Mount Kitanglad

Country/territory: Philippines

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

Area: 31,297 ha

Haribon Foundation

Site description (2001 baseline)
Mt Kitanglad National Park includes an extensive mountain range with about a dozen peaks, the main ones being Mt Imbayao, Mt Kaatoan, Mt Nangkabulos, Mt Dulangdulang and Mt. Kitanglad itself. The park contains large areas of montane and mossy forest. However, there is little forest there below 1,000 m and many areas have no forest below 1,400 m, and most of what remains is secondary growth lowland forest. Mt. Imbayao has the most extensive remaining lowland forests at 800 to 1,200 m. The peak of Mt. Kitanglad is practically denuded of vegetation because of a fire in 1983. The park is the most important source of water for the adjacent portions of the provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental, and is the source of numerous rivers. There are several installations around the peak of Mt Kitanglad, e.g. Bukidnon Telephone (BUTEL), Philippine Telephone and Telegraph (PT&T), Philippine Army, Radio Mindanao Network and the Department of Local Government Building, which is used by climbers as a temporary resting place.

Key biodiversity
The Mt Kitanglad range is a popular birdwatching site, and there were biodiversity survey expeditions to the mountains as recently as the 1990s. There are recent records from there of many of the threatened and restricted-range species of the Mindanao and Eastern Visayas Endemic Bird Area. Mt. Kitanglad supports substantial populations of many montane forest specialists, including several which are only known from the higher mountains on Mindanao, such as Mindanao Lorikeet, Mindanao Racquet-tail, Mindanao Scops-owl, Slaty-backed Jungle-flycatcher, Red-eared Parrotfinch and Apo Myna. It is one of only three sites where the poorly known Whitehead's Swiftlet has been recorded. There is also an important population of Philippine Eagle in this IBA. Two subspecies of birds are only recorded from these mountains, Island Thrush Turdus poliocephalus katanglad and Mountain Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus trivirgatus flavostriatus. Many lowland forest species were recorded in the Mt Kitanglad range in the past, but the lowland forests around the base of the mountains have now been almost entirely cleared. This IBA is unlikely to support significant populations of many of these birds, and the paucity of recent record of several of them suggests that they have declined substantially or already become locally extinct, including Spotted Imperial-pigeon, Silvery Kingfisher, Wattled Broadbill and Philippine Leafbird. Some mid-altitude forest birds appear to survive on Kitanglad in significant numbers, notably Mindanao Brown-dove and Lesser Eagle-owl, but they must be vulnerable to any further habitat loss.

Non-bird biodiversity: The known mammal fauna consists of 58 species, including two new species of small non-volant mammals, a shrew-mouse Crunomys suncoides and a moss-mouse Tarsomys sp., discovered in the park in 1993. Other important mammals in the park include Binau or Philippine Brown Deer Cervus mariannus, Baboy Kalasanon or Bearded Pig Sus barbatus, Talibungkok or Mindanao gymnure Podogymnura truei, Unggoy or Long-tailed Macaque Macaca fascicularis, Salumbakutin or Mindanao Tree Shrew Urogale everetti, Kagwang or Philippine Lemur Cynocephalus volans, Tambalingan or Philippine Pygmy Squirrel Exilisciurus concinnus, Kalukag / Kalugit or Mindanao Flying Squirrel Petinomys crinitus and rare bats such as the endemic Mindanao Pygmy Fruit Bat Alionycteris paucidentata, which is known only from Mt Kitanglad. The area is rich in gymnosperms and tree ferns, and more than 300 species of flora used by the indigenous people for herbal medicine, including “ali” Drimys piperita, “kappa-kapa tree” Medinilla magnifica, and the pitcher plant Nepenthes truncata in the montane forest.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Mount Kitanglad. Downloaded from on 23/02/2024.