"..a bardy view!"

It’s a Tarsier!

Some themes will have a tendency to re-appear and this involves two of them. I am returning to a subject involving the rare combination of Charles Darwin (stop yawning at the back!), and the Philippines. Now how could those two be interlinked? Well the curator of Chicago's Natural History Museum has managed to do it.The very rare Philippines Tarsier

Dr Lawrence Heaney has said that the Philippines could well have inspired Darwin because it is an extraordinary place for biodiversity, and on a par with the Galapagos Islands insofar of having a wealth of endemic species.

He went on to say that the Philippines was one of the world's premier natural laboratories for understanding diversity.

This chap's an expert, and he thinks that the concentration of diversity there could be the highest in the world.

Apparently the Philippines was never attached to any major land mass, and therefore up to 70% of the mammal population can be found nowhere else. I find this news astonishing, and if so then ecologists and conservationists need to conduct some serious lobbying in order to fully protect what's left.

The biggest threat is the dramatic rise in the population, which has doubled in the last thirty years. People need more space, and therefore infringe more on habitats where subsequently the flora and fauna disappear. You certainly don't need to be a rocket scientist to work that out.

In less than 100 years, the Philippines has lost 62% of it's forest cover. This in a country with a land area 128 times smaller than Brazil. It's a shocking and barely comprehensible statistic.

On a positive note, our professor has observed that many more people are becoming aware of the country's natural gifts, but in the end, he says, the decision to protect the environment will ultimately depend on Filipinos themselves.

Well, count me in to lend a helping hand!


April 8, 2009 - Posted by | The Philippines

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