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Geography of Philippines

Nature

Terrain shapes and bedrock

The many and irregularly shaped islands provide a coastline of more than 34,000 km. Their inner parts are high and mountainous with slopes torn by rivers, which usually flow north. The islands are made up of volcanic material, but coral lime also exists.

Geography of Philippines

World Heritage

The following items are listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The parentheses indicate the year in which the item was included in the list.

Tubbataha Marine National Park (1993, 2009)
Group of four Philippine Baroque churches (1993)
Terrace cultivation at Central Cordillera (1995)
Puerto Princesa National Park with underground river (1999)
City of Vigan (1999)

Mountain area around Hamguitan Mountain in southeastern Mindanao. The area has unique flora and fauna (2014)

According to COUNTRYAAH, the flag was added in 1898 in connection with the Spanish-American war. It was officially established for the last time in 1943. In the color symbolism, blue represents the people's high ideals, red for its courage and bravery, white for peace. The three stars represent the country's main regions, the sun reminiscent of the liberation from Spain.

Luzon, the northern and largest island, is penetrated by several parallel mountain ranges, for example the Central Cordillera in the middle part with the highest peak 2,928 m above sea level. Separated from this mountain range by the fertile Cagayan Valley, the Sierra Madre stretches along the east coast. Ilocos (Malayan Mountains) runs on the western side of the island. In the southern part of the island are many volcanoes, the highest of which is Mayon (2,421 m asl).

Across the islands of Mindoro and Palawan to the west extends a mountain range that continues on Borneo. On the large island of Mindanao at the far south there are several significant mountain ranges, e.g. The Diuata Mountains along the east coast, and further west the highest active volcano of the Philippines, Ragang (2,815 m asl). To the west of the Diuata Mountains, the fertile Agus Valley spreads and further to the southwest Cotabata Valley, where the Mindanao River flows. Here also rises the highest peak in the archipelago, Apo (2,954 m above sea level).

The largest lakes are Laguna de Bay south of Manila and Lake Lanao on Mindanao. There are over 50 volcanoes on the islands but only about 15 active. However, earthquakes are common.

Climate

The Philippines has a tropical rainy climate with an annual average temperature of 24-29 ~ C in most of the country. The year can be divided into a dry season December - May and a wet the rest of the year. During the former, the temperature can rise as high as 38 ~ C, and during the rainy season it can sometimes drop to 6 ~ C. Most rain falls on the eastern coasts, 3,860 mm per year in the far south; in Manila 1,800 mm per year. During the period June - November, but most of September, the east coast is often hit by tropical hurricanes, typhoons, which are formed east of the Philippines, and some years amount to about 30. This makes the Philippines the world's most hurricane-rich area.

Plant Life

The Philippines is a province of its own in the Malay Flora region. In relation to the area, the country is very rich in plants. About 10,000 species of vascular plants are known, of which about 80% are endemic. Of the genera, however, only 25 are endemic. The orchids are a very rich family with about 1,000 known species. The flora has a lot in common with it in Malaysia, but it also contains Australian elements (for example, in the myrtle family, including Eucalyʹptus degluʹpta), and in the islands of the north there are plants that have their closest relatives in the Himalayas.

The natural vegetation in the lowlands is made up of a very rich tropical rainforest, which is dominated by species in the family dipterocarpus plants (especially the genus Parashoʹrea). The forests are also rich in palm trees, among other things. many species of rattan palm trees, ginger plants and epiphytic ferns. At higher altitudes, the vegetation in the mountain rainforest, which is more open, partly deciduous and very rich in epiphytes, changes, among other things. orchids, ferns, mosses and lichens. In these forests, tree worms, various bamboo species, rhododendrons and pitchers also constitute a tangible feature. Mangrove forests are often found around the coasts. Today, large parts of the original forests are degraded or greatly altered as a result of burning. The island of Luzon houses virtually no original forest, while there is still some on Mindanao. The still rapidly deforestation leads to soil loss and sediment load on coral reefs and coastal seas. In many places, the vegetation has been replaced by so-called cogun, uniform populations of the hard-fought,

Wildlife

There are about 220 species of mammals in the Philippines, most of which are rodents and bats. Only of the family flying dogs there are 24 species of which 18 are endemic. Among the few larger mammals are sambar deer, tamarau (a small ox animal, endemic on Mindoro), a mouse deer, bearded pigs, celebs (Sus celebeʹnsis), tree leopard (the only native cat animal), colugo (Cynoceʹphalus bird, some birds, inter alia binturong. Of primates, there are Philippine ghosts (Taʹrsius syriʹchta, endemic), truffles and crab macaques (Macaʹca fasciculaʹris).

The bird fauna comprises 556 species (including occasional guests), of which a total of 169 are endemic. Pheasants, parrots, rhinoceros, pigeons, kingfishers, drongos, sunbirds and bulbils are common groups. Philippine monkeys are endemic on Mindanao and some smaller islands.

Amphibians (including eastern tree frogs), snakes and lizards are richly represented. There are two species of crocodiles, the coastal List crocodile and the endemic, freshwater Philippine crocodile (Crocodyʹlus mindoreʹnsis), which are on the verge of extinction; a maximum of 100 individuals remain.

The freshwater fish fauna is poor in species and consists mainly of carp fish.

The insect fauna is rich. knight butterflies, peacock spiders, wandering leaves, wandering sticks, cicadas and a rich beetle fauna.

There are rich coral reefs around parts of the islands.

Nature conservation

In 2010, 33,000 km 2 was under some form of nature protection. There were 107 protected areas, of which 66 were national parks.

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