This island hosts the world's largest number of unique wildlife species

This island hosts the world's largest number of unique wildlife species

If your holidays revolve around the wilderness and seeing wildlife – then scientists have discovered what could be the answer to your prayers. New research has revealed the island with the single largest number of unique animal species in the world, with 52 different species that can be found nowhere else on earth.

The location for this Aladdin’s cave of biodiversity is Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines, according to a research team that has been exploring it for fifteen years.

They discovered that there were 56 species of non-flying mammal on the island, the vast majority of which are absolutely unique.

Of the 56 mammals on Luzon, half were discovered over the course of the research project … meaning there could still be undiscovered species out there.

Lemur in Luzon | Reuters
Lemur in Luzon | Reuters


Professor Scott Steppan said: “It’s become clear that Luzon island has exceptional diversity and the greatest concentration of mammal diversity, I’d say on the planet.”

The island is around 40,000 square miles and its unique wildlife has evolved in isolation from the mainland. Part of the reason for the vast biodiversity is the fact that it is tropical but also very mountainous. 

In Cuba, which is roughly the same size, there are 15 non-flying mammals, most of which are native to the island. And in the state of Florida, there are 39 non-flying land mammals, but only one that is unique to the state.

The mountain tops form what the scientists called “sky islands”, which are totally distinct from the habitats found elsewhere on the island.

(A) Carpomys melanurus, (B) Batomys granti, (C) Phloeomys pallidus, (D) Carpomys phaeurus, (E) Crateromys schadenbergi, and (F) Musseromys gulantang |  Heaney et al.
(A) Carpomys melanurus, (B) Batomys granti, (C) Phloeomys pallidus, (D) Carpomys phaeurus, (E) Crateromys schadenbergi, and (F) Musseromys gulantang | Heaney et al.


That has meant the evolution of for instance four separate species of tiny tree mice with extra-long whiskers, and five species of shrew-like mice that feed on earthworms.

Professor Steppan said: “Finding 28 new species on one island – an island that had been studied pretty well before – was beyond expectation.”

He said the research showed that there may well be many more species out there that have never been discovered, particularly in the tropics where intensive research has not taken place.

Long-whiskered in Luzon | Reuters
Long-whiskered in Luzon | Reuters


Luzon is not just home to incredible wildlife diversity but also several UNESCO world heritage sites including the city of Vigan, a selection of spectacular Baroque churches, and some of the famous rice terraces of the Philippines.

(Source: Lonely Planet || FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY)

Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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