Palawan is a veritable plant and animal paradise in the Philippines. The province is home to thousands of rare plant species. Logging almost completely deforested Palawan before legislation and conservation efforts quelled it. However, mankind had already disrupted the balance of the ecosystem and experts marked many plants as threatened or endangered. Numerous bio-habitats, such as beach, rain forest and arid lowland forests, comprise Palawan. The endangered species lists need to be managed to preserve the variety of life in Palawan.
Collectors of rare and exotic plants find Palawan to be a hospitable environment for a variety of unique species. Unfortunately, the harvest of these unusual plants has made an impact on their populations in the wilds of Palawan. Among these, the orchids, Phaleonopsis amablis and Paphiopedlium argus, have been over-harvested. One of the largest orchids in the world, Waling Waling or Euanthe sanderiana, is also threatened. Carnivorous plants abound on Palawan and the Giant Pitcher Plant is a recent discovery that is on the endangered species list. Other flowering plants, such as the world's largest flower, Uruy, have also joined the list.
Ferns and Cyads
The tropical rainforest is home to many beautiful and useful plants and trees. The lower stories house epiphylliums, ferns and cyads. The tree fern is a large stemmed fern that is becoming scarce due to the destruction of its habitat and over-collection. People eat fruit from the Philippine date palm, as well as using its leaves for rain gear. It is threatened, as is the Staghorn Fern, which lives on the sides of trees and stumps. The cyads Cycas curranii, or Curran's Pitogo, and Cycas Wadei are both critically endangered ancient forms of plant life.
The area was once almost completely forested, but has suffered huge losses in hectares of trees. Old mangrove forests were once the norm in tropical lowlands, but they are almost gone. Kabantigi were once companion trees in mangrove glens, but are now a threatened species in the Palawan forests. Bungang-ipot is a small, stocky tree found in lowlands, and Almaciga is a giant evergreen tree that bears cones. Both species are considered in danger. There are a long list of other endangered plant species whose loss will threaten the diversity and richness of the Palawan province.
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