The university whose athletic mascot is the tamaraw continues its efforts to protect the critically endangered mammal endemic to Mindoro.
Through the partnership of Far Eastern University, the Department of Natural Resources, and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature Philippines, the 401 tamaraws recorded last year increased by 30 percent, bringing the total population of the hoofed animal in the area to 523.
“In 2005, FEU launched its own efforts to protect the tamaraws,” said FEU director for community extension services Dr. Marilou Cao. “This year, FEU partners anew with WWF to strengthen our commitment to protecting the tamaraws’ habitat.”
Now on its second year, the TAMWorld Roving Exhibit intensifies its awareness campaign by giving the public an opportunity to learn more about the endemic tamaraws.
After touring various FEU campuses in 2017, the exhibit will now be displayed around commercial malls, enabling more people to discover the world of tamaraws through photographs and artwork done by TAMBayani artist volunteers from various universities and art associations led by the FEU Fine Art alumni. Its first stop was at the Fora Mall in Tagaytay.
To further strengthen the objective of educating the next generation about the need for preservation of this endangered species and conservation of the environment, students from nearby schools and colleges in the CALABARZON area were also invited to participate in a series of interactive fora.
“When we partnered with FEU in 2012, the objective was to double the number of tamaraws from then 300 to 600 by 2020, and we are getting there,” shared WWF president Jose Angelito Palma. “It is not about breeding the tamaraws but it is about taking care of their habitats and working with communities that surround them that generated such positive results.”
Cao added, “We also have programs that support the needs of the tamaraw rangers because we believe that their service and sacrifice to protect the tamaraws played a large role in increasing in the population.”
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