Seasonal forest

Seasonal lowland forest occurs in areas throughout the Philippines where rainfall is very limited or absent through three or more months most years, and where average annual rainfall is typically about 1.5 meters or less.  These are often in "rain shadows", where mountains catch the rain carried by predominant winds from the east, preventing heavy rains from falling during what otherwise would be the rainy season.  The eastern side of the Cagayan River Valley and the Ilocos coast on Luzon, and the western side of Mindoro, are prime examples.  In such places, forest vegetation tends to be sparse, and many trees drop their leaves and have bare branches for several months each year. Because the forest is seasonally dry, it is especially susceptible to being cleared by fire, and so it is not often encountered today as a mature forest formation.  Relatively little is known about the native mammals in this habitat because so little of it remains, but it appears that at least some bats are mostly associated with this habitat. 


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