Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Philippine Eagle pair swoops into Singapore next month

SINGAPORE — A pair of critically endangered Philippine Eagles will arrive in Singapore next month, and the hope is that they will go forth and multiply.

Philippine Eagle pair swoops into Singapore next month

Geothermica, a 15-year-old male Philippine Eagle, is one half of the pair that will be on loan.

SINGAPORE — A pair of critically endangered Philippine Eagles will arrive in Singapore next month, and the hope is that they will go forth and multiply.  

The male eagle, called Geothermica, is 15 years old while the female, Sambisig, is 16. 

On a conservation breeding loan from the Philippines, the birds were carefully selected to be the “best genetic match”, announced the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) on Monday (May 20).

After they arrive, they will spend a few months settling in before being introduced to each other. Both birds were hatched under human care at the Philippine Eagle Foundation in Davao City.

The loan, which is for 10 years and renewable, is part of the recovery plan for the species. WRS will announce when visitors will be able to see the majestic birds of prey at a later date.

About 400 pairs of the eagle are estimated to be left in the wild, where threats include habitat loss and hunting. They are found only on the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao in the Philippines.

Geothermica and Sambisig will be the first breeding pair established outside of the Philippines. This will help ensure that there will be Philippines Eagles left for breeding, should any disease outbreak wipe out the population in its native country.

Under the loan agreement – signed on Monday by Jurong Bird Park and the Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources – future offspring will be returned to the Philippines to contribute to the captive population’s genetic health, said WRS.

The loan was first announced last month by Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources during its Earth Day celebration.

The Jurong Bird Park began preparing for the birds’ arrival earlier this year.

Caretakers spent time with the Philippine Eagle Foundation and local keepers to learn how to take care of the birds – one of the largest and rarest eagles in the world, with a wingspan of about 2.1m.

Together with Jurong Bird Park’s deputy head keeper Peter Teo, two staff from the foundation will fly to Singapore with the eagles. The team that will take care of them has over 15 years’ experience in total, and is the same team currently responsible for the world’s largest collection of South-east Asian hornbills in the park, said WRS.

According to the Philippine Eagle Foundation, the eagles — the national bird of the Philippines and whose scientific name is Pithecophaga jefferyi — take five to seven years to mature sexually. They can live for more than 40 years in captivity, but probably less in the wild.

The foundation’s executive director, Mr Dennis Salvador, told TODAY previously that the Philippine Eagle is difficult to breed for many reasons. “They are very territorial, very picky with their mates but also very loyal and stay paired for life,” he said.

A pair of eagles lays only a single egg every two years. They wait for their offspring to make it on their own (which usually takes about two years) before producing another offspring.

Related topics

Jurong Bird Park eagles

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa