Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis)

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Captive tamaraw, Philippines, 2009

Status

Critically Endangered  

Population estimate

Identifying accurate population trends is difficult to ascertain due to the increase of frequency and accuracy of population count techniques. Therefore it is currently uncertain whether increases in Tamaraw population estimates are due to an increase in the actual population or to more efficient methods of estimation.4

Recent surveys suggest however that there are approximately 300 Tamaraw today with 60–70% of these being mature individuals. The majority of the population is found in Mount Iglit-Baco, with around 269 individuals, 15 in Mount Calavite, and 15–20 in Aruyan.4 It is estimated that the Tamaraw population will decline by 25% within the next 30 years.4

Historically endemic and widespread in Mindoro, a Philippine island covering 9,735 km², it is now estimated that its current distribution is less than 300 km² in areas such as Mount Iglit-Baco National Park, Mount Aruyan/Sablayan, and Mount Calavite Tamaraw Preserve.1,2,3The Tamaraws restricted distribution can be seen in the map.

Distribution and habitat preference

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Tamaraw could previously be found from sea level to areas over 1,800m throughout Mindoro. Typically favouring open grassland, thick bamboo-jungle, marshy river valleys, and low to mid-elevation forests they are now restricted to small remote areas inhabiting secondary forest and mixed forest/grassland.1,3,8,11