Life

A Philippine Sambar Was Sighted in Marinduque Where It Was Long Thought Extinct

The last sighting of the Philippine Sambar in Marinduque was in the 1990s.
IMAGE JM VICTORIA

For over 20 years, no one has seen the Philippine sambar or Marinduque brown deer roaming the forests of Marinduque. The species was driven to local extinction because of hunting and habitat loss. But on June 14, 2022, provincial veterinarian Dr. JM Victoria was alerted by locals who reported sightings of the deer grazing and "destroying" their crops. 

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Phiilippine Brown Deer Found in Marinduque

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According to Victoria, authorities advised the residents not to hurt or capture the animal but told them to shoo it away. 

Adult Female Philippine Brown Deer in Mindanao

Photo by Gregg Yan (CC BY-SA 4.0).

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The Philippine brown deer or Philippine sambar is only found on the islands of islands of Luzon, Polillo, Catanduanes, Mindoro, Samar, Mindanao, and Leyte. It is the first time the deer is documented again on the island of Marinduque after more than two decades. 

The Philippine brown deer thrives in areas with high elevations, such as forested hills or mountains. It is usually found in forests 2,900 meters above sea level. It prefers to forage in grasslands located in secondary and primary forests. 

The Philippine brown deer or Philippine sambar is listed as "Vulnerable" in the IUCN Red List, data for which was last updated in 2008. 

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Habitat loss and hunting are the leading causes of the deer's disappearance in the wild. 

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