Palawan is the largest province in the Philippines with an area of 1, 489, 655 hectares which is equivalent to 31% of the total land area of Region IV – representing 5% of the country’s local territory.
It is dubbed as the Philippines’ “Last Ecological Frontier” due to the richness of its biodiversity both its flora and fauna.
It has about 1.5 million hectares in land area that is located geographically in a world known as “coral triangle” and lies along the Sunda shelf where the rich biodiversity in the world may be found.
Palawan has 15 lakes, 42 ponds, 44 waterfalls, 72 natural springs, 9 mineral springs, 28 principal rivers, 43 streams and 165 creeks that were identified as potential water sources for domestic consumption and for irrigation.
However, due to the fame that Palawan has garnered over the years for its marine biodiversity and tourist attractions, its terrestrial flora and fauna were left in the sidelines what few people know is that Palawan has 1522 species of flowering plants which belong to 649 genera and 38 families and has 15 to 20% plant endemism – which is remarkable enough when compared with the 5 to 8% plant endemism in the other parts of the country. And is composed of approximately 690, 000 hectares of terrestrial forest.
Palawan also has 232 species of wildlife which accounts for 23% of the thousands of wildlife species found in the Philippines. Some of these are endemic to Palawan which are Palawan bearcat, Balabac mouse deer, Calamian deer, flying squirrel, Palawan peacock pheasant, blue-paradise flycatcher, Palawan flowerpecker, Palawan Tit, Palawan leafbird, Palawan bulbul, falcated ground babbler, White-vented shama, Palawan hornbill, shy headed babbler, Palawan striped babbler and the melodious babbler.
Eight of the eleven amphibians that are endemic in the Philippines are found only in Palawan. The province also has 15 species of the 25 marine mammals that can only be found in the Philippines; 279 species of birds are found in Palawan, 27 of which are endemic to the country.
Aside from those mentioned above, Palawan also has 58 species of terrestrial mammals and 19 or 33% of those are endemic to the Philippines and 13 of those are found in the Matalingahan Range in Palawan.
Palawan also has 24 species of edemic reptiles; and four of the five marine turtles are found in it. 379 species of corals are found in Palawan and is equivalent to 82% of the total coral species that were recorded in the Philippines. Palawan is indeed a veritable plant and animal paradise in the Philippines.