The island of Samar still has some of the largest remaining unfragmented tracts of lowland tropical rainforests in the Philppines. The remaining forest cover is about 360.000 ha. From this forests, 120.000 ha are still so called "old growth forest". 2400 species of flowers are known from which 400 are endemic to the Philippines, another 400 are only known in Samar. There are 12 species of trees and other plants, among them orchids and ferns, which are internationally rated as threatend. The rainforest is a Dipterocarp - forest in which endangered species like Lawaan, Yakal, Mayapis and others grow.

In Eastern Samar, also some endangered animals are found, among them are the Philippine Eagle (the second largest eagle in the world), the Philippine Cockatoo, the Tarsier (usually only known in Bohol), and the Flying Lemur. Aside from these species plentiful of flying foxes, bats, different birds, (hornbills, peasants, kingfishers and others) reptiles, amphibians and insects (including many beautiful species of butterflies) can be found. There are 39 species of mammals and 197 species of birds, 16 of them are endangered.

In the following you will find an (not complete) overview of different animals from Samar:


The Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) is the smallest primate in the world. Tarsiers have soft, furry bodies and slender limbs and are brownish-gray. They have large, rounded heads with large gogglelike eyes. With these eyes they are well adapted to their nocturnal life-style. The hind limbs are especially modified for leaping. The fingers and toes are extremely long and are equipped with fleshy disks that provide traction. The animals are arboreal and forage for food, usually insects and lizards, only at night.

The real name of the Flying Lemur is Colugo (Cynocephalus volans). The Colugo is a nocturnal mammal and not related to the Lemur and actually not able to fly. The colugo is slender, long limbed, large clawed, and long tailed, with a foxlike head and has soft, mottled fur.
A large, furred gliding membrane is attached to the neck and sides of the body and extends along the limbs to the tips of the toes and tail. It allows the animals parachute - style glides from tree to tree. The animal is almost completely arboreal and is a slow, skillful climber. On the ground it is slow moving and nearly helpless. During the day it hangs by its claws in secluded branches or rests in hollow trees; it is most active at twilight and early dawn. The colugo feeds on leaves, flowers, buds, and fruit.

The malay Civet - cat (Viverra tangalunga) is the best known among the civets. Civets play an important role in spreading seeds in the forest over long distances. They have a long body about the size of a domestic cat, short legs, a tapered head with small ears, and a long, bushy tail. Generally they are yellowish-tan or grayish, with patterns of black spots or stripes or both. They are nocturnal hunters that prey on small animals, but they may also eat carrion and vegetable matter.

The Long - tailed Macaques or Crab - eating Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) is common all over South - Easte - Asia. They have a grey to brown - reddish fur. They raech 40 - 50 cm, the tailis up to 50 - 60 cm. Male animals reach 4,8 - 7 kg , females only 3 - 4 kg. They feed on fruits, crabs, flowers, insects, mushrooms and gras, but the main diet are fruits.

The "Golden Crown Flying Fox" (Acerodon jubatus) is the largest bat in the world, endemic to the Philippines and belongs to the fruitbats. The animals sleep in high trees and feed on figs and other fruits. The destruction of their natural habitat is threatening their survival, they are on the list of endangered species. Fruitbats play a vital role in the rainforest. The polination of many tree species is done by fruit bats.They also spread seeds of plants over long distances.

The Philippine Nectar Bat (Eonycteris robusta) is also endemic in the Philippines. Like the Golden Crown Flying Fox it also belongs to the fruit bats.They feed on nectar and old, overripe fruits. Also this species is highly endangered.

Aside from the asian or indian Cobra also the Kingcobra occurs on Samar. With 3,7 m the kingcobra is the largest, venomous snake in the world (the record is 5,58 m) and mainly feeds on other snakes. The asian cobra seldom reaches more than 1,8 m. To get bitten from a cobra is for humans always dangerous.

The Philippine Eagle or Monkey-eating Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), the national bird of the Philippines, is a large bird and one of the largest eagles in the world. The species is highly endangered, there might be only about 100 animals remaining in the wild. Their diet consists of monkeys, tarsiers and Flying lemurs.

The Brahmini Kite (Haliastur Indus) is a common bird of prey. Head, neck and breast are white, the rest of the body is chestnut - brown. The bird is a scavenger but also hunts smaller animals like frogs, mice, reptiles and even insects. Brahmini Kites prefer mangroves and rivermouths but can also be found in wetlands and cultivated land. The bird is able to adapt easy.

The endemic and highly endangered Philippine Cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia) is a small parrot. The animals live in large groups. Only in the mating season, couples stay alone. Often the same trees are used for breeding. Phil. Cockatoos feed on seeds, partly also on fruits, buts and flowers.

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