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Philippine Eagle: Species Overview, Conservation and Threats

The Philippine Eagle is in the family Accipitridae. This includes hawks, kites, and old world vultures. It can grow to about three feet long. This bird is one of the largest animals in the jungle. They are brown with feathers on their head that look like hair. They have yellow-eyes with black pupils. This makes them hard to spot in the wild because humans will hunt them for eating livestock or their eggs.

The Philippine Eagle is endangered and there are not many alive. There are many reasons for this, but one of the main issues is because humans hunt them. One other reason is that they cannot find food because there are animals in their territory. People have been destroying the Philippine jungle’s natural habitat by cutting down trees and building roads. This means that these species can’t find their food anymore because many animals have gone away. This bird used to be found all across the Philippines Islands until people started destroying their home.

Status: Critically endangered

Known as: Philippine Eagle, Monkey-eating eagle

Estimated numbers left in wild: 250 to 750 birds


Philippine Eagle
HCruz985, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Philippine eagle is the world’s largest eagle with a wingspan of up to 2 meters, a body length of 90 centimetres, and a weight of 4.5 to 8 kilograms.

In addition to its size, the Philippine eagle is also distinguished by what might be called a ‘mane’ of brown and white feathers on its head. This mane can be raised or lowered at will. The underside of this eagle is white except for the primary and secondary wing feathers and tail, and the upper side is dark brown. The beak and facial mask are black.


As the Philippine eagle’s alternative names suggests, this eagle does eat monkeys and other small primates (including flying lemurs) as its preferred diet.

However, the Philippine eagle also eats bats, snakes, flying squirrels, and rats. These eagles have also been known to take small deer. They will hunt either alone or in pairs, using one of the eagles as a distraction while the second is able to ambush the prey.

The Philippine eagle is monogamous, with pairs mating for life. If one of the pair dies, however, the surviving eagle will usually find another companion.

A pair of these eagles requires about 100 square kilometres of territory, although there is usually some territorial overlap between pairs.

While larger birds of prey are usually proportionately slower than hawks, the Philippine eagle’s flying speed corresponds more closely to that of the faster hawks.


Philippine Eagle

Breeding season for the Philippine eagle occurs in September, and a nest is built high in the canopy of the jungle. The pair produces only one egg, and this chick will remain with the parents for approximately one year. Due to the length of time involved in rearing the young, these eagles only nest every two years.


As this eagle’s name indicates, it is found exclusively in the Philippines, and only on the islands of Luzon, Leyte, Mindanao, and Samar. The majority of these birds are found on the island of Mindanao.

Philippine eagles prefer to live in dense woodland and avoid both open forests and grasslands. However, its range includes both lowland forests and heavily wooded zones in higher elevations, and it has been found at 1,800 meters. This eagle actually prefers areas with a steep landscape.

About Philippine Eagle

Philippine Eagle
The Wandering Angel, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Philippine Eagles are birds that are endangered and very large in size. They can grow to be up to 3 feet long and have brown feathers on their head that make them look like hair from a distance. Their eyes are yellow with black pupils, which make it hard for hunters to spot them in the wild.

The Philippine Eagle is indigenous to the Philippines. It is hunted for meat and eggs, as well as trees being cut down, making it difficult to find food. Because they are killed by people and there aren’t enough trees, it is endangered. It used to be discovered in Philippine forests in the past. However, people have been removing trees and building roads.

There are no animals left for Philippine Eagles to eat. This means that they can’t find food. Birds like these are endangered because people destroy their habitat and also hunt them.

These species are almost extinct in the wild but still exist in zoos. They are brown birds with long feathers on their head that make them look like hair when seen from a distance.

Philippine Eagle Habitat

The Philippine eagle lives on four different islands. Mindanao has the greatest number of breeding pairs, with 82 to 233. On Samar Island, there are six pairs, whereas two each can be found on Leyte and Luzon Islands. It’s found in Northern Sierra Madre National Park on Luzon, Mount Apo, Mount Malindang, and Mount Kitanglad National Parks in Mindanao.

Eagles live in forests with dipterocarp and mid montane trees. They live in steep areas of the forest. The elevation ranges from lowlands to mountains of over 1800 meters (5,900 feet).Only 9,220 km2 of old growth forest remains in the bird’s range. That is about 2,280,000 acres. The total area that this bird lives in is 146,000 km2 or 56 sq mi.

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Philippine Eagle is endangered

Philippine Eagle
Sinisa Djordje Majetic, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Philippine eagle is a critically endangered species. In the wild, there are fewer than 500 birds remaining. The natural habitat of bird is under threat.

Deforestation has played a role in the species’ population decrease, although one of the most significant reasons is due to logging since they nest high in the trees and rely on trees for food and shelter.

The Philippine Eagle will usually hunt pigs, monkeys, birds, and insects that live in the trees or near rivers. The species is threatened because deforestation and poaching. Sellers want to put them in zoos or sell them illegally.

To safeguard these species, their habitats are being preserved to safeguard their natural habitat.

The Philippine Eagles are kept in huge cages for a few months before being reintroduced back into the wild so they don’t learn how to hunt and consume on their own. They are fed until they are ready to be released into their natural environment.

The species is being reestablished in its original surroundings. It’s being reintroduced gradually to allow it to learn how to hunt and find food on its own. In different reserves, or areas for it, the bird has been successfully reintroduced.

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Philippine Eagle
I Travel Philippines, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


The greatest threat to the Philippine eagle is habitat destruction. As the Philippine Islands are systematically deforested, the land available to the eagle shrinks yearly.

Logging and agricultural expansion are the major problems, but pesticides and pollution also take a toll, especially as concerns the fertility of the eagles. Poachers still take a few birds, and mining enterprises also destroy the forest areas the eagles need.

It has been estimated that only about 10% of the original forestland in the Philippines still remains.

Conservation efforts

Several protected reserves offer the Philippine eagle a habitat where it can live a fairly normal existence. Programs have been instituted to provide income for the natives without causing the destruction of the environment.

Legislation exists that prohibits hunting and disturbance of nests and captive breeding programs are in effect that will hopefully allow for the birds to be reintroduced to the wild.


Do you know of or are you a part of an organisation that work to conserve the Philippine Eagle, then please contact us to have it featured on Our Endangered World.


The Philippine eagle is found only in the Philippines, on the islands of Luzon, Leyte, Mindanao, and Samar. The majority are found on Mindanao Island. They live in wooded areas. They don’t live in open spaces or fields. But they can live at different levels of elevation. When they hunt, sometimes they will take small animals like deer.

Philippine Eagles are threatened by habitat loss from deforestation, logging and agricultural expansion, pesticides and pollution which have been known to take a toll on fertility. There is legislation protecting them from being hunted or disturbed from their nests but they still face threats from poachers and mining enterprises that destroy the their habitat.

The Philippine Eagle is considered critically endangered by the IUCN with an estimated population of just 400 pairs left in the wild, which is believed to be stable due to Philippine laws protecting Philippine Eagles. These species are not at risk. But they might become endangered if their habitat continues to be taken away or if they are hunted. It is illegal to hurt or capture Philippine eagles. They are fully protected under Philippine law and the Philippine Wildlife Act of 1998.

There are three places in the Philippines where people can see Philippine Eagles. One is at the Philippine Eagle Foundation in Davao City. Another place is at Malagos Garden Resort in Lipa, Batangas. The third place is in Cebu City, which is called the Philippine Eagle Conservation Centre. These birds can also be found in zoos around the world, like those in Hawaii and South Korea.

The Philippine Eagle is a type of bird in the family of birds that includes hawks, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. The bird is the largest one from this family. They have wings that are long and wide. They also have shorter tails than other large eagles because they live in the forest where there is not much space for free flight.

The Philippine Eagle has sharper eyesight than most people, and they have dark circles around their eyes that help them hunt animals during the day. They also have powerful feet with long talons that they use to grip prey.


What are Philippine Eagles?

Philippine Eagles are a monophyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic craniate animals that lack limbs with digits. Their scientific name is Pithecophaga jefferyi .

The Philippine Eagle is also commonly known as the Monkey-eating Eagle, or Great Philippine Eagle.

Is Philippine Eagle Endangered?

The species is Critically Endangered with over half of the remaining nesting pairs discovered in uncontrolled forest on Mindanao Island. Despite being described as the Philippines’ national bird, the Philippine Eagle is endangered by the destruction of nesting sites due to deforestation, intentional capture in traps set for wild pigs, and illegal hunting by farmers in response to predation of domestic animals and livestock.

Is Philippine Eagle Compatible With Humans?

The Philippine Eagle may be observed stationed on dead trees in rural areas. The Philippine Eagle has been shown to have adapted to coexisting with humans, although this may also be due to the lack of natural predators.

Where Can I Find Philippine Eagle?

Philippine Eagles can be found on islands in the Philippine archipelago, and live close to human-populated areas. This bird prefers lowland tropical rain forests, where it may soar and capture monkeys and flying lemurs that live in these habitats. The majority of Philippine eagles can be found on the islands of Catanduanes, Samar, Mindanao, Luzon, and Dinagat (Dinagat).

Philippine Eagles have been spotted in multiple Philippine provinces Including Quezon, Palawan, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu and Basilan . These species also live in forests such as Mount Isarog National Park in Bicol, Mount Kitanglad in Bukidnon, Davao City and Mount Apo. They can also be seen in South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces . Philippine Eagles have been taken out of their habitats for a variety of reasons including logging and deforestation.

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