Presence of tarsier in Tacloban City recorded for the first time

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 10) — Researchers from the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College-Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (UPVTC-DNSM) validated and documented the presence of a tarsier in the city, the first after reported sightings in neighboring towns.

The researchers said they were motivated to study the Philippine tarsier population in Tacloban City’s forests following the sightings.

The confirmation was recorded during a field survey conducted from July 29 to 31 in a secondary forest area in Brgy. Sta. Elena, in the northern part of Tacloban.

“The presence of the Philippine tarsier in Tacloban City’s forests highlights the role of the city as a key biodiversity area,” UPVTC-DNSM said in a statement.

“The presence of tarsiers and other endemic species should be taken into account in the city’s land-use plans, particularly in terms of protecting the areas where the tarsiers live,” it added.

Prior to the survey, the researchers secured prior informed consent (PIC) from the Tacloban City Environment Office and concerned local barangays, as well as a Gratuitous Permit (GP) from the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Found only in the islands of Mindanao, Bohol, Samar, and Leyte, the Philippine tarsier is known to Warays as “mago.”

CNN Philippines’ correspondent Wil Mark Amazona contributed to this story.