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Wednesday, August 12, 2009




 When the first man later to be known as Filipinos arrived on this archipelagic tropical country, he must be amazed and realize at once that he shares this paradise with a great number of other living things. On a country walk he immediately aware of the rich pageantry of life in which now he forms a part. In then virgin tropical eden he moves in a splendid world of trees , foliage and kaleidescope of multi-colored flowers. He hears the melodious songs of birds, sees teeming life in every thickets of plants and beneath the surface of every ponds and streams. In all that grand design of nature he immediately realized that no area of the world is more richly endowed with forms of life than then forest of the Philippines. Part of this vast number of life are rich numbers of mammals majority of which are endemic to the Philippines. It is safe to generalized that most islands in the Philippines with an area of at least one hectare and covered with sufficient vegetation, preferably of mixed trees,  and grasses, are inhabited by some species of mammals.   Even tiny islets, hardly one-half hectare in area, with trees growing on them, usually possess some mammal population in it.    Large fruit bats or flying foxes for example, uses trees as their regular daytime roosts, although they feed regularly in the nearby larger islands, in some cases, they even make their nests on the branches of the trees where the bats roosts.  The mammalian fauna of the Philippines can be characterized as predominantly land forms and belonging mainly to the category of small land species, of not less than 233 species and sub-species of Philippine mammals , about 99% are land mammals and the rest are definitely aquatic and marine. Some of this wonderful Philippine mammals common and rare are discussed and presented on this website to promote awareness among us Filipinos  of their existence, importance and for us to broadened our knowledge about their   life and general habits for us to save them for the next generation .

( Bubalus mindorensis ) Heude 1888
( Bubalus mindorensis) Heude 1888   
Local Name : Tamaraw, Timaraw (Mindoro)     
Description  - Small dark brown or brownish black, with  much thicker body hair than domesticated carabao; as large as a half-grown carabao, with short limbs; horns short, triangular at base with very pronounced series of rough ridges and grooves, distal part of horns rounded, sharply pointed and coming close together; frontal parts of the skull slightly bulging; ears moderate in size. The animal averages about 1.20 meter or approximately 4 feet at the shoulders.
The tamaraw is the largest land animal native to the Philippines. This small stocky buffalo frequents dense vegetation along the rivers  in the low land of Mindoro Island and spends much of its time in the marshy areas. It is found in open grasslands and forests and ranges from sea level up to the high ridges of mountains on Mindoro Island, with elevations of more than 2000m.  Tamaraw is solitary, going alone but have been observed in pairs during breeding seasons. Small herds of about 4 to 7 individuals were observed going together while feeding. The animal feeds on grass like cogon and talahib.The animals living in a given locality such as the valleys and lower portions of the slopes of Mount Halcon in Mindoro Island were observed to migrate across some of the lower  mountain range, following regular migration trails which are often narrow and circuitous but always carefully selected for the gentle slopes that they traverse.When one such trail is followed, it will eventually lead far across several lower peaks, along the ridges of some of the mountains and then goes down the valleys, usually densely forested but with natural open spaces where a river or a brook winds over the whole area. Cow Tamaraw usually bear calves every two years,and the calves becomes independent after 2-4 years of age.This dwarf buffalo is over hunted both by sport hunters and by people who are after its meat. The species is one of the top game animals and its head is considered valuable trophy by the average big game hunter any where in the world. Inspite of government regulations prohibiting its capture and killing the species continues to be collected and killed by illegal hunters. Diminishing population of Tamaraw is also due to lost of its natural habitat. This dwarf buffalo is noted for its fierceness when cornered. The native hunters in Mindoro say that it is always best to have a nearby tree to climb up when hunting the Tamaraw, because it really attacks even when slightly wounded. Tamaraw now is very rare and could only be found in the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. ( CLICK TO SEE TAMARAW'S DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) . The Mount Iglit Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary in Occidental Mindoro has been established as a study area for the Tamaraw.

TAMARAW Picture Gallery ( click on photos to enlarge )

(Tragulus nigricans) Thomas 1892

Philippine  Mouse-deer
(Tragulus nigricans)  Thomas 1892
 2Local Name: Pilandok (Balabac), Balabac Chevrotain

Description - Small deer like ruminants without horns in both sexes; canines present in both jaws, but well-developed in upper jaw in the male.General coloration brown with the back and sides washed with jet black hairs with white bases, then dull orange and with broad black tips; nape with blackish lines but not distinct; face and sides of neck, mixed black and fulvous; a naked glandular patch on chin, between rami of lower jaw; white throat bands of very narrow, but sharply defined stripes; anteriorly, on each side of naked space, short clear white stripe, ending abruptly at about level of hind border of eye; stripes separated from each other and from the posteriorly median narrow white stripes, by deep jet-black; behind, the stripes separated from the white patch between the forelimbs, by a broad blackish band; hairs on lower parts, especially on belly, with broad black tips; sides of thighs, white. It measure about 0.18 meter or 7 inches at shoulders and  its body and head is about 0.40 meter or 17 inches long. 
                  The Balabac Mouse-deer or Chevrotain is active at night. During the day, it stays in deeply-shaded spots, among the dense vegetations, inside original forests, but may also be inside the second-growth forest close to virgin forests. The animal is dificult to find in the forest during the day, but at night it roams around the cleared areas, even close to the seashore. Mouse-deer when encountered at night with a flashlight in hand the eyes flash very brightly once caught in the beam and the animal normally stares for sometime before fleeing. Its meat is relished as a delicacy by the inhabitants of the islands and those of the neighboring islands. Its skin or hide are also been utilized by the locals for leather.The Balabac Mouse-deer feeeds mainly on leaves and young shoots. It is normally solitary and at most a pair can be seen during the mating season. A mating pair usually produces one young, rarely two young in breeding season. It is found only  on Balabac Island, south of Palawan, Philippines. ( CLICK TO SEE PHILIPPINE MOUSE-DEER'S  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP)

BALABAC MOUSE-DEER  Picture Gallery ( click on photos to enlarge )

 (Prionailurus javanensis sumatranus) Desmarest, 1816


Visayan Leopard Cat
(Prionailurus javanensis sumatranus) Desmarest 1816
Local Name :  Maral, Tamaral (East Visayan) Sunda Leopard Cat

Description - Visayan Leopard Cat  averages just as or slightly smaller than a domestic cat, with relatively shorter ears which are rounded at tips and appears farther from eyes; tail is short. Its body length is approximately 16 inches to 18 inches or 0.41 to 0 .46 m with tail averages    7 inches to 9 inches or 0.18 to 0.24 m. General color of the upperparts golden brown, spotted and striped with darker brown, sides lighter than back; under parts white or grayish white distinctly spotted with blackish brown; a brown stripe on nose proceeding to foerhead, on each side bordered with a short whitish stripe; below each eye, another roughly the same length as the eye; another clear brown stripe originating from inner corner of eye, and extends toward the nose, then turns at an angle downward towards upper lip; ears dark brown above, lighter in the middle; chin pure white. Tail with spots only at base; the greater parts brown, becoming silvery white toward tip, lower part of the hind leg unspotted, brown or gray brown.
                    The Visayan Leopard Cat also known as Small Leopard Cat under present conditions where extensive areas of what used to be forests especially  lowland types have already been cleared for farms, prefers to stay inside sugarcane fields or ricefields which are about to be harvested. The cat divides its time between staying inside the edges of vegetation preferably dense vegetation and in open grasslands, and farm lands, mainly to be in areas where rats and mice abound.  A young male was taken in a cornfield beside Amio River, in the interior of Southern Negros, near a dense patch of second growth forest. Its stomach when opened yielded numerous species of field rats all still fresh. This Leopard cat is a nocturnal animal. On Cebu, Panay and Negros as described by Dioscoro Rabori, this little cat helps the sugarcane and ricefield owners a great deal. A pair usually stays inside the dense growth of sugarcane and produce usually three kittens in there. The parents depend on the rats which could be caught in the vicinity, for feeding themselves and their kittens. Usually, a family of this cats uses about 4 to 5 hectares of sugarcane with ripening canes as their feeding range. When kitten get older, they also help in catching rats for their food, thus serving as more effective factors in the natural biological control of rat population in a given area.  Thus, on Cebu, Negros and Panay, rat infestation have not been a major problem on  sugarcane and rice crops. Unfortunately, for these small cats, the farmers in the area love to eat their meat, so many of them are killed for food. This small cat is 100% rat predator. During mating season tom of this wild cat  give a somewhat much harsher call to its mate than its domestic cousins. This small cat was formerly known as Felis minuta, but taxonomist grouped them now to Prionalurus which is  considered now as a genus, rather than a sub-genus of Felis and taxonomist believed that this Leopard cat are of the same species as Leopard cat found in Bengal to Indonesia and other parts of South-east Asia, another of its sub-species  Prionalurus bengalensis heaneyi  found in Palawan is  similar to P.b. rabori but possess a rather paler color than the Visayan sub-species. Prionalurus bengalensis rabori now is quite uncommon and could be found only in Negros and Panay Island. (CLICK TO SEE VISAYAN LEOPARD CAT'S  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) This Leopard cat may already be extinct in Cebu due to destruction of its natural habitat

VISAYAN LEOPARD CAT  Picture Gallery ( click on photos to enlarge )
 (Carlito syrichta) Linnaeus, 1758

Philippine Tarsier
( Carlito syrichta) Linnaeus, 1758
Local Name :  Mamag, Mawumag, Malmag, Mago (Bis.)

Description - A very small primate, body smaller than that of a large rat, over-all head and body length, shorter than the tail, the tail is long, slender almost naked except at tip with few hairs. Fur on entire body predominantly redish brown, especially on upper parts. Face to top of head is reddish brown. Outer sides of limbs reddish brown, lightest on legs, throat and chest reddish contrasting from rest of under parts which are yellowish gray, tail dark brown. Head somewhat rounded housing its most striking features its immense pair of eyes necessary to adapt for night vision. If a man's eyes were proportionately as large, they would be the size of an medium size orange. Another odd characteristic of a tarsier is their ability to swivel their head 180 degrees right or left. The Philippine tarsier like other tarsier species it is named for two greatly elongated tarsal bones in its foot. These long tarsal bones give the Philippine tarsier an added and extremely powerful source of leverage in jumping. Although it is about the size of a rat, it can cover a distance of four to six feet in a single jump.
                   The Philippine tarsier is crepuscular or nocturnal in habit. It stays  at the edges and right inside dense bushes vegetation of different types. Occasionally, it stays even inside dense bushes that grow at the edges of cogonal grasslands in areas which have been cleared and abandoned to grass. It is both terrestrial and arboreal. During the daytime  it sleeps clinging to the branches of bushes and low trees in dark places among the dense foliage.When disturbed, it makes long leaps from branch to branch but always selects dark places and deeply shaded spots among the foliage. Mainly insect-feeder,especially large grasshoppers. It also feed on lizards and small snakes. Philippine tarsier is quite rare it could be found in small island in the  Philippines called Bohol and other nearby islands like Samar, Leyte and some part of Mindanao.( CLICK TO SEE PHILIPPINE TARSIER'S  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) Hunting , collecting Philippine Tarsier is prohibited under Philippine wildlife protection law.
PHILIPPINE TARSIER  Picture Gallery ( click on photos to enlarge )

 (Viverra tangalunga) Gray 1832


Tangalong Civet
(Viverra tangalunga) Gray 1832
Local Name : Musang, Singgalong, Singgaong, Tinggaong,  Singgarong,     Malayan Civet

Description :  A medium-sized civet with  over-all length of about 0.90 meter to 1 meter long with a shoulder height of 0.38 meter, it is much larger than a domestic cat. Body elongate, tail less than half of combined length of head and body, legs rather short in proportion to body bulk, claws long but not completely retractile. Fur long and loose, usually longest on dorsal median side of body forming a low crest when the animal is excited, fur on neck, sides and immediately below dorsal median line, average length, fur on belly much shorter than those at the upper part and back. Head pointed anteriorly, snout naked, truncate, vibrissae grouped in three areas, those on side of head  reaching tips of ears, those arising behind gape below the ear, and a few elongate vibrissae arise from above the eyes. Ears small rounded above. General color on upper parts, a mixture of grayish white and blackish, face grizzled, darker on forehead and on snout, but lighter and along the mouth and above the eyes, the eyes margined with black, ear grayish brown on outer surface near tip with a dark spot immediately below it, side of neck with three distinct black lines, the uppermost extended toward the foreleg, the two lower lines extend across the throat, and join the same lines from opposite side, black lines separated distinctly from one another by whitish to grayish under spaces, the black and grayish to white interspaces strongly contrasting with one another on lower surface of neck. Sides are with spots of varied sizes and shapes, appearing reticulated and mottled, fur on belly brownish with whitish tips, also mottled with dark brown, legs brown, tail black with lighter bands below, brillant reddish brown hair around the anus contrasting strongly with immediate surrounding areas. Color pattern varies remarkably among specimens from different parts of the Philippines.              
                       The Tangalong Civet or Malayan Civet, known also as "musang" among the Tagalog locals in the Philippines and "singgarong" among the Visayan, lives along the edges of forest areas of both the original and secondary types. It also stays in "parang" or grassland mixed with forest vegetation and in well cultivated areas close to human habitations, especially in farms which are found among patches of forest. It is primarily a nocturnal animal. In search of food, it usually follows definite trails and has the interesting habit of leaving their dung in particular spots along the trail. It hasn't been observed to climb trees. Its food is mainly of fruits including bananas, figs and other fruits abound in the forest, but it may also feed on birds and on small mammals especially rats and mice. When its natural wild animal food get scarce, it also visits the immediate vicinities of houses and preys on the small chicks. This civet is geographically distributed among the larger islands of the Philippines. It is also found widely distributed in the Malay States, Borneo, Malacca, Sumatra, Celebes and on many smaller islands in that part of South-east Asia. ( CLICK TO SEE TANGALONG CIVET  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP)The fur has been used locally as material for making caps often with a tail hanging behind like Daniel Boone cap. It can be very good material for stock farming and management to yield material for coats and jackets for foreign trade. Once upon a time, its perineal glands, producing the secretion called "civet" with a very strong odor, was used as base for perfume manufacturing. It is no longer used after just as effective synthetic product had been discovered. The meat has been widely used as food for people in the rural areas, they always hunt this civet because they believe that it victimizes their poultry, although this is rather exaggerated. Hunting Tangalong Civet is restricted here in the Philippines for it is quite uncommon now to see it on its natural habitat.
TANGALONG CIVET Picture Gallery ( click on photos to enlarge )
Tangalong Civet Taxon Profile


 (Rusa marianna) Desmarest 1822

Philippine Brown Deer 
( Rusa mariannus) Desmarest 1822   

Local Name : Usa (Tagalog), Ugsa (Ilocano), Philippine Deer

Description :  Medium-sized deer  at 4 feet 8 inches total body length more or less, shoulder height about 2 feet 6 inches range.  Fur harsh of moderate length; tarsal gland distinctly marked; ears of moderate size; on external surface covered with short, close-set hair; horns are very rough and massive in male; strong long brow antler and one short tine directed inwards. General color of upperparts rich reddish brown, darkest on the neck; forehead and cheeks reddish-fawn color; dark, blackish streaks starting over each eye blending together, forming a band running down center face, separated from dark moustache-like mark bordering muzzle by a narrow strip of pale fawn; under parts especially on breast and belly uniform brown; tarsal gland marked with red spot.
                      The Philippine Brown Deer stays in localities in the interior where there are extensive areas but arestill covered with forests especially dense original forests, including dipterocarps forest type, mid-mountain forest type and up to about 1,500 meters above sea level in transition mid-mountain mossy type forest. The deer stays in grassland areas preferably close to the edges of forests, and when disturbed, will immediately run towards the dense forest growth for cover. After the preparation of a "Kaingin"(slash and burn type of farming) when the ashes of the newly burnt plants are still thick on the ground, several of these deers, as well as those of other species in the other islands where "Kaingins" are nealy prepared, lick the ashes for their necessary salt requirements. Thus the deer hunters make it regular practice in the course of hunting to burn large tracts of cogonal grass areas and then wait for the the deer to be attracted to the ashes on the ground. These hunters usually go back to these burnt areas after a few weeks when the new cogon grass shoots shall have sprouted and attract a good number of deer to feed on them. The deer is comparatively more active in its feeding at night, so the hunters usually hunt with the aid of head lamps or flashlights. The beam from these lights will be aimed in all direction throughout the burnt area with  sprouting cogon grass. More often than not, these bright lights are the shining eyes of the deer, in which case, if within shooting distance, the hunter fires his gun, and usually gets a deer. One hunter, can easily bag half a dozen back then in a single night with the aid of a headlamp or flashlights. During the rutting season, the stag will often be heard producing a dog-like barking sounds from some prominent point in an area of mixed forest and cogonal. It is his way of announcing to the females in the area that he is ready to breed and is in need of mate. One can easily mistake the mating sounds produced by this deer as the barking of a dog from a distance. The breeding season of Philippine Brown Deer usually occurs during the dry season, during the months of February to May here in the Philippines. In this species, the anthlers of the stags begin to appear after the completion of the first year but they have to remain velvet for sometime. Philippine Brown Deer is exclusively Philippines, found in still dense forest areas of Luzon, Mindoro, Polillo, Catanduanes, Samar, Leyte and sub-species in Mindanao, they are probably extinct in the island of Cebu, Marinduque and Bohol. They are introduced in Guam and the Marianas island in 18th to 19th century during Spanish occupation era.(CLICK TO SEE PHILIPPINE BROWN DEER  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) The meat of this deer is a delicacy, known as venison. Because of this, over hunting used to be rampant, that is why most of the deer population in the different islands are already scarce. Added to this unfavorable condition is the ruthless destruction of its natural habitat here in the Philippines, thus they are now an endangered species and protected by Philippine game laws at present. 

PHILIPPINE BROWN DEER Picture Gallery( click on photos to enlarge )

 (Hystrix pumila) Gunther 1879

Palawan Porcupine
( Hystrix pumila) Gunther 1879   
Local Name : Balat na Matinik, Durian, Dundian, Landak, Indonesian Porcupine,
                        Philippine Porcupine

Description :  A strongly built prickly rodents  with total body length ranges from 20 inches to 2 feet, limbs of almost equal length, tail is short, well developed quills on back and sides with greater part of the body heavily covered with flattened spines, each deeply grooved and rather flexible, on posterior half of body especially on rump, spines become almost rigid quills,each one of them with strong groove except the largest, quills become smaller and shorter towards end of tail, at tip of the tail only a few bristles  ending in small capsule-like cups, either open or closed, terminating in a long bristle tips, in the same area a few long stiffened vibrissae emerge from spines, very fine small hairs present between spines, vibrissae very long, forming a prominent tuft below front basal part of ears, nose covered with fine short hair, belly covered with more flexible grooved spines than at the back, feet covered with rough bristle-like hairs. On anterior part of spines at the upperpart the color is dark drab brown, concealed basal portion dirty whitish, same color at tips, on posterior part of quills much darker nearly black markings on tips more prominent, on sides, extent of white on tip of spines varies, resulting in flecked appearance, on side lighter brown for most of their length mixed with buff, spines on under parts with much mixture of buff-white especially on breast, spine on heads more brownish than spines on rest of the upperparts, spines and hairs on limbs and feet clearer brown, outer surfaces of incisors orange.
                     The Palawan Porcupine is a nocturnal rodent and could be found on clearings especially those close to the edges of dense original vegetative areas of lowland forests and of standing remnants of same. When disturb they shaken their tail with hollowed quills making a warning noise and other animals learn to avoid this sound just as they must the warning of an aroused rattlesnake, and when this warning failed it turns about and direct its rear end to the intruder, and continues to walk rearward to the direction of the supposed enemy until it is close enough to rush suddenly in a spurt of speed and hit the intruder with its spines. It feeds largely on roots and on juicy plants, its some times destroy coconut trees. Found in Palawan and Busuanga in the Philippines.(CLICK TO SEE PALAWAN PORCUPINE  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP )The meat is good to eat and tastes like pork. But Palawan Porcupine is becoming uncommon and scarce, and because of that hunting this porcupine is strictly restricted by the Philippine government.

PALAWAN PORCUPINE Picture Gallery( click on photos to enlarge) 

 (Macaca fascicularis philippensis) I. Geoffroy 1843

Philippine Long-tailed Macaque Monkey
( Macaca fascicularis philippensis) I. Geoffroy 1843  
Local Name : Unggoy, Chonggo, Matsing, Amo, Bakulaw, Akno, Batotok, Bakes, Ukay

Description :  Medium-sized Monkey with total body length of about 17 inches to 24 inches excluding its tail which is about the same length as its total body length, large body compact and heavy built; limbs relatively short. stout; thumbs pointing backwards; nose long but not extending beyond upper lip; nostrils opening downward and not placed at the very end of  nose; eyes surrounded by prominent bony ridges; ears naked and pointed; cheek pouches large; canine long and powerful especially in males; large callosities (hairless calloused areas on skin) on buttocks. General color upper parts of body  mummy brown, the hair ringed with blackish brown; top of head tinged strongly with chestnut color; sides of head grizzled yellowish olive, forehead with a row of stiff black hairs, narrowly separated from naked orbits by a narrow line of short brown hair; underside of body including inner surface of limb sparsely covered with pale drab-gray hairs of a silky texture; region around genitals brown; outer surface of limbs mummy brown mixed with gray on wrists, ankles, feet and hands. tail grayish black.
                      The Philippine Long-tailed Macaque Monkeys are found from seacoast to about 1,000 meters in elevation, moves about in bands of varying sizes. The members in a band number about six to twelve or larger and include ages from the big old male who is the head of the band and the youngest members who are with their mothers. Macaques are almost human in their reaction to danger. If their instant warning sound of Kraa-a!!! is heard, all feeding activities cease followed by furtive flights until no one is seen in the open, then after a few minutes, they will be observed to moved silently away from the tree where they happened to be at the time. After sometime, the band will be heard with usual noise connected with their feeding activities in another tree in the forest about one hundred meters away or so from the original tree where they were discovered. They feed on fruit of many species of forest trees, in areas where there are clearings planted to man's crops including corn, camote, ube, bananas, papayas and other fruit trees, these monkeys may be seen feeding on the edible parts of these plants that man is interested in harvesting. The Philippine Long-tailed Macaque Monkeys inhabit most of the islands of the Philippines both large and small.  (CLICK TO SEE PHILIPPINE LONG-TAILED MACAQUE MONKEY  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP ) A very good source of meat for food by the people on rural areas here in the Philippines. At one time, large numbers of the various races of this monkey were exported to the U.S.A. and used in the preparation of the Salk Vaccine. They are used as experimental laboratory animals also. Macaques make very good and intelligent pets. But the Philippine government put a strict restriction in hunting and collecting this monkey for their population now are fast declining not only due to over hunting but also due to habitat destruction.
PHILIPPINE LONG-TAILED MACAQUE MONKEY  Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge) 

(Mydaus marchei) Huet 1887 

Palawan Stink Badger( Mydaus marchie) Huet 1887  
Local Name : Pantot, Teledu, Pantok, Palawan Skunk

Description :  A small Badger-like animal; body length 15 inches to 20 1nches excluding its 8 to 16 inches tail; head rather long, pointed in front with truncate naked snout like that of a pig, with few vibrissae; eyes small; ears very small hardly raised above surrounding skin; nostrils opening on anterior end of snout. Legs short; tail short with scanty growth of hair, which extends much beyond tip. Upperparts uniformly dark brown, hair becoming gray toward base; fur on posterior part of hind leg and around anal region light brown; fur on underparts and on neck dark brown about same shade of brown as that of upperparts; a clear triangular spot of silvery white on head and neck, variable in size and white color shading.
                   The Palawan Stink Badger stays inside the forest and forest patches among clearings in countrysides. One who roams inside the farms and in the clearings among what used to be a forest area is most likely to encounter this creature either coming out of the forest patch or into clearing or going back among the trees. It is most likely to be met within the immediate vicinities of rivers and creeks, usually along the banks among mixed vegetation. It is not a very agile animal, moving very slowly and from time to time putting the head down close to the ground as if smelling its way for direction that it wants to follow. It feeds mainly on insects that it encounters on the ground and among the undergrowth. When excited and when threatened by another animal, it turns it hind part, proceeds towards the intruder, and when the distance is just right, it ejects a foul-smelling fluid which is secreted and stored inside its well-developed anal glands. The odor of its secretion does not dissipate for quite sometime whenever it has been ejected. Palawan Stink Badger are found in  island of Palawan and Busuanga. A closely related forms are found in Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Natuna Islands. (CLICK TO SEE PALAWAN STINK BADGER  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP ) As an insect-feeder, it helps get rid of insects that destroy tree-growths and crops of farmers in the areas where it is found. It is  endemic and uncommon in Palawan and Busuanga. Like other exotic animals in the Philippines, the government restricted the hunting and collecting of this animal for their population is rapidly decreasing, due also to their natural habitat loss.
PALAWAN  STINK BADGER Picture Gallery( click on photos to enlarge) 

(Cynocephalus volans) Linnaeus 1758 


Philippine Colugo
( Cynocephalus volans) Linnaeus 1758
Local Name : Philippine Flying Lemur, Kagwang, Kalago, Kolago, Kago, Gagua, Kabal

Description :  Smaller than its counterpart in Borneo with total length of  25 to 27 inches long including its tail at 9 inches more or less, doglike face; long limbs, long tail; a broad thin membranous skin well-covered with fur, extends form neck to thumb, between fingers, wrist to ankle, between the toes and from the ends of the long outer toes to the tip of the tail. Pelage soft, furry and fine. Head grayish with a white spot between eyes; fur more brownish on back; upperparts dark brown to buff and hairs with gray, smoky, to brownish gray at tips; shoulder and rump hairs tipped with whitish buff; belly brownish buff, becoming brown on membranes, posterior membrane underparts without fur. Fur varies widely in colors.
                      The Philippine Colugo and its relative species shows the highest development of gliding adaptation in mammals and their closest relative are primates. Their membrane of thin-furred skin, does not actually provide any motile power. The Philippine Colugo is a nocturnal animal, spending the day inside particular holes in trunks of standing dead trees, or inside holes in branches of live trees. It emerges from its hole at the onset of darkness and becomes very active at night. Lives in forest near the seashores and deep in the interior. Feeds on young shoots, leaves, buds and ripening fruits of certain trees. Typically, it suspends itself from the branches just like bats. One young is produced which clings securely to the underside of its mother, while the mother continues to perform its normal functions seaching for food and keeping safe. Philippine Colugo are endemic and  are found only in all larger islands of the southeastern and southern Philippines, including Samar, Leyte, Bohol, Mindanao, Dinagat, Siargao and Basilan.  (CLICK TO SEE PHILIPPINE COLUGO  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP )  The species is not found in the northern, western and central islands of the Philippines. In some parts of Mindanao, the fur is used in making fancy caps. The beautiful fur when properly prepared can easily become an important article of the trade to be used in the manufacture of womens's coats and wraps. But hunting this animal is restricted by the Philippine government due to its declining number in the wild.

PHILIPPINE COLUGO Picture Gallery( click on photos to enlarge)
Philippine Colugo Taxon Profile

(Sus ahoenobarbus) Huet 1888


Palawan Bearded Pig
( Sus ahoenobarbus) Huet 1888
Local Name :  Pagil, Babuy-ramu, Babuy

Description :  Much larger than the other wild pig species in the Philippines with total length of 5 feet including its 8 inches tail. Head long and narrow with greatly elongated nasal portion; nose, upper lip and chin covered with short black hair; a band of very large hairs blackish at base ochraceous towards tip, forming a band in front of the eye, this band becoming narrow on sides of nose, changing to a line passing under each eye, then widening and spreading out over jaw up to posterior angle of mandible; in front of yellow band and a little behind snout, two tufts of harsh bristles curly or frizzled behind; throat area, about eyes, forehead, top of head, neck, body, limbs covered with black hairs, starting at top of head, a mane formed by longer hairs, for the greater parts of the lengths the hairs are black, on median line of neck, some of these hairs have yellowish tips; from between shoulders, continuing on back, the mane is made of entirely black hairs from base to tips; tail quite large with long black hair especially in median line, becoming much longer toward tip of tail, where hair forms flattened brush; ears small, distinctly terminating in a point covered with  black hair above, almost naked below. General color throughout entire body black or blackish except for ochraceous lateral band on side of head, and yellowish tips on hairs along median portion on part of mane; female varies from male in colors but not to a large extent.
                       The Palawan Bearded Pig usually stays in forests, both original and secondary, or in bush areas or even "parang" areas. It feeds on the fruits of wild figs and other forest fruits and also on crops like corn, camote, ube, gabi and occasionally rice. It is nocturnal in its habits, and can only be encountered inside forests when disturbed from its resting place. The Palawan Bearded Pigs are endemic and found only in island of Palawan, Busuanga, Culion, Coron and Balabac all in the Philippines. ( CLICK TO SEE PALAWAN BEARDED PIG DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP)The Palawan Bearded Pig is a very good source of meat, and because of its size, much can be taken from it. It can cause a large destruction to man's crops in areas where it is found in large numbers. The Palawan Bearded Pigs are legally protected by Philippine wildlife protection legislation laws for its population is dwindling rapidly.
PALAWAN BEARDED PIG Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)   
Palawan Bearded Pig Taxon Profile



(Dugong dugon) Muller 1776


( Dugong dugon) Muller 1776
Local Name :  Dugong, Duyong

Description :  A large marine mammals with total length from snout to  tip of the tail ranging from 9 feet to 10 feet, easily confused with some of smaller whales, but are distinguishable from them by the following combination of characters: no dorsal fin; nostrils invariably separated; two nipples situated on either side behind arms, never close to anus, as is true in whales; snout broad, obtuse, with vertical median anterior groove and paired vertical lateral grooves, unlike that of any whale. Hind limbs absent; forelimbs modified into flippers; tail crescent-shaped, and expanded into flukes. Upper incisor of male enlarged to form tusks; in females, much smaller and do not pierce the gum; cheek teeth come into place from back of tooth row pushing the others forward as they are worn out. Front of mouth and lower lip with thick short bristles. General color of upperparts uniformly bluish gray to grayish brown; underparts whitish gray. Skin smooth, sparsely dotted with rough short bristles, so scanty and insconspicous and most likely to escape notice unless carefully looked for.
                         The Dugong is the only completely marine mammal that is herbivorous. It feeds mostly at night on green "dugong grasses" or green seaweeds and other sea vegetation. Its sense of taste is quite keen such that it can select green seaweeds and reject the brown ones. It is possible also that it possesses an acute sense of touch with its prehensile lips. The Dugong is rarely seen going with others in herds. Researchers of this animal have found that the Dugong possesses a strong distinct odor characteristic of the species. Up to now the sense of smell of the animal has not yet been demonstrated clearly. Its sense of sight is rather poor, because due to its deeply sunken eyes, each one on either side of the head, each eye is capable only of looking forward and downward, thus it develops a very limited vision. Its sense of hearing is acute, so that when the animal is beached in open air, it is observed to wince at squeaking sounds. When in the water, it is easily frightened by different type of noise. It breathes at the water surface with distinctly audible sound that resmbles "buff" repeated at intervals varying frm 2 minutes to as frequent as 14 seconds when excited. The animal is said to stay below water normally from 5 to 10 minutes. Ordinarily breathing is done fast. Upon surfacing it opens its nostrils, breathes out and breathes in fast, closes its nostrils and then sinks to the bottom. Dugongs are normally found in the coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean and China Sea and migrates into interisland seas like those in the Philippines. The presence of this species in the Philippine inter-island seas is more accidental than otherwise.( CLICK TO SEE DUGONG DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) The meat is a good source of protein for future use, when conventional source of meat will be scarce. At present experts believe that Dugong's population is vulnerable  and continously declining, in the Philippines it is unlawfull to hunt or collect this animal.
DUGONG Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)  
Dugong Taxon Profile

(Exilisciurus concinnus) Thomas 1888


Philippine Pygmy Squirrel
( Exilisciurus concinnus) Thomas 1888
Local Name :  Laksoy, Buot, Kagsi, Mindanao Pygmy Squirrel

Description :  A small squirrel total length approximately 7 inches including its 4 inches long tail. Tail moderately long and flattened: fur short soft without spines, forefoot with four well-developed digits and vertigial pollex; hind foot toes well developed. Body definitely larger than house mouse, about same size as that of a small species of rat. Upperparts generally dark reddish brown with very black marks; under fur slate-black, terminal half of hairs ringed with black and brownish orange tipped with black; cheeks and sides buff with red color not well pronounced; upperparts with deep neutral gray under fur, individual hairs tipped with dark brown. Hands and feet similar to color of back but definitely brighter, more reddish. Tail above and below mixes black and brown becoming more black at tip.
                      The Philippine Pygmy Squirrel like all the other similar species of pygmy squirrels and on several islands where they occur, climbs very tall trees, and are often seen high up on the straight trunks of the dipterocarp trees inside the forest. It takes quite sometime for a paticular Philippine Pygmy Squirrel to climb up the tall trunks of a typical dipterocarp tree from the forest floor to the branches about 30-35 meters high. It feeds on the fresh mosses on barks of trees and on larvae of small insects and on the insects themselves that stay among mosses on the barks of tall trees. Based on actual observations especially in the forests of Mindanao and Samar , Philippines, it is possible that one or two Philippine Pygmy Squirrels may be climbing up tree trunks, but it is difficult to detect them from among the vines and climbers that may grow in different densities on these trunks They are common in some restricted localities on the various islands where they occur, preferably where there are still good stands of dense dipterocarp forests, but they are dificult to collect. Philippine Pygmy Squirrels are endemic and found on Mindanao, Basilan, Dinagat, Siargao, Samar, Leyte and Bohol islands Philippines. .(CLICK TO SEE PHILIPPINE PYGMY SQUIRREL DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) They help in the control of insect population including those that harm man's crops and spread diseases among people and their domestic animals. Philippine Pygmy Squirrels are still fairly common and abundant.
PHILIPPINE PYGMY SQUIRREL Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge) 
 Philippine Pygmy Squirrel Taxon Profile

(Herpestes brachyurus parvus) Jentink 1895


Short-tailed Mongoose
( Herpestes brachyurus parvus) Jentink 1895
Local Name :  Mangangahas, Short-tailed Mongoose, Water Mongoose

Description : Definitely smaller than Viverra tangalunga or "Musang" (Tangalunga Civet) with total length at 1.5 feet more or less including its 11 inches long tail. General shape of head and ears similar to Civet cats. Face short compressed with frontal region broad and arched. Body long and slender, legs short, with five toes on each foot; free and slightly palmated first toe, especially that of hind foot  very short; palms generally naked, as well as distal portion of soles; under surface of tarsus and metatarsus usually clothed with hair, but much variation obtains in this characteristic. Tail moderate in length, brownish black. No scent glands. General color on upper parts yellowish red mixed with black; head averages much paler and grayer than body; dorsal hairs individually reddish brown, banded with black and tipped with yellow, the black bands more or less visible at surface. Underparts, reddish brown, the hairs with short yellow tips; forelegs dusky; hind legs of the same color as sides and back.
                   Short-tailed Mongoose is semi-aquatic in habits and usually found in areas close to bodies of water especially near rivers. It feeds on aquatic animals including fishes and crustaceans. It also feeds on snakes both the venomous and non-venomous species. This particular sub-species of Short-tailed Mongoose (Herpestes brachyurus parvus) are endemic and found only on Palawan and the neaby Calamianes Islands, most probably in Busuanga. (CLICK TO SEE SHORT-TAILED MONGOOSE DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP)  The meat is eaten locally by people in areas where they are found. Present population of Short-tailed Mongoose is poorly known but its quite rare to encounter it in the forest where they are found. Hunting and collection this animal is restricted by the Philippine government to protect number of their populaion from further decrease.
NOTE : Some taxonomists believe that the particular species of mongooses that are found in Palawan are Collared-mongooses (Urva semitorquata).
SHORT-TAILED MONGOOSE Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge) 
Short-tailed Mongoose Taxon Profile

(Nycticebus menagensis) Lydekker, 1893  


Philippine Slow Loris
 (Nycticebus menagensis) Lydekker 1893  Local Name : Kokang, Kokam, Bornean Slow Loris

Description : A small prosimian with a total length at 10 inches including its less than an inch tail. Body rather heavy with rounded head, short muzzle, large eyes place close together; neck short making head appear as being placed directly on shoulders; tail short; limbs short, well-developed; nail of hands flat; hind legs with feet turned sharply inward, thus making, the animal appear bow-legged. General color light rufous, individual hairs dark at base, then gray, changing to light rufous with very short gray tips. hair on upperparts of body, arms and legs, thick and soft producing a very fine  fur. Hair under surface of body thinner and lighter in color than upper parts. Area around genitals buffy white. Fur around eyes dark rufous, these markings extending upward on forehead, producing the effect of having a heart shaped mark of dark rufous on face, the point of the heart located on forehead, while the eyes occupy two lobes separated by the white mark which in effect does not reach tip of heart.
                       The Philippine or Bornean Slow Loris is nocturnal. It sleeps most of the day roled up, with its head buried between its thighs, appearing like a ball of fur. Its movements are sluggish except when it bites, which it does suddenly and unexpectedly. Philippine or Bornean Slow Lorises bite is toxic, which is quite rare among mammals. Its toxin is produced by licking a gland on their arms, and the toxin mixed with their saliva to activate it. Their toxic bite is a defense against predators, and the toxin is also applied to the fur during grooming as a form of protection for their young ones.  It moves very easily along the upper and lower sides of small branches and vines, and can move fast as rapidlly backwards as it does forwards. It has a peculiar way of folding its hands over its eyes as if it is ashamed to look straight at anyone. Sometimes an animal is overtaken in a low plant, one among many close to a house located in a farm at outskirts of a village. It feeds on insects, fruits and berries. In the Philippines it is found only in the southern half of Sulu Archipelago from Tawi-Tawi Island south to Sibutu. (CLICK TO SEE PHLIPPINE SLOW LORIS DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) Other species of the genus are also found in India, Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java and Borneo. It helps in the control of insect population and in the dispersal of trees. It can be domisticated as pet. It is rare now to see this primate on its natural habitat. The Philippine government rectricted the hunting , collecting and trading of this animal.
PHILIPPINE SLOW LORIS  Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge) 

(Phloeomys pallidus) Nehring 1890  


Northern Luzon Giant Cloud Rat
 (Phloeomys pallidus) Nehring 1890
Local Name :  Northern Luzon Slender-tailed Giant Cloud Rat, Yutyut, Buut, Letlet

Description : A large rodent  with 15 inches body length and with tail at about a foot long; fur are soft and long; ears short, naked inside, with long scattered hair on outer surface beyond tip up to about 1/3 of its length; longest hair of vibrissae reaching ears; fur on top of head and forehead erect. Tail a little shorter than head and body, covered with short hair , shorter than body fur, not entirely covering annuli. Fur on anterior region of body, black on terminal third, grayish to grayish brown on basal two thirds; fur on remaining parts of back, sides, belly and forelimbs, above and below, with distal thirds of longer hair, white, on hind limbs and belly with basal two thirds and all shorter hair becoming reddish brown; crest on forehead and crown with distal half, grizzled white, and basal half  grayish; ears black covered with black hairs; fur on cheeks gray with gray or black tips; black around eyes and on tip of muzzle; tail covered with deep black to brownish black hair, a few gray hairs near base.
                          The Northern Luzon Giant Cloud Rat is found in forested areas on mountain slopes and hillsides. It is at home on high trees, up among the branches and on the forest floor on ground. It feeds on fruits. Sometimes this big rat feeds on maturing bananas which are planted in the clearings close to edges of forests, especially at base of mountains.Northern Luzon Giant Cloud Rats are found only in the Northern Luzon highlands Philippines. (CLICK TO SEE NORTHERN LUZON GIANT CLOUD RAT  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) The meat is eaten by people in the places where it is found, and will prove to be a good source of protein if properly stock farmed and managed. Population of this big rat is quite stable but Philippine wildlife protection law are restrictive for people hunting and collecting this animal. 
NORTHERN LUZON GIANT CLOUD RAT  Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge) 

 Northern Luzon Giant Cloud Rat Taxon Profile

(Aonyx cinerea) Illiger 1815  


Oriental Small-clawed Otter
 (Aonyx cinereus) Illiger 1815
Local Name :  Dingguin, Asian Small-clawed Otter

Description :  A small otter with overall length of 27 inches to 31 inches including its 10 inches to 12 inches tail,. Their body is long; ears short and rounded; legs short; feet short; rounded with five toes, more or less completely webbed; claws small; tail long, thick at base, tapering, slightly flattened; fur short and dense. Upperparts uniform chocolate brown; underparts lighter brown. Color of fur with minor variations.
                    The Oriental Small-clawed Otter stays in the vicinity of water usually along river banks or among vegetation, not very far from rivers. Oriental Small-clawed Otters are nocturnal in habits and hides during the day. It is semi-aquatic. On various occasions, the animal has been collected in "Nipa" swamp at night. It feeds on both invertebrates and vertebrates. Fish and crab remnants were recovered in the stomachs of the specimens which were collected for study. Some other food items include frogs, rats and waterbirds. It breeds in burrows along banks of rivers or creeks. Two or three kittens are usually produce. In the Philippines Oriental Small-clawed Otters are found only in Palawan Island. This species are also known from midland of Asia and on the islands of Sumatra, Borneo and Java.(CLICK TO SEE ORIENTAL SMALL-CLAWED OTTER  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) The fur can be used for the manufacture of caps and hats for souvenir trade. Meat is eaten locally by people in the area where the animal is found. The population of Oriental Small-clawed Otter is declining rapidly due to over hunting and habitat loss. The Philippine government wildlife protection laws restricted the hunting and collection of this animal.
ORIENTAL SMALL-CLAWED OTTER  Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)

(Sundasciurus juvencus) Thomas 1908  


Northern Palawan Tree Squirrel
 (Sundasciurus juvencus) Thomas 1908
Local Name :  Ananagsing, Bising, Tagsing, Laksoy

Description :  A true squirrel of moderate size, about the size of a small rat with overall length at 9 inches more or less including its 7 inches tail. Tail with moderately long hair, more flattened than bushy with the hairs at tip much elongated; fur composed of well-defined, woolly underfur and with definitely larger straight over fur. Ears small, flattened againts head, middle of back, sides and outer sides of legs rather grizzled with grayish brown and black, each hair with black ring and black tip; sides of body similarly grizzled, mixture of numerous white hairs; under parts pure white except root of tail, region around anus and along borders of white abdomen which are brownish red. tail bright brownish red, tip black; hairs moderately long with a broad black ring.
                     The Northern Palawan Tree Squirrel like the other tree squirrels lives inside virgin forests or in remnant original forest patches in the lowlands up to about 1,200-1,400 meters above sea level, in the hills and mountains. It may also be found in second-growth patches in cleared areas from the lowlands and also up in the hills and mountains. It lives among the branches of the trees and feeds during early mornings and late afternoons on the hard fruits of forest trees. It prefers the acorns of our native species of oak which it gathers either from the branches still attached or from the forest floor, where they have fallen. It may live and nest in the crowns of coconut palms, placing said nests securely in the axils of leaves. In some places, large numbers of these squirrel, both this species and the southern Palawan species, and those found on Culion and Busuanga Islands, feed on the developing coconut fruits, causing great damage to coconut crops in the area. Inside the clearings which have been prepared by the slash and burn (kaingin) farmers and which they plant corns and camote (sweet potatoes), good numbers of the squirrels come out from the surrounding forests and attack the maturing ears of corn and the tender leaves of the camote plants. Typically, a squirrel comes from the edge of the forest or any tree vegetation type, scampering fast on the ground among the rows of corn from time to time climbing up some of the plants and attacks the maturing ears. When any disturbance occurs, it climbs down the cornstalks fast, leaps to the ground, climbs up the rotting trunks of the giant forest trees which are still left criss-crossing on the ground and runs back for shelter and concealment inside the forest. If it happens that the developing corn ear has been husked at least partly, it thus becomes exposed to fungus attack. In a few days, the developing ear will be destoyed. In this way, large numbers of maturing ears of corn get destroyed, a good number of them not touched by the squirrel because it was immediately disturbed just as it started removing the husks. The next time that it goes back to the cornfield, it would be very seldom that it goes back to the plant and finish the work of unhusking the corn ear in order to eat it. The Nothern Palawan Tree Squirrel are common but local in distribution in Northern regions of Palawan. (CLICK TO SEE NORTHERN PALAWAN TREE SQUIRREL  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) It is a good source of meat when conventional sources of meat are scarce. They are sometimes pursue as pest or as pet but there is no great threat to the population of Northern Palawan Tree Squirrel right now.
NORTHERN PALAWAN TREE SQUIRREL  Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)
 Northern Palawan Tree Squirrel Taxon Profile

(Rusa alfredi) Sclater 1876 


Visayan or Prince Alfred's Spotted Deer
 (Rusa alfredi) Sclater 1876
Local Name :  Philippine Spotted Deer, Usa, Lagsaw

Description :  A medium-sized deer as large as Philippine Brown Deer (Rusa mariannus) total length at 4 feet 8 inches including its 5 inches tail. Hair soft, of moderate length; ears short, on the outer surface almost naked; horns not as massive as those of Philippine Brown Deer (Rusa mariannus); a short brow antler and a very short tine point inward. A very colorful deer. General color on upperparts rich dark brown marked with scattered lines; cheek and top of head pale brown; lower jaw and throat whitish; neck and front part of shoulders, uniform dark brown, hind part of shoulders, back and sides with distinct permanent mark of yellowish white spots; underparts yellowish white; limbs on the outside uniform brown on upperparts, pale brown on lower parts, and whitish on inner sides. Both sexes resemble each other in color; fawn spotted at birth.
                       The Visayan or Prince Alfred's Spotted Deer is found in the same habitat type as those of the Luzon species. Its habits are likewise very similar to the Luzon form. It is very rare and very much endangered it only inhabits now some mountains in west of Panay Island particularly Mount Madja and Mount Baloy. There are formerly found also in the islands of Masbate, Bohol, Guimaras, Negros and Cebu.(CLICK TO SEE VISAYAN OR PRINCE ALFRED'S SPOTTED DEER  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) It is a very good source of meat like the other deer, and as a result, it is now on the brink of extinction on the island where it is found. The Philippine wildlife protection laws strictly prohibits hunting this deer species.
VISAYAN or PRINCE ALFRED'S SPOTTED DEER  Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)
 Visayan or Prince Alfred's Spotted Deer Taxon Profile

(Urogale everetti) Thomas 1892


Mindanao Tree Shrew
 (Urogale everetti) Thomas 1892
Local Name :  Mindanao Slender-tailed Tree Shrew, Tarababuey, Klongi, Kologtsuey,

Description :  A squirrel-like tree shrew, with total length at 14 inches including its 6 inches tail, resembling other tree shrew (Tupaia) species in appearance; feet and claws relatively large; tail short, haired, cylindrical. General color of upper parts of head, neck, body, tail and outer side of legs, dark brown to blackish brown, resulting from the fine grizzled effects of blackish and tawny mixed thoroughly with ordinary brown; area around nose and on sides of head more reddish brown mixture; feet darker brown than legs. Undersurface including inner side of legs orange rufous, brightest about chest, with the slaty or grayish bases of hairs showing through some areas. Underside of tail similar to upper side with the light and dark color components mixed equally. Orange brown or rusty brown shoulder stripe rather ill-defined but shows clearly enough.
                      The Mindanao Tree Shrew stays normally in dense secondary growth forest along clearings and in very thick bamboo jungles beside small creeks. Stays in medium and low elevation forests. Typically, it is an extremely active and easily excited animal, also anti-social. Forms territories which are actively defended againts other individuals of the same species. Generally arboreal and feeds on insects and fruits. It is endemic, specimens have been collected in localities of Mount Apo, Mount McKinley, and Mount Todaya, which are located in the same general region of Mindanao. Other specimens have also been collected in some localities in Mount Malindang, Zaboanga del Norte. A good number of specimens were also taken on Dinagat island, the small island off the north east coast of Surigao del Norte.(CLICK TO SEE MINDANAO TREE SHREW DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP)  As an insect-feeder, it helps in the control of insect populations. As a fruit-feeder, it helps in the dispersal of various forest plants. At present the population of Minanao Tree Shrew is stable, but loss of its natural habitat is the main threat to Mindanao Tree Shrew present population.
MINDANAO TREE SHREW  Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)
Mindanao Tree Shrew Taxon Profile

(Acerodon jubatus) Eschscholtz 1831


Golden-capped Fruit Bat
 (Acerodon everetti) Eschscholtz 1831
Local Name : Giant Golden-crowned Flying Fox, Paniki, Kabog

Description :  It is the largest bat in the world with wing span reaching more than 5 and a half feet, total body length at 14 inches including tail and weigh as much as 1.2 kilograms. Fur on throat and neck moderately dense; fur on sides of face, forehead, above eyes and throat, brownish black, but at times becoming black; fur on top of head black, the individual hair tipped with yellow or buff, producing a distinct yellowish or buffy spot; nape golden yellow, becoming orange buff or orange yellow on back of neck; sides of neck and upper part of back rufous or chestnut-rufous, forming a complete collar on the undersurface of neck. fur on undersurface of body blackish with silvery tips.
                    The Golden-capped Fruit Bat, usually a good number of them look like black bags as they hang from branches of dipterocarp trees and other tree species in dipterocarp forest patches and on the mangroove on small islands. They live usually in colonies, mixed with another giant fruit species Pteropus vampyrus both in sizeable number in any one such colony. they feed mostly on fruits of many species of ficus trees. The breeding season is usually during months of April and May, in most localities, being the dry months. this giant fruit bat is endemic in the Philippines. It was known to occur in the islands of Basilan,  Mindanao, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, Negros, Boracay, Samar, Mindoro, Marinduque, Polillo, Mount Banahaw, Sierra Madre Mountain Range in Luzon,  Subic Watershed reseve in Subic Bay, Ilocos and some other forested areas in Northern Luzon. (CLICK TO SEE GOLDEN-CAPPED FRUIT BAT DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) Like othe giant fruit bats, the species is a good source of protein foods  but the Golden-capped Fruit Bat is protected by the Philippine Wildlife Protection Law to protect its present population from futher decline.
GOLDEN-CAPPED FRUIT BAT  Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)  
Golden-capped Fruit Bat Taxon Profile

(Arctictis binturong whitei) J. A. Allen 1910


Palawan Binturong
 (Arctictis binturong whitei) J.A. Allen 1910
Local Name : Palawan Bear Cat, Binturong, Binturung, Manturon

Description :  At overall length of 4 feet 3 inches up to 4 feet 7 inches and weighing as much as 25 kilograms it is the largest among the Viverrids which includes Civets and the likes. The Palawan Binturong's body are elongated; head broad posteriorly, becoming small and pointed towards face, with numerous long vibrissae reaching ears; ears are small, rounded with a tuft of long hairs; eyes small; pelage on body long coarse and rough; tail long and prehensile; legs short; soles and palms broad and naked. General color of upper parts black washed with reddish brown, basal part of pelage deep black, hairs with broad fulvous tips; this fulvous  tint giving the surface color of forelegs and prevailing tint over larger part of body. Face predominantly dark, hairs narrowly tipped with white or whitish; around entire neck black; external surface of ears with heavy tufts of black, bordered with white or yellowish white. Underparts rather thinly haired, the hairs crinkled or less woolly; blackish at base with broad tips of dark fulvous on chest and inner parts of forelegs; black on sides extends downward to thoracic region; abdominal region, pale silvery fulvous, continuing over anal region and extending as a broad median strip for about 2/3 length of tail.
                     The Palawan Binturong also known as Palawan Bear Cat usually stays in dense vegetation both in original and second growth forests. It is found in lowlands, and extends its range into the hills and lower mountain slopes up to 200 meters above sea level. It is arboreal in habit and uses its prehensile tail for climbing up trees including dipterocarp species especially up to the high canopy and stays among the branches up among the dense clusters of leaves where it is difficult to discover. Another peculiar characteristic of Palawan Binturong is its musk glands odor which smells similar to popcorn. It is a nocturnal animal and most of the time it is discovered from among the dense foliage where it may be staying at the time through its very bright luminous eyes that stare for short periods againts the bright beams of flashlight or head lantern. It is seldom seen during the daytime from its places of concealment usually inside dense leaf clusters of the branches of the trees. It feeds on the fruits of forest trees, rats and other rodents, birds and poultry when available.. This particular Binturong is endemic in Palawan Island. Other closely related species are found from northeast of India, upper Burma, Vietnam southward to the Malay Peninsula and on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Borneo. (CLICK TO SEE PALAWAN AND OTHER  BINTURONG  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP)  It may be a minor pest of poultry in areas close to the forests with a good population of the species. The meat is eaten by the people in the localities where they are found. The fur is used in making caps. If properly cured and treated the fur can be used in the making of wraps and coat but hunting and collecting this animal is prohibited in the Philippines due to its decreasing number in the wild which is due also to its diminishing habitat.
PALAWAN BINTURONG  Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge) 

(Axis calamianensis) Heude 1888


Calamian Deer
 (Axis calamianensis) Heude 1888
Local Name : Palawan Hog Deer, Usa,

Description :  A small deer , slightly smaller than Philippine Brown Deer (Rusa mariannus) with total overall length 4 feet up to 4 feet 7 inches with shoulder height from 2 feet up to 2 feet 6 inches. General coloration of its pelage tawny brown males getting darker as they matured. There are inspicous  markings of light coloration on the throat just below the jaw; a white band delineated by a darker band on the snout near its nose; inner ears and ear base white as well as the surrounding ear base; under surface of its tail also white; it has a rather  darker colored long legs compare to much stockier looking  Hog Deer species of mainland Asia. Compares to other deer species in the Philippines the male deer of this species have a three-tined antlers which they shed annually unlike the other Philippine deer species having only two-tined antlers.
                     Calamian Deer is crepuscular  to diurnal in habit , like other hog deer species it has the habit of creeping  their head really low to the ground into a dense undergrowth like a wild hog hence he name hog deer, an adaptation to protect themselves from predatory attack both arboreal or from above. They prefer grassland, open forest and second growth forest . The Calamian Deer is restricted only to Calamian Island an island group north of Palawan, Philippines, particularly in the island of Busuanga , Calauit Game Reserve and Culion. (CLICK TO SEE CALAMIAN DEER  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) The species is endangered due to its natural habitat destruction and by over hunting  for its meat . Philippine Wildlife Protection Law prohibits the hunting and collecting this deer species.
CALAMIAN  DEER  Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge) 

(Paradoxurus hermaphroditus philippinensis) 

Jourdan 1837 


Philippine Palm Civet
 (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus philippinensis) Jourdan 1837
Local Name : Alamid, Alamus, Milo, Pasla, Ilo

Description :  Overall body length at about 2 feet 10 inches including its  tail at 16 inches. Body form similar to Viverra tanglunga or "Musang"and most of the time they also called it "Musang" but  Philippine Palm Civet is distinctly smaller and legs not especially shortened. Tail long, non-prehensile but shorter than combined length of head and body; head triangular, ending in pointed nose; vibrissae or whiskers on snout reaches to ears. Fur soft consisting of longer coarser overfur, with shorter underfur; ears small not rising much above horizontal level of top of head; legs rather short but definitely longer in proportion to size of body than that of Viverra tangalunga; claws retractile; perineal scent glands well developed. Upperparts yellowish brown with a golden luster, averaging darker along the middle of back; front part of head with grayish band across forehead just above eyes; top of head and ears dark brown; underparts, most pronounced in breast, grayish yellow, tail uniformly brownish; legs of feet both inside and outside brown. Colors are variable among different individuals, even from among those from the same island or even from the same locality.
                    The Philippine Palm Civet is most likely to be encountered in open country and grassland close to the forests both original and secondary, or close to patches of same, of varied sizes. It may also be met with in patches of original or secondary vegetation as well as cultivated and settled areas in the countrysides. It is nocturnal and spends the day sleeping in the nest which usually found on horizontal branches of trees among dense foliage or inside bamboo clumps. The nest is usually built out of leaves arranged to form a platform. The animal is a very good climber and is very agile, capable of climbing branches which are in complicated angles, either horizontal or vertical. It feeds on fruit of cultivated trees such as papaya, santol and other sour fruits, and fruits of other trees such as wild figs, they are particularly fond also in feeding coffeee berries in which upon excreting out the coffee berry seeds or beans they are collected cleaned thoroughly then process to the most expensive coffee in the world  called "kape alamid" here in the Philippines or "kopi luwak" in other countries such as Indonesia. Once in a while it preys on young birds in the nest and on young chicks in the poultry. Philippine Palm Civets are found throughout the main islands in the Philippines. (CLICK TO SEE PHILIPPINE PALM CIVET DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) . It preys on birds, young and old, chickens preferably chicks. It also controls rodent population to a small degree, thereby helping the farmer. It helps disperse seeds of various species of fruit trees especially the wild variety of figs. The population of Philippine Palm Civet is quite stable but still the Philippine law on protecting wildlife still limits hunting this animal.
PHILIPPINE PALM CIVET Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)

(Sus cebifrons) Heude 1888 

Visayan Warty Pig
 (Sus cebifrons) Heude 1888
Local Name : Baboy Ilahas, Baboy Talunon, Banban, Babatin, Mangalisak,
                         Cebu Bearded Pig,

Description :  A large wild pig but smaller than Palawan Bearded Pig (Sus anhoenobarbus) with total length of about 4 feet including its 9 inches tail and about 1 1/2 feet at the shoulder. This wild pig is blackish grey color, the hair is somewhat scantily distributed throughout its body; light silvery brown for larger male and much darker hair for smaller female. There are bristly strands of hairs in between the ears, in adult male of this wild pig this bristly hair grows into a long mane which runs from the head to the rear end of the wild pig and hang over its face, almost covering its eyes. Like other sus species they sport a long snout but a little shorter than Palawan Bearded Pig and ends with a round nasal disc. Facial warts of this warty pig species are not that obvious and only male have the warts which act as a probable protection againts the tusks of other boar opponent.
                   Visayan Warty Pig originally occur both in primary and secondary forest from sea-level to mossy forest at 5,250 feet above sea-level, but at present  they commonly inhabit above 2,600 feet above sea-level, as there are quite few patches of suitable habitat in the lowlands. It can tolerate in some degraded habitat as cogonal grasslands as long as there are areas of thick vegetation and bushes for them to hide, but there is evidence that pigs surviving in such a habitat are predominantly composed of hybrids or feral pigs and pure Visayan Warty Pig. This wild pig is endemic in Panay and Negros Island and believed to still inhabit in some remote forest of Masbate. (CLICK TO SEE VISAYAN WARTY PIG DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) It was presumed  to be extinct in Cebu. Visayan Warty Pig is critically endangered because the locals still continues to hunt them for their meat, another major threat for the demise of this wild pig species is habitat loss. The Philippine Law on Wildlife Protection strictly punished  anyone who still hunting, collecting this animal for its meat, hide etc.
VISAYAN WARTY PIG Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)
Visayan Warty Pig Taxon Profile

(Crateromys schadenbergi) Meyer 1895 


Luzon Bushy-tailed Cloud Rat

 (Crateromys schadenbergi) Meyer 1895
Local Name : Buut, Yutyut, Letlet, Giant Bushy-tailed Cloud Rat

Description :  A large long-haired rodent with total length at 2-1/2 feet including its 16 inches tail. Body elongate, tail long, heavily furred; vibrissae on snout very long, two elongate vibrissae above eyes and two posterior to eyes; ears small, almost totally hidden in dense fur; fur on sides of head short, a mixture of short underwool and slightly longer straight hairs; distinct crest on anterior part of face and forehead, short toward face but lengthening toward crown; on upperparts, pelage dense on back, made up of woolly underfur with wavy or nearly straight overfur becoming longer towards rump; underparts with very scanty over fur but with sufficient underfur; tail with long and wavy overfur, short and scant underfur, hair on lower surface of tail and on tip definitely shorter than upper surface; fur on feet short concealing skin; well-developed tufts of hair about each claw. General color of pelage blackish but color is variable, sometimes whitish or brownish on anterior part of body,  and frquently with white area of variable extent on the underside; crest on head brownish black; outer fur on neck and shoulders, black from base to tip; underfur gray towards terminal parts changing to dark gray to black at base; underfur darker on back and changes uniformly dull black posteriorly; sides grayish; entire under parts irom gray and changes to black where overfur become dense; area behind ears grayish without overfur.
                     The Luzon Bushy-tailed Cloud Rat is rather common in the forests  among the mountains of Central Northern Luzon at elevations of about 2,000 meters above sea level and even higher. Found in mossy forests at the top or very close to the top. It stays at the edges of pine and scrub oak stands. It lives in holes and cavities of pine trees. It makes its home in holes in trees and from holes among tree roots. The animal feeds on fruits it collects on trees but not those that fall on the ground. It also eat buds and bark of young sprouts of pine trees. Its nest is usually placed at the top of a tree. It is very bulky nest securely placed among the top branches of either the oak or pine tree, in mossy forest or in mixed pine and mossy growths. The platform is made of numerous cut branches arranged one on top of one another and walled in with cut branches which are smaller and leafy, and laid thickly around. The walls extend beyond the platform, thus serving as roof at the same time. Inside the nest is a very cozy chamber thickly lined with a mixture of pine needles, mosses and ferns. It is nocturnal in habits and sleeps during daytime. Luzon Bushy-tailed Cloud Rat occurs only among the high mountains of Central Northern Luzon, especially in  Mountain Province.(CLICK TO SEE LUZON BUSHY-TAILED CLOUD RAT DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) The meat is highly valued as food by the inhabitants of Mountain Province where it is found. Its pelt is beautiful and can be used for making odd-shaped caps and scarves or mufflers. It can be stock farmed. The Luzon Bushy-tailed Cloud Rat is endagered hunting and collecting this animal is strictly prohibited under Philippine Wildlife Protection Law.
LUZON BUSHY-TAILED CLOUD RAT  Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)
 Luzon Bushy-tailed Cloud Rat Taxon Profile

(Manis culionensis) de Elera 1915 


Philippine Pangolin
 (Manis culionensis) de Elera 1915
Local Name : Halintong, Balintong, Malintong, Panggolin, Tanggiling, Beleku,
                        Palawan Pangolin or Scaly Ant-eater

Description :  A mammal with reptile-like appearance, overall all length at 26 inches to 30 inches including its 10 inches tail, body covered by broad, overlapping horny scales forming an armor on the dorsal surface of neck and body and all over tail, but none on belly, chin, sides of face and on inner sides of limbs, these parts covered sparsely with fine stiff hairs, thickest especially about the ears; nose hairless, mouth very small, especially in relation with upper jaw, extending much beyond the lower jaw. Head conical, covered with small scales forming a triangular area. On side of head very small eyes and ears in elongated grooves, with ears very close behind eyes with rounded and raised skin fold about each. No teeth. Tail long, broad, and the upperparts covered with three rows of scales very slightly keeled, the median scale row the largest; along the side of tail with a single row of folded scales each one strongly keeled, thus forming side of tail. Forelegs short with five digits one each foot, claws of varying size; middle finger with largest claw; claws of outer digits much shorter about 1/3 or even less of middle claw; claws on toes shorter, the median toe being the longest, and adjoining toes both inner and outer definitely shorter. General color dirty pale yellowish white; scales translucent.  
                              The Philippine Pangolin or Scaly Ant-eater is usually found inside dense vegetation patches or in remaining forest patches found close to cogonal grasslands. It is more active at night than during the daytime. It depends more on its sense of smell than on its sight. It is a burrowing animal that feeds mostly on termites through small holes it makes in termite nests, just big enough for the animal to enter with its large digging claws. It has a long extensible, sticky tongue very useful in catching the termites. It usually extends it to go inside crevices of the termite nest that it has broken down with its claws. It prefers to feed on termites living inside the arboreal nests, considering that it is easier for it to break into. Once in a while, it also attempts to dig the basal portion of a termite mound. Once it has made a hole at the base and has reached the pulpy nest, it is easy for it to break into it and consume the termites living inside the nest. It may even consume some true stinging ants including the red and black ones. The horny pad at the end of its powerful tail greatly aids the animal in climbing and in hanging on the branches of trees. It is not rare to see an animal hanging by its tail and appearing as though asleep. The animal exudes a very peculiar odor. The Philippine Pangolin is endemic and found only  in Palawan, Culion and Busuanga.(CLICK TO SEE PHILIPPINE PANGOLIN DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) Outside the Philippines, other related species are found throughout the Malay Peninsula, to Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and on mainland Asia to the northeast, reaching northern Thailand, Laos and China. Scales of Philippine Pangolin are used for fancy articles and use as traditional medicine in some countries more particularly in China. The meat is eaten by people living in the islands where they are found. Important factor in controlling termite infestations where they are found. Philippine Pangolin is near threatened and its population is fast diminishing due to over hunting for its meat and scale and habitat loss. Philippine Wildlife Protection Law prohibit hunting, collecting this animal.
 PHILIPPINE PANGOLIN  Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)
 Philippine Pangolin Taxon Profile

(Hylopetes nigripes) Thomas 1893 


Palawan Flying Squirrel
 (Hylopetes nigripes) Thomas 1893
Local Name : Palawan Arrow-tailed Flying Squirrel, Pula Tuka, Tapilak

Description :  A small rodent significantly smaller than other  flying squirrel species found in the Philippines with overall length at 24 inches including its 10 inches to 12 inches tail. Squirrel-like head with very dense long heavy fur on body and tail especially on upperpart of the body. Well-developed lateral fur-covered membranes stretch between the front and hind limbs, forming an efficient parachute for gliding when limbs are extended forward and backwards. On the outside of the wrist, membrane is supported on a stiff-cartilage rod, acting as an spreader, in the membrane sheets of muscles are found which when contracted and relaxed, allow the animal to change its direction while gliding. Color shows much variation ranging from almost white to grayish or grayish buff to brown and from almost uniform coloration to spotted or blotched condition.      
                      The Palawan Flying Squirrel has been taken inside virgin forests including dipterocarp forests at sea level and not very far from the coast, and up to elevations of about 2,000 meters or slightly higher, inside mid-mountain forest. It stays either in large continous forest areas or inside with clearings among them. It usually stays among the foliage in the canopy of fruiting trees. It is a nocturnal animal and usually spends the daylight hours sleeping inside holes in trees or in the forks between the branches. It is active at night starting at dusk when the sun has totally set and ending in the morning when the sun has not yet risen. It feeds mainly on fruits of forest trees especially on the young ones, nuts, fresh bark and even young succulent buds, and also on grubs. The animal moves fast, whistling-hissing notes most of the time. The animal can be traced easily where it is in any particular part of a tree, through these notes. The Palawan Flying Squirrel has been observed to glide as far as fifty meters away, starting from the highest part of the trunk of one tree or from a branch high up among the canopy, and transfer to another tree, usually on the lower part of the trunk of this new tree.  Palawan Flying Squirrel is endemic to Palawan, but may also be found on neighboring smaller islands of Culion. Busuanga and Coron.  (CLICK TO SEE PALAWAN FLYING SQUIRREL  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP)  Palawan Flying Squirrel is moderately common but usually local in distribution being encountered frequently in some particular locality but not in other localities. Hunting and collecting  Palawan Flying Squirrel is restricted by Philippine Wildlife Protection Law for its population is declining due more particularly also to habitat loss.
PALAWAN FLYING SQUIRREL (Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)
Palawan Flying Squirrel Taxon Profile

(Sus philippensis) Nehring 1886 


Philippine Warty Pig
 (Sus philippensis) Nehring 1886
Local Name : Baboy Damo, Baboy Ramu, Baboy Ihalas, Talonon, Alingo, Binatong,
                    Luzon Wild Pig 
Description :  A large pig with heavily built body, overall body length at 4 feet 3 inches more or less including its 5 inches tail. Body covered with coarse hair, like other pig it is characterized by its long snout, ending in a flat expanded mobile disk, with the nostrils found in the middle; small eyes; long ears. Narrow four-toed feet  where only the two central toes are actively used for walking, the two lateral ones nearly useless, reaching the ground only in soft soils and mud holes, where the feet sink deep. Tail rather short. Teeth numerous, large and strong; with well-developed upper and lower canines, with razor-sharp lateral edges, produced by rubbing againts each other continously. General color blackish; along middle continously. General color blackish; along middle of back, a well-developed crest of long stiff black hairs, especially pronounced in male; sides with silvery white bristles sparsely distributed and mixed with black producing a whitening effect; under parts predominantly blackish, with a mixture of a few white hairs; legs black; tail with tuft of long black hairs at tip.
                         The Philippine Warty Pig is endemic in the Philippines and it's  quite uncommon nowdays in some sparsely populated areas in Luzon, Samar, Leyte, Bohol to vastly forested area in Mindanao, ranging from the seacoast to the mountains. It is presumed extinct in the island of Marinduque due to over-hunting and habitat loss.(CLICK TO SEE PHILIPPINE WARTY PIG  DISTRIBUTION RANGE MAP) It prefers to stay in grasslands, "parang" areas and in forested regions, covered with either original or with secondary forests. It goes about singly, in pairs (during the breeding season) or in groups of about 7 to 12 members, the group consisting most often of a boar, several sows and young pigs. The Philippine Warty Pig is more active at night, although it also goes about during the day. It feeds on root-stocks of grasses which are swollen with stored food, on camote plants both on the roots and the leaves, and on  tubers of gabi or taro plants. This wild pig usually plows large areas to get through the rootstocks. Its snout being a very effective tool for doing so. It breeds in well-selected sites such as between the buttresses of giant dipterocarp trees with dense growths of bushes around, effectively concealing the breeding areas from predators. The litter usually averages about 5 to 8 piglets but may be fewer or a little more.  The Philippine Warty Pig like other species of wild pig is dangerous when cornered, because it really attacks other animals including man. It is more aggressive especially the breeding females who are  guarding their young.  Its meat has always been used as food by practically all  Filipinos except Muslims. In many areas in the Philippines regular wild pig hunters and trappers catch them and sell the meat in the nearest towns either fresh or dried. In some farming localities, especially those located in the immediate vicinities of dense forests or patches of forests, in the interior or on mountain slopes quite a number of them depend for food on the crops raised in the farms and other cultivated areas, including corn, rice camote, cassava and other crops. Population of Philippine Warty Pig is declining rapidly  and Philippine Laws on Wildlife Protection strictly restrict hunting this wild pig.
PHILIPPINE WARTY PIG (Picture Gallery (click on photos to enlarge)
Philippine Warty Pig Taxon Profile

To know more other very interesting facts about Phillippine Animals (