Close to 40 research partners from the local government of Zamboanga City, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Zamboanga City Water District, and local universities participated in the training workshop on raptor research and management techniques, with focus on the highly endangered Philippine eagle. The Philippine Eagle Foundation and the USAID Protect Wildlife project hosted the activity.
By learning the fundamentals of Philippine eagle biology and ecology and acquiring practical skills in raptor identification and survey techniques, the participants started to build competence in Philippine eagle research and conservation in the city’s Pasonanca Natural Park.
The workshop formed part of the USAID-funded research by the Philippine Eagle Foundation that seeks to accelerate research on and conservation efforts for and improve collection of ecological data of Philippine eagles inside the natural park. The research also aims to delineate at least two eagle-nesting sites within the park, observe behaviors of its resident eagles and their young, and tag and monitor at least two Philippine eagles. The project distributed equipment such as scopes, binoculars, and headlamps to the Philippine Eagle Foundation team for research use.
Since 1977, at least 124 nesting attempts by 35 Philippine eagle pairs have been monitored and their breeding outcomes reported in the Mindanao region, but none of these breeding attempts has ever been recorded in Pasonanca National Park. Although there are recorded sightings of eagles within the park, a nesting pair has yet to be found. As a result, the population status of Philippine eagles in this protected area is one of the least understood in the region. (PWP/ Meg Yandoc)