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A celebration of the natural history, mythology, lineage, behaviour and conservation of one of nature's most precise and streamlined hunters; the family of Raptors, or Birds of Prey
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It has been my privilege to stand in the presence of one of the largest birds of prey in the world - the Philippine Eagle - in its own home territory in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines.

This is Junior, one of the first eagles to be born in captivity as part of the amazing work of the Philippine Eagle Foundation to attempt to bring the species back from the brink of extinction.

Read more about this majestic raptor and other amazing birds of prey in the discussion threads. And before I forget - welcome!

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{ else }   Blog: Baby Philippine Eagle  
I was privileged to witness the first few weeks of this chick's life, from its hatching in the Philippine Eagle Foundation's Breeding centre, to its growth into a curious month-old eaglet. When I last heard, there were plans to reintroduce this male back to the wild. There have only been a handful of Philippine Eagles ever born in captivity, and all at the PEF - they are notoriously difficult to breed, and so the researchers have had to resort to artificial insemination in an effort to help bring these birds back from the brink of extinction. The entire world population of this amazing raptor is no more than 500 pairs - occurring only in the Philippines.

And this is the reason why:

I photographed this bare mountainside in the shadow of Mount Apo in Mindanao in southern Philippines. The mountain itself is one fo the last strongholds of the Eagle - and what you see in the photo should be miles and miles of unspoilt highland rainforest - but its all gone, thanks to logging. The eagles need these forests to be able to breed and hunt and expand their range. But today the few remaining forests are just islands in a sea of green lifeless deserts - the eagles just have nowhere left to go. So with a population comprised mainly of elderly birds and no new blood coming into the gene pool, the fate of the Philippine Eagle seems sealed.

Against all odds, the Philippine Eagle Foundation have been doing tremendous work to save the species. Find out more about their efforts:

Posted: Dec 15, 2005 1:05am | (9) | (0) |  
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