Siquijor is a hilly, coralline island, covering 344 km2 and reaching 628 m in altitude. Only four significant blocks of forest remain on the island, which cover a total of 781 ha, and all are reserves controlled by DENR. Bandila-an and Lilo-an, the two largest forests, are now much smaller than in the 1950s, and there are signs of continuing degradation. Lilo-an is under particular pressure, and the understorey has been replaced by maize over about 90% of the area, so the site is more like parkland than forest. The two small forest patches, Canghaling and Salagdo-ong, are also currently under pressure from logging and encroachment. Bandila-an has the best remaining forest, and retains a typical forest avifauna, so it has been selected as the most appropriate site on the island to be an IBA. It contains some remnant primary lowland forest, the only primary forest remaining on Siquijor, but is characterised by highly disturbed secondary growth dominated by fig Ficus tree species. In most places the canopy is broken and the undergrowth thick with saplings of large trees, shrubs and coarse grasses. A lookout platform has been erected at Bandila-an Peak (= Mt Malabohoc), which is the highest point on the island. This is now a local tourist spot made accessible by a barangay road that cuts through the reserve. Farmlots and abandoned agricultural fields surround the reserve
The forests on Mt Bandila an are in the Siquijor Secondary Area, and probably support the most important surviving population of the Siquijor subspecies of the restricted-range Streak-breasted Bulbul. Three other subspecies endemic to Siquijor occur there: Yellow-bellied Whistler Pachycephala philippinensis siquijorensis, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum trigonostigma besti and Everett's White-eye Zosterops everetti siquijorensis. Mt Bandila an probably represents the best opportunity for the conservation of all of these birds. The threatened Philippine Hawk-eagle and Spotted Imperial-pigeon formerly occurred on Siquijor, and were presumably found on Mt Bandila an, but they are now assumed to be extinct there because of the almost complete loss of suitable habitat. The future of Japanese Night-heron, Philippine Cockatoo and Rufous-lored Kingfisher on Siquijor is far from secure.
Non-bird biodiversity: The extant mammal fauna is largely composed of bats, including four Philippine endemic bat species. Spotted Deer and Visayan Warty Pig are reported to have occurred on Siquijor in the past, but are almost certainly now extinct here.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Bandila-an. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/01/2022.