Site description (2001 baseline)
This IBA includes Mt Iglit, Mt Baco, Mt Roosevelt and associated peaks in the eastern section of Mt Iglit-Baco National Park, in the centre of Mindoro. The northern boundary of the IBA is taken to be the border between Mindoro Occidental and Mindoro Oriental provinces, where it meets Mt Halcon (PH039), so it includes a large part of the crescent-shaped mountain ranges to the north of the national park. Iglit-Baco National Park is mostly grassland, but there is one area of forest close to Mt Iglit, a few other small patches, and an extensive block on steep slopes in the Mindoro Oriental sector of the park. These are mainly montane forests on very steep slopes, but there are some areas of lowland dipterocarp forest. There is a c.367 ha stand of acacia Samanea saman woodland at 50-100 m in the southern part of the park close to Lamintao River, and an area of agoho Casuarina equisetifolia forest at the Tamaraw Gene Pool Area, along the Anahawin River. Most of the mountains and plateaus in the east of the park are covered in grassland or heavily degraded forest. The extensive areas of grassland in the west of the national park are not included in the IBA. The mountains north of the national park still hold extensive forests, but most of these are montane forests on the higher slopes. However, there are some areas of lowland forest, for example on Mts Katmuran-Kiblatoy, where sizeable tracts of such habitat are reported to be present. A survey in the 1990s found patches of forest as low as 300 m in this range (as seen from Villa Cervesa, Victoria), but there were signs of human encroachment as represented by burning and the presence of agricultural tracts near the slopes. Mt Iglit-Baco National Park is home to four Philippine cultural groups (Batangan, Hinunuo, Mayan and Bangan), who practice traditional agriculture and depend on the park for game and food gathering.
Many of the threatened and restricted-range birds of the Mindoro Endemic Bird Area have been recorded in this IBA, and the extensive montane forests which remain there are likely to prove to be important for montane species, notably the endemic Mindoro Imperial-pigeon and Mindoro Scops-owl. The record of Luzon Water-redstart there is one of only two from Mindoro, the only island other than Luzon where this species has been recorded. The tracts of lowland forest that are reported to remain on Mts Katmuran-Kiblatoy and possibly elsewhere on the lower mountain slopes in this IBA could prove to be important for the conservation of some of the endemic lowland birds of Mindoro, such as Mindoro Bleeding-heart.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mt Iglit-Baco National Park is most famous for the conservation of the tamaraw Bubalus mindorensis, a Mindoro endemic, and its grassland habitat. Although much of this grassland is excluded from this IBA, it is still likely to be extremely important for this species. Significant numbers of deer and wild pigs are also reported to occur there. Mt Iglit-Baco is the type locality for the Mindoro pallid flying fox Pteropus sp. a, which is believed to have very small and fragmented populations, and is probably highly endangered.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Iglit - Baco Mountains. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/iglit--baco-mountains-iba-philippines on 25/09/2023.