Endangered Philippine eagle killed by falling branch

Jan 25, 2014
A seven-year-old Philippine eagle (Pithecopaga jefferyi) is pictured at the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) on the outskirts of Davao City, on the southern island of Mindanao, on April 9, 2011

A rare Philippine eagle, whose species is on the brink of extinction, was killed inside a conservation group's breeding centre when a branch fell on its cage, the centre said Saturday.

The 15-year-old male bird, named 'Arakan', was one of about 250 adult Philippine eagles remaining according to the Swiss-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which lists the species as "critically endangered".

Days of non-stop rain caused the huge branch of a tree to fall on Arakan's cage at the Philippine Eagle Foundation's centre in the southern island of Mindanao, crushing the raptor on January 18, the foundation said.

Numerous large trees are planted inside the centre because the is "trying to simulate the natural environment of the eagles," said the foundation's communications officer Beauxy Auxtero.

The eagle, also known as the 'Monkey-eating Eagle', is one of the largest birds of prey in the world and is the most critically endangered of all the world's raptors, the IUCN says on its website.

Famed for its elongated nape feathers that form into a shaggy crest, the Philippine eagle is found only on four of the Philippines' largest islands but mostly on Mindanao and grows to a metre (3.3 feet) with a two-metre wingspan.

The Philippine Eagle Foundation rescues stricken birds in the wild including Arakan who was turned over to the foundation in 1999. It also has a captive breeding programme.

The eagle, which is the country's national bird, is protected by law but authorities say the biggest threat is the loss of its habitat as humans encroach on the country's dwindling forest ranges.

Efforts to release rehabilitated birds into the wild have had mixed success.

In October last year, a juvenile male was found apparently shot to death just two months after it was freed by the foundation.

Explore further: Philippines probes death of rare eagle released in wild

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Offspring for first captive-bred Philippine eagle

Feb 14, 2013

The first Philippine eagle bred in captivity has sired her first offspring, in what conservationists said Thursday was a small victory in efforts to save one of the world's rarest raptors.

Near-extinct Philippine eagle shot dead

Oct 07, 2011

An endangered Philippine eagle, one of only a few hundred left in the world, has been shot dead, a conservation group that had previously rescued the bird said Friday.

Trapping threatens near-extinct Philippine eagle

Apr 28, 2011

Conservationists raised alarm Thursday over the future of the near-extinct Philippine eagle after several maimed or diseased birds were retrieved from captivity over recent months.

Online plan to boost Philippine eagle numbers

Feb 28, 2013

The mating rituals of two captive Philippine eagles are being broadcast live over the Internet to rally global support for saving of the world's rarest and biggest raptors, conservationists said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher

Apr 17, 2014

One day about eight years ago, Katia Silvera, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, and her father were on a field trip in a mountainous area in central Panama when they stumbled ...

In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises

Apr 17, 2014

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but re ...

Fear of the cuckoo mafia

Apr 17, 2014

If a restaurant owner fails to pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Meth mouth menace

Something was up in Idaho. While visiting a friend in Athol, a small town north of Coeur d'Alene, Jennifer Towers, director of research affairs at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, noticed ...