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Philippine Tamaraw's Survival
« on: October 11, 2008, 09:36:25 PM »
This piece of news should gladden not only the hearts of Far Eastern University students and alumni. It’s a national triumph that FEU’s symbol—the more elegant cousin of the Philippine water buffalo which the Haribon once called “Mindoro’s endangered treasure” and later “the Philippines’ endangered flagship species”—is no longer about to disappear from the face of the earth.

The tamaraw resembles the carabao. But it is darker, has a shorter tail and a V-shaped set of horns while the carabao’s horn is crescent- or C-shaped. A mature tamaraw stands at only about three feet high at the shoulder and weighs 300 kilograms.

Unlike the farming carabao, the tamaraw is wild and fierce. It attacks and pursues intruders.

Scientists who spoke at the Third Tamaraw Forum, held at FEU on Friday, gave the news that the population of Bubalus mindorensis (that’s the tamaraw’s scientific name), also called the “Mindoro dwarf buffalo” has started to stabilize thanks to private sector and government efforts.

Until 2005, Haribon still referred to the tamaraw as an endangered species.

A report by the environmentalist NGO’s writer-researcher Art Fuentes in February 2005 said: “Apart from the Philippine eagle, perhaps there is only one other animal that can best symbolize the mass extinction of species that is happening here in the Philippines—the Tamaraw. Once found in the thousands on the island of Mindoro in the early 1900s, it is estimated that fewer than 300 survive today. source:

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