CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — In line with the celebration of Philippine Eagle Week this June 4-10, possible sightings of the country’s largest bird of prey were reported flying over the Angat watershed in the province.
This was confirmed to RONDA Balita by Emelita Lingap, provincial environment, and natural resources officer for Bulacan of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Lingap said their office has already submitted a report to their regional office for assistance and confirmation if indeed it was a Philippine Eagle.
The said the sightings were reported last month and the environment office of Bulacan is currently putting up streamer posters with the message of “Save the Philippine Eagle” on strategic locations going to the Angat watershed
Bro. Martin Francisco, the chairperson of the Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society Inc., also said that they have been receiving such reports and only the DENR can make confirmations on such reports.
The DENR regional office in Central Luzon has come out with a statement that for decades, its wildlife experts and biologists have been monitoring the vast and diverse mountain ranges of Sierra Madre in the portion of Nueva Ecija and Aurora to confirm the presence of Philippine Eagle.
The regional office said that in the year 2000, local communities have observed what seems to be Philippine Eagle flying in the clear sky but unsure of its true identity.
The sightings further gave hope to conservationists to continue its quest in probing the existence of Philippine eagle in the mountain ranges of Sierra Madre.
In June 2016, an upland farmer found a juvenile female Philippine Eagle, approximately three years old, trapped in a snare or “silo” that was used in catching monkey inside the Aurora Memorial National Park (AMNP).
The bird’s existence in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Central Luzon has finally confirmed the presence of this critically endangered species.
It was turned over to the DENR-Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) based in Dingalan and was transferred to the custody of the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) where it was cared for until its release into the wild.
The bird of prey was given the name “Agawid,” an Ilocano word meaning “go home,” and was placed in an eagle dome cage and prevent it for engaging in any human interaction.
In May 2017, Agawid was transferred to a hack cage and brought back to a forest area in the national park of Aurora and undergoes a six-month hacking process to ensure his survival and adaptive capacity in the wild.
On October 4, 2017, was released in the wilderness of Aurora Memorial National Park coinciding with the confirmation of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
Agawid weighs approximately 5.31 kilograms just before its release and was fitted with a radio transmitter to help DENR authorities monitor the eagle’s activities.
In April 2018, DENR Aurora and BMB conducted a re-trapping and monitoring of Agawid to check its health condition and is being closely monitored to protect against illegal hunters and poachers as it is a crown jewel of Philippine biodiversity. (RONDA Balita Online News)