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Location Philippines, Region IX
Central coordinates 122o 3.00' East  6o 35.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 4,363 ha
Altitude 0 - 968m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Haribon Foundation

Site description Basilan Island lies c.20 km south of the tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula of south-western Mindanao. It is a hilly island, with several peaks that ascend to almost 1,000 m, including Mt Kebang (Twin Peak) and Mt Mohadji. This IBA includes the forests that remain in the hilly central part of the island, which are recommended by the DENR-9 for protection under the NIPAS as the Basilan Natural Biotic Area. An area of 234 ha of primary forest is reported to remain on Mt Mohadji, which also has patches of secondary forest which cover a total area of 2,500 ha. These areas were logged more than 20 years ago, but have now regenerated. Most of this is lowland forest, with limited areas of mossy forest around the highest peaks.

Key Biodiversity Many of the threatened and restricted-range species of the Mindanao and Eastern Visayas Endemic Bird Area have been recorded on Basilan, but there is little recent information on their status there. Several of these birds were found to be relatively abundant there in the past, notably the threatened Mindanao Bleeding-heart and Celestial Monarch. It is possible that the remaining forests on the island could prove to be very important for the conservation of some of these birds. The Zamboanga Bulbul is known only from Basilan and the western half of Mindanao, a distribution that it shares with several subspecies of birds. A total of 12 subspecies are endemic to Basilan alone, the four listed above in the table plus Colasisi Loriculus philippensis dohertyi, Philippine Fairy-bluebird Irena cyanogaster melanochlamys, Streaked Ground-babbler Ptilocichla mindanensis basilanica, Brown tit-babbler Macronous striaticeps striaticeps, Philippine Tailorbird Orthotomus castaneiceps mearnsi, Rufous-tailed Jungle-flycatcher Rhinomyias ruficauda ruficauda, Yellow-bellied Whistler Pachycephala philippensis basilanica and Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra randi.

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 
Nisaetus philippensis resident  2001  present  A1  Not Recognised 
Mindanao Bleeding-heart Gallicolumba crinigera resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Dark-eared Brown-dove Phapitreron brunneiceps resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Alcedo argentata resident  2001  present  A1  Not Recognised 
Ceyx melanurus resident  2001  present  A1  Not Recognised 
Rufous-lored Kingfisher Todiramphus winchelli resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Mindanao Broadbill Eurylaimus steerii resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Celestial Monarch Hypothymis coelestis resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Little Slaty Flycatcher Ficedula basilanica resident  2001  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Philippine Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia resident  2001  present  A1  Critically Endangered 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Basilan Natural Biotic Area 4,490 protected area contains site 4,363  
Basilan Buffer Zone Natural Biotic Area - Buffer Zone 2,037 protected area is adjacent to site 0  


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

Protection status This IBA includes part of Basilan National Park, which was declared by Proclamation No. 457 on 25 September 1939 and amended by Proclamation No. 1531 on 2 February 1976. Basilan Natural Biotic Area is recommended for protection by the DENR-9 under the NIPAS.

References Davis et al. (1995).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Basilan Natural Biotic Area. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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