Foundations for the Long-Term Recovery and Reconnection of the Tamaraw Metapopulation on Mindoro, Philippines.

Timeframe: 2023-2025
Country/Region: Philippines
Partner: ZSL

The Tamaraw, an Asian wild cattle species, endemic to Mindoro Island, in the Philippines, is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, with a total population of only about 500 individuals. The Tamaraw is a national symbol of the Philippines and features prominently in its culture. Four small subpopulations of the species remain in fragmented secondary forest and grassland habitats on Mindoro. Hunting and habitat loss pose serious threats to the survival of all tamaraw subpopulations that need to increase in size and be reconnected across the island in order to guarantee the survival of the species.

Implemented by a coalition of national and international organizations and led by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), this project aims to foster the recovery and the reconnection of the tamaraw through its remaining habitat by increasing the coordination of protection and wildlife crime prevention efforts on the island. Local partners effectiveness will be bolstered by the development of infrastructure and the establishment of standardized protocols for monitoring teams. The project partners will also assess the feasibility of expanding and reconnecting isolated tamaraw populations into a connected metapopulation through conservation translocations and ex situ breeding.