The Philippines has been identified by Conservation International as one of the biologically richest countries in the world. Rainforest originally covered most of the 7,100 of the Philippines islands, but excessive clearing of the land has threatened many of the native animal species. As of 2010, only about 7 per cent of the original forest remains. The IUCN Red List, a widely recognised evaluation of threatened plant and animal species, classifies many animals in the Philippines as endangered or critically endangered, which means they face a very high or extremely high risk of extinction.
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The tamaraw, a type of small wild buffalo, has always inhabited only one island in the Philippines. Until the 1900s, its natural habitat was largely untouched, but when the island became more accessible for humans the tamaraw population declined. Hunting, habitat loss and disease are the three main reasons for the population decline. An assessment for the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List in 2008 classified the tamaraw as critically endangered. Its population is estimated at less than 200, making it one of the world's rarest mammals.
The Philippine crocodile is a relatively small species of crocodile that is found in just a few freshwater areas in the Philippines. Though the original range of the crocodile was across the entire Philippines, commercial exploitation of the animal and the removal of its habitat by humans for agricultural purposes has decreased its range and numbers. In 1996, the most recent formal assessment for the IUCN Red List, the Philippine crocodile was classified as critically endangered.
The Calamian deer is found only in the Calamian islands in the western part of the Philippines. In the 1940s there was still a large population, but by the 1970s the number of animals had already decreased significantly. The primary threat to the animal is not loggers and farmers clearing the land, as it is for many other endangered species in the Philippines, but hunting. The only large predator in the Calamian deer's natural habitat is man. A 2008 IUCN Red List assessment classified it as endangered.
Visayan Warty Pig
While the Visayan warty pig likely once lived throughout the central Philippine Islands, it is now limited to only two islands. The primary reason for its population decline is the ongoing clearing of land for farming. Because it is considered a pest by local farmers, the Visayan warty pig is not a protected animal and continues to be hunted. As of its IUCN Red List assessment in 2008 it is classified as critically endangered.
Golden-capped Fruit Bat
The golden-capped fruit bat can still be found across a wide area of the Philippines, but each individual population group is quite small. Hunting and deforestation have decreased the population to the point where the bat has been eliminated entirely on a number of islands. A 2008 assessment of the golden-capped fruit bat for the IUCN Red List classified it as endangered.
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