‘Tagoyaman Fernando’ flies back into the forest on Earth Day

Published April 23, 2021, 12:43 PM

by Zea Capistrano

DAVAO CITY – After six months of rehabilitation, a rescued Philippine Eagle named Tagoyaman Fernando was released back into the forest in Bukidnon province on Thursday, April 22.

FREE AGAIN. Tagoyaman Fernando, the Philippine Eagle rescued in San Fernando, Bukidnon province in October last year, flies back home on Thursday, April 22. (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Eagle Foundation / MANILA BULLETIN)

“We hope to see Tagoyaman successfully breed and contribute to his species’ wild population in the future,” said Dennis Salvador, Executive Director of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF).

“His release on Earth Day is also our resounding call for long-term solutions to our problematic relationship with nature and wildlife. We believe that by conserving the Philippine Eagle and the biodiversity it represents, we can avoid another disease outbreak,” Salvador added.

The PEF, in its statement, said Tagoyaman is the first Philippine Eagle to be released back into the wild this year and he was among the seven Philippine Eagles rescued last year.

Tagoyaman was rescued in October last year by Datu Tagoyaman Sinangkap in San Fernando, Bukidnon. The Philippine Eagle was found caught in a native trap made for deer and wild pigs. He was brought to the Philippine Eagle Center here for treatment and rehabilitation.

The PEF added that they recorded “the highest rescue rate recorded in the history of Philippine Eagle conservation.”

Salvador said, “rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing Philippine Eagles in the middle of a pandemic is very challenging.”

“It’s difficult to mobilize field operations when travel restrictions are imposed and
sources of funds are shut down. Still, we are able to persevere, thanks to the support of the
Australian Government and other conservation partners,” he said.

The PEF said the short program was attended by Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven J. Robinson AO, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, San Fernando town Vice Mayor Norberto Catalan, and Philippine Eagle Foundation Trustee Francis Ledesma.

“The Australian Embassy is proud to continue our support to the Philippine Eagle Foundation for the protection and preservation of the Philippine Eagle,” said Robinson.

“I traveled to Bukidnon to witness Tagoyaman’s release because it is an important milestone in the Philippines’ efforts in conserving local wildlife biodiversity. Australia stands with our friends in the Philippines as they protect their natural resources, in their lands or seas. This initiative reinforces our deep and expanding relationship as we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries,” he added.

Tagoyaman’s release was supported by the Australian Government, Whitley Fund for Nature, Jurong Bird Park, DENR Region X, and the local government of San Fernando and Bukidnon.