Meet Julius!


Our first tarsier – © M. Řeháková

As we have informed you last week our tarsier enclosure ad food resources were ready on my last visit in Bilar. Me and my colleague Cristy and our field assistants Alex and Filip could not wait until we finally get tarsiers in.

And here comes the good news. Yes, we finally have a tarsier!

Please meet Julius. He is a tarsier male, adult and quite big with his 150 g. And he is simply gorgeous as a tarsier can be with his huge eyes and a pixie look. He was captured in a secondary forest just on the border of a farm land in Bilar and as a first wild tarsier in our facility hopefully he will become a founder of our captive population. If you are interested in tarsiers you probably now that historically they did not survive well in captivity. They hardly survive and  to breed them is even more difficult. Currently there is not facility in the whole world that can successfully breed tarsiers in captivity. We hope that in our enclosure imitating a natural environment (temperature, humidity, planting) and with natural food (breeding and catching of local insects and small vertebrates) we can be successful or at least add valuable information to the knowledge that we have now. Julius got his name after our team member. He was a hunter before and since 2010 he has worked with us on research and habitat conservation. As the most skilful hunter of our team Julius captured tarsiers during our radio-telemetry research and he also captured our first tarsier for the enclosure. Therefore the tarsier got his name.

Julius, the tarsier, is settling well. After a slight weigh loss in the first days he gained weight again. He feed on crickets, locusts, super worms and other species that we offer to him. He loves spiders especially the huge huntsman spiders. So far he has not shown interests in lizards or geckos that are also reported to be part of the tarsier diet. Julius hopefully will not stay alone for a long time. We plan to bring a female for him just before the mating season will begin, which usually comes in November. Keep the fingers crossed so that everything goes well.

We will be soon looking for an adoptive parent for Julius so if you want to adopt the first tarsier of our centre follow our project website!

One Response to “Meet Julius!”

  1. Jamal

    I don’t really understand the necessity to put a tarsier in a cage for the captive breeding. T. syrichta is not still endangered but near threatened, so it would be more appropriate (and cheapier) to protect the forest where it lives to facilitate wild mating, so you will do something also for the forests and philippine biodiversity. In that cage the tarsier will survive maybe for some months and you will preclude to him the possibility to live in his natural habitat. The situation of the Philippine tarsier is not as hopeless as having to do this kind of experiments that are likely to be Unsuccessful (this is what previous studies declare, as you wrote).

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