Latest
Tourism is threatening the survival of the endangered tarsier (jhun111jhun)

Tourism threatens wide-eyed primate

14th December 2011

Travellers visiting the Philippines could pose a serious threat to the survival of the endangered nocturnal tarsier – one of the world's smallest primates

The wide-eyed charm of the tarsier is a big attraction for tourists in the Philippines, but the fame of this unique species might just be one of the biggest threats to its survival, warn conservationists. Most live in the forest surrounding the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary on the island of Bohol, which has become one of the country's most popular wildlife destinations.

Travellers come from far and wide to see this tiny creature, often trying to get as close as possible to take photographs, or pet them. But as nocturnal animals, tarsiers are extremely sensitive to daylight, noise and human contact.

Camera flashes and visitor's chatter can create a highly stressful environment for the shy species, and can reportedly sometimes be enough to drive the small animal to kill itself. When under stress tarsiers repeatedly hit their head against the hard surface of a tree, and because of the thinness of their cranium, their skulls crack easily resulting in death.

The species was declared 'specially protected' by the Philippine government in 1997, but despite this, the number of those living in the wild has dwindled to a few hundred in recent years. Conservationists say that more needs to be done through education, stricter enforcement, and monitoring of tourist activities.

More like this

Find out what you can do to help endangered species | Volunteer & Conservation... More

Turtles and sharks among most endangered marine species | News... More

Safari park stops pinpointing rhinos for tourists | News... More

Four-lane highway to threaten tiger population | News... More

Keep up with current travel and wildlife news | News... More

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login or get more from Wanderlust - register today!

 Your Comments (1)

  • 15th December by Liz Cleere

    Now that IS an animal with eyelashes, isn't it?



    Don't let Pluck see this article, it'll add grist to his mill ;-)


    Report as inappropriate

MAKE IT HAPPEN

loading...

Key Facts

  • Philippines

    Philippines travel guide, including map of the Philippines, top Philippines travel experiences, tips for travel in the Philippines, plus where to see rice terra

  • Wildlife and safaris

    Wildlife and safaris travel guide, including wildlife and safaris travel advice, where to go on safari in the world

  • More Experiences
select
select
select
select
Departure date:
Open the calendar popup.
Return date:
Open the calendar popup.
Date flexibility:
Spin UpSpin Down
Search

Need some travel planning inspiration?

Simply select the destination you’re interested in or the activities you’re looking for and we’ll send your request to a select panel of tour operators.

Each operator will respond to your request individually. Your details remain private and are not disclosed to any partners unless you decide to proceed with a booking. Enjoy!

Search
Email

Wanderlust in your inbox

Wanderlust sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!





I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions

Submit