The Endangered Exotic Animals of The Philippines

Each country has its own unique variety of animals native to its geographical location. The Philippines has some interesting species of animals, too. Sad to say, these animals are faced with the threat of eventual extinction, generally caused by illegal and non-environment-friendly human activities. Let me introduce you to some of the Philippines’ exotic animals:

The Calamian Deer

This deer is usually found only in the Calamianes–a group of islands in Northern Palawan — particularly in desiduous forests and clearings on the islands of Culion and Busuanga. It has a tawny brown-colored coat, with the males generally darkening with age. Compared to other species of the deer, the Calamian deer (Axis calamianesis) has relatively long legs, which are darker than the rest of the body. The male sports three-pronged antlers mounted on its forehead.

Though generally nocturnal, they emerge early in the morning from their resting places in the undergrowth to graze on the clearings and fields. Prized for their meat (as food) and antlers (collectible items), this species have been declared by the IUCN as endangered in 1996, having an estimated population of 900. Actions to save the Calamian deer have been initiated both locally and internationally. One is by breeding them in captivity in Calauit islands. As of 2002, there were 1,200 Calamian deer counted in this natural reserve alone.

image source

The Philippine Sailfin Lizard

This is the largest member of family Agamidae of lizards native to many islands in the Philippines. They are usually found in woodland areas basking on trees, rocks and boulders never far from water edges. Large fins extending from along their bodies best characterize male sailfin lizards. Females are slightly shorter and the crest is absent. The Philippine Sailfin Lizard (Hydrosaurus pustulatus) is threatened throughout most of its remaining range by destruction of habitat and over-hunting for food and the live animal trade. The Biodiversity Conservation Centre of the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation initiated a significant move to protect these lizards in Bacolod City. With funding support from Adelaide and Melbourne Zoos of Australia, the foundation designed a special sailfin lizard enclosure that will serve as the species breeding habitat.

image source

The Philippine Monitor Lizard

A particular subspecies, Varanus salvator mamoratus, is commonly found in the Philippines, particularly in and around Sibulan Watershed Reserve in Polilo Islands. Locally, it is called bayawak. Like the Philippine sailfin lizard, the Philippine monitor lizard is heavily hunted both for its meat and leather. The conversion of forest to agricultural land on a massive scale is also held responsible for the decline of this lizard’s population.

image source

The Palawan Peacock Pheasant

This particular species of pheasant (Polyplectron emphanum) that is endemic to the Palawan Island in the Philippines is regarded as the most beautiful of the peafowl species. A long, metallic blue crest with white lines above and below the eye best characterizes the males, which are attractively colored to attract a mate. Palawan peafowl, locally called “andikan,” are shy but adapt well and breed in confinement. Unfortunately they are already endangered because of declining habitat and the continuing bird trading and hunting for food. An estimated decreasing population of 1,000 has been recorded at present.

image via Wikipedia

The Luzon Bleeding Heart Dove

Naturally found in Luzon, this species of dove (Gallicolumba luzonica) is distinct for its “bleeding” spot in the middle of its breast (that looks like it has been shot on its breast). Bleeding-hearts, locally called “puñalada,” are almost completely terrestrial, seldom going even into the low bushes. However, they do not build their nests on the ground. Just like all kinds of doves and pigeons they regurgitate crop milk to be fed to their chicks.

Image via Wikipedia

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50 Responses to “The Endangered Exotic Animals of The Philippines”
  1. Ashley89 Says...

    On August 29, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    It’s a shame that they are on the list because they are truly amazing creatures! Thanks for the share!

  2. Shamanz Says...

    On August 29, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with Alc. Truly amazing indeed, and the same can be said for your article.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nikita K Says...

    On August 29, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Very exotic indeed! But so sad that they are endangered. Especially the peacock pheasant looks like a wonder but how cruel is mankind that such beautiful creatures are deprived of the life to live? Beautiful article!

  4. Stephen J. Ardent Says...

    On August 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Exotic. Take heart, the American Bison once numbered as few as 1,500 just a few decades ago thanks to trophy hunting and general destruction. But with a little work they now number upwards of 350,000 and growing.

  5. giftarist Says...

    On August 30, 2009 at 6:29 am

    Thanks for sharing!
    I agree with what Atikin says,
    I hope DENR can take a look at this situation regarding endangered specific species..

  6. John Mark Says...

    On August 30, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I’m a Filipino and I know that these animals will surely rise up like the peer davids deer of china and the whooping cranes… I really like this article… so much

  7. Lee C. Lagda Says...

    On August 31, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I grew up near a river in Cavite province on the island of Luzon. Sixty years ago, “bayawak” (varanus salvator mamoratus) were a common sight. When bamboo trees on the river banks were cut down, the bayawaks vanished. I bet there are other species of both plants and animals that are on the verge of extinction. I think people care but the problems of surviving a third-world economy come first. The eradication of graft and corruption should come second or even higher on their agenda.

    It is a shame, if not a crime, to let these beautiful creatures go extinct.Let us strive to save these creatures and work to make the dirty politicians go extinct instead.

  8. monica55 Says...

    On August 31, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    How sad that some of us, mankind, have no respect for life? We think that we have the right to plunder through the animal kingdom, killing them and maiming them. Thanks for elucidating these points.

  9. K Kristie Says...

    On September 2, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Such beautiful animals. I’m not even aware that our country is home to the sailfin lizard. Nice post!

  10. Eunice Barbara Says...

    On September 2, 2009 at 9:03 am

    it is a good thing that you write about our endangered animals. But you forget the extremely endangered mammal in the Philippines, the tamaraw (bubalus mindorensis).
    If people will remain indifferent to the conservation efforts our fauna will soon face the fate of Dodo.

    Thanks for reminding us.

  11. Sophia_Luna Says...

    On September 9, 2009 at 5:27 am

    This is amazing but how poor are hunters they hunt for animals and take off inner places of the animals or even outer places.The Luzon Bleeding heart Dove is cute but how sad it is endangered.I
    wish every animal that is endangered would become plenty.

  12. jean Says...

    On October 7, 2009 at 6:33 am

    we should protect them before they become extict and the future generations may not see the beautiful wonders in our world if we don’t protect it

  13. ANGEL MAYOR Says...

    On October 18, 2009 at 8:21 pm


  14. Mr Ghaz Says...

    On February 5, 2010 at 4:21 am

    Loved this article..well written piece and very interesting indeed. thanks a lot. cheers

  15. Alistair Briggs Says...

    On February 5, 2010 at 8:09 am

    A very interesting read on a topic I didn’t know anything about before. Good stuff.

  16. earthlover Says...

    On February 12, 2010 at 8:16 am

    im from cebu and we have our own very treatend species like cebu\’s Black Shamas, its a little black bird that was though to be extinct, and was rediscovered, now a very small population is fighting for thier survival! its so sad but we can still do somthing about it…. i think its time to work and undo the damage we pleague upon those little black birds and to all leaving things that God has intrusted to us…..

  17. MHINE Says...

    On March 13, 2010 at 10:51 pm


  18. Miss. Philippines Says...

    On March 23, 2010 at 9:28 am

    So Sad. It’s a pity, I really love the fauna of the Philippines. It’s horrible because the government does not do anything about it. People eat this animals and trade them and abuse them. The government just loves sucking money from the economy. My country depresses me so much, I want to kill myself.

  19. monalyn vicente Says...

    On April 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    yeah i like this article i appreciate the effort of the person behind these page thanks and hope these help us all to think first before taking a life of an animals

  20. James Maluphert Says...

    On September 7, 2010 at 7:37 am

    hmmmmm…… Philippine is the most corrupt place and beacuse we are corrupt they sell our animals and now after all many animals are endagered ….. :P

  21. James Maluphert Says...

    On September 7, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Owww my God beautiful philippines are now GONE!!!!

  22. justine b. beiber Says...

    On September 30, 2010 at 1:05 am

    hi peoples kill the endanger animals joke!!

  23. ivanlibang Says...

    On October 5, 2010 at 2:50 am

    hey justine b. beiber its not right to kill endangersd animals if you want to kill them but try to past to me first. Animals hat is very rare is poor if you want you must kill you self first

  24. ????????????? Says...

    On October 5, 2010 at 2:54 am

    whre are the new government on the philipines
    gusto lang nila magpapogi pero hindi naman sila pogi

  25. icon @@@@@@@@@ Says...

    On October 5, 2010 at 2:57 am

    whre are the new government on the philipinnes
    they must to do anything about that

  26. joy111111111111111177777777777 Says...

    On October 7, 2010 at 1:32 am

    ya really,it bothers me so much as a young one i see how cruel a mankind is! do they not appreciate the beauty of they have. how i wish that i can only save them!!! sayang…………..

  27. dreadsism35 Says...

    On October 11, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    i havnt seen bleeding heart dove..

  28. miriam Says...

    On February 11, 2011 at 8:01 am

    sayang talaga ang ating mga yaman inaabuso lang ng mga tao,kaya dapat natin itong esave habang may panahon pa tayong natitira.!!!gogogo

  29. HarryL Says...

    On February 13, 2011 at 7:49 am

    @miriam oo nga po ehh..sayang talaga ang pilipinas..walang malasakit ang ibanga pilipino sa buhay ng mga hayop.

  30. rhyszaki Says...

    On May 9, 2011 at 9:31 am

    sana madisiplinahan na ang mga taong walang disiplina

  31. suhadi Says...

    On May 25, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Beautiful animals.
    I hope they can survive.
    Five Places of Conservation of Biodiversity in East Kalimantan – Indonesia

  32. jessa mae carnicer Says...

    On July 1, 2011 at 2:17 am

    I love the bleeding heart dove! I feel my heart is bleeding, too ‘cauze they’re endangered. LET’S DO SOMETHING! kaya natin ‘to mga pinoy!

  33. ranel belano Says...

    On July 7, 2011 at 6:04 am

    sana maging proud hind sumira

  34. paula Says...

    On July 11, 2011 at 8:17 am

    ty for this

  35. Animal Concerned Citizen Says...

    On July 17, 2011 at 3:32 am

    I think the Luzon Bleeding-Heart Dove has bleeding hearted because of our doings of destroying their habitat and also their number in the Phil..

  36. dyana dizon Says...

    On July 19, 2011 at 6:06 am

    oo nga’mapang abuso na tayo ngayon iba na talaga ang tao no?

  37. lemuel Says...

    On July 21, 2011 at 4:11 am

    please always protect them

  38. dyana dizon Says...

    On August 18, 2011 at 7:14 am


  39. ljpaz Says...

    On August 19, 2011 at 12:35 am

    i wish that people will stop abusing our environment and its animals because animals are living things to they have the right to live and breed in this planet we live in god created us as guardians of this planet we should not abuse what god has given us so lets protect our wildlife so it will not disappear and i wish that all the people will take care of our natural environment even the hunters and poachers

  40. Cai Says...

    On September 4, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Every animals inclouding our endangered species deserve our care and love… let us all not abuse our wild life let us not immitate and tolerate people who does not care about them… these animals should not be our source of income… Let us love them the way we love ourselves :D

  41. Cai Says...

    On September 4, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Every animals inclouding our endangered species deserve our care and love… let us all not abuse our wildlife let us not immitate and tolerate people who does not care about them… these animals should not be our source of income… Let us love them the way we love ourselves :D

  42. misty Says...

    On September 4, 2011 at 10:49 am

    we should save them , give them a better sanctuary, and should keep them from being endangered.

  43. misty Says...

    On September 4, 2011 at 11:06 am

    were barking at the wrong tree, i should say, DENR and some government units focuses not only to a certain issue , they have a lot of concerns not just this, we shouldn’t blame them , we should also consider our self of being mute, deaf, and blind to those people who really did bad things, such, hunting of this animal. If we really want to save them , we can do simple things such taking photos to those hunters and have it to DENR office for some action.simple things are a great help to our animal officers and to animals too. In short we should be vigilant and should take our part as concerned citizen.

  44. secret........................ Says...

    On September 20, 2011 at 8:04 am

    what a bad justin beiber! hehheheheehe joke!!!!!!!!!!

  45. shamie45 Says...

    On October 13, 2011 at 7:05 am

    they are really killnig those poor animals….sana lang dumagdag ang population ng mga endangered species na yan …poor animals
    :( filipinos do that because we are under a corrupt :)
    pero ina-appreciate ko ang kantang price tag kasi sinasabi ng kanta na yon di natin kaylangan ng pera :) )

  46. Arnel101 Says...

    On October 25, 2011 at 6:40 am

    ….sorry for the spoilers but what I can say “Preservation won’t feed an empty stomach”. Corruption is just a word, have you ever dig how does corruption is related to the issue…..the answer is no.
    Do what Filipinos always do; whatever the issue blame the “Government”. We just want to say something even it’s not the right ones. We don’t need heroes we need thinkers and doers.
    “We can do simple things such taking photos to those hunters and have it to DENR office” —- Have you been with a hunter before seriously? They have this thing called “Guns” and they are ready to do what they think necessary for them to survive.
    My suggestion is Education, educate the people specially the poor ones. Educate them like you are preaching Religion, the only topic that is so sensstive that people will fight and kill for it.

  47. ky0shiro Says...

    On November 3, 2011 at 5:09 am

  48. ron Says...

    On November 26, 2011 at 4:11 am

    I grew up here in Agusan del Sur, 30 years ago i love watching birds in our place because it was very lush and forests here were virgins..Almost all the Philippine birds i saw from the books were here in our province. After graduating my college and working in Manila and outside the country, 2007 when I came back to settle & do a business here. I shock to see the situation of forests here, I think 80% is losts and were converted to farm, big trees all almost gone, only a few Toog tree are standing now. I coud not see anymore Kalaw Birds, the Parrots and many more… But it sad to to say that the illegal logging here is so rampant up to this moment plus land conversion(slash and burn), the loggers themselves usually are government officials. I think 10 years from now if this activity continues and no government interventions, we will just waiting for more flashfloods and environment problems to follow.

  49. TeenProdigy Says...

    On February 6, 2012 at 6:10 am

    the decreasing beauty of the Philippines makes me feel so ashamed of my own country.. *sigh*

  50. ellen grace balentzax Says...

    On February 9, 2012 at 9:00 am

    i am ellen grace balentoza came from romblon .A student , i love watching birds ? As o now i see no more birds will be left in the next genetion? i just want to say that we must protect this kind of spices that we have as of now. we must preserve this for the better future:)

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