Site description The Middle Ridge IBA encompasses the whole elevated area that runs north-south through the center of Babeldaob Island. This IBA is bordered on almost all sides by the Compact Road or other secondary roads. The eastern boundary in Ngiwal follows the edge of the mangrove inland of Ngemai Bay and comes back to join the Compact Road. The southern boundary of the Middle Ridge IBA is contiguous with parts of the ridge that defines the Ngerikiil Watershed. The western boundary is defined as the old Japanese road, the southern boundary follows the Ikoranges River, the eastern boundary adjoined the Compact Road, and the north is contiguous with the rest of the IBA. Much of the IBA is composed of public lands.
Key Biodiversity All of Palau’s restricted-range bird species are captured in this IBA, with the exception of the Giant White-eye. Bird species also found in this IBA are the Blue-faced Parrotfinch, White-breasted Woodswallow, Common Moorhen, Pacific Black Duck, and the Grey Nightjar. Although these species do not trigger IBA criteria, they are locally significant due either to their limited numbers or distribution. Some (the Blue-faced Parrotfinch, White-breasted Woodswallow and Giant White-eye) are listed on the US Endangered Species List.
Non-bird biodiversity: This IBA includes the headwaters of all of Babeldaob’s major watersheds. The headwaters of the Ngermeskang River, the largest in Palau, is included in this IBA. The upland forests in Babeldaob are considered the most diverse in Micronesia and have a high rate of endemism (Costion and Kitalong, 2005).
Notes: includes wetland taro, small family plots, larger commercial farms (multiple crops)
nature conservation and research
Protection status This IBA includes the Ngardok Nature Reserve in Melekeok, which is on the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance, and the proposed Ngermeskang Nature Reserve in Ngaremlengui. These two sites are now being linked together through their respective state’s membership in the Babeldaob Watershed Alliance. This initiative is an effort by a partnership of states to maximize resources, exchange lessons, and streamline efforts in managing their watersheds. Other protected areas in the Middle Ridge IBA include the Medal a Iyechad Waterfall in the state of Ngardmau and Mesekelat Conservation Area in the state of Ngchesar. This IBA captures Palau’s two freshwater lakes, Ngardok in Melekeok and Ngerkall in Ngaraard. Other significant areas that are included in this IBA, in part or whole, are proposed protected areas in Ngaraard, and various nationally registered historical sites.
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BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Middle Ridge, Babeldaob. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 04/07/2015
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