TACLOBAN CITY-A coconut land owner residing in Abucay, this city, turned-over a tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Office 8.
Salvador Peliño and four other companions found the tarsier in his coconut plantation in Villa Magsaysay, Babatngon, Leyte. He said, “We were clearing the area of tall grasses when we saw the tarsier which we initially thought was a rat”.
He also disclosed that there were local residents who showed interest to take the tarsier as pet, but he refused. “I told them it’s best to turn-over the tarsier to authorities for it to be handled well”, he adds.
Per DENR Administrative Order No. 2004-15 dated May 22, 2004, Philippine Tarsiers are classified as “Other Threatened Species”.
This means that said species is under threat from adverse factors, such as over collection and is likely to move to the vulnerable category.
The DENR poses a stern warning against the collection, possession, and other acts contrary to the policy of the State to conserve the country’s wildlife resources and their habitat.
“Charges may be imposed to violators pursuant to RA 9147 or An Act Providing for the Conservation and Protection of Wildlife Resources and Habitats”, the Environment Department emphasized.
The tarsier identified by the DENR as female measures 33 cm. It was immediately released back into the wild to ensure that it will have the habitat necessary for survival.
In region 8, the Philippine tarsier is found in some parts of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar.