|Location||Philippines, Region III|
|Central coordinates||120o 25.00' East 14o 41.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A4i|
|Altitude||30 - 1,253m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information Several of the threatened and restricted-range birds of the Luzon Endemic Bird Area have recently been recorded in this IBA, and the relatively extensive forests which remain there support important populations of several of these species, notably Green Racquet-tail. One of the largest recent counts of Philippine Duck was in Subic Bay.
Site description This IBA includes the forests that extend from Subic Bay National Park up the north-western slope of Mt Natib in Bataan National Park, the highest point at 1,253 m. These are one of the few remaining undisturbed forests in the Zambales biogeographic zone, and some of the few surviving forests on Luzon that face the South China Sea (those in the Sierra Madre to the northeast facing the Pacific Ocean are different in character). The lowlands around Subic Bay National Park are now predominantly agricultural land and human settlements. The lower slopes of the mountains are covered by grasslands and croplands and secondary growth. Old growth forest is mainly confined to the steep slopes and gullies at higher altitudes. Lowland dipterocarp forest is found at c.100-900 m and montane forest above about 900 m. Between 3,000 to 5,000 ha of primary lowland dipterocarp forest is estimated to remain in the watershed, although much of this was damaged by the Mt Pinatubo eruption in 1992. Much of this forest was formerly included in the Subic Military Reservation, which was under US Navy control until 1993 when it was turned over to the Philippine Government and became Subic Bay National Park. The portion of the Subic Military Reservation under the control of the US navy was well protected, but the lowland forests here are of great commercial value and the land is under considerable pressure from a variety of economic developments. Under a new administration, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, there was a boom of new industries within the reservation. The former military base has been transformed into a center for trade and industry. The forests of this IBA are a vital watershed for the communities living around the park. They are the home of indigenous communities of Aetas and Negritos, who survive within the boundaries of Subic Bay National Park.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Philippine Duck Anas luzonica||-||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|Philippine Hawk-eagle Nisaetus philippensis||-||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Philippine Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia||-||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Green Racquet-tail Prioniturus luconensis||-||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Philippine Eagle-owl Bubo philippensis||-||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Green-faced Parrotfinch Erythrura viridifacies||-||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Bataan||National Park||25,676||protected area contained by site||25,676|
|Subic||Watershed Forest Reserve||6,261||protected area contained by site||6,261|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||major|
Other biodiversity The northern Luzon giant cloud rat Phloeomys pallidus, golden-crowned flying fox Acerodon jubatus, Philippine brown deer Cervus mariannus and Philippine warty pig Sus philippensis are known to occur in the area, but surveys of the mammals and herpetofauna of the area are incomplete.
Management considerations The lowland tropical rainforest in this IBA is very vulnerable to exploitation because it harbors tree species of high commercial value. The migration of settlers into the unguarded forestland is leading to conversion of forests into agricultural land and kaingin. The forests and their wildlife are being degraded by firewood gathering, charcoal making, illegal logging, illegal grazing, hunting and gathering, and natural threats like typhoons, fires and volcanic eruptions. Much of the forest in this IBA was badly damaged by ashfall from the Mt Pinatubo eruption in 1992. A new road was recently constructed eastward from Morong. Further development of this road could lead to the destruction of the closed canopy forest that currently extends from the shoreline up to the peak of Mt Natib. Both sides of the piloted road have already been logged. Earth-moving work has caused tremendous erosion, silting the rivers and ricelands below. The road is reported to be used to haul logs to the sea at night via Mabayo Point, and local people use the road to reach the Bataan National Park in order to carry out timber clearing activities.
Protection status Bataan was declared as a national park in 1945, covering 31,365 ha. The area was reduced to 23,688 ha in 1980 by virtue of Proclamation No. 1956. It is proposed as a natural park under the NIPAS. Subic Bay Forest Reserve (SBFR) was established primarily to zone the area into different portions for management and development. It is a component of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the former US naval facility in the Philippines. Jurisdiction of the area was turned over to the Philippine government in 1992. Subic-Bataan National Park is one of the priority protected areas under the World Bank GEF-funded CPPAP. It is also one of the three sites provided with technical assistance to help improve biodiversity conservation by the Nordic Agency for Development and Ecology (NORDECO).
Conservation response A resource inventory (fauna) and assessment of the biodiversity of Subic Bay Forest Reserve was conducted recently by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources, Research and Development (PCARRD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD). A baseline biodiversity inventory of Bataan Natural Park was also conducted in 1996 by the Nordic Agency for Development and Ecology (NORDECO). As part of the technical assistance provided by NORDECO to improve biodiversity conservation in Bataan Natural Park, information, education and communication materials (e.g. flip charts, field guides, comics, slides, etc.) have been developed and distributed.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bataan Natural Park and Subic Bay Forest Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/05/2013
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