PH090
Timpoong and Hibok-hibok Natural Monument


Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
Camiguin Sur is a mountainous, actively volcanic island c.10 km off the north coast of Mindanao. It rises steeply from the sea, and is dominated by several steep volcanic cones in the west and centre of the island, Mt Timpoong, Mt Mambajao, Mt Tres Marias and Mt Hibok Hibok. The more level ground close to the coast has been cleared for agriculture and coconut plantations, but primary forests (mainly of low stature) cover most of the high mountains in the centre of the island, especially above 500 m. Mantigue Island is a small (c.3 ha), flat coral island off the eastern coast of Camiguin. It supports a beach-type forest dominated by ipil Intsia bijuga and bitaog Callophyllum inophyllum, and has an extensive sandy-coralline tidal flat that is exposed at low tide. Mt Timpoong-Hibok Hibok is a 3,337 ha watershed in the interior of Camiguin Island. Mossy forests are found at 1,100m and above and cover c.300 ha. Residual lowland dipterocarp forest covers c.1,282 ha, while brushland and open grassland cover another 1,585 ha. The same primary lowland forest was extant in 1995. A 828 ha plantation forest and reforestation site is planted with exotic tree species such as Gmelina arborea, Swietenia macrophylla and Acacia mangium. Tourism is one of the main sources of income on the island, from visitors attracted by the islands’ pristine white sand beaches and hot springs and pools. Mountain climbing is also a popular tourist activity on the island.

Key biodiversity
Two of the restricted-range species of the Mindanao and Eastern Visayas Endemic Bird Area have been recorded on Camiguin, including Yellowish Bulbul, which is represented on the island by an endemic subspecies, and it is likely that more restricted-range and threatened birds occur there. Three other subspecies are endemic to the island, and during a short visit in 1997 it was found that Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea catarmanensis was apparently rare and Orange-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum trigonostigma isidroi was common in secondary growth. Golden-yellow White-eye Zosterops nigrorum catarmanensis was not encountered, perhaps because it occurs only at high altitudes or in good quality forest. Mantigue Island supports both resident and migrant shorebird species.

Non-bird biodiversity: Two island endemic species of mice (Apomys and Bullimus) were discovered on Camiguin during a survey in 1995, and an endemic species of frog Oreophryne nana occurs there. Mantigue Island supports both resident and migrant shorebird species, and three species of marine turtle species nest on the island, Green Turtle Chelonia mydas, Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata and Loggerhead Turtle Caretta caretta.



Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Intense commercial logging has already denuded many slopes in forested areas at 500-1,000 m, even on 25o-60o slopes, which has resulted in severe erosion and river sedimentation. Although this commercial logging has been halted, small-scale extraction of timber still continues to be a problem, compounded by encroachment of agricultural clearings into the forest. On Mantigue Island, the main problem appears to be the destruction of coastal habitats, especially coral reefs, by dynamite and cyanide fishing. Pollution from domestic waste, siltation and oil spills is also a problem. Areas of beach forest have been cut for firewood and lumber.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
A multi-sectoral Forest Protection Committee spearheaded by PENRO Camiguin has been established to control illegal logging. PENRO Camiguin is already vigilant in its policing activities and so far, eight cases have been filed in court for violations of Section 68 of PD 705 (illegal extraction of forestry products). The mayors on the island are strongly supportive of forest conservation because of the increasing benefits of ecotourism. A reforestation scheme is underway, the Camiguin Integrated Agroforestry Project I and II (CIAFPI), and eight other reforestation projects have reportedly reforested more than 1,500 ha. A potential marine protected area of 10 ha has been delineated by the DENR on Camiguin Island.

Protected areas
Two sites, the Mt Timpoong-Hibok Hibok area on Camiguin Island and Mantigue Island, have been proposed as protected areas under NIPAS, Mt Timpoong-Hibok Hibok, as a Natural Landmark/Monument and Mantigue Island as a Protected Landscape and Seascape.

Habitat and land use
Camiguin Sur is a mountainous, actively volcanic island c.10 km off the north coast of Mindanao. It rises steeply from the sea, and is dominated by several steep volcanic cones in the west and centre of the island, Mt Timpoong, Mt Mambajao, Mt Tres Marias and Mt Hibok Hibok. The more level ground close to the coast has been cleared for agriculture and coconut plantations, but primary forests (mainly of low stature) cover most of the high mountains in the centre of the island, especially above 500 m. Mantigue Island is a small (c.3 ha), flat coral island off the eastern coast of Camiguin. It supports a beach-type forest dominated by ipil Intsia bijuga and bitaog Callophyllum inophyllum, and has an extensive sandy-coralline tidal flat that is exposed at low tide. Mt Timpoong-Hibok Hibok is a 3,337 ha watershed in the interior of Camiguin Island. Mossy forests are found at 1,100m and above and cover c.300 ha. Residual lowland dipterocarp forest covers c.1,282 ha, while brushland and open grassland cover another 1,585 ha. The same primary lowland forest was extant in 1995. A 828 ha plantation forest and reforestation site is planted with exotic tree species such as Gmelina arborea, Swietenia macrophylla and Acacia mangium. Tourism is one of the main sources of income on the island, from visitors attracted by the islands’ pristine white sand beaches and hot springs and pools. Mountain climbing is also a popular tourist activity on the island.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2017) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Timpoong and Hibok-hibok Natural Monument. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/06/2017.