PH054
Mount Mantalingahan


Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
Mt Mantalingajan is in southern Palawan, and at 2,086 m is the highest mountain on the island. The Mantalingajan range includes an estimated 70,000 ha of montane mossy rainforest, with stunted forest on the exposed tops. There is lowland rainforest to the north-west of the mountains on the coastal plain, such as around the Ilog-Ilog river. To the south-east of the mountains, the forest has been cleared up to 800 m on the slopes, although some slope forest remains on the top of the flanking coastal ridge from about 400 m upwards. The transition from lowland to montane forest occurs at approximately 1,000 m. The forest becomes progressively stunted with the Mantalingajan peak appearing particularly so, and there are large areas of slope scoured by land-slides, with conifer regrowth occurring.

Key biodiversity
Most of the threatened and restricted-range birds of the Palawan Endemic Bird Area have been recorded in the Mantalingajan range and the adjacent lowlands in the past, and this IBA is probably the stronghold of the Palawan Striped-babbler, which is known only from montane forests in this IBA and the Victoria and Anapalan ranges (PH053). There is little recent information on the status of most of the threatened species in this area, but the extensive lowland forests on the coastal plains to the west of the mountains are likely to be important for several of them, including Philippine Cockatoo.

Non-bird biodiversity: The endangered Palawan soft-furred mountain rat Palawanomys furvus is known only from this IBA, which is also the type locality for the Palawan montane tree squirrel Sundasciurus rabori. Most of the other endemic Palawan mammals probably occur on Mt Mantalingajan. The rare and endemic Mary’s frog Micrixalus mariae is known only from the Mantalingajan range.



Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The south-eastern slopes of the mountains have been cleared for kaingin up to 800 m in places, and the level lowlands on this side of the mountains are almost entirely deforested. The areas logged on Palawan are relatively recent, and the majority of the forest within the closed canopy line is primary. Small-scale timber extraction and well-organised logging operations are hastening the depletion of the forest cover on the island.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Surveys are required in this IBA, to investigate both the extent and quality of the remaining habitats and the current status of the threatened and restricted-range birds and other biodiversity. All of Palawan and associated islands are included in a Biosphere reserve, declared in 1990. An integrated management plan has been prepared for the whole Palawan Biosphere Reserve (ECAN), to zone the island. This IBA includes terrestrial core zone (primitive wilderness area strictly protected) and buffer zone (regulated use allowed) areas.

Protected areas
Not officially protected.

Habitat and land use
Mt Mantalingajan is in southern Palawan, and at 2,086 m is the highest mountain on the island. The Mantalingajan range includes an estimated 70,000 ha of montane mossy rainforest, with stunted forest on the exposed tops. There is lowland rainforest to the north-west of the mountains on the coastal plain, such as around the Ilog-Ilog river. To the south-east of the mountains, the forest has been cleared up to 800 m on the slopes, although some slope forest remains on the top of the flanking coastal ridge from about 400 m upwards. The transition from lowland to montane forest occurs at approximately 1,000 m. The forest becomes progressively stunted with the Mantalingajan peak appearing particularly so, and there are large areas of slope scoured by land-slides, with conifer regrowth occurring.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Mantalingahan. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/01/2021.