Visayan spotted deer
Help for the world's rarest deer
Zoo Berlin established a presence on the Philippines in 1987 to undertake research into the Visayan spotted deer. This was the first start-up funding that was ever granted to a project on the Philippines. Less than 100 animals were living on the island of Panay at that time and they have since become endemic to this location (they can't be found anywhere else on the planet living wild). This Visayan spotted deer is thereby classified as the rarest deer in the world according to the IUCN.
Endemic wildlife in the Philippines at risk of losing their habitat
The many islands of the Republic of the Philippines are suffering an enormous loss of woodlands due to massive human population growth and as a result, the island of Panay now only has approx. 7 % of its surface covered with forests – this number was originally 90 %. The islands, which are isolated from one another, are home to a number of endemic species in addition to the Visayan spotted deer, most of which are threatened.
Conservation project committed to maintaining the population and habitat of the Visayan spotted deer
A combined species conservation project was initiated at the end of the 1980s 'ex situ', that is, in human care, and 'in situ', namely in the countries of origin of the animals, and through such financing the population upkeep is secured through conservation breeding, the habitat of the animals protected and PR work carried out. Three local breeding stations at the Silliman University, in the Negros Forest Ecological Foundation Inc. (NFEFI) and at the West Visayas State University were built on Panay using the donations collected, which has helped maintain successful breeding groups.
The establishment of an approx. 60,000 ha Panay Mountain National Park is now in planning thanks to the creation of a management plan for the last remaining wooded areas on Panay. Zoo Berlin works closely with the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations and Flora & Fauna International for this.
Expansion of the Panay cloudrunner conservation project
The project for the conservation of the Panay cloudrunner, which is endemic to Panay and whose population numbers are yet to be determined, was extended in the 1990s. This small species of animal inhabits the lowland rainforest of the island and is now bred in the enclosures of the West Visayas State University. The primary objective is to reintroduce this subspecies back into the wild, followed by the subsequent scientific investigations in the open.