In the Philippines, the wild-cattle Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis), endemic to the Mindoro Island, has a population size of only 250 individuals, putting it on the brink of extinction (there were 10,000 Tamaraws in the year 1945).
Southeast Asia is incredibly rich in its biodiversity, with a considerable number of endemic species, but under unsustainable and constant threats. For example, the Philippines flourishes with native species, but, for how long? My recent visit at the small Gigante Islands in the Philippines where the endangered endemic Gigante island frog (Platymantis insulatus) is found, illustrates perfectly the urgency to stop species extinction—for good! Many species are left on a tiny range of habitat which is not ideal for them thrive on. The Gigante island frog is now confined on a small space that can be roamed in a full day, within remaining forest outcrops and undisturbed caves.
Southeast Asia’s deforestation has also been playing a crucial role in species decline and extinction. In the Philippines alone, it is sad to observe that old growth forest composed of dipterocarps is now confined to small pocked areas covering less than five percent of the country. In some regions, like in Mindanao in Southern Philippines, large coconut plantations have replaced beautiful natural forest and most small islands like Busuanga or the larger one like Panay have no primeval forests at all. If present level of deforestation is not halted, Southeast Asia will lose three-quarters of its original forest cover by the end of the century, resulting in colossal species declines and extinctions.