This video is about the Philippine eagle.
From Wildlife Extra:
Endangered Bird Hunting in the Philippines
WWF advocates rule of law in dealing with RP game hunting
By Gregg Yan
Worldwide, more than 130 bird species, from the flightless Dodo of Mauritius to the gargantuan Elephant Bird of Madagascar, have become extinct or been killed off since the 16th century. Of 10,000 surviving species, 10 percent are threatened with extinction, and the Philippines are no exception: the Luzon Sarus Crane, Ticao Tarictic Hornbill and numerous others have not been seen in generations.
Endemic to the country, Philippine Mallards (Anas luzonica) frequent rich wetlands, feeding on small fish, shrimps, insects and vegetation. Less than 10,000 remain due to incessant hunting, prompting the IUCN to classify them globally as vulnerable.
Remarkably rich in birdlife, the Philippines still has more than 600 species of resident and migratory birds, of which about 190 are endemic. Habitat loss, hunting and incursions by introduced species such have drastically reduced populations.
More than 200 Philippine birds are included in the World Conservation Union‘s red list of critically-endangered species, including the Philippine Cockatoo, the Negros Fruit-Dove and our national bird, the Philippine Eagle, considered by some experts as the largest eagle on earth.
Birds play a vital role in the environment, especially of the forests, by eating fruits and dispersing the seeds over wide tracts of land. Similarly, some nectar-feeders such as the Philippine Olive-backed Sunbird are important pollinators. Seabirds improve the ecology of small islands by producing large amounts of guano which enriches island soil – allowing less adaptable plants to root.
Bird Hunting Holidays
Thus the recent spate of web adverts for bird hunting in the Philippines comes as a great shock to conservation institutes, including the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP), a group which has collated data on resident and migratory birds since 2003.
WWF strongly espouses the rule of law in dealing with these hunters, under the context of protecting natural resources.
WWF Project Manager Yeb Sano said ‘The spirit upon which our environmental regulations were crafted reflects the critical status of our natural resources, dwindling as they are and on the verge of irreversible collapse, compromising its ability to fend for future and even this generation. Birds and all wildlife have important roles to play in the circle of life and decimating their populations would threaten the viability of all ecosystems.’
‘The recent exposure of groups hunting threatened species illustrates the huge chasm between policies and their implementation, as well as the great need to educate our people on crucial imperatives to protect our environment. In a democracy built on ideals of freedom symbolized by an unshackled bird, it is ironic that gun-toting groups have been able to hunt down threatened birds – deliberately violating national law.’ Some of the photos show carcasses of the Philippine Mallard (Anas luzonica). With less than 10,000 left alive, the species is listed as vulnerable under the DENR and IUCN.
The penalty for killing vulnerable wildlife in the Philippines is imprisonment of two to four years and / or a fine of P30,000 – P300,000 ($750 – $7500). The law further states that unless otherwise allowed in accordance with the Act: it shall be unlawful for any person to wilfully and knowingly exploit wildlife resources and their habitats: collecting, hunting or possessing wildlife, their by-products and derivatives. Mere possession of these species, evidenced by trophy pictures posted on websites, is already punishable by law.
WWF duly respects all groups – including recreational shooting teams. However, environmental laws must be respected and wholly applied to protect what remains of our natural wealth.
It’s Philippine Eagle Week and it is an opportune time to know about our national bird which, incidentally is also the largest and most endangered eagle in the world. The Philippine Eagle Pithecophaga jefferyi is endemic or unique to our country and can only be found in Sierra Madre in Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao: here.
On the edge of extinction, Philippine eagles being picked off one-by-one: here.
ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2010) — Recent work by Dr. David Lohman, assistant professor of biology at The City College of New York, suggests that the Philippines, considered by biologists to be a “biodiversity hotspot,” could have more unique species of birds than previously thought. If that proves to be the case, it could have important ramifications for conservation practices there: here.