The Philippine Tarsier

The Philippine Tarsier
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The tarsier is widely known as the second smallest primate in the world. This miniature creatureis nowadays endangered and strongly protected by the government, because it is believed to have dated back to 45 million years ago.Fossils have pronounced its existence across the continents of Asia, Europe, and North America. However, the remaining existent descendants have pointed to the Southeast Asian countries including Sulawesi, Borneo, Sumatra, and especially here in the Philippines – specifically in the places of Samar, Leyte, parts of Mindanao, and of course, Bohol.

The Tarsier Sanctuary in Canapnapan, Corella, serves as a haven for thriving flora and fauna that embodies full grown Mahogany and Ficus tress, palms, ferns, bamboo and other wide array of foliage that flourish under the tropical weather, as well as an impeccable wildlife of birds, reptiles, an extensive diversity of insects, and mammals including the Bohol Tarsier. The sanctuary stretches across the towns of Corella, Sikatuna, and Loboc with its coverage of 134 hectares of forest, land, and river. Visitors and trekkers get to experience nature like no other, as a trained volunteer warmly guides and escorts through trails leading to these shy, nocturnal beings gathered in mini-colonies of no more than 3-10 adults and offspring each. Other sights of wild animals include woodpeckers, rocky-tailed headed parrot, glass owl, bubock pigeon, parakeets and serpent eagle. A 14 km journey from Tagbilaran City to this place will, of course, be a worthy trip filled with excitement, adventure, and newfound knowledge as well.

The hike can consume a two hour-trekking in the habitat to a maximum of half a day that includes swimming and sunbathing with nature along the river banks that connect to Loboc River. For nature fanatics, the sanctuary is definitely a top on the list of the must-see destinations in Bohol. Come and enjoy Mother Nature with her captivating allure through the eyes of the Philippine Tarsier.

To See Tarsiers:

At the Dao Terminal, public vehicles such as buses and jeepneys standby and leave for their assigned destinations hourly. Hop on board on one which is en route to Sikatuna. From there, you can hire a pedicab or a motorbike who’ll take you to the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary in Canapnapan, Corella.

For a more convenient travel, you can also hire a van or rent a car or avail a metered taxi. Either way, the local driver will take you to the destination. For a hassle-free ride, you can always rely on the hotel management or travel agency who’d make the essential reservations for your trip.

Tarsier Trivia:
• The world’s second smallest primate, and the only primate ever known to be carnivorous.
• A tarsier’s diet includes a wide array of insect species: from cockroaches to crickets and may be extended to some birds, reptiles and bats.
• They can grow up to 8-16 cm in length. These miniatures have the ability to jump from one branch to another with a distance of 16 feet.
• The enormous eyes of a tarsier can grow up to a diameter of 16 mm, and another fact is that these eyes are as large (or even larger) as the brain case.
• The tarsier can rotate its heads to a maximum of 180 degrees.
• When caught by humans and brought in captivity, the tarsier commits suicide by banging its head against the branch it clings on because of stress.
• Their tails can grow as long as 232 mm. The tails are generally used for balancing.
• The name ‘Tarsier’ is derived from the fact that they have very long tarsus bones.
• These creatures are nocturnal, and often appear shy and usually hide among the branches and leaves during daytime.
• It has been observed for some time that only the females take care of their offspring.
• Only one offspring is born at a time. The gestation period is 6 months or 180 days.
• Tarsiers are arboreal, which means that they thrive in and around the base of tree trunks and roots of plants.
• Tarsiers are locally called as “Maomag” or “Malmag”.

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