Six Endangered Mammals That You May Never See Again
The mammals of Palawan, the Philippines' Last Frontier, are among those that many people will never see in the near future because of constant destruction of their habitat due to human's economic activities as well as pressure to their populations due to hunting. Many of these animals are already classified as endangered, and it is very possible that these species will become extinct. Many of these animals are located in remote places that prevents effective enforcement of environmental laws aimed towards protecting them.
Here are six of the mammals in Palawan which are facing possible extinction unless effective conservation measures are laid in place.
The Balabac mousedeer or locally named pilandok is actually neither a mouse nor a deer. It belongs to the Chevrotain family. A remarkable feature of this animal is its symbiotic relationship with the python. It is also well known for its delicious meat.
Again, neither a bear nor a cat, the Palawan bearcat is seldom seen nowadays. It is an arboreal animal which uses its prehensile tail to clamber the branches of trees in search of its food. A prehensile tail works like an arm that can grasp around branches and enable the animal to suspend itself in the air.
The Palawan tree shrew is a very shy animal. Although they have small eyes, shrews have a very keen sense of hearing and smell to compensate.
Known locally as "durian" because it resembles a delicious fruit with spines on it, these animals are also known for its delicious meat. When disturbed, it attacks by running backwards while aiming its sharp spines (actually modified hair) towards the intruder.
The Palawan dwarf otter are known for their friendly disposition. They have even trained to do tricks in zoos. They usually hunt food together in groups.
The snake-eating mongoose are well-known for their agility in hunting snakes. These animals are semi-aquatic which means they spend half of their life near the water. They feed mainly on crabs which are abundant in the rivers of Palawan but may also eat insects, earthworms, lizards, chickens, and rodents.
There is very little information about the biology of these animals and they are seldom seen nowadays. Although researches were made on them by scientists, much remains to be discovered. There is a need, therefore, to conserve these animals and ensure their survival. Who knows, these mammals may be possessing the key to cure presently incurable human ailments.