Balabac Island

Country/territory: Philippines

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2 (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 10,000 ha

Haribon Foundation

Site description
Balabac (34,200 ha) is the largest of the group of islands to the south of Palawan. The natural vegetation there is lowland forest, but there are reports that little forest cover now remains on the island.

Key biodiversity
Many of the threatened and restricted-range species of the Palawan Endemic Bird Area have been recorded on Balabac in the past, including the threatened Grey Imperial-pigeon, Philippine Cockatoo, Blue-headed Racquet-tail and Palawan Hornbill. It is unclear whether there is enough natural habitat remaining on the island to support significant populations of any of these birds.

Non-bird biodiversity: This IBA is the only known locality for the greater mouse-deer Tragulus napu. Several mammals endemic to Palawan faunal region are known to occur in the area, including Palawan shrew Crocidura palawanensis, Palawan tree shrew Tupaia palawanensis and Palawan flying fox Acerodon leucotis. Threatened marine animals also occur off this IBA, including hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata and esturine crocodile Crocodylus porosus. Most of the herpetofauna recorded on the island are confined to Palawan faunal region and the neighbouring Indo-Malayan region, including brown-striped tree frog Polypedates macrotis, rough-skinned tree frog Philautus longicrus and South-East Asian wood frog Rana sanguinea.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Balabac Island. Downloaded from on 03/12/2022.