New protection areas set out for Philippine Eagle
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - June 13, 2013 - 11:30pm

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - The government has identified new distribution and conservation areas for the Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) as part of the ongoing efforts to improve the chances for survival of the critically endangered bird, a senior government official said today.

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said that his office has recognized the Cordillera Mountains in northern Philippines, Iligan City in southern province of Lanao del Norte, and central province of Leyte as the new sites for the bird.

He said the decision came after sightings of the majestic eagle in Apayao and Leyte provinces were reported earlier this year by the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) and the University of the Philippines (UP), respectively.

Saying these sightings offered "new beacons of hope" for the Philippine Eagle, Paje called for a more conscious effort among Filipinos to ensure the continued existence of the so-called " Haring Ibon" or King of Birds.

"The citizenry should manifest its stance to uphold what this charismatic and magnificent bird depicts -- the Filipinos' insatiable desire and aspiration to rise and soar against the challenges they are faced with," he said.

The Philippine Eagle, the country's national bird since 1995 and once called as "the world's noblest flier" by American aviator Charles Lindbergh, is considered critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Birdlife International for its diminishing numbers in the wild, which is mostly caused by habitat destruction and poaching.

The Philippine Eagle sighting was first documented in 1896 in Paranas Island off Samar province. Its natural habitats such as Northern Sierra Madre, Mt. Kitanglad, and Mt. Apo have been declared as protected areas.  
 

APAYAO AND LEYTE CHARLES LINDBERGH CONSERVATION OF NATURE AND BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL CORDILLERA MOUNTAINS ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY RAMON PAJE HARING IBON ILIGAN CITY INTERNATIONAL UNION KING OF BIRDS PHILIPPINE EAGLE
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