Present Status of Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) in Mt. Aruyan, Mindoro, Philippines
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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.
Tropics 18(4), 167-170, 2010
JAPAN SOCIETY OF TROPICAL ECOLOGY