Panama City, 27 October 2000. Jaco, a harpy eagle, was an unusual and curious witness at the ceremony that marked the signing of an agreement between the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and the Peregrine Fund for the assignment of a parcel of ACP property to be used as a center for the incubation and breeding of these birds in Panama.

Canal Administrator Alberto Alemán Zubieta, Peregrine Fund Chairman Dr. William Burnham, and the Chairman of the newly created Peregrine Fund Panama, Jacobo Lacs, signed the agreement.

The harpy eagle, the Republic of Panama’s national bird, is an endangered species.

The creation of this incubation and breeding center has the full support of such Panama institutions as the National Authority on the Environment (ANAM), the Interoceanic Region Authority (ARI), the City of Knowledge, and the ACP, as well as the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and USAID.

The Peregrine Fund was established in 1970 for the protection of the peregrine falcon in the United States. Since then, its efforts have expanded to include breeding, protection and later release of harpy eagles and other birds of prey. Panama maintains a Neotropical Center for Birds of Prey at the City of Knowledge.

ANAM Director Ricardo Anguizola, City of Knowledge Executive Secretary Jorge Arosemena, Inter-American Development Agency representative Lars Klassen, Smithsonian Institute Director Ira Rubinoff, and ANCON executives attended this event as special guests.