|Location||Philippines, NCR,Region III,Region IV|
|Central coordinates||120o 46.00' East 14o 40.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Ornithological information Large numbers of migratory shorebirds uses the intertidal mudflats, fishponds and salt pans in Manila Bay in winter and during the migration seasons. Monthly counts at a high tide roost in Metro Manila in 1979-1982 revealed a maximum of about 32,000 shorebirds in January 1980, and in early April 1987, about 8,000 shorebirds of 20 species were recorded at seven sites, mainly drained fish ponds and areas of intertidal mudflat. It has consistently registered the highest numbers of waterbirds at any site in the Philippines during the Asian Wetland Counts in 1990-1994. There have been records of several threatened waterbirds there, but it is unclear whether this IBA is of significance for the conservation of any of these species.
Site description This IBA includes the extensive intertidal areas from the Municipality of Balanga in Bataan Province round the north and east shores of Manila Bay to Cavite City, south of Metro Manila. This large, enclosed sea bay is fringed by shallow intertidal mudflats and sand flats. Relicts of mangrove swamp survive, particularly in the Bataan area, but most have been converted to large areas of aquaculture ponds and salt pans. Plant communities in adjacent areas include coconut plantations and denuded hill vegetation. The city and port of Metro Manila is situated on the eastern side of the Bay. The site is very important for its fisheries production that supports a large urban population along the periphery of the Bay. There are high concentrations of fish traps and extensive mariculture within the open sea area, and aquaculture schemes cover about 70 km of the coastline. There is a salt pan industry at Cavite in the southeast, and several areas of shantytown development on the shores of the Bay.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Philippine Duck Anas luzonica||-||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Rufous Night-heron Nycticorax caledonicus||unknown||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis||unknown||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Grey Heron Ardea cinerea||unknown||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Purple Heron Ardea purpurea||unknown||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great Egret Casmerodius albus||unknown||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Little Egret Egretta garzetta||unknown||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes||-||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva||winter||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius||unknown||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus||unknown||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus||winter||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis||winter||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer||-||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Endangered|
|Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica||non-breeding||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Chinese Crested Tern Sterna bernsteini||non-breeding||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Common Tern Sterna hirundo||non-breeding||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus||winter||2001||present [units unknown]||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||2001||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||-|
Management considerations The many threats to Manila Bay include the destruction of the remaining patches of mangroves for aquaculture, reclamation of intertidal areas for housing development, road construction and salt pans, continuous dredging and pollution (solid waste, domestic sewerage, industrial waste, and oil spills). There is continued denudation of the natural vegetation in the water catchment area. The heavily polluted and silted Pasig River drains into the bay. Shooting of shorebirds at fishponds and dynamite fishing are additional threats to the bay’s biodiversity. Construction along the shoreline, especially in the Roxas Boulevard area, has disturbed the roosting areas of shorebirds, which have been forced to use alternative roosting places, such as the NAIA Complex.
Protection status Not officially protected.
Conservation response A considerable amount of research has been carried out by the National Pollution Control Commission in its Manila Bay Monitoring Project, which launched an anti pollution campaign jointly with the Haribon Foundation. Manila Bay is an ideal area for research on fisheries, wildlife, biomass and marine pollution because of its close proximity to major research agencies. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has carried out some studies, and the Forest Research Institute and Asian Wetland Bureau (now Wetlands International) have conducted shorebird studies. The small pockets of mangrove swamp remaining in Pampanga Bay are of considerable value for research and conservation education. A Presidental Task Force for the rehabilitation of Manila Bay was created in October 1993 to provide a mechanism for the management of the bay. A comprehensive management plan was submitted to the Office of the President in 1994.
References References: Custodio (1996); Davies et al. (1990); Scott (1989).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Manila Bay. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/05/2013
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