The Philippine Tarsier
Published Sep 13 2010 in CartoCraze Geography Blog by Deborah Newton
Here's a little fellow that you might want to learn about! It is the Phiippine Tarsier, scientific name Tarsius Syrichta. This is pronounced tar-SHEER, with the accent on the second syllable. This nocturnal animal is only about the size of a man's fist.
The tarsier can be found on the Philippine islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. One of the world's smallest primates, it is a close relative of lemurs, lorises and bushbabies. Other tarsier relatives can be found in other parts of ASIA, namely Borneo, Sumatra, and Indonesia.
The tarsier is a shy rainforest tree-dweller. During the day, the tarsier sleeps in the hollows of trees and in bushes. At night it prefers to be higher in the trees, hunting and eating insects.
The animal’s round head holds huge bulging eyes. Unlike other nocturnal animals that have light-reflecting abilities, the tarsier has excellent vision and constantly moving ears that help it find and catch its prey. Another helpful feature is a special joint in the neck that can allow it to rotate 180 degrees! When calling out to each other, the tarsiers use different sounds: a shrill squeak when far away and a chirping sound when close.
On these islands in the Philippines, human population growth has led to cutting down trees for logging and new farmland. This has put some of the Philippine tarsiers at risk. Fortunately, the local people are trying to protect the tarsier and its environment. The Philippine Tarsier Foundation in Corella Bohol, allows visitors to view this unique creature in the protected environment of the sanctuary:
CartoCraze Subscribers-- for more information about the tarsier, with a printable map of the Philippines, and activities related to the tarsier and his native islands, go to the MEMBER DOWNLOAD AREA and click on Fun Geography Stuff.