Fondly called Geo and Sam, the two are the first breeding pair of Philippine Eagles to be sent outside the Philippines as part of a recovery plan.
ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP
Philippine Eagles presented to public in Singapore
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Eagles Geothermica and Sambisig are now in Singapore as part of a 10-year government-to-government recovery plan to propagate the endangered species.

Fondly called Geo and Sam, the two are the first breeding pair of Philippine Eagles to be sent outside the Philippines as part of a recovery plan. 

They were officially presented to the public and media at a ceremony hosted by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) at the Jurong Bird Park last Nov. 27.

Any future offspring of the eagles will be returned to the Philippines to contribute to the sustainability of the species’ population under human care, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Both Geo, 15, and Sam, 17, were hatched under human care at the Philippine Eagle Foundation, the DFA said.

“As ambassadors of Philippine biodiversity, the pair of Philippine Eagles here in Singapore shall champion the cause towards safeguarding ecosystems and species and improve the status of biodiversity,” Department of Environment and Natural Resources Assistant Secretary Ricardo Calderon said.

“Sambisig and Geothermica shall continue to remind us of our fight against illegal wildlife trade, particularly in the ASEAN region where these wonderful creatures are hunted,” he said.

The presentation ceremony for the eagles was held in conjunction with the ongoing year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Philippines-Singapore diplomatic relations.

The event was attended by Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph del Mar Yap, Group CEO of Mandai Park Holdings, parent entity of WRS; Mike Barclay, Mandai Park Holdings chairman Dhanabalan; Philippine Eagle Foundation vice chairman Jaime Bautista, embassy officers, staff and heads of attached agencies, other representatives of the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and Philippine Eagle Foundation.

Proclaimed as the National Bird by former president Fidel Ramos in 1995, the Philippine Eagle is considered the world’s largest extant eagle and one of the rarest raptors.

It is critically endangered, with only about 400 pairs surviving in the wild. The birds are in Singapore under a 10-year renewable conservation breeding loan agreement between the DENR and WRS.

PHILIPPINE EAGLE
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