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Rare and Exotic Wildlife of the Philippines

Updated on March 10, 2010
Tinago Falls is a waterfall in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Iligan, a city known as the City of Majestic Waterfalls.
Tinago Falls is a waterfall in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Iligan, a city known as the City of Majestic Waterfalls.

Only in the Philippines will you find a great number of rare and exotic animals. The sourrounding waters of this country alone have been reported to have the highest level of biodiversity in the world. It is home to 165 species of mammals, 121 of which can be found only in this part of the world. There are about 86 species of birds and about 895 species of butterflies making the Philippines home of the highest concentration of birds and butterflies in the world.

 In a study by the Philippine Congress, sadly 123,000 hectares of the country's forest cover are lost every year. It also added that by 2036 there would be no forest left in the Philippines unless reforestation is started.

Philippine Eagle

 The endangered Philippine eagle is one of the largest in the world. Also known as the monkey-eating eagle, it lives in the rainforests of Isabela, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao. The average Philippine eagle has a 76 centimeter highly arched, powerful bill. It stands about one meter in height and creates its nests in large trees about 30 meters from the ground. It feeds on large snakes, hornbills, civet cats, flying lemurs, and monkeys - which is why it's also called the monkey-eating eagle. This eagle is in danger of extinction with an estimated population of only 100 to 300 today.

Flying Lemur

Flying lemurs are one of the most distinct creatures on Earth. Although it does not have wings, it can glide across 100 meters of space in a single leap. It moves around at night, it's head resembling a dog while it's body is similar to the flying squirrel of Canada. Around the world it's known as the colugo or flying lemur. People in Mindanao call it "kagwang". According to zoologists, though called a Flying Lemur, It doesn't fly and is not a lemur. The average kagwang weighs from 1 to 1.7 kilograms and ranges in length from 14 to 17 inches. Its head is wide with small ears and big eyes. Its tail is 12 inches long connected by a membrane stretching from forelimbs to tail. This enables the kagwang to glide 100 meters or more to escape predators like the Philippine Eagle.

Philippine Tarsier

This endangered species endemic to the Philippines is found in the southeastern part of the archipelago particularly in the provinces of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao Philippines. The Philippine Tarsier, also known as "mawmag" in Cebuano/Visayan is a tiny animal only about 4 to 6 inches in height. Being so small, it is difficult to discover. The average adult is about the size of a human fist and will fit very comfortably in the human hand. Its eyes are fixed and not able to move, but it is able to rotate its head 180 degrees. It's large eyes are disproportionate to its head and body, but are perfect for night vision since they are nocturnal. The Tarsier is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest eyes on a mammal. They can be found clinging vertically to trees and are capable of leaping from branch to branch. They feed on live insects, spiders, small crustaceans, as well as small lizards and birds.

Philippine Bamboo Bat

The Philippines has at least 56 species of bats. In other parts of the country, several bat species are now believed to be extinct.The smallest bat in the world, belonging to the vespertilionid family is the Philippine Bamboo Bat. It is only about 1 1/2 inches in length and has a wingspan of 15 cm. It only weighs about 1/20 ounce.

Philippine Mouse Deer

 The Philippine Mouse Deer is the worlds smallest hoofed mammal. Its home is the Balabac Island, south of Palawan. Known by locals as Pilandok (Tragulas Nigricans), this little animals stands only about 40 centimeters at shoulder level. Contrary to its name, Pilandok is not a member of the deer family. The male species use large tusk-like canine teeth on its upper jaw for self-defense; in the same way a deer uses its antlers.

Palawan Bearcat

Know in Southeast Asia as binturong, the Palawan Bearcat is niether a bear nor a cat and is a species all its own. Besides Palawan this species can also be found in Borneo, Burma, and Vietnam. Its head and body measure 61 to 96 centimeters in combined length while its tail is almost as long. It weighs 9 to 14 kilograms and can live up to 20 years. Its thick black fur is used by hunters for making clothes and caps. It is usually found awake at night searching for food, using its tail to climb trees where it hides in the leaves.

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    • profile image

      lol day 5 years ago

      wow,i didn't even know some of them existed! it helped with my school project tons!

    • profile image

      MalaSuerte 5 years ago

      People doesn't seem to realize that there are a lot more rare and exotic animals here in our country. Did you know that there tons of tarantulas and scorpions here that are not yet properly identified?

    • profile image

      Lawrence 5 years ago

      Cute creaturesssss ^^

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 5 years ago from California

      Thank you lundmusik, I'll be sure to check out your hubs! :)

    • lundmusik profile image

      lundmusik 5 years ago from Tucson AZ

      what a beautiful hub, both in the way it's constructed, as well as the content.

      All three of my hubs have been on animals,, can you tell me what you think?

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 6 years ago from California

      Thanks fashion :)

    • profile image

      fashion 6 years ago

      Really amazing hub.I had never heard of such things until reading this article.Well done

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 6 years ago from California

      Thank you RalphGreene :)

    • RalphGreene profile image

      RalphGreene 6 years ago

      WOw amazing.

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 6 years ago from California

      Thanks kerlynb! I'm so jealous!! That's awesome that you saw the eagle AND tarsier...the 2 that I'd most like to see myself and photograph!! One day... :)

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Useful hub! I've personally seen a Philippine eagle (monkey-eating eagle) in Davao, Philippines and I was stunned. It was really huge! I also saw a tarsier in Bohol, Philippines. It was so small it could sit on a small leaf.

    • _cheryl_ profile image
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      _cheryl_ 6 years ago from California

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed it rey!

    • profile image

      rey 6 years ago

      galing teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeecccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

    • _cheryl_ profile image
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      _cheryl_ 6 years ago from California

      Thanks so much for your comment and vote up Lita. I'm a huge admirer of nature and wild life. It's amazing all the many species of animals that reside in the Philippines!

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

      This is an informative hub for students. This will serve as a handy reference as the need arises. Interesting animals. The Bearcat is probably the "kantaw" (wild cat) our parents used to mention in their lullabies to force children to sleep. It stays awake the whole night and watches for children who are bad to take away with them in the forest. Haha! Beautiful and vote up!

    • _cheryl_ profile image
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      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Thanks Granny's House! So your other half is Filipino, have you guys ever been there to visit? =)

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Great pictures. My husband's family are from the philippines. I liked the one of the Eagle.

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Thank you GarnetBird. I love learning of unusual animals too! I will be checking out your hub. =)

    • GarnetBird profile image

      Gloria Siess 7 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      AWESOME work, Cheryl! Check out my Hub on the Mexican Red Knee Tarantula. I have a fondness for unusual animals. I really loved the eagle and the bearcat. WOW.

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Ooh, I'd love to see some home videos of the animals there!

    • deegle profile image

      deegle 7 years ago from Ventura County California

      It is really amazing the kinds of animals that can be seen here in the Philippines. My favorite are the monkeys. I hope to get some on video to post and also the bats. Still trying to find them pesky fliers.

    • _cheryl_ profile image
      Author

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      The Mouse Deer, yeah. Can you imagine if those things ran around here like mice? Literally like little deer with mouse behavior lol! I'm glad you enjoyed this Lisa. =)

    • lisaluv9784 profile image

      Lisa 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      This was a good read. The Mouse Deer is so cute! I had never heard of such a thing until reading this article. It really does look like a cross between a mouse and a deer. Interesting!