Because of its isolation, the Philippines has one of the world's highest biodiversities of wildlife, with many endemic to the country. 43% of its birds, and two-thirds of its mammals and plants live nowhere else. 1,137 species of amphibians, birds and mammals are found only in the Philippines.
According to the country's environment and natural resources department, half of these wildlife species are considered "threatened or endangered".
The department now has jurisdiction over all terrestrial plant, animals, turtles and tortoises, and wetland species, including crocodiles, waterbirds, amphibians and dugong, in an effort to reverse the trend.
Some of the best known of the endangered species include the Tamaraw, a type of wild cattle found on Mindoro, the Philippine Tarsier, the Cloud rat, Golden-Crowned Flying Fox (Fruit Bat), several species of Wild Pig, and the Philippine Spotted Deer.
Where to See the Philippines Tarsier
The Philippine Tarsier, as its name suggests, is endemic to the Philippine archipelago. Established populations are present particularly on the islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.
They have also been found on various isolated islands, such as Maripipi Island, Siargao Island, Basilan Island and Dinagat Island.
The Tarsier is one of the smallest known primates, and is mostly active at night, living on a diet of insects. Although it is a protected species, it is still threatened by the destruction of its natural forest habitat, which has reduced the tarsier population to a dangerously small size.
You can visit the Tarsier at the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, Bohol, to see it in its natural habitat.
The Philippine Eagle
The Philippine Eagle is one of the largest eagles in the world, but sadly, one of the rarest and most critical endangered.
The eagle is mainly restricted to the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. Philippines Eagle Tour...
Calauit Island - a Little Piece of Africa in the South China Sea!
Visitors to the Calamian islands (Coron), should take the opportunity to visit Calauit island, which has become a Nature Park, Game Reserve, and Wildlife Sanctuary, and home to a fantastic collection of animals originally from Kenya, Africa, which are now thriving as they share their new home with species endemic to the Philippines.
The animals include giraffes, zebras, gazelles, elands, and impalas.