Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta)

Philippine Tarsier in the jungle

Philippine Tarsier in the jungle

The Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) is a tiny primate endemic to islands of the southern Philippines. The nocturnal animals live in dense jungle and feed mostly on insects. Unfortunately, the conversion of forests to farmland diminished their habitat strongly during the last decades leading to the near-extinction of the species. On Bohol Island, a dozen tarsiers are kept for scientific study in a semi-enclosed area which I visited in April 2008. However, their life expectancy in captivity is strongly diminished and breeding occurs only very rarely. The increased stress in confinement – also caused by tourists taking photographs with flash – causes the animals to hit their head against trees and killing themselves due to their thin skulls.

sleeping during the day

sleeping during the day

close-up

close-up

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