|Location||Philippines, Region XIII|
|Central coordinates||125o 57.00' East 8o 9.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A4i|
|Altitude||40 - 50m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Site description Agusan Marsh is near Bunawan in the interior of north-eastern Mindanao Island, Agusan del Sur Province. It is a vast complex of freshwater marshes and watercourses with numerous small shallow lakes and ponds in the upper basin of the Agusan River and its tributaries. The rivers rise in the hills of eastern Mindanao and cause extensive flooding in the marshes from November to March. The main habitats of the marsh include freshwater swamp forest (c.49%), secondary scrub (c.14%), herbaceous swamp (c.7%), freshwater lakes, pools and rivers (c.10%), rice paddies and other agricultural land (c.6%) and small settlements (c.6%). Some parts of the marsh have been converted into fishponds. The main economic activities in the marsh are fishing, aquaculture and agriculture (mainly rice and cash crops), but the region is sparsely populated because of the annual flooding of the Agusan River. The marsh is an important source of water for irrigation. It has an important hydrological function, holding excess water at times of high flow, and ensuring adequate flow during dry periods. If the marsh were to be drained, the communities downstream would be prone to serious floods and droughts.
Key Biodiversity This IBA is important for a variety of waterbirds, notably herons and egrets. Several threatened species have been recorded in or near to Agusan Marsh in the past, mainly forest birds, but it is unclear whether they have significant populations in the remaining forests there. However, Silvery Kingfisher has recently been recorded in the marsh itself, and there may be a significant population of Philippine Duck there.
Non-bird biodiversity: The marshes support the largest population of the Estuarine Crocodile Crocodylus porosus remaining in the Philippines, and it has been suggested that the endangered Philippine Crocodile C. mindorensis may also be present
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Philippine Duck Anas luzonica||resident||2001||present||-||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|Purple Heron Ardea purpurea||unknown||2001||present||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Nisaetus philippensis||resident||2001||present||-||A1||Not Recognised|
|Sarus Crane Antigone antigone||breeding||2001||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Spotted Imperial-pigeon Ducula carola||resident||2001||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Alcedo argentata||resident||2001||present||-||A1||Not Recognised|
|Rufous-lored Kingfisher Todiramphus winchelli||resident||2001||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Celestial Monarch Hypothymis coelestis||resident||2001||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|2001||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|Agricultural expansion and intensification||marine and freshwater aquaculture - subsistence/artisinal aquaculture||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species||direct mortality of trigger species - hunting and trapping||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species||habitat effects - gathering plants||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Agusan Marsh||Wilderness Sanctuary||42,009||protected area contains site||19,197|
|Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||14,836||unknown||0|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||-|
Protection status Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary was declared by Presidential Proclamation 913 in 31 October 1996. The area was given Ramsar site status in 1999. It is a GEF CPPAP site (including Esperanza).
References Davies et al. (1990); Scott (1989).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/11/2014
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