Ragay Gulf lies between the Bicol and Bondoc Peninsulas, in Quezon and Camarines Sur Provinces, south-eastern Luzon. It is a protected gulf with an estuary in the northern part created by drainage from the mountains of the northern Bicol region (including Mt Labo: PH029). There are areas of largely intact mangrove along the coast, with intertidal mudflats, particularly in protected bays such as Peris Bay. The area supports some of the largest tracts of mangrove forest on Luzon, and there are some coral reefs offshore. Coconut plantations dominate the vegetation on the adjacent degraded hillsides. There are local fisheries in the vicinity of all of the mangrove areas, which are of considerable local importance. Mangroves are harvested for timber and other products, and mangrove forest has been converted to aquaculture ponds in Guinayangan and Buenavista. The principal land use in the adjacent uplands is agriculture, mainly the cultivation of coconuts and maize, but the soils in this region are poor. The mangrove forest provides a natural barrier against coastal erosion. The Gulf is important for scientific research, as it constitutes one of the few sites in Luzon with large areas of mangrove forest still in a healthy condition.
Ragay Gulf is an important area for migratory herons and shorebirds. Up to 5,000 shorebirds have been counted there, but the area may hold even more birds during the peak migration seasons. Significant numbers of the threatened Chinese Egret have been recorded, and Great Egret has occurred there in internationally important numbers.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ragay Gulf. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/08/2020.