The Philippine Eagle: The Largest Eagle in the World
Status: //CRITICALLY ENDANGERED//
Population Estimate: 180 to 500 individuals ↓DECREASING↓
Recently declared the national bird of the Philippines, the Philippine Eagle is found exclusively on 4 islands in the Philippines. Despite this, Philippine Eagle populations have sharply decline over the last three generations being reduced to an estimated 750 individuals maximum. Some more conservative population estimates put eagle populations as low as 250 individuals. in the wild.
Philippine Eagles are monogamous and only breed every 2-5 years as they take a long time raising their young. In fact, their offspring tend to depend on adults for up to a year and a half! This long despondency period makes chisk highly vulnerable to predators and temperature changes. Below, you can watch the trailer for the Cornell film, Bird of Prey, which focuses on conservation and education efforts surrounding the Philippine Eagle exclusively.
The Philippine Eagle is threatened by a variety of things, most significantly deforestation. They rely heavily on lowland forest to hunt and raise their young, but agricultural expansion is destroying much of this habitat. Commercial timber harvest has caused major fragmentation of populations with Old growth forests being cut down incredibly fast. Besides this, the eagle is also threatened by various traps, pesticide accumulation, and unregulated hunting.
Previously thought to only prey on monkeys, the Philippine Eagle was known as the “Monkey-eating Eagle.”
With a wingspan of 7 feet and the average weight of a female being 20 pounds, they are thought to be the largest and heaviest species of Eagle in the world.
They can live up to 40+ years in captivity.
Philippine Eagles are incredibly agile despite their large size making them apex predators.
Individuals reach adulthood at about 5 to 7 years.
They are fiercely territorial and introverted.
Philippine Eagles are significant to many indigenous groups, playing a role in their oral history and culture.
How You Can Help
By donating to the Philippine Eagle Foundation, your money goes towards the research and conservation work done by the Foundation. More specifically, they have a variety of responsibilities including a captive breeding program which works to bring back the wild populations of Philippine Eagles. Additionally, they fund research programs which work to tag and monitor wild populations to better understand the species as a whole. Finally, they also do work to educate local communities about the importance of the Philippine Eagle to the environment and culture of the islands.