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Location Philippines, Region XI
Central coordinates 124o 42.00' East  6o 14.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 50,000 ha
Altitude 700 - 2,083m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Haribon Foundation

Site description This IBA comprises the coastal range of mountains in South Cotabato Province that includes Mt Busa, Mt Parker and Mt Three Kings. Several of the peaks reach over 1,000 m and Mt Busa over 2,000 m. Lake Sebu lies on the flank of the mountains and the nearby village of Sitio Siete is now a popular site with birdwatchers. These mountains have one of the two major forest blocks remaining in South Cotabato Province, with forests extending from north-west of Lake Sebu to south-west of General Santos City. Closed canopy broadleaf forests are found from 895 m to the highest peaks, and there are extensive areas of second growth forest. There is some lowland rainforest on the lower slopes of the mountains, but much larger areas of montane and mossy forest. There are also areas of secondary grassland, rivers and streams and caves, which provide additional habitats for wildlife. Some forest has been converted into permanent agricultural plots in areas where small settlements have been established, and kaingin is also practised. Lake Sebu is a small (350 ha) freshwater lake and associated marshes on flank of the rugged mountains. The shoreline of the lake is very indented, and there are two small islands, Tugayo and Rom's. The lake is surrounded by grassland. The areas surrounding the lake have been designated as ancestral lands and reservation areas for cultural minorities, including the Tasaday tribe. The lake is used for fishing, duck raising and the harvesting of freshwater shrimps and snails.

Key Biodiversity Sitio Siete near Lake Sebu is a popular site for birdwatchers, with trails up into the mossy forests above the village, and there are many recent records there of the threatened and restricted-range species of the Mindanao and Eastern Visayas Endemic Bird Area. There have also been collecting expeditions to several of the mountains in the EBA during the 1990s. The relatively extensive areas of lowland forest which remain on the lower mountains slopes appear to support important populations of several threatened species, including Spotted Imperial-pigeon, Lesser Eagle-owl and Little Slaty Flycatcher, and many montane species occur at higher altitudes, including the threatened Blue-capped Kingfisher. The recent records of Philippine Eagle there suggest that this IBA is an important part of the network of sites required to conserve this critically threatened species.

Non-bird biodiversity: The lake has a diverse fish fauna, and supports large populations of the freshwater snails Vivipara angularis and Ampullaria luzonica which are heavily harvested.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Japanese Night-heron Gorsachius goisagi winter  2001  present  A1  Endangered 
Philippine Eagle Pithecophaga jefferyi resident  2001  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Nisaetus philippensis resident  2001  present  A1  Not Recognised 
Dark-eared Brown-dove Phapitreron brunneiceps resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Spotted Imperial-pigeon Ducula carola resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Giant Scops-owl Otus gurneyi resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Blue-capped Kingfisher Actenoides hombroni resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Little Slaty Flycatcher Ficedula basilanica resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Philippine Leafbird Chloropsis flavipennis resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 


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

Protection status Not officially protected.

References Davies et al. (1990); Haribon Foundation (1998); Scott (1989).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Mount Busa-Kiamba. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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