To explore the Synopsis of Philippine Mammals, click here.
To explore the Supplement to the Synopsis of Philippine Mammals, click here.
The mammalian fauna of the Philippine Islands is remarkably diverse and species-rich, comprising what may be the greatest concentration of endemic mammals of any country on earth. Since 1988, the Field Museum of Natural History has been the primary base of operations for the Philippine Mammal Project, a multi-institutional, international collaborative effort to document the number of species that are present, the distributions of those species, their relationships within the tree of life, their ecology, and their conservation status. This website, the Synopsis of Philippine Mammals, is a summary of the information that is currently available.
The website was first implemented in 2002, using information from the 1998 publication by Heaney et al., entitled “A Synopsis of the Mammalian Fauna of the Philippine Islands”. The Synopsis website was extensively revised and expanded in 2010, in order to incorporate extensive new data, include more photographs, and provide detailed maps of the known distribution of each species. To keep the website up to date, as additional species are discovered and formally described, or species of marine mammals are documented in Philippine waters for the first time, we add them to the Supplement, and will eventually merge these into the main site once site maintenance has been completed.
As documented on this website, the terrestrial fauna is now known to include at least 214 native species (plus seven introduced species), in an area of only a bit over 300,000 square kilometers, one of the highest densities of native mammals in the world. Moreover, most of the species are found nowhere else: of the 214 native terrestrial species, 125 (58%) are endemic, and among the 111 non-flying native mammals, 101 (91%) are unique to the Philippines. They constitute an astounding example of adaptive radiation by mammals in an oceanic archipelago, and may justifiably serve as a source of great pride to the Philippine nation.
This website has been developed as a collaborative project with the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Primary funding for its development has come from the Negaunee Foundation.
Explore our Philippine mammal project further:
Videos from the Abbott Hall of Conservation-Restoring Earth:
Mammal Discoveries in the Philippines
Why Mossy Forests in the Philippines are important
Island Evolution: Why islands have so many endemic species
Science at FMNH: Mammal Conservation in Island Ecosystems
The Field Revealed: Cloud Rat
(Above photo by LR Heaney. Musseromys gulantang from Quezon Province, Luzon Island, Philippines.)