Predators of the tarsier include cats, birds, large snakes and small carnivores. Tarsiers have a keenly developed awareness of their surroundings, allowing them to sense the presence of predators and use their strong hind legs to leap to safety. Deforestation and mining have affected the tarsier's habitat, leading to a decline in numbers. Many are captured for the exotic pet trade but do not do well in their new environments.
Tarsiers are native to the forests of Malaysia, Indonesia and the southern Philippines. Living in the trees, they are a very shy and elusive species. Tarsiers have small bodies with long tails that have a tuft at the end. They vary in color depending on the species, ranging from gray to brown or ochre. They have long hind legs that allow them to leap from branch to branch. Some can leap as far as 16 feet. Their fingers and toes have nails that they use to grip branches and prey. Long, curved claws on their second and third digits are used for grooming. Tarsiers can turn their heads 180 degrees in both directions, allowing them to see behind themselves as they move. Their huge eyes and bat-like ears allow them to detect both prey and predators.