The Philippines as a Biodiversity Hotspot

About 94% of the Philippines was once covered with forest.

The Philippine archipelago, with over 7000 islands, is one the largest clusters of islands in the world with a high level of endemism due to the fact that most of the islands have never been connected to the mainland.

The Philippines is one of the 25 hotspots of biodiversity in the world. Of all 170 mammal species on the islands, 111 are endemic. Of the non-volant mammals, 25 – 80% are endemic. The area has a high degree of biodiversity and many species are severely threatened due to exploitation of forest.

About 94% of the Philippines was once covered with forest. This has been reduced to 20-25% in 1992. Deforestation still continues on the Philippines, which may lead to extinction of endemics, as endemics are more vulnerable to habitat degradation than non-endemics.

The effect of deforestation on extinction has a time lag, which is known as relaxation time. The number of species which were originally present in an area will relax to a new, lower number due to fragmentation.

It is shown that for birds a fragmented community will have relaxed approximately 50% after 25-100 years. The extent of habitat loss is correlated with the number of threatened or extinct endemic species as listed by the IUCN (The World Conservation Union).

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One Response to “The Philippines as a Biodiversity Hotspot”
  1. suhadi Says...

    On May 25, 2011 at 8:39 am

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