Beautiful Plants and Animals of the Philippines

plants and animals of the philippines

No matter what time of year you visit the Philippines, you will undoubtedly be mesmerized by its unique flora and fauna.

The wildlife of the Philippines is so biodiverse that it boasts a staggering 52,177 species.

Find below a round-up of the most worthwhile plants and animals to spot during a visit to this tropical country: from birds to reptiles, fruits, and flowers: the Philippines has something for everyone.

What Kind of Animals Live in the Philippines?

The island country is home to thousands of species of animals, many of them endemic, and some of which may be dangerous. It is wise to keep an eye out, and in case of doubt, consult with a local.

The Philippines is filled with more than 200 species of animals, including:

  • Bats
  • Chevrotains
  • Civet cats
  • Goats
  • Hogs
  • Horses
  • Lemurs
  • Mongooses
  • Monkeys
  • Pangolins
  • Red and brown deer
  • Squirrels
  • Tamaraw can be spotted in Mindoro
  • Water buffalo
  • Whale sharks can be spotted in Donsol, Luzon.

Advice: If you are planning to spend lots of time outdoors discovering the flora and fauna of the country’s 7000 tropical islands, make sure to discuss what vaccinations you need for the Philippines with your healthcare provider prior to your departure.

There are also hundreds of different species of birds in the Philippines, many of which can be spotted on Palawan, including:

  • Herons
  • Hornbills
  • Jungle fowl
  • Kingfishers
  • Parrots
  • Peacocks
  • Pheasants
  • Philippine eagles (Pithecophaga jefferyi) can be spotted on Mindanao, Luzon
  • Philippine tarsier can be spotted in Corella, Bohol
  • Sunbirds
  • Tilorbirds
  • Weaverbirds.

The lakes, rivers, and ponds, as well as the seas surrounding the islands, are inhabited by over 2,000 varieties of fish, making the Philippines an ideal diving destination.

Some of the most remarkable marine life can be found around the Tubbataha Reefs in the Sulu Sea —a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993.

Some beautiful marine species to observe in the Philippines include:

  • Arius manillensis is endemic to the island of Luzon
  • Dugong can be spotted in Busuanga
  • Milkfish
  • Sea horses can be seen in the reefs of the Visayan Islands.

Some freshwater fish endemic to the Philippines include:

  • Dwarf pygmy gobi
  • Kanduli
  • Pandaca Pigmea
  • Sardinella tawilis can only be found in Taal Lake.

Advice: Depending on the time of year you visit, make sure to go over some of the health and safety precautions for the Philippines and keep them in mind in case the weather changes suddenly.

The Philippines is also home to some unique reptiles and amphibians, many of which are endemic to its islands, including:

  • Frogs, several of which can fly
  • Geckos
  • Marine turtles
  • Philippine crocodile
  • Saltwater crocodile
  • Skinks
  • Snakes
  • Water monitor lizards

Advice: If you plan to drive from one destination to another during your stay, you will find our Driving in the Philippines as a Tourist guide particularly useful.

And finally, the Philippines boasts nearly 21,000 insect species and invertebrates, many of which can only be found on its islands, including:

  • Butterflies
  • Tiger beetles
  • Atlas moths
  • Freshwater crabs.

Dangerous animals of the Philippines

Some of the animals found on these tropical islands are dangerous. Should you encounter them during your visit, please do not attempt to touch them and seek the help of a local:

  • Arizona bark scorpion
  • Blue-ringed Octopus
  • Box jellyfish
  • Great White Sharks
  • Krait Snake
  • Mosquitos (some of which carry the dengue virus)
  • Philippine Cobra
  • Red Back Spider
  • Scolopendrida Centipede
  • Stray dogs and bats (may carry rabies).

Advice: Wear adequate sunscreen and insect repellent with DEET —and reapply often— when spending many hours outdoors. Keep a water bottle at hand to stay properly hydrated if the weather is warm during your visit.

What Kind of Vegetation Can I See in the Philippines?

The Philippines’ vegetation resembles Malaysia’s since both countries share a similar tropical climate. Nevertheless, a large number of plant species located in the Philippines —including ¾ of their 1000 orchid species— can be found nowhere else in the world.

The islands are known for their thousands of species of colorful flowering plants and other remarkable species including:

  • Ferns
  • Cogon
  • Ginger
  • Begonias
  • Gesneriads
  • Pandans
  • Palms
  • Dipterocarps
  • Giant figs
  • Pterocarpus
  • Rafflesia.

If you want to spot beautiful plants in the Philippines, make sure to visit their botanical gardens where you can soak in all their lush vegetation:

  • Manila Zoo, formerly known as the Manila Zoological and Botanical Gardens
  • Mehan Garden, also in Manila
  • Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center, in Diliman
  • University of the Philippines Arboretum, also in Diliman.

What Exotic Fruits Can I Find in the Philippines?

Thanks to its tropical climate, the Philippines offers many delicious and unique fruits, including:

  • Aratiles
  • Chico
  • Durian
  • Lanzones
  • Mango
  • Rambutan
  • Santol
  • Soursop
  • Star fruit
  • Sugar-apple.

Now that you know everything you need about the Philippines’ most beautiful plants, animals and its most delicious fruits, remember to bookmark this page to keep it handy when traveling.