Zambo moves to protect tarsiers

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/21 Sept) – Following the discovery of tarsiers in some barangays here, the city council has adopted two resolutions calling for the protection of tarsiers and their natural habitats.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has disclosed that tarsiers, locally known as “Chonggo Magu,” can be found in the barangays of Baluno, Bungiao, Dulian, La Paz, Lumayang, Pasonanca and Tolosa.

Two tarsiers, one of them wounded, were found two weeks ago at a populated area in Purok 6 in Barangay La Paz. The DENR has said that the tarsiers are coming down to populated areas because of the rampant cutting of trees up in the mountains.

The resolutions sponsored by Councilor Rogelio Valesco, chair of the city council’s committee on tourism, were unanimously approved during Tuesday’s regular session.

The first resolution prohibits people to hunt, kill and capture tarsiers for private keeping and the second is for the DENR, as well as the stakeholders in the barangays, to protect the tarsiers and their natural habitats.

Valesco said he authored the two resolutions citing that tarsiers are endangered species and that Zamboangueños should feel fortunate that the little primates exist in this city.

“It is imperative that we should protect them and their natural habitats,” Valesco said.

One of the two tarsiers found in La Paz was freed a few days later at the Pasonanca Natural Park, which has an area of 17,414 hectares. The park serves as the buffer zone of the city’s watershed area. The other tarsier died at a veterinary clinic.

Louis Lozano, provincial environment and natural resources officer, disclosed that at least 10 tarsiers were already found in the different parts of the city and were already freed at the Pasonanca Natural Park. (MindaNews)