Native Plants & Animals in the Philippines

Written by sarah dewitt ince
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Native Plants & Animals in the Philippines
A tiny tarsier monkey. (Tarsier monkey image by Mirko Humbert from

The Philippines is home to thousands of plants and animals. The terrain changes throughout the country from tropical forests to dense swamp lands creating an environment that facilities the life of distinctive creatures such as the tarsier monkey. You will also find tropical plants and coconut trees in this country as well.

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The tarsier is a small monkey found throughout the Philippines. These monkeys enjoy spending time in trees. They have light-brown coats and huge, round eyes. Some tarsiers have cream-coloured coats. Their eyes are deep-yellow and their hands and ears are very tiny. Tarsier monkeys also have long, brown tails and typically weight less than 1.36kg.

A tiny tarsier monkey.
A tiny tarsier monkey. (Tarsier monkey image by Mirko Humbert from


The carabao, also called water buffalo, is the national animal of the Philippines. These animals are large work animals that look similar to cows. Their coats are dark brown and they have horns that extend out on both sides of their head. They are used to plough fields and transport items. They are peaceful animals that like to roll around in the mud.

Native Plants & Animals in the Philippines
Two large carabao. (Carabaos in Palanan, Isabela, Philippines image by Antonio Oquias from


The sampaguita is a small, white flower found in the swamps and forests of the Philippines. These flowers have soft, wide, paper-thin petals. The foliage is light green and the stems are thick. Many people use these flowers as decorations or garden plants. They are popular for weddings and special occasions.


Hibiscuses are native tropical flowers in the Philippines. These flowers are large, with soft round petals that fan out. They bloom in several colours such as purple, yellow, red and white. The foliage is deep green. They are found throughout the forest and island regions of the country. Women like to pick them and place them in their hair.

Native Plants & Animals in the Philippines
Purple and red hibiscus. (hibiscus image by photlook from

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