The Philippines is one of the most naturally bountiful countries in the world, ranking in the top ten worldwide for its biological diversity, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Boasting forests, mangroves, coral reefs and waters teeming with life, there is so much to see that you probably wouldn’t be able to fit it all in if you are planning a short visit or holiday to the country. So what are the highlights if you have a short time to see the best wildlife the Philippines has to offer?
With more than 7,000 islands making up the nation, the Philippines has a lot of coastline and water. If diving is your thing, head to Puerto Galera, around 100 miles from Manila on Mindoro Island. Off the coast here, you can find the likes of barracudas, tuna and turtles. There is even the chance of the occasional shark! Don’t worry, though, the sharks in question are White Tips and are generally not aggressive to divers.
If you prefer to keep your exploration more land-focussed, the Philippines is blessed with a huge number of mammals. Indeed, because of the country’s isolated position, around two thirds of its mammals are not found anywhere else in the world. Of course, many animals are now endangered but you can help the plight of one by visiting the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary at Corella on the island of Bohol where the small primates are cared for in their natural environment.
The Philippines is also famous for its crocodiles. Indeed, the largest ever crocodile in captivity died earlier this year in the country. Lolong was an amazing 6.17m long and was kept at the Bunawan Eco-Park and Research Centre where there are now plans to build a museum to house the remains of the record-breaking reptile. Despite the death of Lolong, the eco-park is still worth a visit to support the conservation efforts in the area.
The Philippines is so lucky to have such diverse wildlife that it’s important that it is safeguarded for future generations. A holidaying here, make sure you treat all its natural beauty with respect and help support the on-oing conservation efforts.
Images by SWBatzer and roxj used under creative commons license