Preventing Philippine Eagle hunting: what are we missing?

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Jayson Ibanez
Anna Mae Sumaya
Giovanne Tampos
Dennis Salvador


Two pieces of information are minimally required to conserve endangered raptor species — (i) an estimate of its remaining global population, and (ii) the main factors responsible for its decline. Data suggest that no more than 400 adult pairs of the Critically Endangered Philippine Eagle could remain in the wild. As to what is causing population decline, shooting and hunting continue to be the primary factor while forest habitat loss is another. This paper reflects on the growing incident of human-caused deaths in Philippine Eagles, prominently on Mindanao Island where estimates suggest more than half of the eagle’s wild population exists. By analyzing data from eagle rescues, surveys, and field monitoring through radio and satellite tracking techniques, this paper shows that shooting and trapping is a “clear and present†danger which may potentially drive the population to extinction even when suitable forest habitats still exist. Cases of death within the last decade show that the nature and/or extent of law enforcement, conservation education, and population and habitat monitoring fall short of being effective deterrents to eagle persecution in the wild. We review emerging theories on wildlife crime and cases of community-based species conservation to justify a holistic and grounded approach to preventing eagle poaching as an alternative to the conservation status quo.


Article Details

Author Biographies

Jayson Ibanez, Philippine Eagle Foundation, Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City, 8000, Philippines and University of the Philippines-Mindanao, Bago-Oshiro, Mintal, Davao City 8000, Philippines

Director-Research and Conservation. Philippine Eagle Foundation

Senior Lecturer - University of the Philippines in Mindanao

Anna Mae Sumaya, Philippine Eagle Foundation, Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City, 8000, Philippines

Curator for Conservation Breeding - Philippine Eagle Foundation

Giovanne Tampos, Philippine Eagle Foundation, Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City, 8000, Philippines

Senior Biologist - Philippine Eagle Foundation

Dennis Salvador, Philippine Eagle Foundation, Philippine Eagle Center, Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City, 8000, Philippines

Executive Director - Philippine Eagle Foundation


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