MAY 20, 2019 — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has signed a loan agreement with Singapore. Currency, however, was not the subject of exchange but a pair of Philippine eagles to help with the species’ conservation.
In the deal, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu has agreed to loan to the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) the endangered eagles, marking the first time the Philippines has entered into an agreement of such kind with a foreign institution.
“The Philippine eagle is a critically-endangered species. As such, it is an ideal ambassador of Philippine biodiversity, perfect for the purpose of generating awareness on the urgent need for conservation,” said Cimatu during the signing ceremony.
The two eagles, Geothermica and Sambisig, are products of the conservation breeding program of the Philippine Eagle Center based in Davao City.
On June 4, the pair will be sent to the 20.2-hectare Jurong Bird Park. Operated by the WRS, it is Asia’s largest bird park which serves as a home to 3,500 birds across 400 species.
With the deal, the DENR seeks international support for an in-situ conservation program for the Philippine eagle, along with biodiversity measures against risks such as disease outbreaks.
The Philippine eagle, the country’s national bird, has been listed as a critically-endangered species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
Wild populations of the species throughout the country remain within the 180-500 range. The primary threats to the Philippine eagles’ survival are hunting and loss of forest habitat.