Friday, July 15, 2011

Today in Philippine History July 15

On July 15, 1995, President Fidel V. Ramos signed Proclamation No. 615, declaring the Philippine eagle as the national bird.

The Philippine eagle stands a meter high, weighs from four to seven kilograms, and has a grip three times the strength of the strongest man on earth.

With a wingspan of nearly seven feet and a top speed of 80 kilometers per hour, it can gracefully swoop down on an unsuspecting monkey and carry it off without breaking flight.

The Philippine eagle is found only in the Philippines, particularly on the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao. Today, most of the eagles can be found only in the surrounding areas of Mount Apo in Davao.

Accordingly, there have been efforts to save the Philippine eagle which has been declared as an endangered species, threatened primarily by deforestation through logging and expanding agriculture. Old growth forest is being lost at a high rate, and most of the eagle's forest in the lowlands are owned by logging companies. Mining, pollution, exposure to pesticides that affect breeding, and poaching are also major threats.

Additionally, they are occasionally caught in traps laid by local people for deer. The eagles' number were also reduced by being captured for zoos.

Philippine News Agency

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