DAVAO CITY: Only two months after she was released into the wild, a Philippine Eagle named Pamana was found dead on Sunday by forest guards at the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in San Isidro town, Davao Oriental.
Pamana is being monitored by biologists of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) after it was released on June 12 at the Mt. Hamiguitan Range.
On August 10, the three-year-old eagle transmitted radio signals that indicated “mortality mode,” according to the Wildlife Section of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 11 (DENR).
The status meant the eagle has not been moving at least for the past six hours. Six days later, the eagle was found dead, its body already decomposing.
A necropsy was conducted by PEF’s veterinarian Dr. Ana Lascano at the foundation’s headquarters in Calinan, Davao City. She said she found a bullet wound on Pamana’s chest. An air gun pellet was also removed from the eagle’s body.
Lascano noted that the eagle sustained a gunshot wound leading to possible trauma. The eagle was shot twice but survived in 2012 in the mountains of Iligan City.
It was the 30th to be found dead or wounded out of an estimated population of just 400 pairs in the wild, which reside mainly on the large southern island of Mindanao, said PEF executive director Joseph Salvador.
“Unfortunately, one person with a gun thinks he can shoot anything,” he said.
Salvador added that no one has been arrested in relation to the latest incident.
Famed for its elongated nape feathers that form into a shaggy crest, the Philippine eagle, one of the world’s largest, grows up to a meter (3.3 feet) long with a two-meter wingspan.
The Swiss-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists the species as “critically endangered”, due to the depletion of its tropical rainforest habitat and hunting.
Philippine eagles kill macaques and other smaller animals for food and need vast tracts of forest as hunting grounds, routinely driving away rivals from their territory.
Gunshots accounted for nine out of every 10 Philippine eagle casualties recorded by the foundation over seven years.