In the mountain slopes of Mindoro Island in the Philippines, ten-thousand mighty tamaraw buffalo once grazed. Now, with less than 300 individuals remaining, these dwarf buffaloes are now classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
- The WWF-Philippines has joined together with top academic institution Far Eastern University, along with environmental groups in Mindoro, with a goal of doubling the population of wild tamaraw by 2020.
- While the tamaraw is the largest land mammal native to Mindoro, it is considered to be a dwarf species of buffalo. Individuals stand at 1 meter tall (3.2 feet) and weight between 200 and 300 kilograms (440 – 660 pounds).
- The tamaraw’s dark brown coat is broken with light markings on its stomach and above it eyes.
- These nocturnal mammals have short, thick horns forming a distinctive V-shape above its head.
- Decades of hunting, land clearings, and an disease have had devastating effects on the population.
- Mindoro is one of seven distinct bio-geographical zones in the Philippines and supports the productive ecosystems of the Iglit-Baco mountain range and Apo Reef.
- The tamaraw conservation effort brings together tamaraw research, ongoing efforts to protect the Apo Reef and other marine riches, and improved oversight and regulations for parks and public land use.
Want to learn more? Read the full story: Conservationists pledge to double number of tiny buffalo