It’s been a while since we talked about animals in the Philippines on this site. Perhaps the last time that we had an article dedicated specifically to animals in the Philippines was several years back, written by John Miele, “Ouch! Dangerous Animals” in which John looked at animals that live in the Philippines and are dangerous to humans. To this day, even though the article was written more than 4 years ago (July 2009), that article is one of the top 10 most read articles on this site, day in and day out! Amazing!
Today, I thought we would take a look at animals that are unique to the Philippines, animals that generally don’t live anywhere else in the world but the Philippines. Oh, it is possible that you may find a few in places like Indonesia or Malaysia, but the vast majority of the population of these animals are found only in the Philippines.
Let’s have a look!
- Philippine Eagle. Also known as the Monkey Eating Eagle. There was a time, 20 years ago or more where there were only a few of these birds left in the world. Today, they could not be said to be thriving, but the population is on the increase, largely due to the efforts of the Philippine Eagle Center right here in Davao where I live. For nearly 20 years the Philippine Eagle Center (operated by the Philippine Eagle Foundation) has been breeding Philippine Eagles in captivity, and later releasing the birds in the wild. The program has been quite successful and has probably been responsible for keeping the Philippine Eagle alive at all. If not for the Philippine Eagle Center the Philippine Eagle probably would have been extinct by now. I have visited the Philippine Eagle Center a number of times, and you can see some really beautiful birds there.
- The Philippine Crocodile. This crocodile is found only in the Philippines as well. It is also known as the Mindoro Crocodile or even the Philippine Freshwater Crocodile. Unfortunately, the Philippine Crocodile is in serious danger of extinction at this time. This crocodile is not to be confused with the Indo-Pacific Crocodile which is also found in the Philippines. The Philippine Crocodile is found only in the Philippines, while the Indo-Pacific Crocodile is common in many countries.
- Philippine Flying Lemur. One of two species of lemurs that can fly, and this one is found exclusively in the Philippines. This lemur can be found in Basilan, Leyte, Samar, Bohol and Mindanao. The vast majority of the population is in Bohol and Mindanao. The average Philippine Flying Lemur weighs from 2 to 4 pounds. These lemurs are generally considered to be pests, as they eat fruit crops.
- The Philippine Mouse Deer. This is the world’s smallest hoofed mammal. It can be found on a small island called Balabac, which is south of Palawan.
- The Philippine Spotted Deer. Can be found on the island of Panay. This deer is considered to be the most endangered deer anywhere in the world. They are very rare.
- Tamaraw. The Tamaraw is a pygmy version of a Carabao. A carabao is the Philippine name of what westerners would call a water buffalo. If you are interested in seeing pictures of carabao, be sure to visit my site, The Carabao.
- Shells. Here is something unique and kind of cool, both Tridacna gigas, one of the world’s largest shells, and Pisidum, the world’s tiniest shell, can be found under Philippine waters.
How about any other animals that are native only to the Philippines, or primarily to the Philippines? Do you know of others? If so, leave a comment so we will all know more.