Philippine Eagle family discovered in DavOr forest

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DAVAO CITY — A family of the critically-endangered Philippine Eagle was discovered in the forest town of Lupon town in Davao Oriental last week.

Eden Jhan Licayan, a photographer of the provincial government, and his team visited the forest area of Lupon during the four-day assessment on December 7-10, for some potential tourist sites but what he discovered was a totally different and amazing find.

Based on the press statement released by Davao Oriental information office, Licayan saw three birds which he suspects to be a family of Philippine Eagle.

Licayan narrated that he first spotted a young Philippine Eagle perched on a tree near its nest while emitting a powerful call. The following day, his team was surprised to spot two more eagles flying over the forest canopy which are much bigger than the first one.

When the provincial government showed the photos and videos of Licayan to Dr. Jason Ibañez, head of the Philippine Eagle Foundation Research and Development office, the latter confirmed that the photos and videos are indeed Philippine Eagles.

“The photos are indeed those of a Philippine Eagle and based on the general appearance and nature of its feathers, the bird at perch is a juvenile (around one-year-old) Philippine Eagle,” Ibañez answered their query.

The newly discovered Philippine Eagle in the forest of Lupon, Davao Oriental.-Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan=PIO/DavOr

“The presence of a juvenile means there are eagle parents, and the photos of two flying eagles are possibly the eagle couple. An expedition next year to further document the eagle pair and their young is highly recommended,” he said.  

Dr. Ibanez added that based on where the photos were taken, the eagle family is within the Mount Kampalili-Puting Bato Key Biodiversity Area of Davao Oriental, which is one of the few large habitats of Philippine Eagles in Mindanao.

Davao Oriental is known to host a good population of Philippine Eagles, including the rescued Mal’lambugok who was released in the municipality of Caraga last September. 

For his part, Governor Nelson Dayanghirang assured the Philippine Eagle Foundation that the provincial government will work with the stakeholders in the municipality of Lupon to ensure the protection and preservation of the endangered birds.

As it is now, the province is banking on its tourism sites to boost the economy amidst the pandemic, of which Dayanghirang assured, that his government is pushing for eco-tourism and forest protection and preservation along with its endangered resources will never be sacrificed.

Because of the new discovery, the provincial government might consider bird watching as one of their tourists’ attractions, should all modalities be defined to protect the eagle sanctuary.-with report from Karen Deloso

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