Tarsier colonies found in 2 Mindanao Villages



A TARSIER hangs on a branch of a tree in Corella town, Bohol. CRIS EVERT LATO

DAVAO CITY—Tarsier colonies have been discovered in two villages in Southern Mindanao, exciting environmental officials who had always thought the tiny primate could not survive outside Bohol.

Joselin Marcus Fragada, director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Southern Mindanao, said the discovery had effectively overturned the general belief that the haplorrine (dry-nosed) primates thrive only in Bohol.

A few tarsiers can be found outside Bohol, but the discovery of whole colonies in Southern Mindanao is definitely exciting news for conservationists.

Fragada said large tarsier colonies were found in Barangay Bobon in Mati, Davao Oriental, and Barangay Suaon in Kapalong, Davao del Norte.

“It has been confirmed,” he said.

Tarsiers have been occasionally seen in Sarangani province and in South Cotabato and in the mountainous parts of North Cotabato. But environmental officials have dismissed the tarsier population in those provinces as insignificant.

But in the two Southern Mindanao provinces, Fragada said the tarsier population was enough to make the Protected Areas and Wildlife Division (PAWD) to plan a population count.

He said in Kapalong area, the PAWD would conduct the assessment and population count with the nongovernmental group Davao Speleological and Conservation Society (DSpeCS).

“They will soon start the population count to serve as basis of the management plan to protect the threatened species,” Fragada said.


Smallest primate

The Philippine Tarsier (scientific name Tarsius syrichta), is one of the smallest known primates. Its full length is 118-149 millimeters and it weighs 113-142 grams. In fact, it is no larger than an adult man’s hand. The males are generally larger than females.

Living on a diet of insects, the tarsier is mostly active at night. Although tarsiers have inhabited rainforests around the world in the past 45 million years, only a few remaining species exist on a few islands in the Philippines, Borneo and Indonesia at present, prompting the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to put the species on its red list.

The IUCN conservation monitoring center first assessed the Philippine tarsier as endangered in 1986, a status that continues after further assessments in 1988, 1990 and 2000.

A number of legislation have been passed to protect and conserve the Philippine tarsier, among them the DENR’s Administrative Order No. 48, which included the primate as a protected species among other endangered animals.

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  • Ronald Manlapao

    protect them from poachers immediately

  • farmerpo

    Patay kang tarsier ka. Ngayon alam na ng mga poachers kung saan ka makikita. Bagaman magandang balita na may tarsier colonies, di na sana pimamamalita kung saan exaktong lugar… come and get me, kung baga….asus.!

    • CyberPinoy

      Yan ang problema sa media ng pinas, wala silang pakialam kung makakabuti ang balita o hindi. Sobrang demokrasya ay prone sa abuso, kaya tayo hindi umuunlad masyadong maluwag at madaming iresponsable..

  • nes911

    Sa kongreso natin may tarsier colony pero ibang lahi at kustumbre. Malalaki ulo at makakapal ang mukha. Nagnanakaw pa.

    • boy_kurimaw

      At mas malalaki pa ang mga MATA nila kesa sa tarsier lalo na kapag nakakakita sila ng pondo ng bayan HAHAHA.

  • labuyo

    Sana i-declare protected area yan..Pag hindi pagkakakitaan na naman niyan

  • buttones

    Well now we all know where these primates are I hope this does not become yet another list on the tourist trail. The locations of many species in the world that are endangered who still survive in pockets, are never announced, including rare orchids as well as animals, Why did we have to do this? Why? Will there be signs as well?

    • MC M

      Truly a valid concern; however, the perception of personal safety in the habitat area is generally poor and now worsening. Possibly due to the proximity of other dangerous fauna that only thrive in the southern Philippines and surrounding areas.

  • joven ortiz

    sumobra ang kaluwagan sa MEDIA naging abusado na din sana bagu nila nilabas iyan dumaan muna sa gobyerno kng kailangan ba ilabas o hindi sana kayo naman mag isip muna bagu mag labas ng balita hindi kayo minsan nkaka tulong kung hindi nakakasira din kayo

  • Teresa Santos

    BRAINLESS MEDIA! Might as well kill those tarsiers.

  • Donardo Cuago


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