Top 50 Critically Endangered Animals in the Philippines
The Philippines is known to be the nesting place of a large number of the planet's animal species. The country is reported as one of only 17 megadiverse countries recognized by Conservation International, a nonprofit environmentalist group founded in 1987. Megadiverse countries are nations which are identified to be sheltering the bulk of Earth's entire animal and plant life. In other words, these countries have extreme biodiversity in terms of genetic, genus, and bionetwork mixtures.
However, the country is also home to a large number of threatened animal species. As of today, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), through their 2000 Red List, has declared that 418 animal species in the Philippines are threatened; either vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered.
This article lists down the top 50 critically endangered animals in the Philippines.
- Philippine Eagle
- Philippine freshwater crocodile
- Walden's hornbill
- Visayan warty pig
- Philippine cockatoo
- Negros bleeding-heart
- Philippine naked-backed fruit bat
- Philippine forest turtle
- Dinagat bushy-tailed cloud rat
- Hawksbill sea turtle
- The Philippine tarsier
- Philippine spotted deer
- Sulu Hornbill
- Negros Fruit Dove
- Flame-breasted Fruit Dove
- Giant Clams
- Cebu flowerpecker
- Golden-capped fruit bat
- Net coral
- Long polyp green
- False flower coral
- Sei whale
- Blue whale
- Fin Whale
- Dinagat hairy-tailed rat
- Limbless worm skink
- Loggerhead turtle
- Dog-faced water snake
- Humphead wrasse
- Green turtle
- Black shama
- Panay Crateromys
- Negros shrew
- Flame-templed babbler
- White-winged flying fox
- Mindoro zone-tailed pigeon
- Japanese night-heron
- Apo swallowtail
- Spiny turtle
- Calamian deer
- Streak-breasted bulbul
- Catanduanes narrow-mouthed frog
- Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat
- Luzon peacock swallowtail
- Frog-faced soft shell turtle
- Tawitawi brown dove
- Mindoro tree frog
- Hazel's forest frog
- Mount Data forest frog
1. Philippine Eagle (scientific name: Pithecophaga jefferyi)
Otherwise called as the monkey-eating eagle, is a type of eagle native to the southern Philippines. It is characterized by a combination of a brown and white feather pattern and bushy crest and is believed to be one of the largest and most powerful birds on Earth. A full-grown adult can grow to as big as 4 feet (122 cms) tall and can weigh as much as 9 kilograms (19.8 lbs). The monkey-eating eagle is the Philippines national bird. Major threats to the Philippine eagle's survival are deforestation, mining, and pollution.
The IUCN has the Philippine eagle on its red list of critically endangered animals due to several factors. It was already in the list of animals with the threat of extinction in 1988 and it has since the 1990s been in the list of critically endangered animals in the Philippines.
This classification is due to the fact that these eagles have an extremely small population. Its global population has been on a steady decline in the past 56 years. Various legislations have been passed protecting the Philippine eagle but such laws have been poorly enforced, ergo the continued decline in the eagle's numbers.
There are also reserves and other protected areas at the habitat of these eagles like the natural parks in Mt. Apo and in Mt. Katinglad. The Philippine Eagle Center, which can be found in Davao on the island of Mindanao oversees the captive breeding of these eagles.
2. Philippine freshwater crocodile (scientific name: Crocodylus mindorensis)
Locally known as Mindoro crocodiles, they are endemic in the Philippines. The Philippine freshwater crocodile is quite small compared to other crocodiles, growing to about 4 and a half (137 cms) to 5 feet (152 cms) long and weighing approximately 15 kilograms (33 lbs). The Mindoro crocodile is also listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. It is reported that as of September 2011, there are only 250 of them left in the country. Experts attribute the inclusion of the Philippine freshwater crocodile to the list of endangered species in the Philippines to illegal hunting and dynamite fishing.
The Philippine freshwater crocodile is currently in the IUCN red list and is classified as a critically endangered species. Population trend estimates say that the numbers of this species is on a decline. One of the threats to this species include excessive exploitation for commercial use. However, the biggest threat it faces to date is the massive clearing of rainforests which serves as the crocodile's natural habitat. The forests are cleared so they can be converted to farmlands.
Another threat comes from the locals themselves. There is a current need to educate locals regarding the difference between the small Philippine croc and the saltwater crocodiles that also inhabit the same area. Locals tend to hunt even the smaller and endangered local crocodile species albeit unwittingly.
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3. Tamaraw (scientific name: Bubalus mindorensis)
Also known as the Mindoro dwarf buffalo, the Tamaraw is the only known bovine that is indigenous in the Philippines. Until the 20th century, the original habitat of this species was essentially intact and unharmed. They were once found all over Mindoro island, from the plains up to the mountains, but right now its population is reduced to only about 200 and are carefully bred in captivity. Another critically endangered animal according to the IUCN, the main causes of the Tamaraw being in the list of endangered animals in the Philippines are illegal hunting and logging, and residential land clearing.
The tamaraw of the Philippines shares a lot of physical traits with other types of bovine. It has a heavyset body, legs that end in cloven hooves, a short neck, and a horned head. However, unlike the other species included in its family, this one tends to be smaller and a lot stockier. Males evidently have thicker necks compared to females.
It has an average shoulder height of 39 to 41 inches and it can grow up to 7.2 feet in length. The heaviest tamaraw ever recorded weighed around 660 pounds.
Adult tamaraws have a darker grey or brown color. They have distinctly shorter legs compared to other buffalo species. Their inner lower forelegs as well as their hooves have that distinct white markings. The ears also exhibit the same white markings on the tips.
4. Walden's hornbill (scientific name: Aceros waldeni)
Locally called kalaw, it is also known as the Visayan wrinkled hornbill. The kalaw is endemic to the Philippine islands of Panay and Negros, although it can also be found in other regions of the country such as Zamboanga del Norte in Mindanao. Excessive hunting and illegal logging caused the extinction of this species in the areas of Negros and Guimaras. Because of that, it has been included in the IUCN Red List of critically endangered species in the country.
This colorful bird is also the second most critically endangered species of hornbill in the world. Just like other species in its family, Walden's hornbill also has that distinct bony casque atop its bill. The Aceros waldeni however has a reddish orange colored casque and it appears sort of wrinkled.
Other than the red orange bill, it also has a distinct ridged mandible. The feathers on their upper chests as well as their necks are reddish orange colored as well. Another distinct feature is the bare skin around the eye, which serves as a great background for its rather deep red colored eyes.
The plumage on its body is usually black but its tail feathers are white with a black tip. Female kalaws are smaller than the males. The feathers on their breast, neck, and head are black. Females are also brown eyed with a blue green coloration on the skin.
5. Visayan warty pig (scientific name: Sus cebifrons)
This land mammal is also in the IUCN's list of critically endangered species in the Philippines. Once prevalent in the whole central Philippines, especially in the island of Cebu, the pig can now only be found in two islands, Panay and Negros. Some experts believe that a small herd may still be located in the island of Masbate although it is not confirmed. The extinction of this species in Cebu is not only brought about by illegal hunting and logging but also because of agricultural land clearing. The animal's natural habitats were turned into rice fields to accommodate the growing demand of crops in the region. Now, small population concentrations of this species are bred in captivity. Some still live in the wild, although they are very rare, that is why not much is understood of its natural behavior.
This species is also known by a variety of names among the locals. It is called the Cebu bearded pig, baboy talunon, bakatin, and baboy ilahas among others. Adult Visayan warty pigs grow up to 100 cm in length. Females can have a maximum shoulder height of 45 cm while males grow up to 63 cm. its longest tail length is around 23 cm. Adult females weigh from 20 up to 35 kilograms while the adult males can weigh from 35 to 40 kilos. Estimates show that the adults of this species can weigh up to 80 kilos, only among the males, though.
The body of this species is covered albeit sparsely with bristly hairs. The hairs are usually dark greyish in color for the males and light brown to silvery for the females. The male species, especially those found in Panay Island, grow tufts of hair from their heads down to their necks, which eventually become manes. The most distinguishing feature of this species is that white stripe that runs along the bridge of their noses all the way to their mouths.
6. Philippine cockatoo (scientific name: Cacatua haematuropygia)
Locally known as kalangay or katala, this red-vented cockatoo is indigenous to the Philippines. In the past, this species is common in the whole country but today only 180 of them are known to live in the wild within the forests of Palawan. These birds are listed by the IUCN as critically endangered because of illegal catching to be sold to private collectors and other pet enthusiasts. Another cause of its population decline is the birds are considered agricultural pests and are killed or trapped in by farmers to protect their fields.
The Philippine cockatoo is covered in white plumage, which makes it really attractive. However, the bird's under tail coverts are red with white tips. The feathers under its wings are pale yellowish in color and it has yellowish under tails. It also has the ability to mimic the human voice, which makes it a highly valued pet – which is why it is vulnerable to illegal wildlife trade.
7. Negros bleeding-heart (scientific name: Gallicolumba keayi)
This type of pigeon is endemic to the islands of Negros and Panay in the Philippines and is one of the many critically endangered pigeon species in the country which are listed by the IUCN. These birds always come in pairs or in a flock, and are ground feeders, which means they eat on the ground making them easy to catch. Its population continues to decrease even to this day because of ongoing deforestation and excessive hunting for its meat and also to be kept as pets.
The Negros bleeding heart is a really colorful bird. It is a medium sized bird and grows up to 30 cm. in height. It is a ground dwelling pigeon that has a characteristically short tail. Its name "bleeding heart" comes from the bright narrow line of red feathers enveloped by white feathers located at its "chest" or actually its throat.
To add to its vivid array of colors is a mantle of iridescent green that covers its crown, lesser wing coverts, nape, breast sides, and upper mantle. This actually forms an incomplete breast band. Its inner wing coverts have a greyish white band of feathers. The feathers on its belly feathers have a creamy white color.
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8. Philippine naked-backed fruit bat (scientific name: Dobsomia chapmani)
Also called the Philippine bare-backed fruit bats are large bats found in the caves of the Negros Island in the Philippines. They are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN, and a small population is reported to be sighted in the island of Cebu as well. Deforestation and agricultural land clearing are the main causes of the reduction of their population and habitat. In the 1980s, locals cut down lowland forests in favor of sugar cane plantations and the bats gradually became extinct afterwards. In 1996, the IUCN proclaimed that the species was extinct, until the year 2000 when a small group was again sighted.
The Philippine naked backed fruit bat is one of the species of megabat that are endemic to the country. Most of its population live on the island of Negros. Just like all species of fruit bats that have a bare-back, it has its wings meeting along the midline of its body. It is surprisingly agile when it flies across the sky.
An adult Dobsomia chapmani will measure anywhere from 218 mm to 221 mm in length, measuring from the tip of its notes to its tail. They usually weigh from 125 to 143 grams. The connection of the wings to their back's midline gives it that furless appearance.
9. Philippine forest turtle (scientific name: Siebenrockiella leytensis)
Also known as Palawan turtle or Leyte pond turtle, this freshwater turtle is native to the Palawan islands of the Philippines. They are classified as critically endangered by the IUCN and several conservation programs are conducted to increase its population. With its highly hostile territorial behavior, the Philippine forest turtle does not thrive naturally when in captivity. Because of habitat loss and too much catching by collectors and by others to become pets, they have so much decreased in numbers.
The Philippine forest turtle is known by several other names such as the Leyte pond turtle, the Palawan turtle, and Philippine pond turtle. Note that even though some people call it as the Leyte pond turtle, it is nonexistent on Leyte Island. Instead, this turtle species is an actual native of the island of Palawan.
Its vertebral scutes have a rather gingko shape. It also has a pale white to a yellowish coloration or line that can be found near its ears. This is also the reason why some folks call it the bowtie turtle.
10. Dinagat bushy-tailed cloud rat (scientific name: Crateromys australis)
This type of cloud rat is indigenous to Dinagat Island in the Philippines. They are nocturnal by nature and are herbivores. They are one of several cloud rat species listed by IUCN as critically endangered in the country. They are almost driven into extinction because of the loss of their natural homes due to deforestation, chromite mining, and excessive hunting. Cloud rat meat is considered a delicacy among the locals.
The Dinagat cloud rat has a tail that is rather longer than the length of its body. The length of its tail is around 11 inches or 28 cm. Its body is about 10.4 inches (measuring from its nose to its rear, excluding the tail). It has a rather orange or tawny colored fur. Note that it does not bear the typical color patterns on its body.
Its head does not have the familiar crest of fur that is present in other members of its family. It also has that characteristic striped tail. Its ears are heavily pigmented and they are round. Each ear also has brown hairs that grow short. Its lower parts have a rather orange like shade to it beginning from the neck all the way down to its belly.
These are ten of the most endangered animals in the Philippines as classified by the IUCN. Many conservation programs both by the government and foreign environmental groups have kept these species from being extinct
11. Hawksbill sea turtle (scientific name: Eretmochelys imbricate)
This sea turtle is commonly known among the locals in the Philippines as the pawikan. This species of turtle can be found in other parts of the world as well. The Hawksbill sea turtle shares a lot of features similar to other types of marine turtle species.
Just like other turtles it also has that protective carapace that serves as their distinguishing feature. Unlike the typical land turtle, this marine turtle also features that mostly flattened body shape and limbs shaped like flippers, which is an adaptation for swimming.
However, its most distinguishing feature is it's Hawk's bill – a narrow yet pointed beak. It is considered a medium-sized reptile. They can grow up to three feet in length and weigh up to 180 pounds. The heaviest Hawk's bill that was caught in the wild weighed around 280 pounds.
This turtle's shell is known for its amber background. Notice that it also has streaks of light and dark colors. You will find other shell colors, which also includes brown, but would appear as speckled.
Hawksbills are vegetarian and adults are usually found feeding in coral reef areas. However, they also nest and forage in mangroves. Do note that this is a migratory species of sea turtles. As such they can thrive in a variety of habitats such as mangrove swamps, lagoons, and even in the open ocean.
12. The Philippine tarsier (scientific name: Carlito syrichta)
This small primate is another endangered species endemic in the Philippine islands. Note that this species was once widespread all over Southeast Asia. Fossils of these animals were also found in North America and Europe. Tarsiers today can also be found in other Asian countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
In the Philippines, you can find tarsier in the southeastern region of the archipelago. Current data shows that there are species found inhabiting the islands of Mindanao, Samar, Bohol, and Leyte. Some of can also be found in Maripipi Island, Dinagat Island, and Siargao Island.
The Philippine tarsier is considered one of the smallest species of primates in the world. They measure around 118 up to 149 millimeters and they weigh somewhere from 113 up to 142 grams. In contrast to their little bodies, tarsiers have distinctly large eyes. Their anatomy shows that a tarsier eyeball is as big as the animal's brain. A tarsier's eyeball will have a diameter of 16 mm.
13. Philippine spotted deer (scientific name: Cervus alfredi/Rusa alfredi)
The Philippine spotted deer is a nocturnal animal and is one of the three endemic species of deer in the country. They primarily thrive in the rainforests found in the islands of Negros and Panay. However, they used to be found in other neighboring islands in the country such as Samar, Masbate, Leyte, Guimaras, and Cebu.
This species of deer is comparably small with their short legs. Nevertheless, they are the biggest deer specimens you will find in the country's Visayan Islands. An adult spotted deer can grow up to 51 inches in length and about 31 inches in height (measuring from the base of the foot to the shoulder). An adult deer can weigh as much as 85 kilograms.
Conservations efforts are ongoing with reservation areas found various islands. However, in spite of such efforts, only an estimated 300 animals of this deer species survive in the wild. Local wildlife groups and conservationists are poorly funded and face very little support from government.
14. Sulu Hornbill (scientific name: Anthracoceros montani)
To date, studies have shown that the Sulu hornbill now faces the imminent danger of extinction. It is believed to live only in one island in the Philippines and it is also believed that its numbers are declining. The massive decline in the population of this species is due to hunting and exploitation (wildlife trade), and the destruction of the forest tracts where this hornbill thrives.
The majority of the body of this hornbill is covered by dark black feathers. In contrast, the tail feathers are white. A top coat of feathers on its upper parts are dark green and they are glossy, covering part of the wings and the back. The bird's bill is black as well as the skin around its eye.
Male Sulu hornbills have cream colored irises while females have dark brown. Juvenile hornbills of this species either have white tipped primaries or casque-less bills. These birds make shrieking and cackling calls in a patterned series.
15. Negros Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus arcanus)
In spite of the fact that no other recorded sighting has been made since the first specimen of the Negros fruit dove was collected way back in 1953, the IUCN puts it in their red list for several reasons. There was an unconfirmed report dated in 2002 of a sighting. There are also other protracted surveys but none of them can be confirmed as well.
It should be noted that this species of fruit dove is extremely shy. That being said, there are more surveys that must be made in Panay Island, where it is believed to thrive. The main factors that contributed to the decline of this bird species include hunting and the destruction of its natural habitat.
The existence of the Negros fruit dove is confirmed only by a single specimen – a female that was collected in the 50s. It is about 16.5 cm. in length, which makes it very small. Its feathers are noticeably dark green, a perfect cover in foliage. Another distinguishing feature is the presence of a ring of feathers around its eye, which are bright yellow in color.
It is also distinctly marked by a greyish white coloration along its throat. It also has yellow colored feathers in the under tail coverts. Yellow fringes and dark streaks also make a conspicuous feature on its folded wings.
16. Flame-breasted Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus marchei)
The IUCN classifies the Luzon Island endemic flame breasted fruit dove as vulnerable. The rapid decline in the island's forest has greatly contributed to the rapid decline in this bird species' population. The other factors that contributed to the rapid population decline include hunting for food as well as illegal wildlife trade.
This fruit dove is particularly large compared to other local species at 40 cm. in length. The feathers on its head are peculiarly rusty red in color. A black patch of feathers marks its ear coverts. Another orange patch of feathers can be found extending from its throat going down to its under parts.
The feathers on its sides are markedly light grey. The feathers on its wings and back are chiefly black in color. The rump and tail have dark green feathers. It also has a red bill and its legs are also reddish.
17. Giant Clams (Tridacna spp. and Hippopus hippopus)
Hippopus hippopus is known by many different names. Some call it the strawberry clam, bear paw, and also the horse's hoof. This is a species belongs to a family of large saltwater clams, specifically the giant clam family – which is why the locals just call it the giant clam. Its conservation status according to the IUCN is conservation dependent, which is why it is included in the red list of threatened species.
The shell of this type of clam is pretty hard and quite thick. The ribs are rather prominent. What makes it quite distinct from other species of clam in its immediate environment are the reddish botches that you will find on its shell. Note that its mantle will hardly get past the edge of its shell. The mantle has a distinct brownish green color with faint gold stripes. Another distinction is the absence of tentacles in the incurrent aperture, which are usually present in the members of the Tridacnidae family.
18. Cebu flowerpecker (Dicaeum quadricolor)
Experts thought the Cebu flowerpecker had gone instinct in the early part of the 20th century. This belief is in large part due to the destruction of almost all of the island's forests. The good news is that it was rediscovered back in 1992. Today, the Cebu flowerpecker can be found within the Central Cebu Protected Landscape as well as in three other sites.
Note that in spite of conservation efforts, the population of this bird species is still extremely small. They have a severely fragmented range. The IUCN classifies this species as critically endangered.
This flowerpecker species is rather short but stocky at 11 to 12 centimeters in length. The male birds of this species have a black colored head with a lot of bright red feathers on its mantle and back. It also has dark blue wings and the same color combination for its tail. Males also have yellowish green colored feathers at their tails and rump.
Female species have rather dull colored feathers though they exhibit the same patterns seen among males. They also have dark greyish colored feathers on their backs. Note that females do not have a scarlet mantle of feathers on their backs.
19. Golden-capped fruit bat (scientific name: Acerodon jubatus)
This species of megabat is also known as the giant golden-crowned flying fox, which is one of the biggest bat species in the world. The IUCN has it in the red list as an endangered species that is facing the possibility of extinction. Forest destruction as well as illegal poaching has contributed to the rapid decline in its population.
This giant fruit bat species is endemic to the forests of the Philippines. Note that there are only a few remaining forests in the country to date. This bat, is a lot larger compared to other local bat species. It has an average wingspan of 5.6 feet. It has an average weight of 2.6 pounds or 1.2 kilograms.
These bats are non-aggressive towards humans. However, handling them is not advisable and is actually a bit dangerous. They are known disease carriers; that means even if you have to handle them, you still need to get properly vaccinated.
These bats are called "golden capped" due to the golden patch of fur around its head. That cap of gold stands out in contrast to the black color of its body fur.
20. Net coral (scientific name: Alveopora excelsa)
Alveopora excelsa populations are in a decline. Due to this population trend, it has been included in the IUCN red list as an endangered species. This type of coral is also subject to a lot of threats, similar to other corals around the world.
The current aquarium trade has made this specific type of coral a target – its appearance makes it an attractive addition to an aquarium. Other than extraction and use in aquariums, net corals are also susceptible to coral bleaching. Studies show that Alveopora have a high response to the bleaching phenomenon, making them a likely species to face immediate extinction.
This type of coral usually forms colonies that extend up to 2 meters. Their polyp skeleton usually has a pink color. When their tentacles have extended the colonies eventually turn into a field that is beautifully golden brown in color, which is why they're a top pick when people collect corals for aquariums.
21. Long polyp green (scientific name: Alveopora minuta)
Even though this species of long polyp green is relatively widespread it still remains rare throughout its range. In fact, sightings today are considered rare. It has been extensively harvested for aquarium trade. On top of that, it is also highly susceptible to coral bleaching. Another contributing factor to its rapid decline is the destruction of its reef habitat. Due to these factors, IUCN has placed them in the red list as an endangered species.
Distinct features include knoblike branches that appear to be irregularly dividing, which is a distinct feature of its colonies. Coralites can have a single spine but they can also have no septa. Note that some specimens may have about one or two septas.
The coralites are usually small, only about 1 millimeter in diameter. Above the wall, you will also notice that the vertical spines tend to form into a palisade.
22. False flower coral (scientific name: Anacropora spinosa)
The false flower coral is actually a type of briar coral. It is endemic to the Philippines and in the waters of other countries such as Japan, the Pacific Ocean, and the waters of the Solomon Islands.
Even though this species of coral is widespread across different territorial waters, the chances of finding one will be a bit slim. It is particularly susceptible to disease and coral bleaching. Combine that with the continued destruction of its natural habitat you have the exact equation to reduce coral populations. That is why Anacropora spinosa is included in the IUCN red list, which classifies this coral as an endangered species.
False flower corals thrive in shallow reef areas. They appear pale brown in color when you observe them underwater. Its branches are usually around 10 mm in thickness, which tapers to a point. You will also find that its spines usually project underneath. On the other hand, corallites tend to elongate and have an irregular shape.
23. Sei whale (scientific name: Balaenoptera borealis)
Sei whales are the third largest whale species in the world. The only creatures larger than this animal are the fin whale and the blue whale. They usually live in deep offshore waters, oceans, and other adjoining bodies of water.
The mature population of sei whales has seen a huge decline, up to 80%, since the days of commercial whaling. That is also the reason why it is included in the IUCN's red list as an endangered species.
Sei whales reach up to 64 feet in length and they can weigh as much as 28 tons. Note that female sei whales are a bit smaller reaching up to 48 feet in length and weighs about 20.5 tons. Its daily diet usually includes zooplankton, krill, and copepods. To keep up with its nutritional requirements, an adult sei whale needs to consume up to 900 kilograms (around 2,000 pounds) of food each day.
It is also one of the fastest sea creatures in the world. They can swim up to 31 miles per hour or around 27 knots. Note that they can maintain that speed only for short distances.
24. Blue whale (scientific name: Balaenoptera musculus)
Blue whales are the biggest animals to ever live on this planet. Yet, size is not the determining factor which species will dominate the earth. Do take note that there are different types of blue whales and most of the time, people refer to the North Atlantic blue whale when they refer to these creatures.
Other variants include the Southern Indian Ocean blue whale, Northern Indian Ocean, North Pacific, and North Atlantic. Experts also note that due to the diversity and other uncertainties, there is no way to actually categorize blue whales. That means trying to put them into categories dichotomously into real/true and pygmy or runts is neither realistic or appropriate.
The IUCN includes blue whales in the red list of endangered species due to alarmingly reduced population. Experts estimate that the global population of blue whales has been depleted at a rate of 70 up to 90 percent. This estimate includes all types of blue whales that hail from various regions.
The biggest threat to blue whales in the past was commercial whaling and exploitation, which is the major reason for their near extinction back in the 1960s. They have been provided protection by the latter end of the 60s but whaling operations continued. Operations ceased by the 1970 and onwards.
There are still threats to the survival of this species; make no mistake about it. They are still prone to entanglements in fishing gear and ship strikes. The reduction of sea ice in the Antarctic will also affect migration, feeding, and breeding patterns.
Blue whales are characterized by their slender and long bodies. They can weigh as much as 191 tons and stretch up to 98 feet long. Their colors usually vary in different shades of blue. Some are even bluish grey in color. Note that their undersides tend to have a lighter color. Note that there are 3 distinct subspecies of blue whale.
25. Fin Whale (scientific name: Balaenoptera physalus)
Even though the cause of the major reduction in the global population of fin whales is said to be reversible, it cannot be denied that they also represent the same sad history of commercial whaling. This is why IUCN still has this particular species in the red list as an endangered species.
Experts estimate that there is still a global decline in their population's numbers among those that thrive in the southern hemisphere. However, the estimate is that the fin whales in the northern hemisphere are now having an increase in population. The subpopulation found in pacific waters is currently uncertain.
Fin whales like sei whales have long slender bodies. They have a brownish grey coloration on their upper sides and a paler shade on the under sides. They are larger than sei whales, but are smaller than blue whales. The largest fin whale ever spotted was about 89.6 feet. The heaviest one ever recorded weighed 74 tons. Note that there are two recognized sub species of fin whales.
26. Russet batomys, Dinagat hairy-tailed rat (scientific name: Batomys russatus)
This rat species is classified as an endangered species and it is included in the IUCN endangered species list. It is estimated to have a really small global population and they appear to thrive on only one island. They are endemic to Dinagat Island in the Philippines.
Experts point to the destruction of its natural habitat as the main reason for its population decline. Logging activities, mining, and agriculture are the main reasons for the reduction of nearby forest lands where the Dinagat hairy tailed rat is known to thrive. Current distribution estimates are at 5,000 square kilometers, which also means it is severely fragmented.
This species is actually one of five under the batomys genus. It has only been categorized as a separate species in 1998 and it is known only due to the two specimens available that were collected back in 1975.
It is more or less an attractive mouse species. Some have even described it attractive. It has slick looking fur that is rather thick. The fur on the upper part of its body is reddish brown in color while its under parts are orange grey. The tail on this animal is rather short and it has really long whiskers.
27. Limbless worm skink (scientific name: Brachymeles vermis)
This unique reptile is endemic to the different islands of the Sulu Archipelago. They can be found in Tawi-tawi, Papahag, Bubuan, Butinian, and Jolo islands. This particular species is classified by the IUCN as endangered in spite of its wide range distribution. The rationale being the heavy deforestation in the said islands, two of which are note completely deforested. The other islands are very small patches of forest remaining.
Needless to say, the population trend for this short-legged skink is on a decline. Lowland forest litter, detritus of the forest floor, loose soil, decaying logs, or any dry rotting material found on forest lands serve as the habitat of this species.
Very little is known of the limbless worm skink. They are known to exist due to two specimens collected under leaves along a river bank. Note that this is one of the five known limbless reptile species in the world.
This particular species has six enlarged chin shields. It also has 22 to 24 rows of mid-body scales. It is also quite small only reaching up to 74.7 mm. Its upper parts are dark brownish in color while is undersides are reddish and pale.
28. Loggerhead turtle (scientific name: Caretta caretta)
The loggerhead turtle is included in the IUCN red list as a species that is vulnerable to extinction. The rationale behind its inclusion is the fact that the 10 subpopulations under this particular species are still vulnerable to extinction. The total nest counts of this turtle species are still showing a significant decrease amounting to about 47% of the combined total numbers compared to previous estimates. This turtle species was categorized as an endangered species back in 1996.
The loggerhead turtle has a global distribution. They mainly live in temperate as well as in subtropical regions. They can be spotted in different oceans and other bodies of water such as the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Mediterranean.
Unfortunately, the current population size of this species is currently unknown. As stated earlier, the population of these turtles is estimated using the number of nests per annum. According to current trends, there are around 200,000 clutches laid each year. That is a combined total from 10 subpopulations. Note that there is an estimated range of about 3 to 5.5 clutches for every female found of this species. That will translate to an estimated 36,000 even up to 67,000 nesting females every year.
This species is a type of marine turtle. On average an adult turtle of this species will measure up to 35 inches in length. Adults can weigh up to 298 pounds. The largest specimen ever recorded weighed up to 1,000 pounds. The skin color of this turtle ranges from different hues of yellow to brown. The shell on the other hand is usually reddish brown in color. There are no gender specific differences in size and features; except for the fact that the males have shorter plastrons and thicker tails.
29. Dog-faced water snake (scientific name: Cerberus microlepis)
This species of water snake is endemic to the Bicol Peninsula. Specimens have been found in Lake Manapao and Lake Buhi. This snake is also known locally as the Lake Buhi Bockadam.
The IUCN has this species included in their red list as an endangered snake species. This is due to the fact that its habitat is considered very limited. Note that Lake Buhi alone only has 19 square kilometers. Its biggest threats today include the destruction of its natural forest habitat that surround the lake.
Pollution including the increasing poor quality of the lake water also contributes to the decline in its numbers. Since this water snake can also thrive beyond its immediate lake habitat and surrounding areas, it is possible that it may be growing in other nearby forest areas. More studies and surveys are needed to ascertain its distribution and abundance.
This water snake is characterized by the 29 scale rows found along its mid-body. It also has one divided rear upper labial. You will also notice its keeled scales on its crown. On its rows of scales, you will notice about one or two lateral stripes. Its bodily scales form a uniformly dark ventral pattern.
30. Humphead wrasse (scientific name: Cheilinus undulates)
The humphead wrasse is a species of fish that is included in the IUCN red list for endangered species. Due to a number of threats, the populations of this fish are in a decline. One of the culprits is unreported, unregulated, and even outright illegal fishing. Another issue is that there are local fishermen who do lack adequate knowledge about this particular species and the fact that catching them is prohibited.
The lack of management from the local governments where these fish are supposed to thrive is also another important factor. There is a lack of political will to enforce laws for the protection of this species.
On top of that, the degradation and loss of its natural habitat have a huge impact on their overall numbers. To add insult to injury, some local fishermen still practice destructive fishing methods like using cyanide and dynamite. Needless to say, illegal fish trade is a major problem in Southeast Asia.
This species of fish is the biggest member of the Labridae family. Male humphead wrasse can grow up to 2 meters long and weigh up to 180 kilos. Females of course are a bit smaller than the males.
Other distinct features include the two black lines that you can find behind its eyes, thick lips, and a hump that looks like its forehead. Its colors vary from blue green to purplish blue.
31. Green turtle (scientific name: Chelonia mydas)
The biggest threat to the green turtle by far today is illegal poaching, egg harvesting, and hunting. However, a lot of different human actions, whether they are intentional or unintentional have effects on the lives of these marine turtles.
Unintentional encounters with this species include pollution, habitat destruction, entanglement in fishermen's nets, and also boat strikes. Habitat loss of course occurs when former nesting grounds of these turtles are turned into reclaimed and/or residential/commercial areas.
Disease due to pollution also kills a sizeable portion of the infected of this species. The various diseases affect not only mature green turtles but also hatchlings as well. These and other factors contribute to the rationale for putting this species in the list of species threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN.
Male green turtles have physical and developmental differences from the females, making them distinguishable. Males usually have longer claws on their front flippers than the females and they also have a larger tail.
32. Black shama (scientific name: Copsychus cebuensis)
The IUCN includes this bird species in its red list and classifies it as an endangered species. It has a notably small population and a really small range. Both range and population are observed to be on a continuing decline.
Another threat to this species is the continual degradation of its natural forest habitat. That also contributes to its fragmentation, which means the remaining forests cannot completely support the current black shama population.
It is estimated that there are around 1,000 to 5,000 black shama individuals living today. This is according to the latest survey made in the Nug-as Forest. Note that experts estimate the population to may even reach up to a little over 6,500 individuals (which may seem a bit too generous an estimate). However, take note that the same experts estimate the population of mature black shama to be somewhere between 670 to 3,300.
This species have a black coat of feathers and they grow up to 20 cm in length. They also have a distinct bluish gloss at the tip of their wings. The tips may even have a bit of brown on them. The males tend to have brighter colored feathers than their females.
33. Panay Crateromys (scientific name: Crateromys heaneyi)
This species is also known as the Panay cloudrunner. Just like other endangered species on the island of Panay, Crateromys heaneyi has also fallen victim to the massive deforestation on the island, which is due to agricultural encroachment and illegal logging. It is believed that it mainly resides in the remaining forest area on the western side of the island. It is estimated that this species now resides in an area with an elevation of 400 meters. However, the local residents also claim that this rodent species can also be found in places of higher altitude in the mountain ranges.
To date, more surveys need to be conducted to ascertain a more accurate population size. It is also believed that due to the continued degradation of the local forest area that the actual population trend of this species is actually on a decline.
This rodent species is actually the second largest of the cloud rats in the country. It is definitely a rodent though some have commented that it has some resemblance to squirrels.
An adult Panay cloudrunner can grow up to 600 mm in length. It has a long bushy tail and the rest of its body is covered in greyish brown colored fur. This species is nocturnal and can be found nesting in the hollows of trees. The usual diet of these animals include an assortment of leaves, papayas, corn, guavas, bananas, and other fruits.
34. Negros shrew (scientific name: Crocidura negrina)
The Negros shrew can only be found on the island of Negros in the Philippines and is locally named as the katsuri. This is also one of the reasons why it is included in the IUCN red list and classified as critically endangered. The extent of its occurrence is also estimated at less than 5,000 square kilometers and it can only be spotted in less than five locations on the island.
The heavy reduction in its population is due to the massive deforestation and destruction of the Negros shrew's natural habitat.
35. Flame-templed babbler (scientific name: Dasycrotapha speciose)
The Flame-templed babbler is another bird species that is endemic to the islands of Negros and Panay. Its primary habitat is the forests found in the tropical and subtropical lowlands of these islands. One of its major threats is habitat loss since the remaining forest areas on these islands are on a steady decline; estimates show that there are only 10% of the original forests remaining.
Dasycrotapha speciose is a small to medium sized bird that grows up to 16 cm. in length. The "flame templed" part of its name comes from the flame like orange patch of feathers found above and slightly around its eyes. Other than that, it has a yellow colored bill. Its eye ring is also yellow just like its chin, lores, and forehead.
Another distinguishing feature is the black nuchal collar. The upper parts of its body are covered in olive colored feathers that have streaks of white, which are usually found on the back. The feathers on its underparts are also yellowish. You will also notice some black spots on its throat.
36. White-winged flying fox (scientific name: Desmalopex leucopterus)
This species of bat is also known as the mottle winged flying fox. It is endemic to the tropical and subtropical forests of the Philippines. As of 2008, experts have determined that the biggest threat to the white winged flying fox is habitat loss, which is basically the cause of its massive decline in population.
The average length of this bat's forelimb is at 139.5 cm. It weighs typically around 340 grams. Just like other bats, this one also dwells above ground. Plants and other fruits serve as their primary type of diet. It is also distinguished by its dark brown eyes. Its body is covered in grey fur that has a rather whitish streak that begins from its head streaking all the way to its back.
37. Mindoro zone-tailed pigeon (scientific name: Ducula mindorensis)
This bird species is also known as the Mindoro imperial pigeon, and it is another endemic species to the country. It primarily inhabits the montane forests in regions that are tropical and subtropical.
The primary threat to this unique pigeon today is the massive losses to its natural habitat. Its status has been changed from vulnerable to endangered in the year 2008.
Current population estimates range from 1,000 birds all the way up to 2,499.
This species is distinctly marked by the colors of its head feathers, which are a light blue greyish color. Pink feathers cover its throat, lower part of the face, and its forehead. Its eyes have red orbital skin, which are surrounded by black rings. Its hind neck is brone-red. It also has wing coverts that are edged in bronze red feathers.
38. Japanese night-heron (scientific name: Gorsachius goisagi)
This species of night heron is endemic to Japan. However, it migrates to the Philippines during winter. It spends the other seasons in the other countries within Asia.
This bird species prefers to stay and breed in damp forests that are have denser foliage. As such, it is threatened immensely by the deforestation that has been occurring in the entire Philippines.
This heron has a wing span that can reach up to 47 cm. Their feather colors change as they grow older. Mature herons have russet colored feathers on the head and neck. On the other hand, juveniles just have black.
These herons also yellow skin on their eye's outer layers and a wide beak as well. Another unique feature is the black lines on the covert feathers on its wings.
39. Apo swallowtail (scientific name: Graphium sandawanum)
The Apo swallowtail is a butterfly species that is endemic to the country. It has been in the red list of the IUCN since 1985 as a species that is vulnerable to extinction.
This butterfly's forewings are primarily black. At the center of these wings is a light green area. It also has light green spots in the same area. The basic color of this butterfly is brown – note that its upside and under side are quite similar.
The hindwings are also black but have short tails. The edges of these wings are wavy with a light green coloration. The thorax and head are also back with a gray underside.
40. Spiny turtle (scientific name: Heosemys spinose)
This turtle species is also known as the sunburst turtle and the spiny terrapin. The name of this turtle is derived from the spiky edges of its carapace.
This turtle species is currently on the red list of the IUCN as an endangered species. Detailed monitoring is necessary to ensure the protection of this type of turtle.
41. Calamian deer, Calamian hog deer (scientific name: Hyelaphus calamianensis)
This species of deer is in the endangered species list since it occurs in less than 5,000 square kilometers of its natural habitat. Sightings also occurs in less than 5 areas or locations. They are also known to be on a steady decline due to illegal hunting.
This deer can only be found in the Calamian Islands in the Palawan Province. Males can grow up to 26 inches in height and have three tined antlers.
42. Streak-breasted bulbul (scientific name: Ixos siquijorensis)
The Ixos siquijorensis is threatened by the destruction of its forest habitat. Its population is now very small and its range is severely declining. Because of this the IUCN has included it in its red list categorized as an endangered species.
The Streak-breasted bulbul is a species of song bird that is endemic to the Philippines. It lives mainly in tropical and subtropical forests in the lowlands where it is usually moist. Its greatest threat today is habitat loss.
Compared to the other species in its family, this one has a longer tail. It has a total length of 22 cm. It has brownish grey feathers on its upper breast and under parts. It also has a dark cap, which makes it distinct. Its plumage is more uniform compared to other species in its family.
43. Catanduanes narrow-mouthed frog (scientific name: Kaloula kokacii)
The IUCN includes this frog species in its red list under the near threatened category, which also includes it under the bracket of species that are vulnerable to extinction. This species of frog is chiefly found in the island of Catanduanes, though some may also be found in the other areas of the Bicol Peninsula.
The main threat to this species is the destruction of the lowland forest areas largely due to developments in agriculture as well as for human settlements.
44. Philippine tube-nosed fruit bat (scientific name: Nyctimene rabori)
This bat species is endemic to the islands of Cebu as well as in Sibuyan and Negros and is known locally as the bayakan. Some believe that there are tube nosed fruit bats located in Panay Island as well. Due to the low population levels of this species as well as other factors, it has been included in the IUCN red list. Its current population trend is at a decreasing rate.
Its most distinct feature is also the reason for its name – its tubular nose. It was first described back in 1984. Some say that it is one of the strangest bat species in the world. It has a pair of tubular nostrils that are separate. They are about 6 mm in length and usually project above the mouth. Another distinct feature are the stripes on its body, which makes it one of the few species of bats to have them. This bat has a singular dark stripe going along the middle section of the length of its back. Other distinct marks include yellow spots that can be found on the wings and on its ears. It also has golden brown fur.
45. Luzon peacock swallowtail (scientific name: Papilio chikae)
The Luzon peacock swallowtail is a species of butterfly that is endemic to the Philippines. It is currently listed in the IUCN red list and it is categorized as an endangered species. Note that international wildlife trade involving this species of butterfly is illegal.
The wingspan of this butterfly ranges from 11 up to 12 centimeters. The wings notably have a bluish green area and a chain of spots as well. Note that its forewings are primarily black in color, but they are spotted with green scales. Its undersides are dark brown with white bands on the outer edges.
Its hind wings have tails with a wavy edge. The underside of these wings have whitish scales with its edges also having a chain of red spots. The body of this butterfly is also black and it also has that characteristic green scale pattern. Note that males have fewer red spots than females.
46. Frog-faced soft shell turtle (scientific name: Pelochelys cantorii)
This turtle is also known as Cantor's giant softshell. It is a species of freshwater turtle and it can be found in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries as well. Due to the massive decline in its population as well as other factors, IUCN has classified this turtle species as endangered.
This particular turtle species has a lot of distinct features. It has a pair of small eyes that are located near the tip of its mouth. It also features a broad head. Its carapace has an olive color and has a smooth texture. Juveniles of this species are known to have their heads with yellow colorations and dark spots on their carapace.
Reports claim that this species can grow up to six feet in length, though that still needs to be verified. The largest recorded carapace is only about 51 inches in length. The biggest recorded masses of this species is about 220 pounds.
This species is carnivorous and is a type of ambush predator. Its diet consists of fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. It spends the great majority of its life motionless and buried. Its mouth as well as its eyes are the only parts of its body that remain slightly visible above the sand. It surfaces only about twice a day just to take a breath.
47. Tawitawi brown dove (scientific name: Phapitreron cinereiceps)
This species of dove is endemic to the islands of the Sulu Archipelago in the southern part of the Philippines. The Tawitawi brown dove is currently threatened by habitat loss although surveys have shown that this has been reduced significantly in the past few years. Because of that, this species has been reclassified as endangered from its previous class as critically endangered.
The Tawi tawi brown dove is a medium to large sized bird and it can have a total length of about 27 cm. Its overall color is brownish though some doves of this species may also have matt grey hues. The hind necks as well as the nape of this particular bird species may also have a glossed brown color.
The rest of the feathers especially on its upper parts have a darker shade of olive brown coloration. The feathers on its under parts are tinged rusty especially when you inspect its belly. It also has grey under tail coverts. These doves are often found flying solo but at times they can be found in pairs.
48. Mindoro tree frog (scientific name: Philautus schmackeri)
This is a frog species that is endemic to the island of Mindoro. It inhabits the low land forests on the islands tropic and sub-tropic areas. This species can also be spotted in tropical as well as subtropical shrub lands.
The species faces the threat of habitat loss as huge sections of the old forests have been converted for human use. The demand for farm lands as well as residential lots is ever increasing. Because of this and other factors as well, the Mindoro tree frog has been included in the IUCN red list and it is classified as an endangered species. This species is severely fragmented and population trends are estimated to be on a decline.
49. Hazel's forest frog (scientific name: Platymantis hazelae)
Hazel's forest frog is endemic to Negros Island as well as to the island of Masbate. Platymantis hazelae is included in the red list of the IUCN and is classified as an endangered species. Its distribution is severely fragmented and its population trends are on a decline.
Some samples of this forest frog have been spotted laying eggs and living on the screw pines. They lay their eggs on the leaves of forest trees. The entire body of this frog is covered in camouflage pattern in different shades of brown. An adult of this species is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
50. Mount Data forest frog (scientific name: Platymantis subterrestris)
Mount Data forest frog is endemic to the mountain regions of the main island of Luzon in the Philippines. It inhabits the moist mountains within the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the Cordilleras. Other than Mount Data, this species of frog has also been spotted in other areas such as Mount Pulog, and Mount Polis.
However, the range of this species is severely fragmented and it is currently threatened by habitat destruction. Because of this and other factors, this frog species has been included in the IUCN red list as an endangered frog species.