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Location Philippines, Region VII
Central coordinates 123o 58.00' East  10o 20.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 18,000 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Haribon Foundation

Site description This IBA includes a complex of shallow sea bays and channels, extensive intertidal sand flats and mudflats, mangrove swamps, fishponds, salt pans and seaweed culture ponds, with coral reefs offshore. The area includes the mangroves, sand flats and fringing coral reefs of southern and western Mactan Island; the narrow Mactan Channel which separates the island from the Cebu mainland; the adjacent mainland coast (including Kalawisan Bay, Cansaga Bay and the estuary of the Cansaga River) with fringing mudflats and mangroves; and a large area of fish ponds at Jugan in Cansaga Bay. The total area of 18,000 ha includes at least 3,800 ha of coral and sand flats, 350 ha of intertidal mudflats, 400 ha of mangrove swamps and 500 ha of fish-ponds. The surrounding areas are both rural and industrial, with a port complex and international airport, and associated industrial complexes and oil terminals. There are also coconut plantations and subsistence agricultural crops in the rural areas. The offshore fisheries are very important for the local economy and the Cebu market. The seaweed culture ponds provide a base for exports to Japan, and mangroves and nipa palms are harvested locally for construction purposes, tannin and animal fodder (leaves of Sonneratia and Avicennia spp.). Gleaning on the intertidal flats is also very important for the local communities.

Key Biodiversity This IBA is one of the most important staging areas for migratory shorebirds in the Visayas. Up to 3,700 shorebirds were observed at Jugan Fish Ponds in 1986, and almost 1,600 (of 23 species) were observed in the area in April 1987, including internationally important numbers of Grey-tailed Tattler. The area is also important for a variety of herons and egrets, including the threatened Chinese Egret. Terns (Sterna sp.) are common, and several species of ducks have been recorded at Jugan Fish Ponds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes non-breeding  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva winter  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Sandplover Charadrius mongolus winter  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes passage  2001  present  A4i  Near Threatened 
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia winter  2001  present  A4i  Least Concern 


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

Protection status Not officially protected.

References Davies et al. (1990); Scott (1989).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Mactan, Kalawisan and Cansaga Bays. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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