Quantcast
Latest Stories

Tarsier, ‘icon of PH tourism’, sought out as pets—foundation

By

MANILA, Philippines –The fame of the Philippine tarsier is driving people to want to take them from their natural habitat and make them their pets, the Philippine Tarsier Foundation Inc. (PTFI), said Friday after a second rescued tarsier in Quezon City died.

PTFI Program Manager Joannie Mary Cabillo said in an exclusive phone interview with INQUIRER.net that “the tarsier is becoming very famous, it’s an icon of tourism, and an icon of the Philippines.”

“People become interested to have them as a pet [and] because of this there are many poachers who sell them to interested buyers,” she said.

The Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) said that they rescued Tuesday another tarsier that was put inside a baggage in a bus terminal in Quezon City.

The tarsier died Thursday. The cause of death was still not clear but PAWB Director Mundita Lim said it was not eating much when they took care of it.

A tarsier was rescued in the Manila Golf and Country Club in Makati City last June 22 but died five days later.

Cabillo said that the people who brought these tarsiers from their natural habitats in the Visayas and Mindanao region could be to either sell them or keep them as pets.

“There are places where you can get tarsiers, not just in Bohol but also in Mindanao. There could not possibly by any place in Manila where it can thrive [so it will likely be for the] pet trade,” she said.

“That’s the only thing we can think of, it’s something which money is involved,” Cabillo added. “[Tarsiers are] very very popular, that’s why they’re there [in Manila], that would not happen if they’re not popular.”

More useful in the natural habitat

The Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta), which is endemic only to the country, is more useful if they are kept in their natural habitat, Cabillo said, citing the benefits of eco-tourism to the country.

“The Philippines is very lucky to have the tarsier and that’s one of the reasons why we are famous,” she said.

“Don’t take them as pets, they’re very boring animals to be kept as pets. All day they just sit around and sleep and at night they like to travel and hunt,” Cabillo added, citing their nocturnal nature.

Government officials should be tighter in the enforcement of environment and wildlife regulations. She said that tarsiers were not the only endemic species in the Philippines being poached.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Philippine tarsier as “Near Threatened” due to population decline over the last 20 years, habitat loss, and “harvesting for the pet trade.”

“It is heavily harvested as food and especially for the pet trade. This is illegal, but there are recent anecdotal reports that the pet markets in Manila are being flooded with tarsiers retailing at less than P500 per individual,” the IUCN said on its website.

Related story:

Another rescued tarsier dies


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: animals , Environment , Tarsier , Tourism , wildlife



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Bus kills pedestrian before falling into Olongapo City ravine – report
  • Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  • Group: Bataan cop killed to stop him from exposing colleagues linked to drug ring
  • Chemical Engineer licensure examination
  • Troubled history fuels Japan-China tension
  • Sports

  • NLEX fights off Derulo Accelero to remain unbeaten
  • Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  • Power Pinays rip Singapore to enter quarters in Asian volley tilt
  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Balikatan could spoil peace talks, says militant group
  • DFA officers hold workshop on aiding human traffic victims
  • Canada in communication with PH on toxic wastes
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Marketplace