"We allege there has been large migration (of Javanese eagles) from this area (Mount Ijen) to more protected and pristine place," spokesman for the East Java Natural Resources Conservation Center Gatut Panggah Prasetyo said after releasing a Javanese eagle at Picis Nature Reserve in Ponorogo District, East Java, on Wednesday.
Human easy access to Mount Ijen which used to be the habitat of Javanese eagles as a result of the conversion of forest to plantations and the rising number of tourist visits is also responsible for the drastic drop in the population of Javanese eagles in the area, he said.
In contrast, the population of Javanese eagles in Mount Sigogor and Mount Picis declared nature reserves on the slope of Mount Wilis increased, he said.
He predicted seven to 11 Javanese eagles are currently inhabiting the area compared to three eagles detected in 2014.
"All factors support the condition, ranging from good natural factor in Ponorogo, well-maintained buffer zone managed by state forestry company Perhutani and the public's awareness of the effort conserve flora and fauna," he said.
He said the positive development has received warm welcome from the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and all parties that care about the conservation of Javanese eagles including the Indonesian Eagle Conservation Foundation (YKEI) and other environmental activists.