BACK IN THE WILD. Marslou D. Bonita (third from right), head of the DENR-CENRO in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, leads the release of a Philippine tarsier back to its natural habitat in Barangay Hinapoyan, Carmen town on July 23, 2021. Another tarsier was also rescued and released in the province on July 21 in Barangay Adlay, Carrascal. (Photo from DENR-CENRO Cantilan's Facebook page)

BUTUAN CITY – Two Philippine Tarsiers (Tarsius syrichta) that were found and rescued by concerned individuals in the towns of Carrascal and Carmen in Surigao del Sur have been released back to their natural habitat by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources–Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR-CENRO) of Cantilan town.

A statement issued by the agency on Sunday said the two primates were released on July 21 and 23 in the forested areas of Carrascal and Carmen, respectively.

An adult male tarsier was found and rescued on July 21 in Palo, Barangay Adlay, Carrascal by Romel Cubillan, a resident in the area.

“Mr. Cubillan found the tarsier after it fell from a tree. The tarsier with an approximate total length of 29.21 cm and weight of 200 grams was released back to its natural habitat in Barangay Adlay on July 21,” the statement said.

A juvenile male tarsier with a length of 14.5 cm and weighing 100 grams, was also found and rescued in Barangay Hinapoyan, Carmen on July 23.

“After assessment and found in good condition, the rescued primate was released in Barangay Hinapoyan on July 23. The release was led by DENR-CENRO Cantilan Officer Marslou D. Bonita and the local officials in the area,” the statement said.

After the release of the two primates, the DENR-CENRO Cantilan also conducted communication, education and public awareness activities in the two barangays with the aim of imparting to local residents some knowledge on the tarsier’s biology, conservation and protection.

The agency said the Philippine Tarsier is listed under Other Threatened Species (OTS) in the DENR Administrative Order No. 2019-09 or the Updated List of Philippine Fauna and their categories.

The tarsiers are considered as Near Threatened in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), it added.

“It is therefore important to strengthen its protection to sustain its population. The DENR continuously urges the public to turn over any wildlife to proper authorities for their subsequent release back to their natural habitat,” the statement said. (PNA)