Preliminary Observations of Infant Ontogeny in the Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) and the First Description of Play Behaviour and Its Ontogeny in Tarsiers

by Petr Slavík

Last week another paper about tarsier behaviour written by Milada Řeháková, the Tarsius Project leader, was published. It is a book chapter focusing on behaviour of the infants.

In this paper I present the first observations on the ontogeny of tarsier infants during their first and second month and of the mother-offspring bond from birth until separation. Tarsier mother-infant pairs were observed to be solitary. Maternal care involved a cache and carry strategy meaning that the tarsier baby is transported in the mother´s mouth and left alone when the mother goes for food. Read more »

Tarsier baby born in conservation centre in the Philippines celebrates first birthday

tarsier baby and mother from the wild (ilustration picture) -photo by Milada Řeháková

4th may has been announced as international tarsier day. Tarsier baby born last year in a conservation centre on Bohol Island which was developed as a part of the Tarsius Project celebrates its first birthday. It is a huge success. Let´s see what all is behind this success and what he we have learnt thanks to it.

RNDr. Milada Řeháková, Ph.D., founder of the Tarsius Project, explains: „ In 2012 we started development of a conservation centre for the Philippine tarsier in Bilar on Bohol Island as a part of the Tarsius Project together with a local conservation centre Habitat Bohol. During a two years there was a big enclosure built on a former farm property and later also one smaller enclosure. Both were developed and planted by our staff and volunteers and prepared for welcoming of the tarsiers. Our first tarsier is Julius. He got his name after our long-term team member, the best tarsier catcher in the locality. Nowadays is only catches tarsiers for us J. Tarsier female Nina became his partner next year. Our tarsiers got to like each other and we hoped into a successful breeding. Philippine tarsiers breed seasonally. Mating occurs between October and December otherwise they spent their time mostly solitarily. Therefore, our tarsiers were joined in October. Soon we saw mating and after that Nina started to be aggressive towards Julius. So they were separated again and we hoped into a success, the baby. Tarsiers are very difficult to be kept in captivity and so far, their breeding was not successful. So we were curious if we will breeding them successfully in conditions that reflect their natural habitat and the most possible way. Read more »

International help for the second time!

Do you remember the volunteers who came last year to help out the Project? The organizers liked our place that much that they decided to come with their help this year as well! Some of the faces were familiar, but mostly new people decided to support the development of the Tarsius Conservation Center with their own hands.

Like last year, these young people came to Bohol to contribute to construction of facilities for children in few municipalities. Our Project was included in their itinerary and on 26th July they came to enhance our insects breeding facility. Read more »

How the Tarsius Project builds local capacity!

Do you remember the visit of Cebu students in September last year? Young Filipinos liked our Project that much that they wished to come and gain working experience with us! As a part of collaboration between the Project and the University of San Carlos, we hosted students of Environmental Science Between 18th April and 2nd June 2017. The students were doing their On-The-Job-Traineeship program under supervision of the Project staff as well as collecting data for their theses. They helped with tarsiers husbandry learning how to conduct tasks in animal captive breeding facility. They also participated in the research subproject focused on tarsiers habitat selection. The students were put through gradual stages of progress from observations, through practical learning, leading to independent task performance. Read more »

From tarsiers to cloud rats, scientist strives to save Philippine species

An interview with Milada Řeháková on Mongabay.com.

  • In this interview, Milada Rehakova shares how she and her husband rediscovered the bushy-tailed cloud rat, previously thought extinct, on Dinagat Island in 2012.
  • Rehakova is currently working with local allies to establish the first protected areas on Dinagat Island to protect the cloud rat and tarsiers among other species.
  • Rehokova is also working to save the tarsiers of Bohol from an exploitative tourist trade.

Read more on Mongabay.com

Project Vacancies

Please check out our project vacancies.

We are cuurrently looking for:

  • Field manager
  • Insect specialist

Would you like to join our team? Find more here.

World wildlife day with Tarsius Project

Because of our succeessful breeding event we bring a news about World wildlife day activities with a little delay.

On 4th March 2017 the big educational event “World Wildlife Day” took place in BQ Mall in Tagbilaran City. This initiative aims to increase knowledge and awareness about wildlife globally and is performed by different institutions and organizations worldwide. The Tarsius Project decided to join global efforts. The Project staff had come into collaboration with the Balyena Project from Jagna, Bohol, which focus on marine wildlife of the Philippines. These two organizations came into agreement to strengthen and pursue further their educational activities and joined worldwide efforts to celebrate the World Wildlife Day, enabling Boholanos to learn more about animal species inhabiting their Island. Read more »

Press release – Philippine tarsier, one of the world´s most endangered primate, born in Tarsius Project Conservation centre

Philippine tarsier mother and baby, photo Milada Řeháková

A baby of the Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) was born in the Tarsius Project Conservation Centre on Bohol Island, Philippines. The tarsier baby was born on 1st May and now after more than one month it seems to be active and healthy and the mother Nina takes a good care of him. So there is a good chance that the young will survive. It is a huge success as this primate is currently not successfully kept anywhere in the world due to difficulties with its breeding. Philippine tarsier is one of the world´s most endangered primate. Therefore, one of The Tarsius Project´s goals is to establish a backup population to avoid complete population extinction in case those animals will get extinct in the wild. 

Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) is a small nocturnal primate. It belongs to the least known nocturnal primates. Tarsiers and the Philippines remaining biodiversity and the ecosystems are under tremendous threats from the increasing human population. Because of its cute appearance tarsiers are often hunted and illegally sold as pets. Recently, the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group added the Philippine Tarsier on the list of 25th most endangered primates of the world. The Tarsius Project, led by a Czech zoologist RNDr. Milada Řeháková, Ph.D., focuses on conservation of this species since 2009, as the only long-term project combining research, conservation education, captive breeding and welfare, and ecotourism in order to protect this unique animal species. It has achieved several successes so far and now is achieving another very important one. Read more »

Czech ambassador visited Bohol Island

At the beginning of April Czech embassy officials visited Bohol Island. Here ambassador Jaroslav Olša with Jan Vytopil after a debate with Edgar M. Chatto, Governor of Province of Bohol and his team. Tarsius Project was also discussed. We are grateful for a longterm favour of the governor and our embassy!

Fotka uživatele Jan Vytopil.

A rediscovery of Dinagat bushy-tailed cloud rat helped starting conservation activities on Dinagat Island, Philippines.

Press release

Dinagat bushy-tailed cloud rat – photo by Milada Řeháková

A Dinagat bushy-tailed cloud rat, belonging to the biggest rodents of the world, is endemic to only one tiny island of the world – Dinagat Island, Philippines. This species was captured only once in the history, in 1975. It belongs to critically endangered species, and was even feared to be extinct until early 2012, when it was observed and video recorded by a scientific couple from Czech Republic. This success help to start conservation activities focused on this and other endangered species. In December 2016 czech-filipino expedition focused on mapping and establishing of protected areas on Dinagat Island where no protected areas exist so far. The cloud rat was recorded again after almost five years as well as another rare species, Dinagat Gymnure or Philippine tarsier.

The Environment Secretary Gina Lopez recently announced closing of mining operations because of mining in watershed areas, which is a burning issue especially on Dinagat Island. Read more »

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