Biliran and Maripipi 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
Biliran (55,542 ha) lies about three kilometres off the northern tip of Leyte in the Eastern Visayas. Both Biliran and the adjacent small island of Maripipi (3,171 ha) are mountainous, rising to 1,320 and 924 m respectively. About 48% or 26,870 ha of the two islands are classified as timberland, mainly in the central parts of both islands. However, all areas below 500 m have been cleared for agriculture, and it was recently estimated that less than 10% of Biliran and 15-20% of Maripipi remains covered by primary or lightly disturbed forest. This includes lowland forest on the lower slopes of the hills, and montane forest, including mossy forest, around the higher peaks. The Asug Forest Reserve lies 10 km south of Caibiran on Biliran. The elevation there ranges from 300-1,266 m, and forest covers 77.7% of the area. It is a tourist destination, because of the picturesque and clear waters of Tomalistic Falls. Private investors are proposing to build a mineral water bottling plant to tap this water. The forested interior of Biliran is an important watershed.

Key biodiversity
Several of the threatened and restricted-range species of the Mindanao and Eastern Visayas Endemic Bird Area have been recorded on Biliran, including Samar Hornbill, which is endemic to the Eastern Visayas, and the poorly known Miniature Tit-babbler. The forests there may prove to support important populations of these and other birds of conservation concern.

Non-bird biodiversity: A survey in 1987 recorded 30 indigenous species of land mammals on Biliran and 25 on Maripipi. These include the rare Philippine Nectar Bat Eonycteris robusta on both Biliran and Maripipi Islands, and the vulnerable Little Golden-mantled Flying Fox Pteropus pumilus.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Biliran and Maripipi Island. Downloaded from on 26/10/2021.