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Location Philippines, Region IV
Central coordinates 120o 59.00' East  13o 15.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 60,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 2,580m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Haribon Foundation



Site description Mt Halcon rises to 2,580 m, and is the third highest mountain in the Philippines. With its associated peaks, it includes the northernmost portion of the mountainous spine of the island of Mindoro. The Mt Halcon IBA extends for almost 60 km along the border between Mindoro Occidental and Mindoro Oriental. The western slopes of the mountains have a seasonal climate with wet and dry seasons, whereas the eastern slopes have an evenly distributed rainfall, leading to a large diversity of natural vegetation types. In the east, the lower slopes support dipterocarp forests, with lower montane forest between about 1,000 and 1,700 m, in places with large areas of bamboo thicket and landslides with herbaceous cover. Mossy forest is found from c.1,700 to 2,200 m, and alpine shrubs and heath above this around the peaks of the mountains. On the western slopes are “parang” vegetation with patches of dipterocarp forest and stands of Mindoro pine. In places the forest is naturally stunted (only c.10-12 m tall) with a highly uneven canopy and many needle-leaved trees, for example around Ilong Ridge. However, very large areas have been cleared and in 1991 kaingin (shifting cultivation) was found to be penetrating far up the most accessible valleys. In the area on Mt Ilong visited in that year, the lower edge of forest was at around 750 m. It descended somewhat lower on ridges and valley sides to the north and south, but was broken-canopied there. Between 750 and 850 m, logging by pit-saw was intensive and the forest very open, with trees up to 20 m tall and a dense scrub layer. Only above 850 m did natural primary forest of the lowland/lower montane transition type exist, extending up to 1,000 m with a canopy around 15 m tall. These mountains are a tribal territory of both the Iraya Mangyan and Alangan tribes, who have ancestral land claims on the area. Mt Halcon and its secondary peak and slopes are the watersheds of important riverine systems on the island, vital for agricultural productivity in the lowlands of northern Mindoro. The spectacular mountains in this IBA are popular with mountaineering clubs.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Mindoro Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba platenae 2001  present [units unknown]  A1  Critically Endangered 
Mindoro Imperial-pigeon Ducula mindorensis 2001  present [units unknown]  A1  Endangered 
Spotted Imperial-pigeon Ducula carola 2001  present [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
Philippine Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia 2001  present [units unknown]  A1  Critically Endangered 
Black-hooded Coucal Centropus steerii 2001  present [units unknown]  A1  Critically Endangered 
Mindoro Hornbill Penelopides mindorensis 2001  present [units unknown]  A1  Endangered 
Ashy Thrush Zoothera cinerea 2001  present [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
Scarlet-collared Flowerpecker Dicaeum retrocinctum 2001  present [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 

Habitats

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

Other biodiversity Mt Halcon is clearly important for mammals, but is poorly known. For example, a survey in 1992 discovered a new species of Maxomys (a genus previously only known in the Philippines from Palawan), and a new species of forest mouse Apomys gracilirostris was discovered in 1995. The highly endangered Tamaraw Bubalus mindorensis, which is endemic to Mindoro, is found on the south and west slopes of Mt Halcon. This IBA is also the only known locality for the Mindoro climbing rat Anonymomys mindorensis. The threatened endemic Philippine crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis has been recorded at one of the rivers inside this IBA. Mt Halcon is the type locality of the Mindoro tree frog Philautus schmackeri, which is confined to this island. A threatened butterfly species, Euploea tobleri mangyan, is known only from this IBA.

Protection status Not officially protected.

References Alcala and Brown (1998); Dutson et al. (1992); Evans et al. (1993a); Morioka and Sison (1987).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Halcon. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/04/2014

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