Another eagle has been hatched at the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), becoming the 26th chick to be produced under the foundation’s breeding program since 1992. The hatching boosts the critically-endangered giant bird’s fight against extinction.
According to PEF curator Anna Mae Sumaya, the eaglet was born out of the natural pairing of male eagle “MVP Eagle” and female bird, “Go Phoenix.” The chick is the pair’s first offspring.
The chick, which is yet to be named, hatched on December 7 after 56 days of incubation, Sumaya adding that while assistance was done during the first few hours of the hatching process, the chick did it on its own when it hatched full-term.
The chick is reportedly healthy and active — attentive to its surroundings and responds to bird calls heard from the background.
PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said the hatching is a big breakthrough and is a result of nearly five years of round robin pairing among the conservation center’s younger set of eagles.
He said PEF believes that this success “will rekindle hope for the species and usher a new generation of eagles to strengthen the captive gene pool and augment wild populations.”
The PEF described the hatching as “our gift to the Filipino people and the rest of the world this Christmas.”
The International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the Philippine Eagle as critically endangered with only about 500 birds surviving in the wild.
A few of those captive-bred at PEF had tragic outcomes too.
The first of which is Kabayan, released from captivity into the wild in 2004 but died of accidental electrocution in January 2005.
Another eagle, Kagsabua, was killed and eaten by a farmer after being released in March 2008.
Photo credit: Philippine Eagle Foundation