Tamaraw

The Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) is another animal that is closely identified to the Philippines. It belongs to the family Bovidae and can be found only in the island of Mindoro. This bovine looks a lot like the common carabao, although it is not a subspecies of the latter. The average adult tamaraw, who has a lifespan of 20-25 years, stands around three feet high and weighs between 200 to 300 kilograms. It is a bit more hairy than the carabao, has shorter, stocky limbs and has v-shaped horns. Unlike the domesticated carabao, the tamaraw is fierce and untamed; it will not hesitate to attack if disturbed or threatened.

Unlike the other bovine species, the tamaraw is a naturally solitary creature. The younger ones may be seen in herds just like water buffalos, but once they become an adult, the tamaraws will wander on their own. The environment of their forest habitat is the major factor behind this solitary behavior. A male and female tamaraw will interact, but only for a few hours. Females give birth to just one offspring, with an interbirth interval of two years. A young tamaraw will stay with its mother for two to four years.

Tamaraws prefer to live in the forests, where they can graze on grasses and young bamboo shoots. They usually feed during the daytime, but some tamaraws are forced to feed during night to avoid contact with humans.

The tamaraw is considered as a critically endangered species since 2000. During the early 1900s, there are over 10,000 tamaraws living in Mindoro. As the 1950s approach, the number dwindled to just a mere thousand. The number has steadily declined as years go by, which prompted the Philippine government and animal preservation agencies to stop the hunting of tamaraws. Measures have also been made to protect the forests where the species live.

Sign up for our Newsletter