CAGAYAN DE ORO

Luczon: Losing our country - one eagle at a time

Pencalibur

PITHECOPHAGA jeffeyri -- or we know them as the Philippine Eagle.

This largest bird of prey, among its other eagle relatives in the world would become the Philippine's National Bird, replacing the maya bird since 1995.

It is not only Davao's symbol of pride, but to Mindanao and the whole country as well. And despite efforts of preserving its species for many decades, we Filipinos failed.

There were attempts made by the Philippine Eagle Foundation of bringing back captive eagles, and some of them were born inside cages, to its natural habitat in the forests in our country. But some would not survive much longer in the wild as some get killed by poachers and residents who are too ignorant to care.

Now, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are planning to send a pair of Philippine Eagles to Singapore in order to save their kind.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) already categorized the eagles as critically endangered, as they are facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

It is ironic, actually, we are sending off our eagles to a country far small than ours, just to survive -- a highly urbanized and modernized country than ours.

But do we have a choice? We had, but our stubbornness and undisciplined behavior in respecting with environmental laws remain the crucial problem why we are losing these eagles.

DENR, while its hands are full of dealing with environmental issues that often left them helpless in some aspects such as mining and illegal logging, made a perceptive call to let these eagles survive. Although, it's still not a guarantee how long it will last there.

This is a tragedy, by all means. We have come to a point in our time, where we can no longer protect our endemic species to our very own land. We are losing almost everything, from the mountains through foreign miners, to the seas through intrusive foreign vessels, and now the eagles who are supposed to proliferate our skies unharmed and bring balance to our ecosystems.

(nefluczon@gmail.com)


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