PH074
Mount Yacgun - Mount Sohoton complex


Year of compilation: 2001

Site description
This IBA includes the low mountains between Mt Yacgun and Mt Sohoton, which straddle the border between Samar and Eastern Samar Provinces. It lies between the Mt Cabalantian Mt Capotoan complex (PH073) to the north and the Bulosao River Watershed Forest Reserve (PH075) to the south. Mt Sohoton is characterised by rugged to rolling terrain with numerous boulders and limestone deposits and an extensive cave system. There are some patches of remnant dipterocarp forest and secondary forest on Mt Sohoton, and together with Mt Yacgun it forms the second largest block of forest shown on recent forest cover maps on Samar. This forest block is mostly composed of closed canopy lowland dipterocarp forest. The Mt Yacgun-Mt Sohoton Complex is an important watershed area, and five rivers flow down from it into the surrounding lowlands.

Key biodiversity
Several of the threatened and restricted-range species of the Mindanao and Eastern Visayas Endemic Bird Area have been recorded in or near to this IBA, including Philippine Eagle. The relatively extensive forests which remain there are likely to prove to be an important site for the conservation of this and other threatened species. There are recent records of the critically endangered Philippine Cockatoo in the IBA, and this is the only site on Samar where the poorly known Miniature Tit-babbler has been recorded.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The boundaries of the Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park need to be delineated, as there is encroachment into the park for kaingin and the extraction of timber and forest products occurs there.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
The Timber Licence Agreements covering the forests of this IBA are currently suspended by virtue of a logging moratorium. The fauna of this IBA is very poorly known, and surveys are therefore required to investigate both the extent and quality of the remaining habitats, and whether it supports important populations of threatened and restricted-range birds and other biodiversity.

Protected areas
The small Sohoton Natural Bridge Natural Park (840 ha) is within this IBA. It was declared by Proclamation No. 831 on 19 July 1935.

Habitat and land use
This IBA includes the low mountains between Mt Yacgun and Mt Sohoton, which straddle the border between Samar and Eastern Samar Provinces. It lies between the Mt Cabalantian Mt Capotoan complex (PH073) to the north and the Bulosao River Watershed Forest Reserve (PH075) to the south. Mt Sohoton is characterised by rugged to rolling terrain with numerous boulders and limestone deposits and an extensive cave system. There are some patches of remnant dipterocarp forest and secondary forest on Mt Sohoton, and together with Mt Yacgun it forms the second largest block of forest shown on recent forest cover maps on Samar. This forest block is mostly composed of closed canopy lowland dipterocarp forest. The Mt Yacgun-Mt Sohoton Complex is an important watershed area, and five rivers flow down from it into the surrounding lowlands.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Yacgun - Mount Sohoton complex. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/12/2022.