Central Panay mountains

Country/territory: Philippines

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2 (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 46,000 ha

Haribon Foundation
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2014 medium not assessed low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The mountainous spine of Panay Island extends north to south for over 100 km along the border between Antique Province and Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo Provinces. There are several high peaks, including Mt Madja as (2,110 m) and Mt Nangtud (2,073 m) in the northern section, Mt Baloy (1,728 m) in the central section and Mt Inaman (1,585 m) at the southern end. The mountain range retains extensive forest cover, and has been proposed as the Central Panay Mountains National Park. The main habitat is montane forest, including mossy forest at about 1,400 to 1,900 m, but there are some areas of lowland forest in the steeper gullies away from villages on the lower slopes between 200 and 900 m. In the northern section of the IBA, most vegetation on the western face of Mt Madja-as has been stripped below 1,000 m, with relatively unharmed vegetation above this altitude, although clearings for agriculture have been reported to reach 1,200 m or more in some places. The eastern face is in better condition from a lower elevation, although even here there may be little forest below c.700-900 m. In the central section of the IBA, there are some areas of lowland forest on the lower slopes, but much of this is degraded or has been replaced by secondary growth. However, there is one small valley near Mt Baloy where continuous forest reaches down to 200 m, and away from villages there are some other small forest patches in steeper gullies between 200 and 900 m, with denuded hillsides in between. The central section of the IBA includes Hamtang Forest (900-950 m), near Mt Balabag, which is a part of a contiguous primary montane forest above baranggay Nawali.

Key biodiversity
Most of the threatened and restricted-range species of the Negros and Panay Endemic Bird Area have recently been recorded in the Central Panay mountains. The forests on the lower slopes of the mountains support important populations of several of the lowland and lower montane specialists that are endemic to this EBA. The extensive montane forest of this IBA are also important, particularly because they include the entire range of Panay Striped-babbler, which is common in the mossy montane forests there. Several lowland forest species have important populations in Hamtang Forest (where surveys were carried out by PESCP in 1995-1996, the full details of which will be published shortly by Curio et al.) and presumably elsewhere, notably Visayan Hornbill, Writhed-billed Hornbill, Flame-templed Babbler and White-throated Jungle-flycatcher.

Non-bird biodiversity: This IBA supports an important population of the Philippine Spotted Deer Cervus alfredi, a Western Visayan critically endangered endemic of which only a few hundred survive. This is also the habitat of the gravely endangered Visayan Warty Pig Sus cebifrons and the critically endangered Panay Bushy-tailed Cloud Rat Crateromys heaneyi.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Central Panay mountains. Downloaded from on 26/03/2023.