The wildlife of Palawan draws its origins from Borneo, to which Palawan was still connected by land bridges about 20,000 years ago. When the water level rose, the wildlife that crossed over from Borneo evolved into Palawan’s very own, such as the Palawan Bear Cat, the Stink Badger, and the Palawan Tree Shrew.
The El Nido-Taytay Managed Protected Area is considered a showcase of Palawan’s geology and diverse wildlife and home to one of the country’s richest reserves of marine life.
El Nido’s clear waters are home to 800 fish species. The entire Caribbean has only 50 species of corals while El Nido has an estimated 400 species. El Nido is likewise the nesting area of three species of endangered sea turtles: the Hawksbill, Green Sea, and Olive Ridley. Eight varieties of seagrasses have been identified in these waters, some of which are the kind that dugongs (sea cows) feed on. Around the bay, sightings of dolphins, whales, whale sharks and manta rays have also been recorded.
More than 156 species of fish can be found in the municipal waters of Taytay. There are also sea cows, sea turtles and three species of dolphins: the Bottle-nosed, Risso’s, and Irrawady dolphins. The Irrawaddy dolphins can only be found in Malampaya Sound.
More than a hundred species of birds have also been documented in El Nido and Taytay, which are part of the “East-Asian Flyway,” a major route used by birds, from as far as Siberia, to migrate back and forth from their winter feeding grounds in the tropics and their summer breeding grounds in the north.