Camera traps in Philippines reveal dramatic dwarf buffalo images03/06/2013 12:58:12 WWF, DENR and FEU Programme Aims to Double Wild Tamaraw Numbers by 2020
June 2013. Camera traps deployed in the rugged mountains of the Philippines Mindoro Island's Iglit-Baco range have captured dramatic images of Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) - the world's rarest buffalo species and the Philippines' largest endemic land animal.
Part of ‘Tams-2' - an ambitious public-private partnership initiative to double wild Tamaraw numbers from 300 to 600 by 2020, the small infrared cameras are crucial tools in giving scientists a glimpse of the habits of particularly secretive animals. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has deployed hundreds of camera traps worldwide.
Just 350 remain alive
To support the conservation of both the Tamaraw and its productive mountain habitats, WWF partnered with the Far Eastern University (FEU), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Tamaraw Conservation Programme (TCP), Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI), local government of Occidental Mindoro, plus the indigenous Tawbuid Mangyan inhabitants of Mts. Iglit-Baco for an ambitious goal - to double wild Tamaraw numbers from 300 to 600 by 2020.
Rinderpest, land clearing & hunting
Owing largely to local government conservation efforts, the population has recovered to 345 heads as of April 2013. "This initiative addresses research gaps not just for Tamaraw - but all creatures that inhabit the park," adds Boyles.
WWF, FEU and the DENR's Western Mindoro Integrated Conservation Program ties in Tamaraw research and improved park management initiatives with ongoing efforts to conserve Apo Reef and the rich marine habitats of Sablayan.
"Science-based action spurs effective conservation," concludes Dr. Stewart. "These groundbreaking images give us crucial insights into the movements and numbers of this highly-secretive buffalo. When we know where they are, we'll know which areas to protect."