Tarsiers vanishing

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Tarsiers vanishing

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Tarsier
Tarsier

Out of 703 species and subspecies of the Philippine tarsiers, more than half of it is facing extinction.

Amid this disclosure during a recent scientists’ meeting in Singapore, Rep. Rene Lopez Relampagos has called for a more heightened conservation measures for the Philippine Tarsiers especially those found in Corella and Loboc towns.

This is the first time that the Philippine tarsier has been named as one of the world’s top 25 most endangered primates, a list compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Bristol Zoological Society, International Primatological Society and Conservation International.  The list is updated every two years; the Philippine tarsier is part of the 2014 to 2016 list. However, the estimated number of Philippine tarsiers remaining in the wild is still unknown.

“I was surprised and saddened by the news,” Relampagos admitted.  “As an eco-tourism destination which prides itself as a place where Philippine tarsiers thrive, this news comes as an unexpected blow.  I mean, we have a number of conservation efforts to increase the number of Philippine tarsiers.  We also have in the province the Philippine Tarsier Conservatory in Corella and a Tarsier Sanctuary in Loboc.  We have tried but the experts reported something we never would have wanted to hear.”

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Despite the surprising news, Relampagos encouraged people to remain optimistic.  He also asked the provincial government and the concerned agencies like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to come up with stronger biodiversity conservation measures.

“I commend our provincial government and our various government agencies for all the work that they have done in protecting our tarsiers and conserving Bohol’s rich biodiversity.  In the wake of this news, I call upon my colleagues in the government service to amplify our efforts in protecting our Philippine Tarsiers as well our other forms of flora and fauna from extinction.  We need to double our efforts not only to preserve our tarsiers but also the rest of our endangered species,” said Relampagos.

Relampagos, who chairs the House Committee on Tourism, reiterated his position of spreading awareness regarding these concerns through information dissemination.

“We need to raise awareness regarding this issue on our people.  This way, they will be able to contribute in solving this important biodiversity concern.  We need to disseminate information and of course, make our people feel the importance of a rich biodiversity in maintaining our standing as a premiere eco-tourism destination, an industry which a lot of our Boholanos are depending on for livelihood.”

The first district representative stressed that everyone should feel that they are accountable on the life of the country’s wildlife at risk of extinction.

“We need to be responsible in preserving our country’s wildlife treasures.  We should never forget our primary duty of being stewards of whatever it is that we have here in our country,” Relampagos noted.

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