Yummy News, Articles & Videos
Want to keep updated on the latest news of delicious meat-free meals and adorable animals? Check out this section for interesting daily happenings and articles that will melt your tummy (and heart too).

You can also follow our Facebook Page or Twitter for more news and updates.
Big news for a dwarf buffalo!
by KindMeal.my, 06 November 2014
Big news for a dwarf buffalo!

The population of the Philippines' dwarf buffalo, one of the world's rarest animals, has grown to its largest since efforts to save them from extinction began, conservationists said Friday. An annual survey counted 382 tamaraws in a protected mountain area this year, an increase from 345 in 2013, according to data from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The tamaraw, famed for its distinct v-shaped horns, can be found only in the mountains of Mindoro, a farming island in the central Philippines. The stocky tamaraw, with its chocolate brown coat, runs wild in the forest and weighs half as much as the more common carabao, which is used by farmers in the Philippines to plough rice fields.

"The tamaraw is the flagship species of the Philippines. It is our moral obligation and international commitment to preserve them," said forest ranger Rodel Boyles, who heads a joint government and private sector conservation effort. "If they are not protected, the species might get wiped out in five years," he said.

The tamaraw is considered "critically endangered" -- two steps away from extinction -- by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Hunting and the destruction of their habitat to make way for grazing areas for cattle led to their near decimation, as the population fell from 10,000 in the 1900s to just 154 by 2000, according to the WWF.

The government and private sector's Tamaraw Conservation Programme aims to double the dwarf buffalo's population from 300 in the mid-2000s to 600 by 2020. This requires ramping up forest patrols to ward off poachers and installing hidden cameras in the mountains to better understand the behaviour of the beast. A team of 30 forest rangers patrol a 37-acre portion of a mountain that is considered the buffalo's "core habitat", Boyles said.

"They are hunted down for food and trophy. When a species is rare, their price in the black market also goes up," he said.

Boyles said conservationists had held meetings with locals to discourage them from eating tamaraw meat. "People also have this misconception that the flesh of wild animals taste better than farmed ones," he said.

The effort is paying off as the tamaraw population has been increasing every year for the last 12 years, WWF data shows. This year's survey also showed an increased number of young tamaraws, indicating that they have been reproducing in the wild, Boyles said, adding past attempts at captive breeding have failed.

"We are hopeful that their numbers will continue increasing," he said.

It's reassuring that animals can come back from critically endangered status when the will exists to protect and preserve them. Three cheers for the Philippines! Once again, one of the biggest threats to wildlife is clearing their habitat to grow livestock, especially beef cattle.

For the sake of animals, both wild and domestic, please try to limit the amount of meat in your diet. KindMeal.my aims to make it easy on both your palate and your wallet – http://KindMeal.my/

Source: http://bit.ly/1uiHrIO « Back To Articles