The Philippine Tarsier Foundation, Inc.
The Philippine Tarsier Foundation, Incorporated (PTFI) is a non-stock, non-profit organization mandated by the DENR in their 1997 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to implement the Philippine Tarsier Conservation Program. It is supported by two leading government agencies, to wit: the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Tourism (DOT).
The Foundation is based in Tagbilaran City and spearheads the individual and corporate membership campaign with the aim of allowing as many local residents as possible to actively support and participate in the Philippine Tarsier Conservation Program and the work of the Foundation.
Presently focusing its efforts in Bohol, the Foundation hopes to eventually link up with groups similarly engaged in nature conservancy elsewhere in the Philippines and thus jointly develop projects and rare fauna and flora species, and their natural habitats.
Todate, the Foundation has set-up the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary covering an area of 167 hectares within the three municipalities of Corella, Sikatuna and Loboc. This timberland area is currently under the administration of the DENR and is part of its Social Forestry Project. The Sanctuary starts at barangay Canapnapan in Corella, Bohol.
Within the sanctuary, the Foundation established a “Tarsier Trail” for eco-tourism purposes. The trail traverses through the gently rolling terrain of the interior towns of Corella, Sikatuna and Loboc. The distance of the trail is roughly 15 kilometers with numerous vantage points set-up for proper viewing of the tarsier in its natural habitat.
An additional 8.4 hectares of land has been acquired by the foundation in Corella and enclosed it with a seven-foot high fence to guard and protect the tarsiers from predators like feral cats and also from poachers and hunters. The tarsiers roam freely inside the enclosure though at night some climb out of the fence to search for food farther into the forest. Before daybreak, they return as if observing a curfew.
Within or part of the 8.4 hectares of land, the Foundation established the Tarsier Research and Development Center which serves as a visitor center and venue for research. Here, trekkers will be oriented with the unique characteristics and habits of the animal through photos and audio-visual presentations.
There are other Tarsier Sanctuaries established in the Bohol Province aside from Corella. In Corella, the sanctuary is located 10 kilometers from Tagbilaran City. In Loay town is the River Watch Tarsier Sanctuary, also a fenced preservation area. Another fenced sanctuary can be found in Loboc town.
Candijay town also has their own tarsier sanctuary. The town is 92.2 kilometers from Tagbilaran City. Here, the tarsiers are not fenced in. They are allowed to roam in their natural habitat freely and undisturbed. The municipality has 2,360 hectares of remaining upland forests as preservation area.
There are other caged tarsier sanctuaries in Loboc and Sagbayan Peak. They are only small enclosures. In Loboc, beside the main road, a family has a small caged sanctuary. The tarsiers there are so tame, you can fondle them. But concerned people does not approve of this practice for the tarsiers are easily traumatized and if they don’t die suddenly, they however cannot breed.
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