|A file photo of a juvenile Pinsker's hawk-eagle. Photo from the Facebook page of the Philippine Eagle Foundation
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) has made a breakthrough again by producing the first-ever Pinsker’s hawk-eagle bred in captivity at the Malagos eagle center in this city.
The Pinsker’s hawk-eagle (Nisaetus Pinskeri) is a genus of eagles found mainly in tropical Asia and said to be endemic in the Philippines.
The new chick was reportedly hatched last April 2, after undergoing an incubation period of 48 days.
The Pinsker’s hawk-eagle is considered endangered due to the loss of its natural habitat, the sub-tropical, lowland forest.
Earlier studies placed the bird within the genus Spizaetus but recent molecular studies showed that they were closer to the genus Ictinaetus.
These birds are slender-bodied, medium-sized hawk eagles with rounded wings, long feathered legs, barred wings, crests and usually adapt to forest habitats.
“Nothing is known about its breeding biology. That is why we did continuous research on the bird, which resulted in the first-ever Pinsker’s hawk-eagle bred in captivity in the country,” PEF executive director Dennis Salvador told The STAR.
Salvador said the Philippine eagle center in Malagos also conducts studies on breeding birds other than the Philippine eagle.
Pag-asa, now 20 years old, was the first Philippine eagle bred in captivity at the Malagos center, which is run by the PEF, a non-profit organization.
Salvador said fast-diminishing habitats and the destruction of forests largely contribute to the decreasing population of these birds.
He said the survival of these birds is threatened, thus the need to make sure that their species will continue to exist.
Salvador said the Malagos eagle center will continue to monitor the status and progress of the newly hatched Pinsker’s hawk-eagle in order to improve the breeding techniques.
“In the past 20 years, the PEF’s conservation breeding program has gained significant advancement that will make it possible for us to augment the eagle population. The real challenge, however, is the Pinsker’s hawk-eagle’s survival in the wild,” he said.