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Thursday 18th December, 2014

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Biodiversity Conservation Centre

Philippine eagle-owl Bubo p. philippensis

There are currently 8 (3♂♂4♀♀+1) eagle owls of Luzon Island origin in the BCC. These comprise five adults received on breeding loan from the Avilon Montalban Zoological Park (3♂♂2♀♀) in November 2002, two adults (♀) from the Wildlife Rescue Center in April 2006 and a juvenile (?) captive-born for the first time last November.

To replace the female Philippine eagle-owl that died in February 2005, two female eagle-owls from the Wildlife Rescue Center (WRC) of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), Diliman, Quezon City were transported on breeding loan to NFEFI-BCC on 20th April under the auspices of the Philippine Owls Conservation Project (POCP). Prior to the scheduled transport, health inspections and pre-departure health protocols were performed by WRC veterinarian Dr. Val Felizardo, such as administration of anti-parasiticides (Ivermectin at 200μg/kg intramuscularly) and multivitamins, and screening for Newcastle’s Disease. At three in the morning on the day of the transport, the two eagle-owls were transferred from their enclosures into separate wood crates. Health inspection was again performed by Dr. Felizardo and NFEFI-BCC veterinarian Dr. Leo Jonathan Suarez thirty minutes before they were transported to the Philippine Airlines Centennial Airport. Upon arrival at the BCC, the owls were housed inside the aviary building for a period of six weeks for quarantine. During this period, prophylactic oral antibiotic Co-amoxiclav (Natravox® at 10 mg/kg for 10 days), oral dewormer Pyrantel embonate (Combantrin® at 4.5 mg/kg), and intramuscular injection of vitamins B-complex (Thiabex® at 2.5mg Thiamine/kg), and A, D and E (Laksade® at 25,000IU Retinol/kg) were administered. After the six weeks quarantine period, the two eagle-owls were alternately housed in the flight aviary with the unpaired male ‘Duwag’ (EO001) to encourage the formation of a naturally-bonded pair. (Refer to Appendix 3 for complete details of the transport.) Duwag was observed displaying aggressive stance towards the two females as soon as they were transferred to the adjacent enclosures. This behavior, however, only lasted for approximately an hour.

At seven months old, the first captive-born Philippine eagle-owl ‘Bubo’ (EO007) was separated from its parents ‘Hinahon’ (EO002) and ‘Suplada’ (EO004) when aggressive behaviors were observed being displayed by the parents towards the young. The parents were initially observed making loud vocalizations with their wings held down, looking towards Bubo.
Bubo appeared anxious and perched on the part of the enclosure farthest from the pair. After a few hours, Bubo and Hinahon started fighting, prompting the animal keeper to transfer Bubo to another enclosure. This first information on when Philippine eagle-owl parents start become aggressive towards their young is valuable on the breeding management of this species in captivity.

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