THE Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) said the country needs more raptor researchers since raptor killings are increasing in the country, fearing it will affect the balance in the ecosystem.
PEF conservation administrator Rai Gomez said the country only has less than 10 raptor researchers and three of them are from PEF and focusing on Davao region.
Raptors are predatory birds that hunt and feed on rodents and other small animals, being considered an important element in the ecology as they can detect environmental changes efficiently as compared to other animals.
"Other Asian countries have more than 30 raptor researchers whose job is to monitor the routines and status of these birds, and protect their welfare from any human threats," Gomez said.
With less than 10 researchers in the country, she said it will be difficult to ensure the safety and security of these predatory birds.
The Philippine Hawk Eagle, for instance, is considered endangered due to hunting and selling in the market. The same fate with the Buzzards, medium-large raptors that are being eaten by people in some parts of the country but are being protected in Taiwan and other countries.
"Raptor researches in the Philippines are all about the Philippine Eagle. We have more than 30 raptor species in the country that also need to be noticed and protected," Gomez said.
PEF, she said, is encouraging biology students to consider being raptor researchers as a profession as the country needs them.
The 10th Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Symposium, the biggest gathering of Asian raptor researchers annually, will be co-headed by PEF on October 18 to 22 at the Ateneo de Davao University.
The event will be participated by various researchers on predatory birds.
"Philippines will benefit from this as we can learn information about the raptors we have in the country but haven't been studied," Gomez said.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on October 11, 2017.
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