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The Philippine Wildlife :: Rare Animals in the Philippines

Updated on November 1, 2015

This is a tribute to the planet we call home since she will be celebrating her birthday in the days to come and this is actually first of two parts.

The Philippines is indeed a haven for wonderful animals whether they thrive in water or in land. Strategically located in the South Eastern part of Asia, the country boasts of many animals endemic to her, great or small. But the denudation of the forests due to illegal logging, slash-and-burn farming, and urbanization is stripping her fabulous animals of their natural habitats and sanctuaries. Additionally, Illegal poaching and over hunting is also wreaking havoc on the conservation efforts of the country’s environmentalists as well as the concerned non-governmental groups.

The country’s lush flora and fauna are listed as endangered, critically endangered or facing extinction. Fragile as they are, these wonderful creatures need our intervention and support in the conservation effort for the environment to ensure that they will co-exists with us humans.

Here are some of the Philippines’ truly captivating animals that are threatened, endangered and/or facing extinction.

The Philippine Flying Lemur or the Kagwang. Photo from
The Philippine Flying Lemur or the Kagwang. Photo from

The Philippine Flying Lemur, Colugo or the Kagwang

The Philippine Flying Lemur or Colugo - Also known as Kagwang by local folks, this fascinating mammal can be mistaken as a big bird as they are like flying gracefully in mid-air.

Kagwang has a head that resembles like that of dog and its body can be likened to the Canadian flying lemur. The Kagwang is actually gliding in the air not flying and it is adept in doing so.

Commonly found in Mindanao, this awesome creature has 12-inch tail that is connected by a petagium, a membrane that stretches from the neck to the forelimbs to the hind feet to the tail. With this remarkable feature, the Kagwang is built to glide to a distance of up 100 meters or more to escape being eaten as a meal by predators like the majestic Philippine Eagle and to conveniently move from one place to another.

The Philippine Turtle or the Pawikan Photo from
The Philippine Turtle or the Pawikan Photo from

The Philippine Sea Turtle or Pawikan

The Philippine Sea Turtle – Also called here as Pawikan this marine creature patrols the open sea and when hungry will stalk on small fishes, crustaceans and jellyfishes. It is saddening to know that some of these dies of suffocation by eating plastic or balloons (the busted ones that find its way in the sea or ocean), that are mistaken as a delectable jellyfish.

The Philippines is home to four of the only six sea turtles species in the world. The Green Sea Turtle is the most common It can grow to a length of one and a half meters, and can weigh up to 185 kgs. The largest sea turtle in the country is the Leatherback, which can weigh up to more than 2 meters in length.

The Philippine Mouse Deer. Photo from
The Philippine Mouse Deer. Photo from

The Philippine Mouse Deer or Pilandok

The Philippine Mouse Deer – In other countries this animal is also called chevrotain but in the Philippines it is called Pilandok. Although, not really a species of deer, Pilandok can only be found in the Philippines. The right tag for this awesome creature is a mouse deer, to be precise and accurate. The male ones don’t grow horns but will rely more on its larger front canine tusk-like teeth on its upper jaw to fend off the attacks of predators. Other types of mouse deer can also be found in Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka and India.

Calamian Deer. Photo from
Calamian Deer. Photo from

Calamian Deer

Calamian Deer – This hog deer is one of a kind can and can only be found in the Philippines. The Calamian deer habitat is in the Calamian Islands, which is nestled in the Northern part of the Palawan province.

The deer's legs are larger and darker than their other hog deer cousins. This lovely animal can reach up to 115 cms. in length and 65 cms. in height, and can weight between 35 and 50 kgs.

The Philippine . Photo from
The Philippine . Photo from


Tamaraw – The cousin of the water buffalo, carabao, or the so-called “Beast of Burden,” tamaraw is endemic only to the Philippines and to be specific in Mindoro. It is recognizable by its “V” form horn and it is usually smaller than the carabao. Now critically endangered, this rare bovine can measure up to five to six feet in length and can weigh up to 300 kgs.

The Philippine Bearcat. Photo from
The Philippine Bearcat. Photo from

The Palawan Bearcat or Binturong

Binturong – The Palawan bearcat or the Binturong is another case of an animal with a mistaken identity, since it is neither a bear nor a cat. It is unique on its own.

Thriving gallantly in the forest of Palawan, Borneo, Burma and Vietnam, this animal belongs to the family of Viverridae, which is prominently known as the civet or the civet cat. This animal can measure up to 96 cms., has a tail that is as long as its body, can weigh up to 14 kgs. and has life expectancy of about 20 years.

The Philippine Cockattoo or the Kalangay. Photo from
The Philippine Cockattoo or the Kalangay. Photo from

The Philippine Cockattoo or the Kalangay

Kalangay – This lovely Philippine cockatoo, which has snowy white feathers throughout her body, belongs to the family of parrots. Can live up to 50 long years, this magnificent and very smart bird (see the amazing antics of this bird by visiting this link: Fascinating Animal Tactics), the Kalangay can measure up to 33 cms. in length and can weigh up to 0.39 kgs.

The population of Kalangay, is estimated between 1,000 to 4,000, and they are now protected in Subterranean River National Park, who happens to be one of the front runners in the quest for the seven natural wonders of the world that was launched by last year.

The Butanding or the Whale Shark. Photo from
The Butanding or the Whale Shark. Photo from

Butanding or the Whale Shark

Butanding – The whale shark or the Butanding as what the locals call this mighty creature, is the largest fish in the world. A group of about 40 whale sharks regularly visit this once sleepy and rustic town, that is, the Donsol, Sorsogon from November to June, which is the most in the world.

Several years ago these tame sea creatures were considered as a nuisance since they can capsize a fisherman’s boat or destroy their nets because of their enormous size. Moreover, some fisherman hunted them down for their meat. But things change dramatically as Donsol, where this whale shark abounds in droves became an instant eco-tourism destination.

Additionally, the town thanks to these gentle creatures, stages the fun-filled Butanding Festival annually.

My wild twelfth hub in 60dc Challenge.

Here is a slideshow of some of the fascinating animals found in the Philippines.

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    • GeneralHowitzer profile imageAUTHOR

      Gener Geminiano 

      6 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Thanks a lot guys for the wonderful comments and for spending some of your precious time reading this stuff...

      You are all so kind!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      wow! thanks so much. atlast i found!

    • profile image

      benny ash 

      7 years ago

      i like the animals

    • profile image

      lieca mindigo 

      7 years ago

      that was a beautiful hi.. dale nelson .....

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i love you philippines

    • profile image

      7 years ago

      its nice :)

    • profile image

      allyn tmanon 

      7 years ago

      halo..salamat sa gumawa ng add na to..subra nktulong sa assign ng mga kapatid ku..

    • profile image

      Joshua reyes 

      7 years ago

      Salamat po sa address na to kasi po nakatulong po ito sa paghahanap namin ng pangalan sa troupe namin sa susunod na boy scout camping. Nagkaton po kasing animals in the philippines ang dapat na pangalan ng troupe.

      Thankz po sa gumawa ng address na'to.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      thank for saving the endangered species in our country thank you a lot !!!!!!!! T_T

    • profile image

      Anne Leah 

      7 years ago

      isn't poaching itself means 'illegal taking of wildlife? i think 'illegal poaching' is already redundant ;)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      thank you! finally i found the one!'

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      what is the most common wild animal of philippines

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Indeed we have many endangered animal species in the country.

      When I was back in Mindanao specifically in my home province of Lanao del Sur, we once caught a strange looking rodent or maybe a squirrel(I don't know if I am correct in describing it). It is as big a full-grown urban rat but much lighter in weight. But it has a brown fur, it jumps instead of running using his four legs, a long hairy tail, If I remember it right It has a shorter front legs than the hind legs,eats insects instead of fruit(I learn/discover it after feeding it with variety of food including fruits, egg, fish, meat. I later gave grasshopper which he quickly grab and ate it head first.) Look, it is not a squirrel light that of kagwang nor milo or civet, nor singgalong( striped civet)which we have plenty of in our coconuts trees.

      sadly, I failed to get a picture of that creature. By the way, the animal was caught by one of our dogs during a hike on a nearly dried up river in barangay Plasan, Balabagan town of Lanao del Sur. Before I got a hand of this animal, the dog already killed one. I believed in lives in a dead tree because that is where I saw the dog's tail wiggling and barking before he caught one of these animal. I hope someone (expert) could enlighten me of what might be that animal.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i wish i could see these cool animals!!!(:

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wow is a very nises

    • profile image

      Conservation Jobs 

      8 years ago

      Interesting page. I didn't know the Philippines had so much unique wildlife.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for a very interesting look at wildlife in the Philippines. I enjoyed the descriptions and the photos. I hope that all the animal populations that you described recover. It's sad to think about how much wildlife around the world is endangered due to human activity.

    • GeneralHowitzer profile imageAUTHOR

      Gener Geminiano 

      8 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Thanks for the visit!

    • profile image 

      8 years ago


    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • GeneralHowitzer profile imageAUTHOR

      Gener Geminiano 

      9 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Thanks a lot!

    • thesailor profile image


      9 years ago from Seven Seas

      I need these photos...a great relief to all the 'crisis' thing these days. Thanks, kabayan.

    • profile image


      9 years ago


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      nce animals ...

    • starvagrant profile image


      9 years ago from Missouri

      I'm always interested in reading about animals for their own sake. Great hub

    • Chapter profile image


      9 years ago from Indonesia

      the animal is similar with Indonesia like binturong, caraboo,

    • GeneralHowitzer profile imageAUTHOR

      Gener Geminiano 

      9 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      MCWebster - That's great MC, and thanks a lot for the vsit!

    • MCWebster profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi General,

      great hub! Always love learning about different creatures, and especially discovering animals I'd never heard of before!

    • GeneralHowitzer profile imageAUTHOR

      Gener Geminiano 

      9 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Thanks a lot springboard for the visit! Yeah Philippines is one of the most diverse country in terms of exotic, endemic and rare animals. The Philippines have the most diverse marine life too, number one so as to speak beating her neighbor Indonesia for the honor.

    • Springboard profile image


      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      Seems to be an amazing wonderland of interesting animals. Many of these I have never heard of. Very good hub.

    • GeneralHowitzer profile imageAUTHOR

      Gener Geminiano 

      9 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Yeah thanks a lot for finding time to visit...

    • Dviews profile image

      Catherine D. 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for the wonderful adventure through reading and picture. You are an excellent writer.

    • GeneralHowitzer profile imageAUTHOR

      Gener Geminiano 

      9 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Thanks a lot... You have great hubs too always Maita...

      @DAL - yeah thanks a lot too for finding time to visit...

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      9 years ago from US

      beautiful again Go GH, Maita

    • D.A.L. profile image


      9 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi GENERAL, after the damage we have done to the planet and its native inhabitants we do indeed need to intervene to help many species. Thank you for bringing to our attention some of your wonderful animals. I appreciate the work you must have carried out to produce this fantastic hub Thank you my friend.

    • GeneralHowitzer profile imageAUTHOR

      Gener Geminiano 

      9 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Thanks a lot Keith...

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I enjoy your hubs about the Philippines.

    • GeneralHowitzer profile imageAUTHOR

      Gener Geminiano 

      9 years ago from Land of Salt, Philippines

      Wow thanks a lot for dropping by! There is apart II of this and I hope you'll visit that too in the days ahead!

    • Dale Nelson profile image

      Dale Nelson 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Hi General. Just killing time and saw this. What an interesting bunch of species.A great read. Thanks. Will be going to check a few other articles I missed that look interesting like your 60 day challenge.Rated up.


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