29th Philippine eaglet hatched after 5 years

Edith Regalado - The Philippine Star
29th Philippine eaglet hatched after 5 years
The still unnamed hatchling is the 29th Philippine Eagle bred in captivity, emerging from its egg on Dec. 4 at 1:16 p.m
STAR / File

DAVAO CITY , Philippines — The Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) produced the 29th Philippine eaglet bred in captivity five years after Sakura, the last eaglet, was hatched at the Center in Barangay Malagos, Calinan district, this city.

The new eaglet is an offspring of parents Ariela, a female Philippine Eagle adopted by Ariela Marketing Co. in 2015, and the male MVP Matatag, adopted by Philippine Long Distance Telecommunications Corp. in 2017.

The late eagle Pag-asa was the first ever Philippine Eagle bred in captivity that was hatched by the PEC in 1992. At least 27 other eaglets were later produced by the PEC under its captive breeding program until the hatching of the 29th eaglet last Saturday.

The PEC’s captive breeding program was not able to produce any eaglet over the past five years because the eagles at the center’s gene pool have grown old. Eagles Ariela and MVP Matatag are from a younger batch of raptors.

The hatching of the 29th eaglet is a welcome development, as the population of the Philippine Eagle, the country’s national bird, continues to dwindle, with only less than a thousand including those sighted in the wild.

According to Dennis Salvador, executive director of the non-profit Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), “Chick No. 29” was hatched on Dec. 4 at 1:16 p.m., 25 hours and 13 minutes since it first poked its beak and cracked the egg. The eaglet’s pip-to-hatch time is reportedly the fastest on record in the PEC’s captive-breeding program.

“The hatching of this chick is a culmination of all our hard work and perseverance in an incredibly tough time in the conservation mission. We share this milestone with the Filipino people who have supported us through their donations and helped keep the PEC a safe home for our national bird amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Salvador said.

Salvador shared that the egg was laid on Oct. 10, 2021. Both Ariela and MVP Matatag are rescued eagles from the wild and were first introduced for pairing in February 2019. They are one of the three Philippine Eagle natural pairs under the care of the PEF.

“The steadfast support of our Philippine Eagle adopters is invaluable. Their years of trust and generosity bolstered the crucial work of our keepers at the PEC that led to this hatching,” added Salvador.
The chick is kept in the PEC’s incubation and rearing laboratory and is closely monitored around the clock by members of the PEF’s Conservation Breeding Program.



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