Site description Mt Hilong hilong lies on the boundaries of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur Provinces, in the northern portion of the Diwata range of north-east Mindanao. It is the highest mountain in the range, but several of the other peaks included in the IBA also reach well over 1,000 m. The IBA comprises a large block of forest that is shown on recent forest cover maps. Much of this forest is montane, but there are also likely to be some substantial areas of lowland forest.
The Cabadbaran-Santiago Natural Park is located on flat to rolling land from 200-1,700 m. It includes c. 3,002 ha (58%) of residual forest, including a 120 ha rattan plantation established by the DENR, c. 1,682 ha (33%) of brushland with medium-sized trees and c.318 ha (6%) of grassland. Cultivated land covers c.163 ha (3%), and is planted with corn, root crops and fast-growing exotic tree species, such as yemane or gmelina Gmelina arborea. Cabadbaran-Santiago Natural Park was declared as a forest watershed reservation because it is the main source of water for the municipalities of Cabadbaran and Santiago. A 500 ha area has been set aside as ancestral domain.
Key Biodiversity Many of the threatened and restricted-range species of the Mindanao and Eastern Visayas Endemic Bird Area have been recorded on Mt Hilong-hilong, most during collecting expeditions in the 1950s and 1960s. These birds include both lowland and montane forest specialists, and, given the relatively large areas of low altitude forest that are reported to remain in this IBA, it could prove to be one of the most important sites for lowland forest birds in the EBA. Some of these birds obviously occur at high densities there, notably Wattled Broadbill. Three of the restricted-range birds have subspecies that are only known from Mt Hilong-hilong (although they presumably occur elsewhere in the Diwata range), Grey-hooded Sunbird A. p. diuatae, Olive-capped Flowerpecker D. n. diuatae and Black-masked White-eye L. g. gracilis. The Pangulangan Caves harbor large populations of cave bats and swiftlets.
Non-bird biodiversity: The Pangulangan Caves harbour large populations of cave bats and swiftlets.
Protection status The proposed Cabadbaran-Santiago Natural Park lies within the Mt Hilong-hilong IBA. The area was declared as a forest watershed reservation by Presidential Proclamation No. 834, series of 1991.
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BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Hilong-hilong. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2014
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