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The Philippines is the home of the smallest monkey and the largest fish in the world!

The Philippines is one of the few places where there is both a wide variety of animals, and a high percentage of them being endemic, or only found, in the Philippines. For example, there are over 300 species of reptiles and amphibians. Over 75 % of the species is endemic to the Philippines.

There is a diverse variety of life on land in the Philippines. Take a trip into the rainforest, and you will most likely encounter a Philippine Eagle and a Tarsier, along with birds and insects. Take a trip into the desert, and you will see a wide array of lizards.

Oceans

In the oceans, there is also a variety of life. There are over 2,000 species of fish. In the coral reefs off the vast collections of islands, you can see a variety of tropical fish, along with the Philippine turtle, whale shark, and a few species of dolphin.

Fresh Water

There is also life in the rivers and lakes of the Philippines. In Taal Lake, an endemic species of fresh water sardine is present. However, these species and many others are disappearing from the lakes because of human activity.

When visiting the Philippines, one can see many mammals other than themselves from cetaceans (whales and dolphins) to dugongs to bats and the tamaraw. In the Philippines, there is no shortage of life. It is a hotspot for biodiversity. However, as you will later learn, it is in jeopardy.

A bottlenose dolphin off the coast of Manila.

There are over 300 species of reptiles (this number includes amphibians). In the sea, there is the Green Sea Turtle and various aquatic snakes, in the rain forests, one can find the Philippine Crocodile, King Cobras, and the Philippine Turtle. The common house gecko, as the name states, is found in buildings, either as pets or wild.

According to avifauna, there are 612 species of birds in the Philippines. 194 of those species are endemic, 3 have been introduced by humans, and 52 are rare or accidental. The bird species that inhabit the country include pelicans, herons, egrets, sparrows, cockatoos, parrots, and eagles.

Philippine Eagle

Great-Billed Heron

Philippine Cockatoo

There are more than 300 species of amphibians (this number is combined with the number of reptile species) in the Philippines. Over of the species are endemic to the Philippines. These include the Calabian frog, Bicol Narrowmouth Toad, and the Small Disked Frog.

In the Philippines, there are over 25,000 species of insects. These include a wide array of butterflies, damselflies, and beetles. Like all life in the Philippines, they can be found in almost any habitat, including water.

The national animal of the Philippines is the Carabao (Wikipedia). The national bird is the Philippine Eagle and the national fish is the Bangus.

Carabao

Philippine Eagle

Bangus

Despite having an abundance of endemic species, the Philippines is one of the most threatened biological hotspots. It has only 7 % of its original, old-growth, closed canopy forest left. A mere 3 % is left in lowland regions. Only 14% of the original vegetation remains. With 80 million people living in the Philippines, the country is dependant on natural resources. The marine ecosystems are the most abundant source of life in the Philippines due to human activity. However, marine pollution, over-fishing, and other human interferences are having negative effects on this ecosystem as well. (biodiversity).