Conservation through research, monitoring and education
The Harpy Eagle is one of the largest raptors in the world. It is a truly emblematic bird and an important top predator.
Sadly Harpy Eagles are persecuted through much of their range. They are often one of the first species to disappear from degraded forest, as they require abundant, large prey. This has been evident in Central America, where they are now extremely rare. As the Amazon rainforest is cleared, numbers are dropping rapidly.
We have many tools to fight the decline of Harpy Eagles, it is important that we do so before it is too late:
Research is key to understanding these enigmatic raptors. If we can understand their feeding and nesting habits, land can be managed in a way to support them.
Long-term monitoring is the only way to ensure that protected forest is not degraded over time. Nesting trees must be regularly checked up on in order to gauge our success.
Education teaches us to not see Harpy Eagles as pests, but to recognize the importance of maintaining a viable population of these top predators.
Our mission is to use these tools to conserve a healthy, viable population of Harpy Eagles for the future. We want future generations to have the opportunity to witness this majestic bird, in the wild.
To do this we need your help.
We are a very small team, operating on minimal costs. Our effectiveness is limited by our funding. If you care about Harpy Eagles and you want to support our mission, please consider making a donation.
The situation at present
Dr. Alexander Blanco and his team work tirelessly to find new nests as well as monitoring the old ones. This ensures that Harpy Eagle's will persist nearby. Local landowners are educated on the importance of protecting Harpy Eagles. On the rare occasion that landowners seek to harm the eagles, the authorities are called in. Harpy Eagles are protected by law.
Alexander is the world's foremost Harpy Eagle biologist. He was even recently featured on the BBC wildlife series 'The Hunt'. The current workload leaves very little time for scientific research, which is vital for the long term protection of the species.
Goals for the future
Naturally we want to protect more Harpy Eagles over a larger area. To do this we need funding for more team members, in order to conduct more monitoring, as well as education programs.
A larger team would free up time for Alexander to better research Harpy Eagles, which will reveal better strategies for protection that can be implemented on a much larger scale.
We are based in rural Imataka in eastern Venezuela. In Imataka we have discovered over 100 Harpy Eagle nests, which we regularly visit. Our Eagles live in primary tropical forest, as well as patches of secondary forest surrounded by degraded pasture.
Dr. Alexander Blanco is the president of Fundacion Esfera. He works full time with his assistant Blas Chacare in Imataka, where they monitor and research Harpy Eagles. Ingrid Rodriguez coordinates education and community outreach. Tom Ambrose is the website designer.