Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

* Please click the continent to see the endangered species of our neighborhood.
Asia
Pithecophaga jefferyi * To See the original image, please click the image
Shared by : Jayson Villeza (Philippines)
Region : Philippines
Status : Critically Endangered
Introduction
The Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is the world's largest eagle, and one of the most threatened raptors. The male and female Philippine eagle are similar in appearance, possessing a creamy white belly and underwing, whilst the upperparts are a rich chocolate-brown, with a paler edge. The long feathers of the head and nape form a distinctive, shaggy crest and are creamy-buff in colour with black streaks. Philippine eagle chicks have white down, and juveniles are similar in appearance to adults but have white margins to the feathers on the back and upperwing. The Philippine eagle has heavy, yellow legs with large, powerful claws, and the large, deep bill is a bluish-grey. Pithecophaga jefferyi is endemic to the Philippines, where it is known from eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. Mindanao supports the bulk of the population, with recent research estimating 82-233 breeding pairs (Bueser et al. 2003). Estimates from other islands are of six pairs on Samar and perhaps two on Leyte, and Luzon may have very few left but these should be considered precautionary figures (Collar et al. 1999).

It inhabits primary dipterocarp forest, particularly in steep terrain, sometimes frequenting secondary growth and gallery forest (but not occupying open canopy forest), from lowlands to at least 1,800 m. Estimates based on the distribution of nests in Mindanao suggest that each pair covers an average of 133 km2, including an average of 68 km2 of forest (Miranda et al. 2008). On Mindanao, eagles begin nesting from September to December in primary and disturbed forest, with some differences in the timing of breeding between Mindanao and Luzon (Ibanez et al. 2003). A complete breeding cycle lasts two years, with successful pairs raising one offspring (Ibanez et al. 2003). Birds form a monogamous bond for life with sexual maturity for females at around five years and for males at around seven years (J. Ibanez in litt. 2008).

The young fledge after c.4-5 months, but stay in the nest vicinity for almost a year and a half (J. Ibanez in litt. 2008) Captive birds have reached more than 40 years of age (J. Ibanez in litt. 2008). This long-lived species qualifies as Critically Endangered because it has an extremely small population, as a result of extremely rapid declines in the past three generations (56 years), owing to extensive deforestation. Their role in the ecosystem is that they keep the population of animals considered as pest such as rats and snakes from exponential growth. Major threats that affected the productivity of this species are: accumulation of pesticides, hunting and deforestation. The Philippine eagle is protected by law in the Philippines and occurs in a number of protected areas international trade and movement of this species is also restricted and controlled by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).

References :
Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) (May 2015) http://www.arkive.org/philippine-eagle/pithecophaga-jefferyi/ PHILIPPINE MONKEY-EATING EAGLE (May 2015) http://www.bagheera.com/inthewild/van_anim_phleagle.htm BirdLife International 2013. Pithecophaga jefferyi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. . Downloaded on 25 May 2015.

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