Cotabato City―A group of children rescued a male tarsier in Koronadal City, environment officials in South-Central Mindanao said on Wednesday.
The male tarsier (scientific name Tarsiidae) was turned over to the Region 12 office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Jan. 23, after it was recovered from the children by a concerned resident of Barangay Assumption in Koronadal City.
The creature was immediately released to the wild, as it appeared to be in good shape and health, environment officials said. The tarsier found on Jan. 23 has been the second of its kind rescued in South Cotabato. The first was found in Barangay Linan in Tupi town last year.
Arnel Alvarez of Barangay Assumption said he saw a group of children apparently toying with the endangered specie in Sitio Elalam last on Jan. 23.
Alvarez said he took the tarsier from the children and brought to Brigada News FM Station in Koronadal City to inform authorities on its rescue.
Dr. Sabdullah C. Abubacar, regional executive director of DENR-12 lauded Alvarez’s act of informing environment officials, who were equally cited for promptly taking protective custody of the tarsier.
“The protection and conservation of wildlife species is one of the main mandates of the DENR,” Dr. Abubacar said.
Forester Mangayao Macapodi, chief of the DENR-12 Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section, said his staff heard the rescue of the creature over the radio program, and went to the station to secure the tarsier.
Macapodi said the tarsier is on the list of vulnerable and threatened wildlife species.
Alvarez told the Brigada radio program that it was his first-time to see a tarsier.
Based on the PAMBCS assessment, the tarsier has a height of 12 centimeters and weighs around 80 to 160 grams.
Tarsiers normally reach 16 centimeters in height and up to 160 grams in mass, with a spectral lifespan of up to 12 years.
Macapodi said the presence of tarsier in Koronadal showed that the animal could also be found in other parts of South Cotabato, including Barangay Linan, Tupi town and in Barangay Assumption, Koronadal City.
“We will conduct a series of information, education and campaign (IEC) activity in the area to increase community awareness on the importance of biodiversity,” the official said.
He also advised the public not to capture any wildlife species if they are in good condition.
“Let the wildlife (creatures) live in their natural habitat. If they are harmed or injured, immediately turn them over to the nearest DENR office to ensure their well-being,” Macapodi said.
Since the tarsier appeared to be in a good health condition, the DENR-12 PAMBCS personnel together with Alvarez and barangay officials immediately released the species back to its natural habitat in Barangay. Assumption.