Rangers and wardens tasked to ensure the protection and conservation of the critically-endangered tamaraw in Mindoro Island could be rendered jobless due to the closure of Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park there.
Biodiversity Finance Initiative-Philippines (BIOFIN-Philippines) information and communications assistant Angelique Ogena identified in a virtual presser Wednesday a total of 32 Tawbuid Mangyan wardens and one Tamaraw Conservation Program (TCP) ranger among those facing possible unemployment with the closure of the park in compliance with community quarantine measures.
To help mitigate the unfortunate circumstance, a fundraising campaign called #TogetherforTamaraws was officially launched on July 15 as led by BIOFIN-Philippines with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through the Biodiversity Management Bureau and DENR-Region 4-A.
“We aim to raise a total of $23,000 or ₱1.1 million in three months to cover half a years worth of field allowance and patrol assistance in the form of food packs for the affected tamaraw frontliners,” Ogena said, urging donors to send any amount they can through bit.ly/TogetherforTamaraws.
“This way we support our tamaraw frontliners and ensure that the protection of tamaraws from poachers and hunters will continue,” she said.
“Although (tamaraw) population has been slowly increasing, it is still significantly low at 480 as of March last year. Their existence depends on the tamaraw frontliners–the rangers and wardens,” Ogena added.