The Philippine Tarsier Has Just Been Sighted in Tacloban for the First Time

It's supposedly only found in Mindanao, Bohol, Samar, and Leyte.

During a series of night surveys conducted in July, researchers from the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College (UPVTC) came across an unusual sight. A Philippine tarsier was found in a local Tacloban City forest, which makes this the first official documentation and validation of the said species in the area.

"The sparse literature on the Leyte tarsier and anecdotal reports of sightings of the species particularly in the neighboring municipalities of Tacloban City motivated the UP Tacloban researchers to conduct a Philippine tarsier population study in the forests of Tacloban City," the UPVTC wrote in a Facebook post.

This new discovery is part of Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics' research efforts on the presence of the Philippine tarsier in the region. In the past, there have been a few reports of the sightings of the tarsier in the areas that surround Tacloban. Hence, the recent population study in a secondary forest located in Barangay Santa Elena. 


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Photo by UP Tacloban/ Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics/Associate Professor Richard B. Parilla.

Its discovery also means that the city could soon position itself as a key biodiversity area. The local government, said the UPVTC, should also put the tarsiers and other endemic species into consideration when it comes to future land-use planning in the city.

Also known as "mago," the Philippine tarsier is commonly found in Bohol, Samar, and Leyte. The animal is the only member of the genus Carlito, and has a geographic range that stretches to the islands of Siargao, Basilan, and Dinagat, among others. Some subspecies of the Philippine tarsier have reportedly been sighted in Sarangani, as well.

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