Focusing on the Philippine Eagle for the conservation of nature
The Philippine Eagle Foundation is a private, non-stock, non-profit organization dedicated to saving the endangered Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) and its rainforest habitat. Organized in 1987, it had before that time been operating as a project undertaking research, rehabilitation, and captive breeding. Staffed by highly trained and dedicated personnel, it has today evolved into the country’s premiere organization for the conservation of raptors.
The Philippine Eagle Foundation firmly believes that the fate of our vanishing Philippine Eagle, the health of our environment, and the quality of Philippine life are inextricably linked. We are therefore committed to promote the survival of the Philippine Eagle, the biodiversity it represents, and the sustainable use of our forest resources for future generations to enjoy.
In 1965, Dr. Dioscoro Rabor, a noted Filipino scientist alerted the world of the bird’s endangered status. Ignored by most of his compatriots, he was able to elicit the support of the famous aviator, Charles A. Lindbergh who helped champion the cause. In 1969, the Monkey-Eating Eagle Conservation Program was established.Interest in pursuing the program soon diminished with the death of Charles Lindbergh. During this period, work on the eagle was sustained through the initiatives of Peace Corps volunteers in cooperation with the Philippine government’s Parks and Wildlife Office.In 1977, one of the Peace Corps volunteers, Robert S. Kennedy returned to the Philippines to study the eagle further. He also successfully lobbied for the Office of the President to change the species’ name from “Monkey-eating Eagle” to its present name, the Philippine Eagle.In 1987, the project started operating as a private institution. Financial constraints did not hinder the staff from pursuing its mission. They waived their salaries for over a year in order to feed the eagles, ensure that fieldwork continued and carry on the great mission of saving the magnificent bird.
The dedication and effort invested into this work eventually paid off. In 1992, the Foundation successfully produced the first two Philippine Eagles hatched and bred in captivity. The birth of Pag-asa (Hope) and Pagkakaisa (Unity) caught the world’s attention and eventually led to the subsequent outpouring of public support and sympathy that helped revitalize the effort to save the species.
There is no action-oriented organization in the country focused on saving the Philippine Eagle and its habitat other than the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF).
The Philippine Eagle is ecologically important to people and yet vulnerable to human activities. Conservation of the Philippine Eagle contributes to sustainable development and improves the quality of human life by maintaining biological diversity and environmental health.
The PEF’s work helps develop public understanding of wildlife and natural resources issues thereby generating grassroots support for national policy decisions.
The PEF’s holistic approach to wildlife management presents a model for replication in the international arena. The PEF facilitates participation by individuals, corporations, non-government organizations, schools and communities through its unique conservation initiatives.
The Philippine Eagle is an important natural and cultural heritage. It is a powerful symbol by which our people can rally around for the conservation of our natural resources.