A juvenile Philippine eagle-owl (Bubo philippensis) was recently released back to the wild in a forest area in Sitio Sabang, Brgy. Caluwayan, Marabut, Samar.

The owl was turned-over to CENRO Sta.Rita by a group of concerned citizens. According to them, they were visiting the famous rock formations in Marabut, Samar last December when they saw the owl fall near them.

They captured it and fed it with chicken meat since strict quarantine protocols of Samar hindered them from immediately turning-over the owl to CENRO Sta.Rita.

After ensuring that the owl was fit for release, it was brought to a forested area in Marabut, Samar on January 14, 2021 by DENR-CENRO Sta. Rita field personnel.

DENR Regional Executive Director Tirso P. Parian, Jr. says “these wildlife species need to be left untouched in the wild since they help balance the ecosystem by controlling the number of insects and pests in the forests and most especially in agricultural areas. I’m glad to hear that the owl is back to its natural habitat.”

Philippine eagle-owl is one of the largest owls in the world. It is an endemic species in the Philippines commonly found in the forests of Luzon, Catanduanes, Samar, Leyte, Bohol, Mindanao and possibly Sibuyan. It is now considered to be an endangered species due to decline of lowland forest based on the IUCN Red List Category and Criteria 2016 and the Updated National List of Threatened Philippine Fauna and their Categories (Department Administrative Order No. 2019-09 dated July 12, 2019).