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Wanderlust | Philippine Eagle Week goes digital

The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down practically every establishment around the world. This includes wildlife and conservation parks, such as the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City, which has also enfeebled its conservation efforts.

Volunteers Stel and Dara with Philippine Eagle mascot Malaya

For the first time in 32 years, the center is closed indefinitely as an “immediate biosecurity measure and in compliance with the government’s quarantine restrictions”. This has caused the loss of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, Inc., the organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of the national bird and its forest habitat, its largest source of revenue – admission fees.

The foundation, a non-profit organization, primarily depends on admission fees and donations to support its daily operations. With the closure, it is now facing depleting resources for the food and care of over 100 animals.

The PEF celebrates their annual event through various online activities

This year, PEF is celebrating the Philippine Eagle Week in a very unique way.

“Despite the ongoing restrictions in quarantine and the closure of the PEC, we are innovating ways to celebrate the Philippine Eagle Week on June 4 to 10,” said PEFI executive director Dennis Joseph I. Salvador.

This annual celebration will be extraordinary as this year’s line-up of events will go completely online.

For starters, the foundation will be mounting a virtual tour of the center and an online conservation classroom.

“We will be streaming the documentary ‘Bird of Prey’ as we continue our crowdfunding campaign for the maintenance of the PEC,” Salvador said.

This year’s celebration gives tribute to conservation frontliners

The documentary is in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme.

Other events during the weeklong celebration includes an appreciation video for their partner forest guards (June 4); “Learn with Malaya” conservation learning program for the youth (June 5 and 9); “Strike an Eagle Pose” yoga for a cause (June 7); “Queen of Bird” online screening (June 10); and “To Save Our Eagle” online screening (3rd week of June).

A scene from “Bird of Prey” documentary

“This year’s Eagle Week is extra special as we dedicate it to our conservation frontliners who work tirelessly in the mission despite these challenging times,” he added.

The foundation is also supported by conservation partners FDC Utilities, Inc., Ulticon Builders, Inc., Haring Ibon, Phoenix Philippines Foundation, Inc. and Elanco Animal Health in this year’s celebration as they endeavor to carry on with their shared mission for the endangered Philippine Eagle.

“This year, it is timely for us to underscore the critical role of wildlife – our eagle and the biodiversity it represents, not only to the health of our forests but also to our very own wellbeing. We also take the opportunity to acknowledge our conservation frontliners – the keepers, veterinarians, forest guards, and volunteers who step up and do what they can to help amid difficult times,” quipped Salvador.

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