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 The Philippine Eagle

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Male Number of posts : 639
Age : 54
Registration date : 2007-07-26

The Philippine Eagle Empty
PostSubject: The Philippine Eagle   The Philippine Eagle Icon_minitimeSun Aug 05, 2007 2:52 pm


(Pithecophaga jefferyi)

She soars high above, with her mighty wings gliding
with grace and steadiness. There is no beauty like the Philippine Eagle
in the sky.

Also known as the monkey-eating eagle, this endangered
bird is one of the largest in the world. Given the scientific name Pithecophaga
jefferyi, it is found only in the Philippines and lives in the rainforests
of Isabela, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. It has similarities with Papua
New Guinea's Harpy Eagle (Harpyopsis novaeguinea).

Measuring about one meter in height, the average Philippine
eagle has gray and white underparts, bluish bill, yellow feet and dark
brown tail. The adult eagle has generally dark brown dorsal feathers
with a fluffy white chest. Its most noticeable feature is its 76-centimeter
highly arched, powerful bill.

It lives on large snakes, hornbills, civet cats, flying
lemurs and monkeys - the reason why it is also called monkey-eating
eagle. It creates its nests in large trees on natural platforms some
30 meters off the ground.

With an estimated population of 100 to 300 today, the
Philippine eagle is in danger of extinction. It is one of the 400 exotic
bird species in the Philippines which, if not protected, will disappear
from the face of the Earth. Along with the Philippine cockatoo, Palawan
peacock pheasant, Mindoro imperial pigeon, Sulu hornbill and Cebu black
shama, the Philippine Eagle might follow the Cebu flowerpecker which
is now presumed extinct.

The main reason for this is the unabated denudation
of the Philippine rainforests where these birds take refuge. With 123,000
hectares of forest cover being lost every year to illegal logging, Philippine
forests will be completely denuded by the year 2036, according to a
study made by Philippine Congress.

In 1972, the country had about 10.4 million hectares
of natural forests covering 34 percent of the country's total land area
of 30 million hectares. Only 17 years later, this had been reduced to
6.16 hectares or only 20.52 percent of the total land area.

Efforts are now being focused at preserving the remnants
of the Philippine Eagle. In 1992, the Philippine Eagle Foundation hatched
the first Philippine Eagle ever produced in captivity. The chick was
named Pag-Asa which means "hope." A second chick was named
Pagkakaisa, which stands for "unity." On February 23, 1999,
the foundation successfully hatched an eagle out of a natural pair.
The young eaglet was named Pangarap which means "dream".

In an effort to drive national sentiments towards preserving
this natural heritage, Malacaņang proclaimed June 4-10 as Philippine
Eagle Week. According to Malacaņang, the proclamation will ''instill
into the minds of the Filipino people the importance of the Philippine
eagle as a biological indicator of the forest ecosystems, as a national
symbol and as a unique heritage."

The Philippine Eagle has come to symbolize all efforts
by the Filipino people to save the remaining rain forests and preserve
the wealth of the nation for the future generation.

The Philippine Eagle is found only in the Philippines.
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