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Present Status of Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) in Mt. Aruyan, Mindoro, Philippines

  • MATSUBAYASHI Hisashi
    Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, University Malaysia Sabah
  • BOYLES Rodel M.
    Tamaraw Conservation Program, Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • SALAC Ronilo L.
    Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer, Occidental Mindoro, Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • DEL BARRIO Arnel
    Department of Agriculture, Philippine Carabao Center, University of the Philippines
  • CRUZ Libertado
    Department of Agriculture, Philippine Carabao Center, Science City of Munoz
  • GARCIA Reynor A.
    Department of Agriculture, Philippine Carabao Center, University of the Philippines
  • ISHIHARA Shinya
    Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sceinces, University of Tsukuba
  • KANAI Yukio
    Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sceinces, University of Tsukuba

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Abstract

Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) is a wild water buffalo endemic to the island of Mindoro, Philippines. It is one of the world’s critically endangered species, and only three mountainous areas have confirmed tamaraw populations. One of the habitats, Mt. Aruyan, is inhabited by hundreds number of indigenous peoples (Mangyan) who live in clusters of villages. To understand the present status of the tamaraw in Mt. Aruyan, especially human-tamaraw conflicts, we conducted a field survey by camera trap, route censuses, and interviews with the Mangyan. One adult male was identified by camera trap and some individuals were identified by signs. Tamaraw habitat and the domiciles of the Mangyan completely overlap, and slash-and-burn farming by the Mangyan has significantly reduced tamaraw habitat. Moreover, outsiders poaching with guns directly contributed to the decline of tamaraw population. These results indicate that the conservation of tamaraw in the Mt. Aruyan habitat is extremely difficult. Therefore, conservation in other habitats is considered a higher priority.

Journal

  • Tropics

    Tropics 18 (4), 167-170, 2010

    JAPAN SOCIETY OF TROPICAL ECOLOGY

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