Text and Photography by Zafer Kizilkaya
The world's second largest archipelago, the Philippines has been identified as one of the world's biologically richest countries, with tremendous levels of biological diversity and endemism despite its small area and its tiny portion of remaining natural habitat. This diversity places the Philippines among the top five priority hotspots for global conservation. The Philippines is also a hotspot of marine biodiversity. Coral reefs here contain more than 500 of the world's 700 known coral species, the richest diversity of coral on the planet. Only 7 percent of the country's coral reefs are protected in 136 marine reserves.
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