|Central coordinates||134o 33.00' East 7o 34.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
Ornithological information All of Palau’s restricted-range bird species, with the exception of the Giant White-eye, are found in the Western Ridge IBA.
Site description This IBA includes the block of forest spanning a portion of west Babeldaob. It includes a strip of northern Ngaremlengui and southern Ngardmau that parallels the major river of the Diongradid watershed. The boundary of the Western Ridge IBA follows river tributaries to the north and south, the edge of the mangroves to the west, and the Compact Road to the east. A small section in the northeast boundary was redrawn to be consistent with boundaries of the proposed Ngardmau Free Trade Zone.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Micronesian Megapode Megapodius laperouse||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Palau Ground-dove Gallicolumba canifrons||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Near Threatened|
|Palau Fruit-dove Ptilinopus pelewensis||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Micronesian Imperial-pigeon Ducula oceanica||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Near Threatened|
|Palau Scops-owl Otus podarginus||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Palau Swiftlet Collocalia pelewensis||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Micronesian Kingfisher Todiramphus cinnamominus||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Micronesian Myzomela Myzomela rubratra||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Morningbird Pachycephala tenebrosa||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Palau Fantail Rhipidura lepida||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Mangrove Flycatcher Myiagra erythrops||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Palau Bush-warbler Cettia annae||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Caroline Islands White-eye Zosterops semperi||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Dusky White-eye Zosterops finschii||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Micronesian Starling Aplonis opaca||resident||2005||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Lowland forest - mixed swamp||major|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||minor|
|Notes: wetland taro cultivation, semi-subsistence mixed dryland plots and agroforestry|
Other biodiversity The Western Ridge IBA consists of volcanic upland forest, both primary and secondary. It also captures swamp forests, grasslands and savannas as well as freshwater streams and riverine areas. These habitats are home to many of Babeldaob’s native flora and fauna.
Management considerations This IBA may include a portion of the Medal a Iyechad Waterfall protected area in the state of Ngardmau. While the waterfall itself is within the Middle Ridge IBA, a portion of the river and its watershed lie within the Western Ridge IBA. The boundaries of the protected area still must be officially demarcated and mapped before the extent of overlap with the two IBAs is clear. The waterfall is one of a few places in Babeldaob that has developed the ecotourism potential of a terrestrial protected area. The waterfall has an average of 900 visitors every month. Portions of the trail to the waterfall are quite steep and subject to erosion, while another section runs along the river and is extremely muddy due to increasing foot traffic. The state government of Ngardmau that manages the trail has expressed their concern regarding the trail being a source of sedimentation and erosion into the river and to their coastline. A program is being developed to improve the trail to minimize erosion and sedimentation. This IBA also includes part of the Ngermeskang Nature Reserve in Ngaremlengui. This newer protected area was established by state legislation in 2007. Ngermeskang River is the largest river in Palau and the primary purpose of this reserve is to protect the headwaters of the Ngermeskang River. Part of the Ngermeskang Nature Reserve not included in this IBA is captured in Middle Ridge IBA where it meets the Ngardok Nature Reserve to the east on Babeldaob’s central ridge.
Related state of the world's birds case studies
Contribute Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Western Ridge, Babeldaob. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/05/2013
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife