippine Eagles kill Macaques (Macaca fascicularis) and other smaller animals for food and need vast tracts of forest as hunting grounds, routinely driving away rivals from their territory.

Gunshots accounted for nine out of every 10 Philippine Eagle casualties recorded by the foundation over seven years.

The latest bird to be killed had been rescued as a juvenile three years ago and treated for superficial gunshot wounds.

Returned to the wild in Mindanao’s Mount Hamiguitan reserve two months ago, the Eagle’s carcass was tracked about a kilometre (half a mile) away from where it was released, after a fitted radio transmitter indicated the bird had stopped moving.

Killing critically endangered Philippine species is punishable by up to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to one million pesos ($21,600). Salvador said the foundation would press charges once the Eagle’s killer was found.

Guarding the bird, also called the “Monkey-eating Eagle”, is compounded by inadequate forest rangers, with just six assigned to the vast Hamiguitan range, Salvador said.

Source: Yahoo! News

Philippines: Endangered Philippine Eagle shot dead three years after rescue

Philippines: Pamana’s death shows weakness in Philippines’ conservation program — Philippine Eagle Foundation

By Joselle R. Badilla & Nico Alconaba, 19th August 2015;

Her freedom came with a price. Pamana, the three-year-old female Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) released inside the UNESCO heritage site, Mt. Hamiguitan Range, in San Isidro, Davao Oriental, was found dead a kilometer away from where she took her flight to freedom on Independence Day, June 12.

Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) biologists and local forest guards found the eagle, already in an advanced state of decomposition, near a creek on August 16.

In 2012, Pamana survived two gunshot wounds on its left wing and left breast. After more than two years of rehabilitation, she was released to the wild. When found last Sunday, the eagle had a gun pellet hole on the right part of her chest.

The PEF team had been monitoring the eagle by tracking radio signals from a miniature transmitter harnessed unto her back. But around lunch time of August 10, fieldworkers noted that radio signals at their observation post were in “mortality” mode. Mortality mode indicates that the transmitter has not moved for at least six hours because either the radio unit came off or the bird has died.

PEF team traced the location of the radio transmitter and found Pamana’s carcass near a creek below the thick forest. The eagle’s remains were in an advanced state of decomposition, with maggot infestation. Her blue leg band was still attached to her left leg, and her GPS and radio transmitters were still attached to her body.

Dr. Ana Lascano, the PEF veterinarian, found a 5 mm bullet hole on the bird’s right chest.

Lascano, in her necropsy report, said that the bird could have suffered from “gunshot wound leading to possible trauma.”

Her time of death was estimated to be morning of August 10.

“Pamana’s death underscores the need to strengthen our campaign to save not only the eagles but other wildlife in their natural habitats. Clearly, education and awareness aren’t enough. We need a strong law enforcement program in place especially in protected areas. Tama na ang paper protection (Enough with protection on paper),” Dennis Salvador, PEF executive director told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The Mt. Hamiguitan Range has been closed to the public since it was declared by UNESCO as a heritage site a year ago.

San Isidro Mayor Tina Yu, who learned about Pamana’s death Wednesday morning, said the area was indeed “off limits to the public.”

“This is a sad news for the people of San Isidro who, together with the PEF team, have closely monitored the daily situation of Pamana,” Yu told the Inquirer.

PEF has been trying to breed eagles in captivity to increase the bird’s population. Since 1992, it has successfully hatched 25 eaglets and the center now has 35 eagles, including those previously caught in the wild. The center had its first eagle conceived, hatched and bred in captivity on January 15, 1992. She was named Pag-asa.

The foundation, which depends heavily on donations for its project that includes breeding, education and campaigns to save the endangered species, had released four eagles during the last two years, including Pamana.

The Philippine Eagle, considered the world’s largest bird of prey and larger than the American Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), was declared an endangered species in 1965.

Only about 400 adult pairs remain in the country’s forests, where deforestation and poaching threaten their survival.

In July 1995, President Fidel Ramos declared the Philippine Eagle the national bird. At present, the species is classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Pamana was first rescued by the PEF team on October 25, 2012 in Iligan City. The bird suffered two gunshot wounds. It was treated by Dr. Bayani Vandenbroeck and rehabilitated for two years at the Philipine Eagle Center in Malagos District here before it was released to the wild.

In July 2008, Kagsabua, a 3-year-old male juvenile Philippine Eagle, was killed and cooked by a 22-year old tribal farmer in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.

Kagsabua was shot with an air gun while he was perched on a tree. Kagsagbua is tribal word for Unity. He was released to the wild on March 6, 2008.

Among those that failed to survive after having been released in the wild was Kabayan, who died more than a year after its release inside the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) forest reserves in Ilomavis, Kidapawan City on April 22, 2004. Kabayan perched on a live wire.

He was the first captive-bred eagle released to the wild.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines: Pamana’s death shows weakness in Philippines’ conservation program — Philippine Eagle Foundation

Philippines: Released into wild, Philippine Eagle ‘Pamana’ shot dead

By Aries Joseph Hegina & Joselle Badilla, 19th August 2015;

A three-year-old Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) named “Pamana” (heritage) was shot dead two months after she was released into the wild, the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) revealed on Wednesday.

Pamana sustained a gunshot wound in her right chest, PEF Executive Director Danny Salvador said.

“Unfortunately, there’s this man with a gun who thinks that apparently, he can shoot anything and did this,” Salvador said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.

The endangered Philippine Eagle was released from captivity on June 12 at the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Barangay (village) La Union in San Isidro town in Davao Oriental province.

The PEF said Pamana was found in an advanced state of decomposition.

Based on Pamana’s remains, it could have died on August 10. Its body had an approximately 5mm puncture wound when they found her last August 16 after days of searching in the forest, the PEF added.

A tiny metal fragment believed to be from a shattered gun pellet was also retrieved from Pamana’s remains. PEF veterinarian Dr. Ana Lascano said that the bird “suffered from gun shot wound leading to possible trauma.”

Pamana was monitored by the PEF since her release on June 12 with a miniature transmitter harnessed in her back. On August 10, when the radio transmitter went into “mortality mode” – which meant that the unit has not moved for six hours – the PEF deployed a team to locate the bird.

In 2012, Pamana was rescued by the PEF after surviving two gunshot wounds as an eaglet at the mountain range of Gabunan in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte province.

There are an estimated 400 pairs of the endangered birds in the wild and are faced with threats of deforestation and hunting. Salvador said that 90 percent of Philippine Eagles that they release in the wild are being shot.

“Shooting is probably the biggest threat to young Philippine Eagles in the wild now. Young birds, which are one to six years old, are very inquisitive and are not often frightened by people. So that is when they become really vulnerable,” he said.

In 2013, a male Philippine Eagle named “Minalwang” was also shot dead two months after he was released in the wild following two years of rehabilitation.

The Philippine Eagle has a wingspan spreading up to seven feet, making it one of the largest eagles in the world. It is considered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as a “Critically Endangered” species.

Persons found guilty of killing critically endangered species like the Philippine Eagle will face jail sentences of up to 12 years and fines of up to P1 million as provided in Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines: Released into wild, Philippine Eagle ‘Pamana’ shot dead

LOST NATIONAL TREASURE. Philippine Eagle Pamana’s carcass is found near a creek in Mount Hamiguitan on August 16, 2015. Photo: Philippine Eagle Foundation

Philippines: Philippine Eagle Pamana found shot dead in Davao Oriental
Pamana, a 3-year-old Philippine Eagle released into the wild in June, is found with a bullet hole in her right breast in Mount Hamiguitan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
By Pia Ranada, 19th August 2015;

A critically-endangered Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) just recently released into the wild was found shot dead in Mount Hamiguitan Range, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Davao Oriental.

The eagle, named “Pamana” (Legacy) by conservationists, was found with a bullet hole in her right breast that shattered her left shoulder, said Dennis Salvador, Executive Director of the Philippine Eagle Foundation.

A metal fragment believed to be from a shattered gun pellet was also found in the carcass.

Scientists from PEF found her body on August 16 after the tracker they had outfitted her with went into mortality mode – a signal that she was dead.

Her body was already decomposing when they found it near a creek below thick forests.

PEF released Pamana into the wild only in June 12, in honor of Philippine Independence Day. She was around 3 years old at the time of her death. The site where she was found was only one kilometer from where they had released her, said Salvador.

Salvador said they deferred announcing her death to Wednesday, August 19, after they finished conducting a necropsy to confirm the cause of death.

The bullet that killed Pamana came from an airgun, a weapon commonly used to kill Philippine Eagles, said Salvador. He said they are not able to determine who is responsible for her death.

This is not the first time Pamana had suffered from human-inflicted injuries. In 2012, she was found in Iligan City with superficial gunshot wounds and minor bruises. She was brought to the PEF rehabilitation facility in Davao City where they nursed her back to health until her release last June.

Government officials also mourned the loss of one of the country’s few remaining eagles.

“We are saddened and strongly condemn the killing of Pamana. It is unfortunate that despite increased awareness and intensive information campaign, we continue to encounter such loss of magnificent and valuable wildlife,” said Biodiversity Management Bureau chief Theresa Mundita Lim in a text message to Rappler.

She said Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 11, along with PEF, will conduct an investigation on who was responsible for the eagle’s death.

Hunting in a protected area?

The death of a Philippine Eagle in Mount Hamiguitan comes as a shock because it is one of the country’s protected areas.

In fact, PEF chose to release Pamana in the mountain range specifically because of strong local commitment to protect the area.

But initial findings show that Pamana was shot near the fringes of the protected mountain range – a buffer zone “accessible to anyone,” Lim said.

“Fragmenting or shrinking of range area, encroachment, and scarcity of food sometimes drives the eagle to open areas which exposes it increasingly to poachers and irresponsible gun owners,” she explained.

PEF had plans to release even more Philippine eagles there in Mount Hamiguitan in the future. But now, they want the threats to be addressed first.

“Yes, we can release again but not until these threats are sufficiently addressed,” said Salvador.

Davao Oriental local governments and the national government have allotted funds for protection and conservation. Part of these funds go to forest guards in charge of, among other things, ensuring poaching does not happen within the park.

But the killing of Pamana shows the protection measures in the mountain range are far from sufficient.

“We have to get rid of this culture of paper protection and cosmetics on the way we manage our natural heritage. If we lose these treasures, there is no way anyone can recreate it,” said Salvador.

The mountain is also the country’s most recently declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, an honor that puts it among the world’s most important ecosystems.

One of the reasons for its spot on the list is its reputation as a habitat of the Philippine Eagle, one of the rarest raptors in the world and the country’s national bird.

It is classified as “Critically Endangered” or close to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Only found in the Philippines, only around 400 pairs are left in the wild.

The Philippine Eagle population is threatened by loss of habitat due to deforestation and poaching.

Source: Rappler

The Philippine Eagle Foundation has released photos of the rotting carcass of Pamana, the Philippine Eagle that was shot dead just two months after she was freed into her new forest home.

In the official necropsy report, the carcass was found last August 16, 2015 in an advanced state of decomposition, with maggots infestation, approximately 1 kilometer from her release site.

“The bird was presented wrapped in a black plastic bag with only some portions of her skin, tendons and ligaments on her legs and feet, few blood vessels, feathers, bones and talons remained,” according to the report by attending veterinarian Ana Maria Lascano.

The report said a small fragment of a gun pellet, approximately 5mm x 3mm), was removed from a 5mm puncture wound on Pamana’s skin overlapping the right latero-ventral thoracic area on or near the breast / keel bone.

Pamana’s blue leg band (#40) was still attached to her left leg and her GPS and radio transmitters were still attached to her body.

Pamana underwent two years of rehabilitation at the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, Davao City before being released into the wild on June 12, 2015 at Mt. Hamiguitin Wildlife Sanctuary in San Isidro, Davao Oriental.

Philippines: Philippine Eagle Pamana shot dead

19th August 2015;

Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) Pamana was shot dead just two months after she was freed into her new forest home.

Dennis Salvador of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) said Pamana was found rotting dead last Sunday, August 16.

Pamana, a three-year-old Philippine Eagle, was found just one kilometer from Sitio Tomalite, Barangay La Union, San Isidro, Davao Oriental, the place where she was freed last June 12, Independence Day.

Salvador said that based on initial investigation, Pamana sustained a gunshot wound on her right breast.

He said the people of PEF are very depressed upon learning the about the incident, especially because Pamana was killed in a place that’s supposed to be a protected area.

Salvador said they have yet to identify the person behind the killing of Pamana, but said the suspect/s violated the Wildlife Act of 2002.

Pamana arrived at the Philippine Eagle Center in April 2012 from the Mt. Gabunan Range in Iligan City.

She was found by a local perched on a tree near a creek, appearing weak and docile with a gunshot wound.

The Center took Pamana in. The eagle underwent a tedious rehabilitation process before she was released in the virgin forest of Mt. Hamihuitan, a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Pamana roughly translates “heritage” or “legacy” in the Filipino language.

The eagle’s remains were brought to the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, Davao.

Pamana is just one of the last of about 400 Philippine eagles fighting for survival.

Source: ABS-CBN News