No matter what time of year you visit the Philippines, its unique flora and fauna will undoubtedly mesmerise you. The plants and animals of the Philippines are so biodiverse. In fact, it boasts a staggering 52,177 species. Which includes a significant number of endemic species.
Whilst Europe is enduring short, cold, days, the Philippines is currently enjoying its dry season which runs from November to May. Even January, its coldest month, enjoys temperatures averaging at 25.5 °C.
Whether your reason behind travelling is to sample the food, tropical beaches, mountains, wildlife, or cities on one of the 7,000 Filipino islands, this wonderful destination will keep you entertained, relaxed, and in awe.
The Philippines is one of the ten countries from ASEAN. Please note that they will introduce a new type of visa called ASEAN common visa in the near future. When planning your trip, so be sure to check the necessary documents in advance.
So, below you’ll find a round-up of the most worthwhile plants and animals to spot during a visit to this tropical country. From birds to reptiles, fruits, and also flowers, the Philippines has something for everyone.
What Kind of Animals Live in the Philippines?
The island country is home to thousands of species of animals. Many of them are endemic. Also, some may be dangerous. So, it is wise to keep an eye out, and in case of doubt, consult with a local.
The Philippines has more than 200 species of animals, including: Bats, Chevrotains, Civet cats, Goats, Hogs, Horses, Lemurs. There’s also Mongooses, Monkeys, Pangolins, Red and brown deer. Squirrels, Tamaraw, Water buffalo and Whale sharks in Donsol, Luzon.
Advice: So, if you are planning to spend lots of time outdoors discovering the flora and fauna of the country’s 7,000 tropical islands, make sure to discuss what vaccinations you need for the Philippines with your healthcare provider prior to your departure. The plants and animals of the Philippines are beautiful, but can be dangerous.
There are also hundreds of different species of birds in the Philippines, many of which are on Palawan. They include Heron, Hornbills, Jungle fowl, Kingfishers and Parrots. Also Peacocks, Pheasants, Philippine eagles (Pithecophaga jefferyi) on Mindanao, Luzon, and Philippine tarsier in Corella, Bohol. Finally, you can find Sunbirds, Tilorbirds and Weaverbirds.
The lakes, rivers, and ponds, and also the seas surrounding the islands have over 2,000 varieties of fish. This makes the Philippines an ideal diving destination.
Some of the most remarkable marine life can be found around the Tubbataha Reefs in the Sulu Sea. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993.
Marine species of the Philippines
Some of the rare marine species include Arius manillensis is endemic to the island of Luzon, Dugong in Busuanga, and Milkfish. Seahorses, meanwhile, can also be seen in the reefs of the Visayan Islands.
Some freshwater fish endemic to the Philippines include: Dwarf pygmy gobi, Kanduli, Pandaca Pigmea and Sardinella tawilis that can only be found in Taal Lake.
Advice: So, depending on the time of year you visit, make sure to go over some of the health and safety precautions for the Philippines. Keep them in mind in case the weather changes suddenly. The plants and animals of the Philippines are beatiful to look at, but be careful about upsetting them in their natural habitat.
The Philippines is also home to some unique reptiles and amphibians, many of which are endemic to its islands, including: Frogs, several of which can fly, Geckos, Marine turtles, Philippine crocodile, Saltwater crocodile, Skinks, Snakes and Water monitor lizards.
And finally, the Philippines boasts nearly 21,000 insect species and invertebrates, many of which can only be found on its islands, including: Butterflies, Tiger beetles, Atlas moths and Freshwater crabs.
Dangerous animals of the Philippines
Some of the animals found on these tropical islands are dangerous. So, should you encounter them during your visit, please do not attempt to touch them and seek the help of a local: Arizona bark scorpion, Blue-ringed Octopus, Box jellyfish, Great White Sharks, Krait Snake, Mosquitos (some of which carry the dengue virus), Philippine Cobra, Red Back Spider, Scolopendrida Centipede, Stray dogs and also bats (may carry rabies).
Advice: Wear adequate sunscreen and insect repellent with DEET (and reapply often) when spending many hours outdoors. Also keep a water bottle at hand to stay properly hydrated if the weather is warm during your visit.
What Kind of Vegetation Can I See in the Philippines?
The Philippines’ vegetation also resembles Malaysia’s since both countries share a similar tropical climate. Nevertheless, a large number of plant species located in the Philippines (including ¾ of their 1000 orchid species) can be found nowhere else in the world.
The islands are known for their thousands of species of colourful plants and other remarkable species including: Ferns, Cogon, Ginger, Begonias, Gesneriads, Pandans, Palms, Dipterocarps, Giant figs, Pterocarpus and Rafflesia.
Furthermore, some endemic plants include: Alocasia sinuata, Cycas aenigma, Nepenthes kitanglad, Quisumbingia and Wurfbainia elegans
If you want to spot beautiful plants in the Philippines, make sure to visit their botanical gardens where you can soak in all their lush vegetation. They also provide an excellent medium for communication between the world of botanical science and the general public:
— Manila Zoo, formerly known as the Manila Zoological and Botanical Gardens
— Mehan Garden, also in Manila
— Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center, also in Diliman
— University of the Philippines Arboretum, also in Diliman.
What Exotic Fruits Can I Find in the Philippines?
Thanks to its tropical climate, the Philippines also offers many delicious and unique fruits. They include Aratiles, Chico, Durian, Lanzones, Mango, Rambutan, Santol, Soursop, Star fruit and Sugar-apple.
Don’t forget to also visit the country’s rice fields, the Banaue Rice Terraces are among the Philippines’ top tourist hotspots, indulge in a spot of diving, head around 50km south of Manila to discover the Taal Volcano, an active volcano in a freshwater lake, and spend time at the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Also, you can revisit history with a tour of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines; four churches built during the Spanish colonial era in the late 16th century.
Hopefully this article about the plants and animals of the Philippines has provided you with everything you need. You can start learning about the Philippines’ most beautiful plants, animals and its most delicious fruits (as well as a few other things). So, just remember to bookmark this page to keep it handy when travelling.