Luzon has long been isolated from other land masses so a unique flora has developed. In this ecoregion Benguet pine (Pinus insularis) trees are thinly spread over the grasslands that cover the slopes. Regular fires in the dry season maintain the balance of pines and grassland and prevent other deciduous trees and shrubs from taking hold.
There are a number of mammals endemic to the Cordillera Central, mainly species of mice and rats including large squirrel-like cloud rats. Three larger mammals of the forest are the Philippine long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Philippine warty pig (Sus philippensis), and Malayan civet (Viverra tangalunga) all of which are vulnerable to forest clearance while the pig and the macaque are prey for hunters. Birds of the pine forest include the pine-nut eating common crossbill, which is found in pine forests all over the world.
Pine trees have been cut down for timber, firewood and turpentine production for centuries and today this is intensified as forest is cleared for agriculture and copper and gold mining projects as the population of the Philippines grows and remains impoverished in these rural areas. In the dry season it is a straightforward process to set fires for forest clearance. Protected areas include Mount Pulag, home to a number of endemic plants and birds.