Photos: Philippine Eagle Foundation

Philippines: Rescued Philippine Eagle released in Apayao
By , 2016;

A rescued Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) was released into the wild in the province of Apayao recently.

According to DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer Dr. Candido Tuscano, the female bird was rescued by a group of fishermen along the Tawit River in the municipality of Pudtol, Apayao on April 21 at around 10AM.

Based on the accounts of a fisherman Richard Tomas, they saw a large bird struggling to fly so they decided to rescue it. They turned over the bird to an employee of the Municipal Government of Pudtol identified as Teddy Zuniga, who informed DENR and the Philippine Eagle Foundation based in Calanasan, Apayao.

Provincial Veterinarian Ralph Verzon was asked by the PEF to inspect the bird and confirm its species. Upon confirmation that the bird was indeed a Philippine Eagle, PEF Director for Research and Conservation Dr. Jayson Ibanez together with the DENR officials brought the eagle to the Ranada General Hospital in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte to undergo diagnosis for fauna. The bird underwent X-ray exams which revealed that there was no bone fracture but has an airgun bullet in its right leg. However it did not have any new wounds meaning the bullet was there for quite some time.

The bird was brought at the Galves Pet Clinic also in Laoag City for other lab tests including DNA, CBC and WBC which showed that the bird was in good condition.

The bird weighing 5.5 kilograms was brought back to Pudtol, was tagged with a radio and a satellite transmitter to easily monitor its location, and was released into the wilderness of barangay Lydia on April 24.

Prior to its release, Pudtol Mayor Batara Laoat named the female eagle “Ingagan” which was meant for the preservation of the Ingagan clan of the Isnag including their indigenous culture and belief.

Laoat said that the presence of the Philippine Eagle might be due to the Nagan-Maton River Conservation System in the municipality. The program mixed with the Apayao custom ’lappat’, a practice where some zones of the forest and the river are prohibited for hunting and fishing because of the Isnag belief of the guardian anitos, proved to be effective in preserving the forest, water shed and became a habitat for different species, he said.

The Mayor calls for the participation of locals and even tourists not to disturb the habitats for preservation. “You can only observe, admire, but are not allowed to pick or get anything from certain zones in the forests and rivers because they are declared as lappat.”

The province of Apayao was dubbed as New Home of the Philippine Eagle in n 2015 following the discovery of their habitat in Calanasan, Apayao.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

We are grateful to the following benefactors who have helped made the latest eagle rescue and release in Apayao possible:

Ryan and Ana Remigio, and Jason Ranada of Ranada General Hospital in Laoag City; Vets Christopher George and Mary Jane Galvez of Laoag Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Candido Tuscano and Fredrick Ayongan of CENRO Calanasan, Apayao Provincial Vet Ralph Verzon, Apayao Governor Elias Bulut Jr and Vice-Governor Hector Pascua, Pudtol Mayor Batara Laoat, and Apayao Congresswoman Eleanor Bulut-Begtang.

The research and conservation of Philippine Eagles in Apayao is funded by San Roque Power Corporation and Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation

Source: Philippine Eagle Foundation Facebook

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

Philippine Eagle Foundation personnel treat the wound suffered by Philippine Eagle Matatag, who was shot by a farmer a year after the Eagle was released to the wild.
Photo: Philippine Eagle Foundation

Philippines: Shooting shows danger still lurks for endangered Eagle
By Joselle R. Badilla, 26th February 2016;

Matatag, the rehabilitated Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) that was released to the wild last year, was wounded when shot by a farmer in a hinterland village in Baguio District here on Sunday.

The adult male Eagle was released in Mt. Apo last year. It moved 13 kilometers north from his release area to the territorial borders of the Obu Manuvu community in Barangay Carmen here.

On Sunday, however, a farmer brought the wounded Eagle to the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, admitting that he shot it with a .22-cal. rifle.

The farmer, Tiburcio Aparesio, 24, said he accidentally shot the bird and brought it to the center after realizing it was an Eagle.

Dr. Anna Lascano, the center’s veterinarian, said the Eagle was wounded in the right wing.

Chief Insp. Leonardo Pamplona, Baguio District police precinct commander, said the center called the precinct about the Eagle being shot and the perpetrator bringing the Eagle to center.

Pamplona said police brought Aparesio to the precinct but on Monday, Aparesio’s younger brother, Rolando, claimed responsibility.

He said the brothers are detained at the precinct for violating Republic Act No. 9147, also known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

But the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) said a witness supported Rolando’s claim that it was he who shot the Eagle.

Matatag is still under observation, but appears to be responding well to medication, Lascano said.

A weak Matatag spent at least three years in rehabilitation at the center after it was turned over in 2011.

It was released more than a year ago to forests being claimed as ancestral land of the Obu Manuvu tribe.

Dennis Salvador, PEF executive director, said Matatag’s case underscores the continuing decline in population of the endangered Philippine Eagle even in supposedly protected areas.

Salvador called on people to be more involved in the protection of Philippine raptors.

“We cannot be complacent,” he said.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines: Philippine Eagle ‘Matatag’ shot in Tambobong
26th February 2016;

Matatag is back at the Philippine Eagle Center after being shot in Brgy. Tambobong, Baguio District, Davao City last February 21, Sunday, at around 8:00 AM by a resident of the said barangay.

Tiborcio Solis Aparesio, brought the wounded Eagle to the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) and claimed responsibility for the shooting and said that he used a .22 caliber rifle. The Eagle’s identity was verified by Joshua Donato, Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) Senior Field Biologist, when he checked the bird’s leg band. Resident veterinarian, Dr. Anna Lascano immediately treated Matatag.

Initial results show that Matatag fractured his right wing. Scattered pieces of bones and shrapnel were seen in the x-ray.

The incident was later reported to the patrolling police officers of Police Station 11 onboard at the Davao City Water District compound. The PEF staff also turned over the suspect to PO3 Kent R. Lahorra.

But the following day, the suspect’s brother, Rolando Solis Aparesio, went to the Baguio Police Station and claimed that he was the one who shot Matatag and not his brother. A witness supported the claim and added that it was really Rolando who shot the Eagle and Tiburcio was only covering up to his brother.

Donato, as the complainant, filed a case of violation of RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act for causing injuries to Matatag against the Aparesio brothers. They are currently under the custody of the police. Meanwhile, Matatag is still under observation but appears to be responding well to medication.

Matatag was released back to the ancestral forests of the indigenous Obo Manuvu tribe over a year ago after 3 years of rehabilitation of the Philippine Eagle Center.

PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said that this incident only underscores the continuing decline in population of the endangered Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) even in the most protected territories.

Ultimately, Salvador calls on Filipinos to be more involved in the protection of Philippine raptors. He adds that we cannot be complacent—that the protection of our national bird cannot be left to our forest guards but should be the responsibility of everyone.

Source: Philippine Eagle Foundation

Philippines: Philippine Eagle ‘Matatag’ survives third shooting

By Edith Regalado, 26th February 2016;

Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) Matatag is proving to be true to its name as it recovers from a .22-caliber bullet wound it suffered last Sunday in Barangay Tambobong, Baguio District here.

Tiborcio Aparesio, who claimed responsibility for the incident, brought the wounded giant raptor to the Malagos Eagle Center for treatment. But, on Monday, his claim was belied by his brother Rolando, who also said he was the one who shot the Eagle.

Depending on how the word matatag is used, it could mean to stand firm, to be stable, steadfast or dependable.

Matatag was first brought to the Philippine Eagle Center in Barangay Malagos, Calinan District for rehabilitation four years ago. He was only about a year old then.

Experts then diagnosed Matatag as having anemia and described him as thin, nearly all of his flight feathers gone and in a “pitifully sickly state.”

He recuperated and rehabilitated for three years before he was released back to the wild on Dec. 15, 2014 at the ancestral forest of the indigenous Obu Manuvu tribe here.

The giant raptor was fitted with a radio VHF transmitter for tracking purposes and was observed to have been doing well in the wild until last Sunday when he was brought back to the center.

Carlos Dominguez, Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) chairman, said Matatag is responding well to medication but was alarmed with what happened.

He stressed that there are now only less than 500 pairs of Philippine Eagles, including the 34 kept at the Malagos center and those sighted in the wild in the forests of Mindanao, Samar, Leyte and the Cordilleras.

PEF executive director Dennis Salvador said the incident underscores the continuing decline in the endangered Eagle population even in the most protected territories.

He called on Filipinos to be more involved in the protection of Philippine raptors, saying, “We cannot be complacent – that the protection of our national bird cannot be left to our forest guards but should be the responsibility of everyone.”

Joshua Donato, PEF senior field biologist, established the raptor’s identity after checking on the bird’s leg band while resident veterinarian Anna Lascano immediately performed treatment.

It appeared that Matatag fractured his right wing after the x-ray showed scattered pieces of bones and shrapnel.

Donato charged the Aparesio brothers, who are detained at the Baguio police station, for violating Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

Source: The Philippine Star

Philippines: Philippine Eagle ‘Matatag’ survives third shooting

ENDANGERED – A veterinarian administers medicine on ‘Matatag,’ the Philippine Eagle which was shot in the wild last Sunday.
Photo: Philippine Eagle Foundation

Philippines: Brothers surrender after shooting ‘Matatag’
By Jonathan A. Santes, 24th February 2016;

Two brothers were jailed for shooting an endangered Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) named “Matatag” last Sunday in Barangay Tambobong, Baguio District, Davao City.

Police identified them as Tiburcio, 24, and Rolando Aparesio 18, both residents of Sitio Mangas of the same district.

The two voluntarily surrendered to Bagiuo Police Station last Monday after a witness pinpointed them as the ones who shot and wounded Matatag, a captive Eagle that was released to the wild by the Philippine Eagle Foundation sometime January 2015.

Police report gathered by Manila Bulletin said Tiburcio immediately brought the wounded Eagle to the Philippine Eagle Foundation in Malagos, Calinan where it is now being cared for.

Baguio Police Station commander Leonardo Pamplona said Tiburcio mistook Matatag as the one preying on their farm chickens, and when he saw the Eagle in their vicinity, he shot it using a .22-caliber rifle and hit the Eagle’s wing.

The Philippine Eagle has a wing span of up to two meters and is also known as one of the three largest and most powerful Eagles in the world.

The bird was declared as protected in the Philippines under Republic act 6147 promulgated by the Philippine government in 1970.

It carries a penalty of imprisonment up to 12 years and a fine amounting to P1million.

Source: Manila Bulletin