Senator Loren Legarda today hailed the reported Tamaraw population growth in the Iglit-Baco National Park and pushed for heightened public awareness about the status of endangered species and how they can be protected.
"This success is owed to the dedication of the men and women who have worked tirelessly over the past decade in order for the tamaraw to thrive. Heightened awareness about the tamaraw, as well as otherendangered species, will serve to increase their chances of survival," she remarked.
According to the Tamaraw Conservation Program (TCP), numbers of the critically endangered Bubalus mindorensis , a small buffalo species found on Mindoro island, have been rising little by little since 2000.
"Economic development threatens many of our indigenous animal species. Poaching, illegal logging, and the destruction of their habitat remain the greatest challenges. Through our concerted efforts, and aided by laws such as the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008, we can eliminate these threats," she said.
Legarda noted that today the official count of tamaraw spotted in the 75,000-hectare Iglit-Baco National Park stands at 327, but that this covers only 16,000 hectares or 20% of the entire reserve. Officials say that the actual number may be far higher.
"It gives me great joy to know that initiatives of both the government and wildlife conservation advocates are bearing fruit, and that future generations will not be deprived of seeing them in their natural habitat. This should inspire us to continue the campaign," she concluded.