Recently, a seminar about handicrafts was held in the village of Subayon , Bilar-Bohol. Attended by a large number of local people of all ages, the workshop was about how to make dream catchers and other crafts made from common materials in the area such as coconut shell and bamboo. The workshop was held with the joy and
curiosity that characterizes people here. All materials were provided, so attendees could put into practice what they learned. It was very fun and rewarding, I was impressed by speed and good work of many attendees, an enviable talent!
The reason for this initiative is to provide an opportunity for the people of this town to make a profit by making crafts, which are currently beginning to be offered for sale in Habitat Conservation Center’s souvenir shop, in Bilar, while another part of the proceeds from the handicrafts goes towards the Tarsius Project: wildlife monitoring, habitat protection, behavioral studies and breeding center maintenance.
Also in April, during Easter, was organized in Habitat Conservation Center the Face -Painting activity, to take advantage the large number of tourists who visit the center at this time, and the money was allocated to Tarsius Project. The most popular face-painting designs: colorful butterflies, flowers, lizards, bats and many more. For my part: delighted, many different people to talk, it was a pleasure, I love to paint !
Text and photo: Elba Gonzalez Betancor – volunteer field assistant
Prof. Lovegrove and colleagues masured body temperatures of six mammalian species and compared them with temperature of the enviromnent. They revealed that small tropical mammals are especially vulnerable to climate change due to their physiology. Increasing temperature can lead to changed metabolism and it is especially risky when the animals cannot move to colder areas (e.g. on islands). The results of the study that included also data collected by M. Řeháková on free-ranging Philippine tarsiers were published recently in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology (Lovegrove B. G., Canale C., Levesque D., Fluch G., Řeháková-Petrů M., Ruf T. (2013) Are Tropical Small Mammals Physiologically Vulnerable to Arrhenius Effects and Climate Change?).
As a part of our current project activities we work on establishing of a breeding centre as a first centre focusing on conservation and research tarsier in the scientific way. It will serve as a basis for establishing a viable captive population of the Philippine tarsier. The area where the centre will be located was purchased by Bohol Habitat Conservation Centre (find more) and the previous farmland slowly turns into our conservation field station. The main steps towards our goal are preparation of the tarsier enclosure that needs to be build and well planted with local plants and ensuring the food supply, therefore we learn how to breed a variety of local insects, before we can get tarsiers.
We are very happy and gratelful that we found Sara Garau who volunteered for us for 9 month. She did an amzing job! How did she like it?
I have been back home in Italy for few months now, and if I think about the 9 months I spent in Bohol I can’t help picturing them like a videogame. No, I don’t play videogames, at least not those which require a console, but I feel like I’ve been inside one. With difficulties and challenges to overcome, but also with so many rewards and bloating self-esteem. Více »
At least 73 people have been reported dead after a magnitude-7.2 earthquake hit the central Philippines. At least 57 people were confirmed dead in Bohol.
Luckily, the Bohol Habitat Conservation Centre in Bilar, the field station of our Tarsius project, is without severe demages, as confirmed by Felix Sobiono, the director.
The annual EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) conference was held in Edinburgh in the last week of September. As a part of the programme for the Saturday afternoon there was a section about endangered Philippine species. During this session Milada Řeháková presented a summary of successes and plans of the Tarsius project. Více »
We are looking for a tarsier conservation assistant and for a Philippine/Asian insect identification assistant (please see below)
Tarsier conservation Project assistant
We seek a voluntary field assistant for a minimum of 6-months, live-in position, (longer preferred) suited to persons who have studied within the field of Primatology, Ethology or closely related Zoology fields and who are looking for field experience to further their professional career.
Gain valuable experience as a technician in the field of conservation and management of a sensitive species, by assisting with a conservation breeding program of Tarsier syrichta. Více »
A tarsier was recently found in Manila. Probably he was kept as a pet which is illegal but common practise in the Philippines. Unfortunatelly, animals kept in captivity do not survive long.
Dear friends of the rainforests,
Our partners in the ALDAW indigenous network in the Philippines have called on us for our help. The Philippine government plans to promote oil palm plantations on a vast scale on the tropical islands of Mindanao and Palawan, on rainforest land and the ancestral homes of small farmers and indigenous peoples. The residents own the land, and grow fruits, vegetables, rice and coconut palms there. They also use the forests as a source of food and materials for house construction and crafts.
With their sustainable way of life, the indigenous peoples have helped preserve their natural treasures, including many animal and plant species in danger of extinction. Because of this abundance, Palawan has been listed as a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve since 1990. The government’s palm oil plans are an existential threat to the future of the indigenous residents and their environment.
Please support ALDAW in petitioning the government of the Philippines:
Spending night in the forest – for tarsier researchers an everyday activity, for most of locals a night mare, for tourist on the other hand it might be a challenge and a new experience.
The idea of organizing a night safari tours where tourists can spot tarsiers and other unique wildlife was carried out by Cristy Burlace, founder of Simply Butterflies Conservation Centre in Bilar, and Milada Řeháková, Tarsius project leader, already in 2010. Unfortunately there is not much tradition in organizing jungle safaris in the Philippines therefore it was hard to make tourist to come over. The situation changed in 2012. The Tarsius project got a substantial support from Czech Ministry of foreign affairs which helped us to focus more on development of ecotourism in neighbouring Rajah Sikatuna National Park.
A Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) chews a katydid under dim mesopic light conditions. A paper by Amanda D. Melin et al., in this issue of Proceedings B (http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.0189), raises the possibility that such conditions favoured the evolution of enlarged eyes and high-acuity trichromatic vision in the last common ancestor of crown tarsiers, a concept that challenges prevailing views on the adaptive origins of anthropoid primates.
Cover image by Petr Slavik taken during fieldwork on the Tarsius Project.