Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Philippine Tarsier, the Worlds Smallest Primate

The Philippine Tarsier is a definite reason why tourists flock Bohol. Although these animals can be found in Eastern Visayas area and some of Mindanao regions, (but not in any other parts of the world) it is only in Bohol where there is a sanctuary established specially for their protection from extinction.

Philippine tarsier is a nocturnal primate (meaning they have a highly developed brain and intelligence that allows them to adapt their behavior successfully with different environments just like humans) Cool isn't it? These creatures are also highly sensitive that they would be committing suicide once stressed. That's one of the reasons why tourists in Bohol are strictly restricted from touching them. The local governments of Loay and Loboc, two towns in Bohol, also banned the display and possession tarsiers in the town's vicinity.

There was a time that the tarsier population had been threatened into extinction. With that, the Philippine Government passed and created laws that prohibits the hunting, wounding, killing or possession of the tarsier unless for educational and conservation research purposes in 1997.

To see tarsiers in Bohol, you can visit The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary located in Corella Bohol. Here, 100 tarsiers are being kept, fed and bred. They are able to roam and live their life freely on a lush forested area where the only barrier is a 7-foot fence installed around the area to protect them from predators. We didn't have enough time and we're not able to drop by the sanctuary but our guide dropped us at a place where they were displaying two tarsiers and a flying lemur. I personally prefer if they don't have this place but maybe, they got a special permit from DENR. One of the tarsiers looked sick and disturbed so we didn't really get near it.

The Philippine Tarsier is an interesting species. It is really small about the size of a man's fist yet it can jump up to 5 meters. Helping it quickly spot food at night wen they are awake is a set of big eyes that looked disproportional to it's head. I find it cute though and it reminds me of my puppy love, lol! These eyes can't be rolled or moved like human's do but to compensate for that, they can rotate their head on a 180 degrees angle.

Seeing these cute yet shy creatures for the first time is definitely a wonderful experience. Don't miss out on seeing them when you step in the province of Bohol. :)

How to get to The Tarsier Sanctuary

I won't be able to share how to go to this place via commute since this and all the other attractions I've visited in Bohol is a part of the itinerary for the whole day countryside tour I designed. We rented a vehicle with a driver that served as our tour guide as well. This is a a family get-away and not my typical backpacking trip so comfort is one of my top priorities arranging this trip. If you need information on who you can contact for renting vehicles, please check this link: Cars/Vans for Hire in Bohol.

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