Tarsier: The Philippines' Big-Eyed Primate in Bohol
The province of Bohol seems to encourage the bizarre. It contains one of the world’s strangest landscapes, a collection of some 1,700 hills in a 20-square-mile area called the Chocolate Hills. It is also home to a peculiar creature called the Philippine tarsier (locally referred to as the mawmag or mamag), one of the smallest known primates, no larger than an adult man’s hand, with giant round eyes and a tail that is longer than its body. These adorable beasts are spread across various islands in the southeast of the Philippines, surviving in rain forests with thick vegetation. They are nocturnal, can leap as far as 10 feet from tree to tree, and (like owls) are able to turn their heads 180 degrees. Unfortunately, habitat destruction via logging and mining threatens the Philippine tarsier with extinction. The best place in Bohol to see them and support their conservation at the same time is at the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary in Corella. Run by the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to tarsier conservation and education, this small but successful sanctuary provides the best possible environment to allow these tiny creatures to survive and thrive.