Philippine Eagle

Description and biology

The Philippine eagle, also known as the monkey–eating eagle, is one of the rarest and most endangered birds of prey in the world. A huge and powerful bird, it measures 34 to 40 inches (86 to 102 centimeters) long. Its wings are short and its tail is long.

The eagle hunts for monkeys from treetops or by gliding over the forest canopy. It also feeds on large birds and small deer. Its home range can vary greatly, from 5 to 40 square miles (13 to 104 square kilometers).

Habitat and current distribution

The Philippine eagle is found on the Philippine islands of Leyte, Luzon, Mindanao, and Samar. Its primary habitat is rain forest. Biologists (people who study living organisms) estimate that less than 200 Philippine eagles currently exist.

History and conservation measures

Hunting and trapping were the initial causes for the Philippine eagle’s decline. While these threats are still very real, deforestation has become an even greater threat.

The forests of the Sierra Madre Mountains on the northeast coast of Luzon provide the largest remaining habitat. Unless conservation measures are undertaken, logging of the forests will continue and the Philippine eagle’s habitat will be destroyed.

Captive–breeding programs for the Philippine eagle have been established. In 1992, the first chick was hatched in captivity.