The Philippine Eagle Project’s beginnings included observations of Philippine Eagles in the Agusan-Surigao area of Mindanao. It was there that the then called Haribon Society observed nesting behaviors of Philippine Eagles.
In 2014 Haribon biologists explored the forests of Mt. Mingan in Nueva Ecija, following a tip from a group of botanists indicating the presence of Philippine Eagles or Haring Ibon in the area.
The last time a Philippine Eagle was sighted in Nueva Ecija was in 1978. More than 30 years later, Haribon biologists verified the existence of Haring Ibon after searching for several days; spotting 2 adults, and 1 young juvenile. After notifying nearby communities in the municipality of Gabaldon, residents named the juvenile “Gab-E”, short for “Gabaldon eagle”.
Conservation efforts started with a Haring Ibon Survey that was conducted in Mt. Mingan. Based on the survey results, the municipality of Gabaldon drafted and formulated their Critical Habitat Management Plan (CHMP) for the Haring Ibon.
We conducted a perception survey in key municipalities (Gabaldon of Nueva Ecija, Dingalan and San Luis of the province of Aurora) and their respective communities surrounding Mt. Mingan. We then organized 3 community-based Wildlife Enforcement Officers/Bantay Gubat groups in 3 municipalities covering Mt Mingan to conduct training on forest law enforcement together with partner LGUs and the DENR.
Biophysical surveys on Haring Ibon were also conducted along with Focus Group Discussions (FGD) with partner communities of the 3 LGUs. The results served as a basis for crafting the CHMP and the Forest Protection and Law Enforcement Plans (FLEPS) of the 3 partner municipalities by their respective groups of Bantay Gubat/Wildlife Enforcement Officers.
Haribon’s efforts in conserving the Philippine Eagle continues to contribute to global targets in the international arena, including the Preventing Extinctions program of BirdLife International indicating that governments and the private sector must apply effective safeguard measures incorporating Important Biodiversity Areas (IBAs); such as that found on Mt. Mingan (also known as Mount Dingalan IBA PH 018).
The Philippine Eagle Project started during the early days of “The Haribon Society,” and continues on to this day with a new campaign to protect the Haring Ibon of Mt. Mingan. With support from local and international supporters, and partnership with local stakeholders, Haribon continues the push to prevent the extinction of the National Bird.
The project aims to increase our knowledge and understanding of the biological and ecological characteristics of Haring Ibon in the Sierra Madre and raise awareness on its conservation.
BirdLife International, BirdLife International-Tokyo, Toyota Foundation, German International Cooperation (GIZ), Zoological Society of London-Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) Fellowship.