The Philippines has one of the highest bio-diversities on the planet. The country is surrounded by waters and dotted with lush, tropical forests. It’s an abundant home to thousands of species. New discoveries are made continuously in the country resulting into a much bigger number of species and expected to increase in years to come.
Although the threat of extinction continues to rise especially to the endemic ones, the country is in full force to preserve them and fight for their protection. The Republic Act No. 9147, known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, is the Government’s policy to conserve the country's wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainability. Moreover, the Philippine Government supports and initiates scientific studies and invests on resources that help strengthen their commitment to protect wildlife species and their habitats. The support coming from numerous environmental foundations and organizations in the Philippines such as HARIBON, PETA, WWF Philippines, GENESYS, and PEMSEA and other organizations also plays a big role in performing this commitment.
So to give tribute to the wildlife of the Philippines, here’s a rundown of some of the country’s endemic creatures found nowhere else in the world:
The Philippine Eagle also known as the Monkey-eating Eagle is one of the rarest and strongest birds in the world. Stated as the Philippines’ national bird, the Philippine Eagle is found in the islands of eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. Due to deforestation, it has become one of the endangered species of the country – killing it would result to more than 10 years of imprisonment.
Calamian Hog Deer
Found in the Calamian Group of Islands in Palawan, the Calamian Hog Deer is one of the three species of deer native to the Philippines – the two being the Philippine Sambar and the Visayan Spotted Deer. It has a life span of 12-20 years.
Fresh Water Crocodile
Another animal that is endemic to the Philippines, the Philippine Freshwater Crocodile, is found in the islands of Samar, Jolo, Negros Island, Masbate and Busuanga. This reptile is now critically endangered caused by exploitation and illegal fishing methods such as dynamite fishing. However, conservations are being done by Mabuwaya Foundation, the Crocodile Conservation Society and the Zoological Institute of HerpaWorld in Mindoro, to help sustain the life and habitat of this wildlife creature.
Found only in the Taal Lake in Batangas, the Freshwater Sardinella, locally known as Tawilis, is a small-sized freshwater sardine that has a maximum length of 15 cm long and weighing less than 30 grams. Due to overfishing, Tawilis has now become one of the threatened species in the Philippines.
Philippine Tarsiers are among the many highlights and most treasured wonders of the Philippines. Most of these nocturnal creatures are found in Bohol. You can expect to see these adorable creatures hanging on trees in slumber during daylight. Tourists are strongly advised not to touch or take photos of them using flash to avoid trauma on the part of the tarsiers. You can visit them at Bohol’s Tarsier Preservation Center.
Philippine Forest Turtle
An extremely rare and exotic creature found in the Philippines, the Philippine Forest Turtle is found in the islands of Palawan. This omnivorous creature feeds on aquatic plants and small fishes. Due to the abusive acts of the people and probable threats from habitat loss, the Philippine Forest Turtle is now critically endangered.
These are just some of the Philippines’ countless treasures; there are still so many of them waiting to be discovered. Let’s all do our part to protect them from extinction so that they can see the future with us.
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