The Philippine Eagle From Extinction by Arnold Cafe
The Philippine Eagle Foundation
(PEF) is a non profit organization dedicated to saving the endangered Philippine
Eagle, and is composed of plucky volunteers like Lt. Gen. Hotchkiss the
president who is solely responsible in preserving, breeding and caring
for the birds.
Dr. Domingo Tadena, the veterinarian
and the deputy director for captive breeding and has been with the PEF
since it began in 1987 and Jo Victoria Kristy Cruz as volunteer for PEF
field research team which use their time in taking comprehensive approach
to conservation, engaging in research, off site and on site protection,
community based efforts, public education to promote greater understanding
and achieve results in the preservation of the eagle and its habitat.
All three, share a passion
for caring the Philippine Eagle, a bird often cited for its bravery, fidelity
and intelligence; no wonder it is the national bird of the Philippines.
Two major threats to its survival which are hunting and deforestation.
Hotchkiss points out that
forest cover is crucial to Philippine Eagles. Without it, they are unable
to find food and build nests to breed, hence, the decline in population.
Habitat and key prey populations are rapidly disappearing, likewise due
to deforestation. Hence, the thrust towards environment conservation is
combined with the drive to save and propagation the magnificent birds.
The hunting and shooting
of the Philippine Eagle continue to persist, and eagles that have been
turned over to PEF in recent years either had gunshot wounds or trapped
illegally in the wild. Even birds that seemed healthy at the time of acquisition
were found to have air gun pellets inside their bodies.
continues to be a threat to the viability of the wild eagle population,â€?
add PEF executive director Dennis Salvador and express the hope that the
Wildlife Act 9147 will protect them. Since 1992, the foundation has bred
twenty two eagles. While births are greeted with media attention, there
is little else available on them.
Education is key, and the
PEF hopes they can address this. The PEF founded and operates the Center
in Davao City. Currently home to thirty six Philippine Eagles and many
other wildlife species. The PEC, in addition to being a breeding and research
facility, has become an eco-tourism venue for visitors who want to see
the Philippine Eagle up close.
The number of visitors has
gone up and down rising to a high of 118,615 in 2002 and dropping to a
low of 91,408 in 2005. Due to a lack of maintenance, the PEF faces the
unpleasant dilemma of having to choose between allotting meager funds for
the birds' upkeep, or for that of the ground.
One of the project of Gen.
Hotchkiss is the renovation of the PEC amenities, which aims to make it
more modern and in tune with the environment. The PEF hopes to improve
lectures on how to preserve nature and the Philippine Eagle through these
renovations and offers partnerships to concerned companies and individuals
to support the project.
These donations help provide
for the bird's food, veterinary care and maintenance for the entire year
or the means to monitor nests and eagle chicks born in the wild. More importantly,
the PEC hopes to attract volunteers to do fieldwork, administrative tasks,
assist in managing special events such as the Philippine Eagle Week and
to help then raise funds to improve their facilities for caring of the
eagles. Currently, only 19 of the 36 Philippine Eagles at the PEC are sponsored
by concerned individuals and organization.
The PEF need funds to feed
and maintain the remaining eagles. To those who want to help, just log
on to their website: http://www.philippineeagle.org
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Arnold Cafe is an active
internet marketer author of Ideas Galore: http://www.affleap.com/blog/