The Philippine Eagle, Pithecophaga jefferyi, is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. It is found in the Philippines on the larger islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. It is the world's second-largest forest eagle and sadly the most endangered of all raptors. Today, there are estimated to be less than 500 of these eagles in the wild.
The number of these majestic birds has seen a steep decline, primarily due to habitat destruction. Since the 1960s, vast tracts of tropical forests have been cleared for commercial habitat loss, cultivation and mining activities. Hunting also poses an additional threat, as many local people mistakenly think the eagles take their chickens as prey.
Law in the Philippines and CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) protects this eagle. A major captive breeding programme is under way in Mindanao, but the key conservation need is to prevent any further forest loss within the range of this species.