Apo Reef Marine Natural Park

Country/territory: Philippines

IBA Criteria met: A4iii (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 15,827 ha

Haribon Foundation

Site description
The Apo Reef complex is the largest and best preserved atoll-formed reef in the Philippines. It includes Apo Island, and the northern and southern coral reef complex around Cayos del Bajo and Binangaan Islet. The total area of the Apo Reef Marine Natural Park is 15,827 ha, of which 99.82% is water and only 0.18% is land. It has a variety of habitats, including fringing reefs, a small (10 ha) patch of mangroves, a stretch of sandy beach and beach vegetation of coconut palms, scrub and trees. The natural park has been subdivided into three zones. The Strictly Protected Zone includes two areas, the coral sanctuary and the entire Apo Island (including the surrounding waters 500 m from the shore), and will be strictly protected against all forms of exploitation, especially dynamite fishing. The Managed Reserve Zone comprises the bird sanctuaries and the turtle nesting grounds, areas of highest conservation interest in which controlled human activities are permitted and park facilities can be developed. The Multiple-use Zone comprises three areas, the recreation area (dive sites for fish watching, reef appreciation, photography, education and guided tours), the anchorage area and the fishing area.

Key biodiversity
Several species of seabirds have been reported from Apo Reef, but no information has been found on the populations of these birds there.

Non-bird biodiversity: Many marine organisms, including 385 species of fish, have been identified at Apo Reef, and it is a nesting ground for hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata and green turtle Chelonia mydas.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Apo Reef Marine Natural Park. Downloaded from on 21/03/2023.