Conservationists had reason to rejoice, as an endangered Philippine eagle chick was born in captivity on December 7th, marking an exciting moment for the species.
- There are only 600 Philippine eagles left in the wild
- The Philippine Eagle Foundation hosts 34 of the “critically endangered” species
- Hunting and killing the eagles is illegal, punished with prison and a fine
- The newly hatched chick is the 26th to be born in the last 23 years
It has been 2 years since the last one, but remarkable efforts on the part of the Philippine Eagle Foundation brought another of the magnificent bird to life. The yet unnamed baby chick is the first to be born in the last two years, and the 26th to be born in the last 23 years. It’s now one among the 34 Philippine eagles kept in a massive cage at the conservationist center. Their efforts have been gathered to properly provide protection for this “critically endangered” species that are the official birds of the nation.
Currently, there are only 600 remaining Philippine eagles thought to be in the wild. Their numbers have been shot down due to the destruction of their tropical habitat, and, more importantly, because of aggressive hunting. According to the foundation, 9 in every 10 Philippine eagles perish due to gunshots.
This is in spite of the fact that killing the critically endangered species can result in up to 12 years in prison, and a fine of over $21,000. Still, their population has been in decline, and the foundation is working hard at assuring their survival. The newly born chick is a beacon of hope. There were two other eggs laid this year within the center, but neither one hatched.
Curator for the foundation, Anna Mae Sumaya, stated that the chick offers them hope that they could aid the Philippine eagle population. The newly born baby eagle is the product of a pair that became mates in 2013. One of the characteristics that affects the population of their species is that they’re strictly monogamous. And, most pairings only produce on egg per year.
The unnamed chick took 56 days to hatch, and needed only a bit of an assistance in the beginning. After a few hours, it was able to break through the shell on its own. According to Sumaya, it’s now lifting its head, feeding, and even responding to some bird calls from the background. It’s active, attentive, and observant of everything around it. And, of course, a rather adorable puff of white and eyes.
The Philippine eagles are a remarkable species, known as one of the largest and most powerful there is worldwide. It can grow up to 3.35 feet in length, and weigh up to 17.6 pounds. Their wingspan can stretch out to 6.5 feet, believed to have the largest wing surface of all eagles around the globe.
Image source: mirror.co.uk