Calls to review practice after Philippine Eagle found dead in Sarangani

September 21, 2022 - 12:04 AM
This January 2019 photo shows the critically endangered Philippine Eagle. (Facebook/Philippine Eagle Foundation)

Filipinos on social media expressed grief over the death of a critically endangered Philippine eagle in Sarangani province on Monday, September 19.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Soccsksargen reported about the eagle’s death on Monday, September 19.

A government employee found the lifeless winged creature along the shoreline of Purok Maguid, Barangay Daliao in Maasim town, Sarangani Province.

Environment officer Kiamba Cariga said the eagle was found by a government employee who afterward notified the local environmental agency.

The Philippine eagle was believed to have been dead for four to five hours when it was found. The cause of death is yet to be determined.

Its identity has been undetermined.

“No tag or chips were noticed in the raptor upon the inspection. It weighed 5.6 kilograms and has a 102-centimeter length and 188 cm wingspan,” the DENR said.

The carcass will be sent to the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City for necropsy.

DENR-Soccsksargen accompanied its report with photos of the creature.

A dead Philippine eagle found in Sarangani on Monday, Sept. 19. (DENR photo)
A dead Philippine eagle found in Sarangani on Monday, Sept. 19. (DENR photo)

Local mainstream media outlets soon picked the story.

Collective grief for the dead raptor soon poured out on social media.

“Fly high, baby. Rest in peace,” one user said.

“Nakakasad na pati sila apektado at namamatay dahil rin naman sa nangyayari sa kapaligiran nila that mostly were man-made,” another user commented.

“Nakakalungkot kapag may mga nababalitaan akong mga ganito. Paubos na ang lahi ng Philippine eagle, sana alagaan at protektahan sila,” another user tweeted.

A few users thought that it might be best not to release the Philippine eagles in captivity for their safety.

“Mas mabuti pa yata ang nasa conservation center kaysa pakawalan dahil masasama na mga tao kung itong agila na to ay tinarget,” one user said.

“Tapos yung mga nasa captivity, pinapakawalan pa. Alam niyong may poachers… di din matuto,” another user commented.

The Philippine Eagle Foundation, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating Philippine eagles, has worked with the DENR, local residents and authorities in the preservation of the critically endangered bird since it was organized in 1987.

Its main approach to this goal is—to rescue, rehabilitate, and release.

In a National Geographic feature story, it was stated that the PEF had rescued more of these rare species of eagles during the tough COVID-19 lockdowns.

The organization was able to rescue a historic high of ten eagles between April 2020 and March 2021.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a governing body of nature conservation, cited forest destruction and uncontrolled hunting as the main threats to the lives of Philippine eagles.