A Kagwang in the Flesh — The Philippine Flying Lemur

Kagwang is a common Bisaya term to describe someone who is careless, boisterous and flippant. However, did you know that ‘Kagwang’ truly exists in the flesh? That’s right,  Kagwang is an alive being living among us!

Photo from the DENR

An Endemic Species

Cynocephalus volans or commonly known as the Philippine Flying Lemur is an endemic land animal in the Philippines. This animal can be commonly found in Southern Mindanao and Bohol. On rare occasions, they can also be spotted in Samar and Leyte.

However, the locals know this animal by the name of Kagwang. Currently, the animal is numbered around 100, 000 in population. They are expected to live for 17.5 years, and weigh around 1 – 1.7 kg. The Kagwangs currently stand around 13.8 – 16.9 inches tall.

Although called flying lemurs, these animals cannot fly and most certainly not a lemur! Instead, these creatures glide through the air using the large folds of skin and leap along tree branches. Moreover, these organisms are closely related to bats and are classified as nocturnal animals making them only observable during dusk or dawn.

Photo from Canva

Not Getting Enough Attention

We currently have limited data on these animals since these plant-based diet creatures are listed among the least studied animals in the Philippines. Back in 2008, the Kagwangs were labeled by The International Union for Conservation of Nature as ‘least concern’. 

However, due to large-scale deforestation and devastating typhoons in the country, Kagwangs are hypothesized by environmentalists as one of the threatened species in the Philippines, since these animals mostly live in rainforests due to its terrain and abundance of trees.

Photo from Canva

— Philippines is home to unique and never-seen-before species of animals. However, our forests, which are the natural habitat to these organisms, are being purged one by one; threatening the lives of these animals and exposing them to mass extinctions. Therefore, we must stop these violent acts towards nature lest we lose all of our wildlife.

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Lenie Lañojan
Lenie Lañojan

"Everyone deserves a chance to fly" - WICKED
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