The juvenile eagles were from Davao City

REPOPULATION. Two young Philippine eagles arrived on Tuesday (June 11) in Leyte to be released to the forests of Burauen town on June 28. The sending of the pair of eagles is part of the campaign of the Philippine Eagle Foundation to repopulate the forests of Leyte and the rest of the region of the majestic birds. (PEF)

TACLOBAN CITY-Two juvenile Philippine eagles (Pithecophaga jefferyi) are to be released to the forests of Burauen town in Leyte province scheduled on June 28.

The eagles, named as ‘Uswag’, a male, and ‘Carlito’ (a female) arrived in the city en route to Burauen on Tuesday (June 11) from the Davao City-based Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF).

They were immediately brought to Brgy. Kagbana for the translocation or the intentional transfer and release.

It was learned that the eagles, placed in separate cages, will be released to the forests of Anonang-Lobi range, primarily situated in Barangay Kagbana, about 40 kms away from the town proper on June 28.

Uswag, a Waray term for welcome, is a male eagle rescued from Mt. Apo in Davao City in 2023 and weighs 5.3 kilograms and is about three years old.

Meantime, Carlito is a five-year-old female eagle and weighs 5.8 kgs and was rescued from Trento, Agusan del Sur.

The translocation of the two eagles to the forests of Burauen is a project of the PEF and the Australian government with several local groups like the Rotary Club of Central Tacloban City (RCCTC) also assisting the project.

Ivan Lerios, president of the RCCTC, said that they are happy to be part of a ‘significant event’ in having back the majestic birds into the forests of Leyte and the rest of Eastern Visayas.

“As a native Leyteño, I consider this Philippine eagle translocation project as a significant development and a landmark experiment for the restoration and reintroduction of this rare and endangered species back soaring again in the skies of Leyte,” he said in a statement.
Carmela Corazon Crebillo, tourism officer of Burauen, said that they feel lucky to be chosen as the site for the release of these eagles.

“It is not only good for our tourism promotion but an indicator that our forests have now been restored back to its original condition,” she said.

Prior to the onslaught of Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ in 2013, Philippine eagles were seen in the forests of Burauen, which has a lush forest cover.

Through the years, its forest covers have been restored which encourages the PEF to have its relaunching of the eagles there.

It was learned that in the next four years, eight more young eagles are to be released in the forests of Burauen and the rest of Leyte.

The PEF said that the translocation of these eagles to Leyte is part of their program to have these majestic birds flying in the skies of the province and at the same time, ensure their safety from shooting, trapping, clubbing, poaching, and selling at their present habitats in Mindanao.(JOEY A. GABIETA)