ARKive photo - Philippine eagle, head detail

Image courtesy of ARKive.org media library

Species: Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi)

Status: Critically Endangered (CR)

Interesting Fact: The Philippine eagle is the world’s largest species of eagle.

With a wingspan of up to two metres and sharp talons, the Philippine eagle is a formidable predator. Swooping from branch to branch in the canopy of its forest habitat, it uses its excellent eyesight to spot its prey of flying lemurs, palm civets and monkeys. This habit of hunting monkeys has earned the Philippine eagle the alternative common name of ‘monkey-eating eagle’. Philippine eagles are also known to hunt in pairs with one individual acting as a decoy to distract the prey whilst the other swoops in to launch a surprise attack.

The Philippine eagle is endemic to the Philippines where it can live to be up to 60 years in age. However, due to the destruction of its forest habitat and illegal hunting, there are now thought to be fewer than 250 individuals of this magnificent species left. It is now protected by law in the Philippines and the Philippine Eagle Foundation, launched in 1987, is working to conserve this national symbol via a combination of captive breeding, field research and a public education programme.

View images and videos of the Philippine eagle on ARKive.

Find out more about the conservation work of the Philippine Eagle Foundation.

Becky Moran,  ARKive Media Researcher