Tarsius project at Youth Summer Camp 2015

Between 25th and 28th March, the 7th Bohol Red Cross Youth Summer Camp 2015 with the theme „Save the Nature, Save the Future” was held In Bohol Island State University in Bilar. It aimed to increase environmental awareness among young Boholanos. The Tarsius Project also participated in this event, as our Field Assistant, Filip, was invited there as a Resource Speaker to give a talk on tarsiers conservation. The panel was called “Hello Little Tarsier” and took place at the afternoon on 26th March, 2015.

It was the first time when Filip has organized a talk to that big audience, as the Camp was organized for 132 participants from different parts of Bohol. What is more, the age of listeners varied greatly, being between 13 and 25 years old. Therefore, Filip did what he could to interest all of the participants, with good result.

During two-hours panel, different issues were discussed. The talk started with the most famous sentence about tarsiers in Bohol – “ The smallest monkey/primate in the world!”. Participants could hear why it is completely incorrect and learned about both the smallest monkey and primate in the world. To deepen their knowledge, Filip taught them what primates actually are and what are their characteristics as well presented them with current diversity of this mammalian order. Having those information clarified, audience could hear about tarsiers, especially their Philippine native species. They could revise their knowledge on tarsiers morphology, anatomy, biology and behavior with some evolutionary related patterns. Encouraged by very participative and interested teenagers and adults, Filip went further to wildlife conservation, where they could learn about biodiversity loss and its causes as well as effects on the populations of native species. Most of examples were given on Philippine native taxa, pointing out problems that homeland of participants faces. At the end, different approaches to conservation were discussed, showing both advantages and disadvantages of all of them.

Although challenging, this experience was really rewarding. This diversified group was really eager to learn as much as they could in that limited time, and thanks to their participation two hours had to be extended. Examples from their local ground concerned them and looking at their faces, all of the messages will be taken home and spread. We also hope for further collaboration with the organizers of the Camp in similar events around Bohol.

(Text: Filip Wojciechowski)


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