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Location Philippines, NCR,Region III,Region IV
Central coordinates 120o 46.00' East  14o 40.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 130,465 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Haribon Foundation

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.

Key Biodiversity 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.

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  Vulnerable 
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis unknown  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Rufous Night-heron Nycticorax caledonicus unknown  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea unknown  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea unknown  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Great White Egret Ardea alba unknown  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Egretta garzetta unknown  2001  present  A4i  Not Recognised 
Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes non-breeding  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Charadrius alexandrinus unknown  2001  present  A4i  Not Recognised 
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva winter  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius unknown  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Sandplover Charadrius mongolus winter  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis winter  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer winter  2001  present  A1  Endangered 
Chinese Crested Tern Thalasseus bernsteini non-breeding  2001  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Sterna nilotica non-breeding  2001  present  A4i  Not Recognised 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo non-breeding  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus winter  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2001  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea   major
Wetlands (inland)   major
Artificial - terrestrial   -
Coastline   -

Protection status Not officially protected.

References References: Custodio (1996); Davies et al. (1990); Scott (1989).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Manila Bay. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife