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Endemic Species of the Philippines

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Here are some interesting trivia from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR, which placed advertisements on several newspapers on June 5, 2009.

DENR claims that in terms of biodiversity resources, the Philippines was 5th in the world in number of plant species; 8th in the world list of endemic plants; 4th in bird endemism; 5th in mammal endemism; and 8th in endemic reptiles.  These species include Philippine tarsier, the world's smallest primate; mouse deer, the smallest deer; Pandaka pygmea, the smallest fish; Rafflesia, largest flower; whaleshark, the largest fish, and Philippine eagle, the largest bird.

The Philippines has 52,177 species of which more than half are found nowhere else in the world.  Of the 10,000 to 15,000 plant species in the Philippines, more than half are found only in the country.  There are 9,000 species of flowering plants in the Philippines.  About 558 of the 1,137 terrestrial species are unique to the Philippines.

There are 3,000 tree species in the Philippines, and 77 species of mangroves.

Here are other interesting trivia: Rivers and lakes cover 1,830 square kilometers in the Philippines.  There are 421 major rivers and 79 lakes in the Philippines.  The country's groundwater reservoir, which is recharged by rain and seepage from river and lakes, is about 50,000 square kilometers.  Water supply is estimated to be about 146 million cubic meters.

The Philippines has one of the longest coastlines in the world, stretching for a total of 36,289 kilometers.  The Philippines' coastal waters cover 226,000 square kilometers.  Of the 800 coral species in the world, 500 can be found in the Philippines.  There are 2,500 species of fish present in the country's marine waters.  There are also 1,062 species of seaweeds and 16 species of seagrasses in the Philippines.

In terms of minerals, the Philippines is said to be the 5th most mineralized country in the world.  It is 3rd in gold deposits; 4th in copper and 5th in nickel.  The Philippines has 20 percent or a fifth of the world's total nickel resources, and nickel is considered the oil of the Philippines. In total, about 9 million hectares or 30 percent of the Philippines' total land area are potential sites having metallic mineral deposits.  Another 5 million hectares are potential sites for non-metallic mineral resrves.  About US$840 billion worth of minerals can be extracted from 9 million hectares.

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