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Location Philippines, Region III
Central coordinates 120o 25.00' East  14o 41.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i
Area 48,103 ha
Altitude 30 - 1,253m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Haribon Foundation

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.

Key Biodiversity 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.

Non-bird 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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Philippine Duck Anas luzonica resident  2001  present  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Nisaetus philippensis resident  2001  present  A1  Not Recognised 
Green Racquet-tail Prioniturus luconensis resident  2001  present  A1  Endangered 
Philippine Eagle-owl Bubo philippensis resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Green-faced Parrotfinch Erythrura viridifacies resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Philippine Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia resident  2001  present  A1  Critically Endangered 

Protected areas

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)
Forest   major
Artificial - terrestrial   major
Coastline   minor

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).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Bataan Natural Park and Subic Bay Forest Reserve. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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