World’s 2nd smallest primate Philippine tarsier 1st time sighting in Tacloban forest

Philippine tarsier Tacloban forest
The first confirmed sighting of the Philippine tarsier in Tacloban City’s forests. Photos from Richard B. Parilla, Associate Professor via UPVTC-DNSM FB.

The Philippine tarsier has been spotted for the first time in Tacloban City’s forests.

The sighting of the Tarsius syrichta or Philippine tarsier, locally known as “mago” has been validated and documented by researchers from the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (DNSM) of the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College (UPVTC) in a secondary forest area located in Brgy. Santa Elena, Tacloban City.

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The Philippine tarsier is native to the islands of Mindanao, Bohol, Samar, and Leyte.

UPVTC researchers confirmed the sighting of the tarsier during field surveys in the area in July 2022. The university said that the researchers conducted a Philippine tarsier population study following reported sightings of the species in the neighboring municipalities of Tacloban City.

The university also noted that the presence of the world’s second smallest primate in the city’s forests highlights the city as a key biodiversity area and its role in nurturing other endemic species.

“The presence of tarsiers and other endemic species should be taken into account in the city’s land-use plans, particularly in terms of protecting the areas where the tarsiers live,” the UPVTC-DNSM wrote in a Facebook post on August 11, 2022.

Reports of endemic species thriving in various areas in the Philippines include the first sighting of the rare Philippine warty pig in Mount Apo in Davao and the sighting of a new family of critically-endangered Philippine eagles in Lupon, Davao Oriental.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to researchers from the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics of the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College for documenting the first sighting of the Philippine tarsier in Tacloban City.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.