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A new Harpy Eagle Festival successfully completed in Panama!
José de Jesús Vargas González — in Harpy Eagle Conservation and Research    Share

A New Harpy Eagle Festival Successfully Completed in Panama!

After smiles and screams of happiness on the last April 15, the Harpy Eagle Festival 2012 took place in Panama. During this event, there were games, talks, exhibitions, contests, canine demonstrations, among other educational activities. The festival began at 9:00 A.M., and ended at 5:00 P.M., with a massive participation of people of all ages.

The Harpy Eagle team was present in this Green Festival. We raised awareness about our research and conservation actions to the general public. Our exhibition space consisted of four sections. These were:

Documentation section: Here Calixto Conampia (who attending the public) offered brochures, flyers, and articles to inform the public about the Harpy Eagle, its importance, the laws that protect it, and new scientific information that we generated in our research. Mr. Conampia did an excellent job explaining everything in this section.

Technician Calixto Conampia during the Festival.

Display section: Here we presented different equipment and samples that are used or collected during the project activities in the field, respectively. For example, we showed bones of Harpy Eagles, and prey remains from animals that were hunted by Harpy Eagles in Darien. Also, we showed the equipment that we use in Darien to collect quantitative and qualitative data (telemetry transmitters, compass, GPS, receivers, bands, etc.) of the species and their natural environment. Carpio Darisnel was the technician who was in charge to explain and talk to the visitors.

Technicians Darisnel Carpio (right), Calixto Conampia (center) & volunteer Eduardo Calderón (left) with the board game called "An Adventure in the World of the HarpyEagle."

Multimedia section: In this section, we were presenting two illustrative videos that highlight the Harpy Eagle biology, importance and threats, and other relevant aspects. Eduardo Calderon is a volunteer who helped us to program the technological equipment.

Educational games section: In this section we shared with children and teenager three educational games (memory cards with Raptor of Panama, memory cards with prey of the Harpy Eagle and a board game called “An Adventure in the World of the Harpy Eagle”). With these games we led the audience to internalize in biological aspects of the Harpy Eagle, as ecology, diet, diversity of raptors and prey species in Panama. I was in charge of this section, and I really enjoyed the interactions with the children and teenager during the games.

Children and teenager playing the board game "An Adventure in the World of the HarpyEagle."

It was a day full of activities, especially in the games section, where many children and young people lined up to have fun learning about the Harpy Eagle, birds of prey in general and their diet. Without mistakes, both audience and ourselves, completely spent a day unlike any other, where the main attraction was the Harpy Eagle, a charismatic icon for conservation in Panama.

Children and teenager playing the board game "Memory cards with Raptor of Panama and Memory cards with Prey of the Harpy Eagle."

Finally, it is important to emphasize that this year, the law that declared the Harpy Eagle as National Bird of Panama celebrates its 10th anniversary. During this time, many institutions have sympathized with the conservation of the species, including SONY, the Patronato Amigos del Águila Harpía, the National Environmental Authority of Panama, local teenager associations, and of course, The Peregrine Fund. As part of this collaborative effort, during this festival, the Action Plan for the Conservation of the Harpy Eagle in Panama was formally launched. The plan emerged as an initiative of the National Environmental Authority of Panama and received great scientific support by researchers from The Peregrine Fund. This initiative marks a new beginning for the establishment of new goals in research, education and management to conserve the species and its habitat.

If you want to read the Action Plan for the Conservation of the Harpy Eagle please see: http://www.anam.gob.pa/images/stories/aguila_harpia/movie.swf

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