|Location||Philippines, Region IVa|
|Central coordinates||117o 1.00' East 7o 57.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||0 - 567m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Balabac (34,200 ha) is the largest of the group of islands to the south of Palawan. The natural vegetation there is lowland forest, but there are reports that little forest cover now remains on the island.
Key Biodiversity Many of the threatened and restricted-range species of the Palawan Endemic Bird Area have been recorded on Balabac in the past, including the threatened Grey Imperial-pigeon, Philippine Cockatoo, Blue-headed Racquet-tail and Palawan Hornbill. It is unclear whether there is enough natural habitat remaining on the island to support significant populations of any of these birds.
Non-bird biodiversity: This IBA is the only known locality for the greater mouse-deer Tragulus napu. Several mammals endemic to Palawan faunal region are known to occur in the area, including Palawan shrew Crocidura palawanensis, Palawan tree shrew Tupaia palawanensis and Palawan flying fox Acerodon leucotis. Threatened marine animals also occur off this IBA, including hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata and esturine crocodile Crocodylus porosus. Most of the herpetofauna recorded on the island are confined to Palawan faunal region and the neighbouring Indo-Malayan region, including brown-striped tree frog Polypedates macrotis, rough-skinned tree frog Philautus longicrus and South-East Asian wood frog Rana sanguinea.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Philippine Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia||resident||2001||present||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Grey Imperial-pigeon Ducula pickeringii||resident||2001||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Blue-headed Racquet-tail Prioniturus platenae||resident||2001||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Palawan Hornbill Anthracoceros marchei||resident||2001||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||-|
Protection status Proclaimed as a Marine Reserve / Tourist Zone in 1978 by Proc. No. 1801, but not officially protected under the NIPAS.
References Alcala and Brown (1998); Castañeda (1993).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Balabac Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/03/2015
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