Site description (2001 baseline)
Mt Pulog National Park is in the southern part of the Cordillera Central mountain range of Northern Luzon, between the towns of La Trinidad (near Baguio) and Bontoc. The park is situated along a ridge that runs from north to south, and it include the highest peaks in the entire range. Mt Pulog, at 2,930 m, is the highest mountain on Luzon and the second highest in the Philippines. The lowest elevation in the park is 1,100 m on the western slopes, and it descends to 1,200 m on the eastern slopes. Steep terrain with many deep ravines and gorges characterize the area. The park includes one of the largest remaining areas of forest in the relatively accessible southern part of the Cordillera Central. There are three main habitat types, pine forest and lower montane forest at lower elevations, and mossy forest at 1,500-2,600 m. Mossy forest is the most widespread habitat, and contains mainly oaks, rhododendrons and ferns, indicating an acid soil. There is a small area of montane grassland around the summit of Mt Pulog. Mt Pulog National Park is an extremely important watershed, which supplies the water, irrigation and hydro-electric needs for the whole region including Central Luzon. It is a vital water-catchment area for the Karao and Lusod rivers in Ifugao Province and the Elet Catnaan and Cadaclan Rivers and Buguias and Asin creeks in Benguet Province. The streams in the park contain clear, potable water, with no signs of suspended earth and mud. The national park is a popular destination for both local and foreign tourists, including mountaineers.
Mt Pulog National Park supports populations of many of the threatened and restricted-range birds of the Luzon Endemic Bird Area, including almost all of the montane specialists, notably the threatened Flame-breasted Fruit-dove, Whiskered Pitta, Luzon Water-redstart and White-browed Jungle-flycatcher. Surveys in 1990-1991 confirmed the importance of the park for the conservation of many of these species. Several of the threatened and restricted-range birds listed in the table have not yet been found in the national park, but have been recorded nearby and could occur as there is apparently suitable habitat inside the park boundaries. This is the only IBA that is known to support a population of the subspecies of the Red Crossbill, Loxia curvirostra luzonensis, which is endemic to the mountains of northern Luzon.
Non-bird biodiversity: The park contains unique vegetation types, notably the montane grassland around the summit, where a dwarf bamboo Arunolinaria niitakayamensis is one of the dominant species. There are estimated to be c.800 vascular plant species in the park, including many local endemics, and the flora has affinities with the floras of temperate continental Asia and Australasia. The bat and rodent fauna in the park is very diverse, including several endemic species of flying foxes (e.g. golden-crowned flying fox Acerodon jubatus), which have declined substantially in recent years. It is an important stronghold for larger mammals such as Luzon bushy-tailed cloud rat Crateromys schadenbergi, northern Luzon giant cloud rat Phloeomys pallidus, Philippine warty pig Sus philippensis and Philippine brown deer Cervus mariannus. Two globally threatened butterflies, Papilio benguetanus and P. chikae, both of which are confined to the Cordillera mountain ranges, have been recorded in the area.
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Mount Pulag National Park. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/mount-pulag-national-park-iba-philippines on 21/02/2024.