|Photo: AFP/PHILIPPINE EAGLE FOUNDATION|
New hatchling raises hopes for survival of ‘critically endangered’ eagle that is a fearsome predator but faces extinction
By Philip Sherwell, Bangkok
2:20PM GMT 10 Dec 2015
It is a fearsome predator with a wingspan of up to six feet that hunts a diet of monkeys, flying lemurs, squirrels, lizards and piglets.
But such is the imminent danger of extinction of the monkey-eating eagle that is the national bird of the Philippines, conservationists are celebrating the hatching of a rare chick in captivity.
The raptor, which is found only in the rapidly vanishing tropical rainforests of the Philippines, reaches a height of more than three feet when fully-grown and is one of the world’s largest eagles.
The bird is famed for the distinctive shaggy crest formed by its elongated nape feathers.
The chick, hatched at a conservation centre, was the first to be born in two years and just the 26th in 23 years of the project. Conservationists hailed its arrival as a major boost in the giant bird’s struggle against extinction.
There are only about 600 monkey-eating eagles in the wild as their numbers have been slashed by hunting and loss of their natural habitat to development.