Mt Banahaw is an active volcano that rises steeply to 2,177 m. The isolated twin peaks of Mt Banahaw and Mt San Cristobal straddle the border between the provinces of Laguna and Quezon. The most extensive stands of closed canopy forest in Laguna Province are on Mt Banahaw. The forest types include lowland dipterocarp forest on the lower slopes and montane forest above about 900 m, including mossy forest around the peak. On the lower slopes of the mountains there are coconut plantations intensively inter-cropped with fruit trees and areas of kaingin, and the surrounding area is intensively cultivated. The forests are a vital watershed for the surrounding lowlands. The accessibility of this IBA from the towns of Dolores, Sariaya, Tayabas and Lukban makes it as a popular destination for tourists, including mountaineers. It is considered as a centre by the religious denominations of southern Luzon, and is visited by pilgrims.
Several of the threatened and restricted-range birds of the Luzon Endemic Bird Area have been recorded in or near to this IBA. It is likely that the relatively extensive forests that remain in Mt Banahaw-San Cristobal National Park support important populations of some of these species.
Non-bird biodiversity: Endemic mammals have been recorded in this IBA, including the Philippine Pygmy Fruit Bat Haplonycteris fischeri , Luzon Pygmy Fruit Bat Otopteropus cartilagonodus, Small Luzon Forest Mouse Apomys microdon and the Philippine Warty Pig Sus philippensis. Mt Banahao is the type locality of two endemic herpetofauna, Steere’s Sphenomorphus Sphenomorphus steerei and Mountain Forest Frog Platymantis montanus. Other endemic amphibians in the area include Banahao Forest Frog Platymantis banahao, Diminutive Forest Frog Platymantis mimulus, Naomi’s Forest Frog Platymantis naomii, Common Forest Tree Frog Philautus surdus and four Platymantis species that have yet to be described. The IBA also supports a number of unique species of palms, ferns, and flowering plants such as Aglaia banahaensis.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mounts Banahaw-San Cristobal National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/10/2020.