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Location Philippines, Region I,Region III
Central coordinates 120o 10.00' East  15o 36.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 30,000 ha
Altitude 990 - 2,037m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Haribon Foundation

Site description This IBA includes the large mountain range that extends north to south from South-eastern Pangasinan Province southwards along the border between Zambales and Tarlac Provinces. The mountains reach a maximum altitude of 2,037 m at Mt High Peak, and there are several other peaks over 1,000 m, including Mt Dinampang and Mt Iba. A large block of old growth forest is shown in these mountains on recent forest cover maps, composed of closed canopy dipterocarp and mossy forest ranging in elevation from 990 m to the highest peaks. Ground-based surveys in 1992 confirmed the presence of a large expanse of virtually untouched forests around Mt High Peak.

Key Biodiversity The extensive forests that are reported to remain in the Zambales Mountains are remarkably poorly known ornithologically, given their proximity to Manila. Several of the threatened and restricted-range species of the Luzon Endemic Bird Area were recorded there during a survey in 1992, including the threatened Flame-breasted Fruit-dove, Spotted Imperial-pigeon and Green-faced Parrotfinch, and the poorly known Furtive Flycatcher. Several of these are lowland birds, but most of the remaining forest in this IBA is likely to be montane, with limited areas of lowland forest on the lower slopes. It is possible that many of the endemic montane birds of Luzon occur in the Zambales Mountains, and that the avifauna there will prove to be similar to that of the Cordillera Central of Luzon (e.g. Mt Pulog National Park: PH004).

Non-bird biodiversity: An extremely healthy population of horseshoe bats, of the poorly known family Rhinolophidae, has been found, plus the Endangered Luzon Pygmy Fruit-bat Otopteropus cartilagonodus, previously known only from six specimens. The threatened golden-crowned flying fox Acerodon jubatus is also reported to occur in the area. Surveys in 1992 recorded a total of 17 individuals of a skink, Sphenomorphus beyeri, which was previously known from a single specimen collected in the 1920s, and found another skink, Lipinia sp., which may represent a new species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Flame-breasted Fruit-dove Ramphiculus marchei resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Spotted Imperial-pigeon Ducula carola resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Green-faced Parrotfinch Erythrura viridifacies resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 

IBA Monitoring

2015 very high very unfavourable medium
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - shifting agriculture happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - intentional use: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Forest   16526 6500 40 moderate (70-90%) very unfavourable

Some of site covered (10-49%)  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Manleluang National Park 105 protected area contained by site 105  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   major
Artificial - terrestrial   minor

Protection status Not officially protected.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Zambales mountains. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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