Juvenile Philippine eagle spotted in Mt. Kitanglad Range

Estimated to be about three months old, thsi juvenile Philippine eagle was found at its nest in Mt. Kitanglad Range, Bukidnon.

Kitanglad Guard Volunteers (KGV) spotted a juvenile Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) in an identified active nesting site in Cinchona Forest Reserve, Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park (MKRNP), Bukidnon. Perched on top of a giant Igem tree (Podocarpus imbricatus), the bird, also known as monkey-eating eagle, was estimated to be about three months old. The patrollers recorded the presence of the bird in the area using CyberTracker, the mobile app used in the Lawin Forest and Biodiversity Protection System.

The MKRNP is an ASEAN Heritage Park protected mainly by indigenous people and people’s organizations using the Lawin system. The bird’s presence in the area is an indicator of good forest health. According to some of the guard volunteers, it was in 2015 when the parent eagles built their nest in the area, and they have used the same nesting site ever since.

Like the Lawin or Philippine hawk eagle, the Philippine monkey-eating eagle is also endemic to Philippine forests. It is listed as ‘critically endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is one of the most important species that USAID's B+WISER Program aims to protect through the Lawin system. Today, it is estimated that there are less than 500 of them in the wild. According to the Protected Area Office of Mt. Kitanglad, around five to six pairs are currently inhabiting the mountain range.