Caluit Game Preserve Sanctuary, Calamianes Islands, Palawan. (Photo courtesy Philippines Department of Tourism)
The Philippines Tarsier. (Photo courtesy Philippines Department of Tourism)
The Philippines Tarsier
The Philippine Tarsier, as its name suggests, is endemic to the Philippine archipelago. Established populations are present particularly on the islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.
They have also been found on various isolated islands, such as Maripipi Island, Siargao Island, Basilan Island and Dinagat Island.
The Tarsier is one of the smallest known primates, and is mostly active at night, living on a diet of insects.
Although it is a protected species, it is still threatened by the destruction of its natural forest habitat, which has reduced the tarsier population to a dangerously small size.
You can visit the Tarsier at the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, Bohol, to see it in its natural habitat.
Because of its isolation, the Philippines has one of the world's highest biodiversities, with many endemic to the country. 43% of its birds, and two-thirds of its mamals and plants live nowhere else.
1,137 species of amphibians, birds and mammals are found only in the Philippines.
Whale Shark in Donsol, Philippines
Crocodile from Palawan Crocodile Farm
Manta Ray, Ticao Iland, Philippines. (Photo by Gutsy Tuason)
According to the country's environment and natural resources department, half of these species are considered "threatened or endangered".
The department now has jurisdiction over all terrestrial plant, animals, turtles and tortoises, and wetland species, including crocodiles, waterbirds, amphibians and dugong, in an effort to reverse the trend. Some of the best known of the endangered species include the Tamaraw, a type of wild cattle found on Mindoro, the Philippine Tarsier, the Cloud rat, Golden-Crowned Flying Fox (Fruit Bat), several species of Wild Pig, and the Philippine Spotted Deer.
Dolphins & Whales
For a real thrill, take an early morning banca ride to get amongst the whales and dolphins in the Bohol Sea.
Ex whale-hunting boats have now been converted for tourism, which is now an important part of the local economy.
Skilled local spotters, familiar with the area, work as your guides.
Whale Sharks & Manta Rays
The largest annual congregation of Whale Sharks is in Donsol, Philippines from November to May. These gentle giants, the largest fish in the world, are migratory animals, found in warm tropical waters as they follow their food supply, a dense concentration of plankton and krill which is brought about by the temperature and general health of the sea.
We offer tours to Donsol, where you can get amongst these beautiful creatures with simple snorkeling equipment. Whale Sharks are friendly to human beings as long as they are not scared away by being touched or harassed.
The strong current from the San Bernardino Straight between December and May also makes Donsol an ideal feeding centre for the Manta Ray - the largest and most harmless ray in the world. Manta Rays are known to be extremely curious animals, and often approach and make themselves known to divers, but have never been known to attack. Visit Ticao Island to experience Manta Rays too.