PH060
North-west Panay peninsula (Pandan)


Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
This IBA is on the peninsular north-western corner of the island of Panay. It includes an extensive area of lowland forest in the low hills in the interior of the peninsula, almost certainly the largest area of this habitat remaining in the Negros and Panay Endemic Bird Area. An estimated 2,500-5,000 ha of old growth forest survives there, including tall undisturbed dipterocarp forest, forest on limestone, lower montane forest and bamboo forest. These forested mountains constitute some of the last relatively intact watershed systems in the Western Visayas, and the tourist destination of Boracay relies heavily on the water supply from there. The human population in this part of Panay is reported to be relatively low.

Key biodiversity
The North-west Panay peninsula probably includes the most extensive and best quality lowland forests remaining in the Negros and Panay Endemic Bird Area, and this IBA is therefore a top priority site for conservation. Surveys by PESCP (the Philippine Endemic Species Conservation Project of the Frankfurt Zoological Society through the Animal Behaviour Research Group of Ruhr University Bochum, Germany) in 1996 and 1997 (the full details of which will be published shortly by Curio et al.) recorded several of the highly threatened lowland forest birds endemic to Negros and Panay, including a Bleeding-heart (the first records for Panay, most likely Negros Bleeding-heart), and Visayan and Writhed-billed Hornbills. Further surveys are expected to locate more threatened and restricted-range species, and many of these birds are likely to have significant populations in this IBA.

Non-bird biodiversity: Several of the critically endangered mammal species endemic to the Western Visayas have been recorded there by PESCP. According to hunters, 20 Philippine Spotted Deer Cervus alfredi, remain. Visayan Warty Pigs Sus cebifrons, were frequently recorded.



Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The remaining forests in this IBA are under great pressure. The main threats include timber poaching and the large-scale conversion of forest into kaingin. Some natural forest has been converted to plantation, there are infrastructure and urban developments taking place around the forest, and forest products are collected. Hunting pressure is very heavy in the forests, and the populations of several of the most important bird and mammal species must have been greatly reduced as a result. The entire forest area is included in two mining applications pending with the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences, from Quarry Ventures Inc. and Teresa Marble Mining.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
The PESCP first recognised the importance of the forests at this site for conservation. This project is conducting basic faunal and ecological research on birds, mammals and forest trees, and is engaged in community-based conservation efforts, including conservation education, and the ‘soft release’ of confiscated birds (e.g. hornbills, parrots). PESCP and officers from the Region 6 DENR office have also met representatives of the five municipalities that overlap this area, to discuss the possible declaration of this site as a new protected area. The initial strategy is to consider an area of approximately 10,000 ha, including all of the remaining forest plus buffer and multi-purpose zones, as a proposed North-west Panay Peninsula Natural Park.

Protected areas
Not officially protected. Subsequently proposed under NIPAS.

Habitat and land use
This IBA is on the peninsular north-western corner of the island of Panay. It includes an extensive area of lowland forest in the low hills in the interior of the peninsula, almost certainly the largest area of this habitat remaining in the Negros and Panay Endemic Bird Area. An estimated 2,500-5,000 ha of old growth forest survives there, including tall undisturbed dipterocarp forest, forest on limestone, lower montane forest and bamboo forest. These forested mountains constitute some of the last relatively intact watershed systems in the Western Visayas, and the tourist destination of Boracay relies heavily on the water supply from there. The human population in this part of Panay is reported to be relatively low.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: North-west Panay peninsula (Pandan). Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 15/08/2020.