Interesting Facts About Tamaraw

Written by Patrick

Tamaraw is an iconic creature in Philippine culture. Find more facts about the elusive tamaraw.

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Apart from white sand beaches and diving sites teeming with marine life, Mindoro is known as the home of the tamaraw or Mindoro dwarf buffalo.  This four-legged creature can only be found in the Philippines, particularly in the grassy forests of Mindoro although it is believed that they also once thrived on the island of Luzon.

The tamaraw is an icon of Mindoro and represents its natural and natural heritage.

Here are other interesting facts about tamaraw.

The tamaraw is not related to the carabao

While the appearance of the tamaraw closely resembles that of the carabao, it is actually not a subspecies of the country’s national animal.  The tamaraw is smaller, slightly hairier, has shorter horns that are V-shaped, and has light markings on the face.

Their population is critically endangered

Back in the early 1900s, the population of the tamaraw was approximately 10,000.  However, due to the increase of human population and human activities including hunting and logging, the number of this mammal is currently at 30 to 200 individuals only.  Their conservation is classified as critically endangered and they are protected under Philippine law.  The law prohibits people from killing, hunting, and even wounding tamaraws else face harsh penalties including imprisonment and hefty fine.

Found only in two areas in the Philippines

As mentioned above, tamaraw is found in Mindoro only.  The animal used to thrive in various areas in Mindoro but their range decreased over the years and is presently found in two areas only:  Mount Iglit-Baco National Park and Mount Aruyan.

The tamaraw prefers to be alone

The tamaraw is a solitary creature.  They prefer to be alone except for juveniles which are known to still exhibit herding behavior and stay with their mother until two to four years of age.  Even the interaction between adult males and females only lasts a few hours.  They would also change their feeding habits to avoid human contact.

Males have aggressive behavior

Aside from being solitary, the tamaraw is fierce and has the tendency to be aggressive especially when threatened.

National symbol of the Philippines

The national animal status may have gone to carabao but the tamaraw has been known as one of the national symbols of the country.  The animal was once depicted in one-peso coins which circulated in 1980 to early 1990.  It is also used as team mascot of the FEU (Far Eastern University) Tamaraws and the Toyota Tamaraws.

Do you know more facts about the tamaraw? Please let us know in the comment section.

READ MORE: Animals Unique to the Philippines

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Have YOU seen Tamaraw in the Philippines?

About the Author


Patrick is an entrepreneur, digital nomad, explorer, and photographer. Patrick is always in search of fun and adventure. He is well travelled throughout the world, and although location independent, his home base is Phoenix, Arizona in the USA. Patrick loves island lifestyle which is no wonder why he is so interested in spending time in the Philippines with it’s over 7,000 islands. Patrick created this site to share his knowledge of and experiences in the Philippines with Filipinos as well as other foreigners.

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