The Ateneo Biological Organization - eXplore. eXperience. eXcel. advocates for the survival of the dwindling population of the Philippine eagle through sustainable conservation programs by the government and NGOs, effective information dissemination and proper use of forest resources.
Recently, there were sightings of the Philippine eagle in Leyte and Apayao; however, their population remains critically endangered. As a symbol of national pride, it is only proper to advance effective programs for its conservation.
Why is the Philippine eagle critically endangered?
The Philippine eagle is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN due to its “extremely small population.” Current estimates suggest that less than 400 pairs remain in the country. Major threats to its survival include the destruction of its habitat due to deforestation, mining and rampant hunting.
What efforts have been undertaken for its conservation?
In the year 1995, former President Fidel Ramos signed a decree proclaiming the Philippine Eagle as the our national bird. This declaration, together with several Philippine postage stamps that featured the Philippine eagle, increased information dissemination on the said species. Aside from that, Sierra Madre, Mt. Kitanglad, and Mt. Apo, were proclaimed as protected areas, to intensify the preservation of its natural habitats. Several NGOs for its conservation were also established and a few years ago, Conservation International - Philippines brought together five of these NGOs as the Alliance for Philippine Eagle Conservation.
What can be done?
Understanding what exists is key to its protection. Thus, in order to combat those threats, effective information dissemination is first needed to raise public awareness. Also, a review and proper enforcement of government policies on logging and mining will help in saving its habitat. Lastly, the sustainability of community-based conservation programs, both by the government and NGOs, must be ensured to guarantee long-term conservation of the species.
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