More tarsiers sighted in Davao

(Photo by Jaypee Joromat)
(Photo by Jaypee Joromat)

TARSIERS in the forests of Davao City are nothing new, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Davao Region (DENR-Davao) said.

While a new sighting of a tarsier was reported by DENR-Davao on Monday, May 11, more tarsiers have already been seen prior to that.

Schoolteacher Jaypee Joromat said it was his students who found the primate in a farm in Barangay Megkawayan, Calinan on May 11. But on May 5, another tarsier out of its habitat was spotted by his other students.

“Naa student namo dati ang nag farm nasaag sa ila farm ang tarsier, mao to gipabalik nako sa forest. Kahapon, May 11, another student dati sa school ang nakakita ug tarsier sa ila farm, mao to napicturan nako tapos giingnan nako dili lang hilabtan, gi-report nako sa DENR-Davao (My former student found the tarsier in their farm so I told him to return it to the forest. Yesterday, another student also saw a tarsier on their farm. I just took a photo and reported it to DENR Davao),” he said.

As of Tuesday, Joromat headed to the forest in Megkawayan to return the primates as advised by DENR-Davao. However, he was again told by another student that there were three more tarsiers that have been found on the other side of the forest as well as owls and monkeys.

He said eight animals were already found but were not documented.

“Our forest ecosystem is still good. Tarsiers or any other wildlife are actually one of the indicators for having a good and healthy forest ecosystem,” DENR Davao regional public affairs office chief Jayvee Jude Agas said.

She said experts have yet to study the species of tarsiers present in the forests of Mindanao and its characteristics and distinctions from the popularly known tarsiers in the Visayas, specifically in Bohol.

She also urged communities to report sightings of tarsiers and other wildlife to their office and called on the public not to harm, kill, trade and possess it because they are listed under nearly threatened species.

“To date, Philippine Tarsier is listed as a nearly threatened species and, if not conserved, may lead to extinction. Threats to their descending population include low birth rate, loss of habitat and as aforementioned, human intervention,” DENR Davao said in an official Facebook post.

“Again, may we remind the public that if a tarsier is in sight, do not touch it unless necessary. If found displaced, you may release it back to the wild while handling it delicately. As tarsiers are nocturnal, avoid taking photographs with flash as this will frighten them. If otherwise injured, call the assistance of the authorities,” it said.

Joromat said he is planning to propose to the Barangay Council that the forest in Megkawayan be considered a protected area.

On Monday, May 11, the tourism office of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur also launched its communication, education, and public awareness (CEPA) campaign about protecting and conserving tarsier to the community of Sitio Ragobrob in Barangay Saliducon.

“The place is dwelled by the endemic primate Philippine Tarsier which has been seen frequently in the area. Conservation and habitat protection are among the salient points of the CEPA,” Sta. Cruz Tourism said in a post.

In a separate Facebook post of Sta. Cruz tourism officer Julius R. Paner, he identified the species as the Philippine Tarsier (Carlito syrichta).

It is considered a nearly threatened species based on the (International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) conservation classification and it is endemic in the country.


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