Tamaraws are a type of wild dwarf buffalo living only on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. There used to be thousands of this rare animal roaming and grazing the entire island of Mindoro and on other islands. Now, they are confined to the highlands due to rampant illegal poaching, habitat degradation, and changing land use. At present, only 480 of this unique species are left within the Mount Iglit Baco National Park. Captive breeding was tried to revive the population, but only resulted in a single offspring. Thus, survival of the tamaraw is highly dependent on the wild population. This survival recently became more threatened due to the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted to closure of parks and curtailment of tourist activities.
32 out of 35 wardens and 1 ranger, the tamaraw frontliners who function as tourist guides and patrollers, have lost their jobs, and the endangered tamaraws are at risk of losing their protectors.
UNDP through its Biodiversity Finance Initiative in the Philippines is launching #SuwagoSuko (#StrikeorSurrender) #TogetherforTamaraws, a crowdfunding campaign to secure the allowances and food packages for the Mangyan rangers and wardens who are protecting the tamaraws and its home.
The gifts will support half a year’s field allowance and nourishment during this difficult period spurred by the pandemic and the transition to recovery. This way, we support our tamaraw frontliners, and ensure that the protection of the tamaraws from poachers and hunters will continue.
Your gift will help them, and they can help save the last surviving tamaraws.