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The Philippine Eagle Foundation, Inc. (PEFI) together with the USAID-Protect Wildlife, conducted the training on Research and Conservation of Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) for personnel from the DENR, LGU Zamboanga, Academe, and Zamboanga City Water District Forest Guards to capacitate the individuals focusing on the monitoring of Philippine Eagle within Region IX. The training was held at Yakan Hall, Garden Orchid Hotel, Zamboanga City on September 16-18, 2019.

The Director for Research and Conservation, Dr. Jayson Ibañez, together with his team, were the resource persons of the said training. The training discussed raptor research and management techniques with focus on our National Bird, the Philippine Eagle. The topics include: Philippine Eagle biology and ecology and conservation status, and Eagle survey techniques by Dr. Ibañez; Philippine Eagle behavioral studies (ethogram) by Ms. Lohwana Halaq; Raptor/Eagle identification techniques by Biologist Tristan Senarillos; Physical examination of rescued or trapped Philippine Eagles for telemetry and basic first aid for injured Eagles by Resident Veterinarian Dr. Ana Lascano; Philippine Eagle trapping, tagging and radio-telemetry studies by Senior Biologist Rowell Taraya; and Philippine Eagle rescue and restraint protocols/conservation breeding overview by Mr. Domingo Tadena. An open forum thereafter followed between the resource persons and the participants.

Aside from the inside-the-classroom lecture, the resource persons conducted hands-on activities to demonstrate the actual and proper techniques for Raptor/Eagle handling at Banuang area, inside the Pasonanca Natural Park where the Wildlife Holding Facility is located. Raptors under rehabilitation in the holding facility were used for the actual demonstration.

Mr. Tadena demonstrated the protocols and techniques for raptor capture and restraint by using the raptor, Philippine Serpent Eagle (Spilornis holospilus). Dr. Lascano illustrated the proper physical examination for rescued or trapped raptors for telemetry and basic first aid for injured eagles.

Senior Biologist Taraya showed the techniques on Philippine Eagle trapping, tagging and installation of radio telemetry by using another raptor species, the Pinsker’s Hawk Eagle (Nisaetus pinskeri). The said raptor also undergone a physical examination and was banded with Leg Band number 09 WSE 17Y.

The highlight of the hands-on training was the release of the banded Pinsker’s Hawk Eagle inside Pasonanca Natural Park. It is the first Pinsker’s Hawk Eagle released with a satellite-based tracking device in the Philippines. (Vanessa Joy G. Dael)