Mt Kanla-on is the highest peak on Negros, and lies c.35 km south-east of Bacolod City. There are several volcanic craters and peaks in the Kanla-on range, the highest of them reaching 2,435 m. These mountains are included in the Mt Kanla-on National Park, and forest within the park is estimated to cover about 11,475 ha or 46.7% of its total area. Other habitats include open grassland and cultivated lands occupied by settlers. Most of the forest is montane, including mossy forest from about 1,700 m to the bare peaks of the active volcanoes or low shrubby vegetation and grassland of the inactive peaks. There are some areas of lowland forests at Guintubdan and Mambucal, and possibly elsewhere on the slopes. The forest along the valley of the Guintubdan trail starts at 1,050 m, and is then continuous up to the peak of the volcano. It descends somewhat lower on adjacent ridges, but is in poor condition at these altitudes. Ten years ago the forest boundary was around 800 m, where only fragments now remain. This indicates a fast rate of retreat and a great loss of important mid-altitude forest. At Mambucal, forest descends to about 750 m, lower in some precipitous valleys. A few forest species occur in parkland at Mambucal village at 400 m. On the gentler slopes it has been logged to around 950 m, above which forest is primary and extends to the summit. The logged forest is rather open, but many large trees remain, and the area supports a high diversity and density of forest birds. Sources of livelihood on Kanla-on include upland farming, orchid gathering, wood gathering, charcoal making and livestock raising. The park serves as the primary watershed for one fifth of the land area of the province, about 160,000 ha of valuable agricultural land where sugar and rice are the main products. It also has important recreational, educational, scientific and historical values.
Mt Kanla-on has been visited by many ornithologists in the past, and most of the threatened and restricted-range species of the Negros and Panay Endemic Bird Area have been recorded there. It still contains a large area of montane forest, and it is particularly notable as the only site where Negros Fruit-dove has ever been recorded, although there is no recent information on the status of this bird. Several of the other threatened species have been recorded there in the 1990s, including the Negros Bleeding-heart, Flame-templed Babbler, White-throated Jungle-flycatcher and Visayan Flowerpecker. However, most of these are primarily birds of lowland forest, and the continuing loss of the lower altitude forests from the slopes of Mt Kanla-on is steadily reducing the value of this site for their conservation, and the White-throated Jungle-flycatcher may already be locally extinct.
Non-bird biodiversity: The endangered Philippine Spotted Deer Cervus alfredi and Visayan Warty Pig Sus cebifrons have been recorded, and other threatened and endemic mammals probably occur.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Kanla-on Natural Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/08/2022.