The Philippines is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world that is home to more than 52,177 described plant and animal species, according the the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). However, the country is also tagged as a “biodiversity hotspot” as endangered and threatened species continues to decline in population due to habitat loss and inhumane animal activities.
Here is a list of endemic animals that are now listed as critically endangered based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
1.Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi)
The Philippine Eagle is considered as one of the rarest birds in the world as it can only be seen in the four islands of the country, including Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.
The Philippine Eagle Foundation, the organization which caters and cares for the endangered animals, said the species need around 4,000-11,000 hectares of forest land to survive in the wild. But illegal logging and shooting is its population’s top threat.
2. Irrawaddy Dolphin (Oraella brevirostris)
Though they have a huge resemblance to Belugas (white whales), the Irrawaddy Dolphins are actually more related to the killed whale, Orca.
About 90% of the world’s Irrawaddy dolphin lives in the coastal areas of South and Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines, according to an article published by The Maritime Review.
They are now at risk of extinction due to fisheries bycatch and habitat loss.
3. Visayan Warty Pig (Sus cebifrous)
Known as a “wild pig” the Visayan warty pig is facing high risk of extinction. This forest-dwelling pig helps in spreading seeds of other plant species.
The Warty pug used to inhabit the Visayan region’s six islands, but due to habitat loss and hunting, the pigs became limited to Panay and Negros, according to a report by the National Geographic.
IUCN listed them as “critically endangered” back in 2008, but thanks to wildlife conservationists, they are now rebuilding their numbers in the wild.
4. Negros Bleeding Heart Dove (Gallicolumba keayi)
The reason why this dove is called “bleeding hearts” is because their chest has a red or orange patch of plumage that looks like a puncture wound. They are one of the most elusive birds in the world, as they can only be found in Negros and Panay’s lush rainforest.
Although they are shy and elusive, IUCN said their population continues to decrease with its population size just about 75-374.
5. Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
Turtles have played a huge role in maintaining the balance and harmony in the marine ecosystem. But poaching, over-exploitation, and habitat destruction leaves the specie to struggle.
6. Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis)
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said the population used to be around 10,000 in the 1900s, but a rinderpest outbreak happened in the 1930s that caused their numbers to decrease dramatically.
Now, the Mindoro dwarf buffalo’s population is at around 300.
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