nlnp aerial




Area              :    21, 655.00 hectares

Legal Basis   :     Proc. No. 335 dated January 25, 1968

Boundaries and Geographical Location

Naujan Lake National Park is bounded by the Municipalities of Naujan in the north, Victoria in the west, Socorro in the south and Pola in the east.  NLNP lies between 13°04’ to 13°15’ North latitude and 120°17’ to 120°27’ East longitude.  It is located in the northeastern coast of the island of Mindoro Island which is under the administrative jurisdiction of the Province of Oriental Mindoro.  


Historical Background

Naujan of Nauhang as the elders spoke it and how early European cartographers spelled it, was coined even before the arrival of foreigners to the island of Mindoro, then known to the Spanish as the island of Mina de Oro (mine of gold) and to some Chinese scholars as Ma-i (country north of Borneo) and Min-to-lang (important port along the coast) to others. The name Naujan was, according to some, derived from the local legend of “Nauhaw si Juan” (literally “Juan was Thirsty”), the validity of which is still uncertain.

 The lake and its watershed are endowed both with natural beauty and with rich biodiversity. The lake also performs numerous ecological functions, serving as home, breeding ground and refuge and as integral part of the migratory route of wildlife.



NLNP can be reached by bus for about two and a half (2 ½) hours from Manila to Batangas City.  Another two (2) hours by boat going to Calapan Pier and 45 minutes bus/jeep ride going to the Park.  The Park is highly accessible by land transportation from Calapan to Pasi, Socorro and various points of the lake and vicinity except in places/barangays alongside the lake which is accessible only by motorized banca.


Conservation Status

Key Biodiversity Area; Ramsar site

Anatidae Site Network in May 1999




Topography and Physiography

The portions of the area of Pola, Naujan and Socorro are rolling or hilly and mountainous; Victoria and few portions of Socorro are relatively flat.  NLNP has a highest elevation of 300 meters above sea level and has a lowest depth of 50 meters from the surface water level of the lake.

Almost half of the Naujan Lake watershed has level to undulating slopes (0 to 8%). Approximately 90% of these lands are used for paddy production of the remaining 10% are identified as swamp areas adjacent to the lake.                                            


Climatic Condition

It falls under the Type III climatic condition which has no pronounced maximum rain period with a short dry season lasting from two to three months. Having blessed with year round water supply, the province is ideal for agriculture.


Hydrological Features

Naujan Lake is the fifth (5th) largest lake in the Philippines with an area of 8,125 hectares, rising 20 meters above sea level with a maximum depth of 45 meters. Its watershed which covers about 30,000 hectares is drained by the Macatoc, Borbocolon, Malayas, Malabo, Maambog, Malbog and Cusay Creek in the East, by Bambang, Tigbao and Tagbakin Creek in the West, Subaan and Singulan River in the South.  On the other hand, the water of the lake drains via its lone outlet, the Butas River flowing towards Tablas Strait with an outlet at Barangay Lumang-bayan, Naujan which is located at the north of the Park.






NLNP watershed has three major vegetation types: 1) lowland dipterocarp forest; 2) mixed mangrove swamp-beach forest; and 3) marshland type.  NLNP watershed remains relatively rich composing of 613 vascular plant species distributed into 433 genera and 105 families.  About 72% of the total floral species present in the whole watershed zone are native or indigenous, 15% Philippine endemic and 13% introduced or exotic.  The present flora is composed of 46 fern species, 43 grasses, 147 herbs, 67 shrubs, 50 vines, 34 lianas, 91 medium-sized trees and 31 large trees.

The trees bordering the lake are: dao, dita, balete, nato, amugis, red lauan and taluto.  Other tree species in the Park are ipil-ipil, golden shower, bagras, durian, kape, acacia, talisay, anonang, pili, among others.  There are also herbal species that can be used as indigenous medicine for various ailments such as atsuete, camaria, ikmo, sambong, albutra, and oregano. 



In 1997 Resource Profiling, a total of 98 species of vertebrates, 5 species amphibians, 12 reptiles, 68 avian fauna and 13 mammals were recorded.  Among reptiles and amphibians, three (3) species are endemic to the Philippines and the rest are introduced and native species.  Of the 68 avian species, 22.6% or 15 species are endemic to the Philippines and 2.94% or two species are endemic to the Island. 

NLNP is also home to at least 15 species water birds.  Aythya merila or tufted duck, locally known as “Pato China” is by far the most sought after water bird because of its meat value.  Winter visitors such as “Egretta garzetta” and “Dendrocygna acruata” and some avian species use the swamp for breeding if not as a permanent habitat.  Likewise, there are game birds that are abound in the area which include: Podiceps unigricollis (grebes), Anas luzonica (mallard), Amauronis olivaceus (swampeas), Gallimula sp. (rails/gallimules), Rallimae eurizonsides (crokes), Dendrocyna arcuata (lesser fuluous whistling duck.  Non-game birds include: Ardea purpurea manilensis (purple heron), Bubulaes ibis coromandus (cattle egret), Ixdorychus cinnamoneus (cinnamon least bittern), Falcaniformes (hawks), Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus (fishing eagles) and Hydrophasianus chirurugus (pheasant-tailed jacana. 

The lake is the habitat of the endangered freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis). Also there are four (4) volant mammals were recorded including the Philippine endemic Ptenochirus jagori (musky fruit bat).  Philippine deer (Cervus marianus) is one of the eight non-volant mammals was observed in captivity. 

The NLNP is famous for several species of fish like Mugil dussmiere (banak), Chanos chanos (milkfish or bangus), Cararx sexfasciatus (simbal or talakitok), among others.  Atya sp. (shrimp) and Corbiculla sp. (tulya) are some of the abundant beathic resource of the lake.


Biogeographic Setting

       Fifteen biogeographic zones have been identified in the Philippines, based on floristics, faunistic, and geological composition. The island Mindoro comprises one of the biogeographic zones in the country, covering an area of approximately 1.02 million hectares. It is the ninth largest biogeographic zone, in terms of area covered.



 NLNP covers twenty-four (24) barangays under the jurisdiction of four (4) municipalities, namely:

Municipality of Naujan              –     Brgys. Bayani, Laguna, Montelago and Dao;

Municipality of Pola                   –    Brgys. Matula-tula, Tagbakin and Casiligan;

Municipality of Socorro             –    Brgys. Lapog, Mabuhay I, Mabuhay II,

                                                     Batongdalig, Pasi I, Pasi II, Happy Velley and Subaan

Municipality of Victoria              –    Brgys. Merit, Daungan, Bambanin, Pakyas, Leido,


                  Malabo, Urdaneta, San Narciso and Canaan




Tourism and Recreation 

The Park has existing facilities for tourism and recreational activities which include two (2) picnic tables, one (1) house/quarter located at Minglit Point,  (1) guard house at Brgy. Malabo and one (1) watch tower located at CENRO-Pasi, Socorro and one (1) patrol boat.   The Park caters recreational activities such as boating, picnics, bird watching, educational tour and scientific research.  Also, the Park is considered the widest breeding place of marshbirds and having a quarterly Biodiversity Monitoring System (BMS) which include bird counting. 




 The Regional Executive Director


Tele/fax No.: (02) 405-0046



            PASu Edwin G. Pesigan      

    CENRO-Socorro, Oriental Mindoro

    Protected Area Management Board






MIMAROPA is probably the most biologically significant region in the country in terms of richness in both terrestirial and marine species diversity. Located in the Region are twenty (20) Protected Areas. It is home to a number of wildlife species found only in the islands including the Tamaraw, Calamian deer, Palawan flying fox, Mindoro imperial pigeon, Mindoro bleeding heart, Palawan hornbill, Mindoro hornbill, Black hooded coucal, Scarlet collared flowerpecker, Palawan peacock pheasant, among others.

MIMAROPA boasts a long coastline totaling 6,428 kilometers which is 17.7% of the country’s total coastline of 36,289 km. It is made up of twelve (12) main islands, namely: Marinduque, Mindoro & Lubang, Romblon, Tablas & Sibuyan, Palawan, Dumaran, Coron, Culion, Balabac & Linapacan,  It is one of two (2) Regions sharing no land border with another Region, the other one being Region VIII (Eastern Visayas). The entire MIMAROPA area is also part of the Coral Triangle Initiative (Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia).

Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape



Area : 200,115 ha
Legal Basis : Proclamation 324 dated July 12, 2000 and R.A 7586 otherwise known as NIPAS Act of 1992


The Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape is bounded in the north by the municipality of El Nido, in the south by the municipalities of Roxas, San Vicente, and Dumaran, in the west by the South China Sea, and in the east by Barangays Pamantolon, Calauag and Poblacion within the municipality of Taytay and the proposed Lake Manguao. The marine boundary extends 10 kilometers east of the shoreline where the boundaries of Barangays San Jose and Minapla lie. It was also extended northward to have a common marine boundary with the El Nido Managed Resource Protected Area. In its southwestern section, it was also extended as far as 10 kilometers from Tagpis Point in Barangays Alimanguan as a result of public hearing conducted in the area last April 2000.

Geographical Location

MSPLS is a watershed and a productive fishing ground located in the northwestern part of the province of Palawan. The protected area lies between 10°43’ to 11°1’ north latitude, and 119° 18° minutes to 119°26’ east longitude. It is approximately 217 kilometers by road from the provincial capital of Puerto Princesa City, Administratively, it is part of Region IV-B (MIMAROPA) and is situated within the political jurisdiction of the municipalities of Taytay and San Vicente.

Land Uses and Tenure

MSPLS has a diverse number of ecosystems which play a critical role in the lives of the people living in the PA. It has important marine and forest resources. Among these are the coral reefs, seagrass beds, old growth mangroves, marketable fish species and forest and non-timber forest products. The numerous bays, coves and estuaries are potential spawning and nursery areas. The soft sands along the West Coast are breeding habitats of sea turtles.

Two ancestral claims have been awarded within the protected area, the Certificate of Ancestral Land Claim (CALC) of Ya Boses Ka Katutubo of Sitio Yakal in Barangay New Guinlo, Taytay and the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim (CADC) of the Samahan ng mga Katutubong Netibo sa San Vicente in Brgy. Alimanguan, San Vicente. The Liminangcong Upper Cataban Minority Association (LUCMA), Pancol Tribal Minority Association (PTMA) and Masigasig na Katutubong Samahan ng Binga (MAKASABI) in Brgy. Binga, San Vicente are processing their claims for ancestral land. Neither claim has an Ancestral Domain Management Plan.

Within the area, Protected Area Community Based Forest Management Agreement (PACBRMA) has been awarded to Bato Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Bgy. Bato, Taytay. The Pancol Multi-Purpose Cooperative has also awarded a Community Based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA) in Bgy. Pancol, Taytay, Palawan. These People’s Organizations are now active in the implementation of rehabilitation project within their respective area.


CONSERVATION STATUS  Key Biodiversity Area

Within the protected area, continuous Biodiversity Monitoring has been implemented by the Protected Area personnel. The activity primarily aims to provide more information available for the decision making for the management of the entire area. The program is intended to improve the participation of the communities.

As a part of conservation of marine resources is concern, the Local Government Unit enacted the Fishery Code of Taytay primarily to prescribe regulatory measures on the promotion of proper management, conservation, development, protection, and utilization of the municipal waters pursuant to the provisions of the General Management Plan of Malampaya Sound Protected Land and Seascape.

The Municipal Fishery Code stated that the municipal waters of Taytay within Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape shall be under the management of the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) and as provided further under Municipal Ordinance No. 059-A, forty (40) percent of the fifty (50) percent of the net collections from charges, regulatory fees and administrative fines within the municipal water of Taytay shall be for the use of Malampaya Sound Protected Land and Seascape, subject to PAMB approval.

At present, the Protected Area Management Board has yearly fund allocation from the Local Government of Taytay. The said fund should be utilized exclusively to defray the necessary expenses of the Protected Area Management Board for the conservation and management of marine resources of the area.

In terrestrial portion, Abongan Watershed project of the Community Environment and Natural Resources endorsed by the Local Government Unit and PAMB. The said project is located in Barangays of Abongan, Bato, Libertad, Paglaum and Talog all within the municipality of Taytay and a few hectares within Barangay Sto Niño and New Canipo of San Vicente, Palawan.

The Watershed serves majority of the population of the target beneficiaries and immediate communities. Activities such as, rehabilitation, development, proper management, full protection and continuous information dissemination are to be undertaken to sustain what have been development started such as planting of forest trees and fruit trees. The project goal aims to prevent the risk of soil erosion, siltation of rivers, waterways, existing irrigation, and drought during dry season and flash floods during rainy season.



Topography and Soil

Malampaya sound is a watershed and a fishing ground with a surrounding landscape generally characterized by moderately rolling hills. Its slope ranges from 8% to 30% with altitude ranging from 100 to 500 meters.

Generally, there are five major type of soil found in Taytay and San Vicente: the Busuanga Loam, Coron Clay Loam, the Sibuyan Silty Clay and Silty Clay Loam. Coron Clay Loam and Busuanga Clay Loam characterized Taytay soil while the Sibuyan Silty Clay and Silty Clay Loam and Coron Clay Loam typify San Vicente soil.


The highest elevation of the landscape around the sound is Mt. Capoas that rises from sea level to 1,013 meters above sea level.

Climatic Condition

MSPLS has two pronounce seasons: a dry season from November to May and rainy season from June to October. Generally, the months of July, August, and September are considered the rainiest, while the months of March, April, and May are the hottest.

Hydrological Features

Several rivers drain into the sound supplying the fresh water inflow. Major rivers that are found in the protected area are the rivers of Abongan, Alacalian, Bato and Pinagupitan, of which Abongan River is considered to be largest.

Geological Features

There are three major rock formations within the MSPLS. Basalt sequences of metamorphic rocks consisting of quartzofeldspathic and mica schists, phyllites, slates and quartzites compose the base. The northern section rock formations are composed of a sucession of progressively young rocks dominated by cherts, siliceous, clastics, wackes and uppermost carbonate unit. Some sections have rock formations traced back to the Jurassic period characterized with Arkose, subgreywacke, and mudstone. These areas are usually associated with chert. The southern section has rock formations belonging to the basement Complex Pre-Jurassic characterized by amphibolites, quartz-feldspathic  and mica schists frequently associated with marble and quartzite. On the western section along the boundary with san Vicente, the rock formations are thick, extensive, transgrees mixed shelf marine deposits with wakes, shale’s, and reef limestone formation.




The forest in the surrounding landscape of the sound is dominantly dipterocarp forest. Some of the most economically important hardwood species like narra, ipil, apitong, dao, Kamagong and mancono are found in these forests. An estimated 20 % of the protected area is covered by old growth forest and 25.7% by residual forest. The mangrove forest is estimated to cover 3.9% of the protected area.


A number of wildlife species found in the protected area includes but not limited to the Palawan bear Cat, Palawan Hornbill, Palawan Peacock Pheasant, Philippine Cockatoo, Palawan Porcupine, Tabon Bird, Civet Cat, Pangolin or Scaly Anteater, Palawan Talking Myna, Palawan Skunk or Stink Badger, Palawan Tree Shrew and Philippine Macaque.

More than 156 species of fish in the sound of which 60 species are considered to be first class species with high commercial value. Some of the major fish species in the sound are the short-bodied mackerel (hasa-hasa), anchovy (dilis), crevalle (salay-salay), sea catfish (Kanduli), snapper (bambangin), crab (alimango or alimasag), stingray (pagi), rabbit fish (samaaral), mackerel (tanigue), frigate tuna (tulingan), and grouper (lapu-lapu). Shellfish and other commercially important marine organism like are crabs and shrimps are also abundant in the sound.

Malampaya Sound is also home to two identified species of dolphins, Bottle-nosed and Irrawady dolphin. The Bottle-nosed dolphins are found in the Outer sound and the Irrawady dolphins in Inner sound. A third species of dolphin, Risso’s Dolphin, have also been observed at Minapla Bay. Dugong and turtles have also been observed and sighted in the West Coast. The coastal beaches also serve as nesting places of the sea turtles from December to March.



Cultural Resources

There are several Tagbanua Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) within the protected area. The Tagbanua settlements are located in sitio Yakal in Barangay New Guinlo, Barangay Minapla, Barangay Liminagcong, Barangay Binga, Barangay Alimanguan, and Barangay Pancol. These groups are affiliated and organized by the Nakakaisang Tribu ng Palawan (NATRIPAL). Other ethno- linguistic  groups who migrated and settle in the area since 1960s include Ilongos, Bicolanos, Warays, Masbateños, Pangasinenses, Tagalogs  and Cuyunons who are considered as native Taytayanos.



MSPLS covers 22 barangays, 18 of which are within the jurisdiction of the municipality of Taytay and four (4) are in the political jurisdiction of the municipality of San Vicente.

Source of Livelihood

The major sources of livelihood in both municipalities are fishing and farming. Fishing is the foremost source of income. Almost 70% of the population depends on fishing. Agriculture is the second source of income and livelihood. An estimated 30% of the population is engage in various agricultural activities. The major crops are rice, corn, coconuts, bananas, cashew, and other fruits. Rivers and creeks are utilized as the main source of water to irrigate rice paddies.



Tourism and Recreation

Malampaya Sound offers potential areas for eco-tourism. One of these areas is Mt. Capoas with its pristine forest, which is habitat to several flora and fauna. Its high elevation, approximately 1,021 meters above sea level exhibits a unique environment with endemic wildlife. Mountaineering associations include Mt. Capoas as one of their itineraries during summer expeditions. The goals include reaching its height as final destination for a wholesome recreation, and to observe the environment.

Facilities and Amenities

There are unpolluted rivers and waterfalls that await enthusiasts to meander and appreciate. Mountain Climbing, jungle trekking, and bird watching are only some of the activities that will boost tourism in the terrestrial area.



  • Unsustainable resources extraction practices, such as the use of fine mesh nets, basnig, talakop, and lifnets using fine nets and sometimes use of explosives and poisonous substances;
  • Intrusion of commercial fishers within the municipal waters;
  • Unmonitored use of agro-chemicals by farmers in agricultural fields that affect water quality and fish production of the sound;
  • Siltation and sedimentation from eroded roads and quarrying in rivers:
  • Extensive and frequent cutting of mangroves;
  • Illegal logging and cutting of lumber for domestic and commercial use;
  • The growing population that puts greater pressure in their utilization of natural resources, principally due to in-migration;
  • The increasing non-biodegradable wastes from households and from local businesses and industries.



Area:                      89,134.76 hectares

Legal Basis:             Proclamation No. 32 dated October 8, 1998

Boundaries:            The northern boundaries of the PA include the Lalutaya Island and the north tip of Bucana Bay.  Westward, the boundaries extend to the outer periphery of Destacado Rocks.  On the southern end, from Destacado Rocks, the boundary continues down to Camago-Mabolo Islands and from there, touches the mainland at Liminangcong, including the Cataban estuary to Sandoval.  The eastern boundary follows the forest edge and avoids most of the alienable and disposable (A & D) lands along the eastern side of El Nido municipality.

Geographical Location : The Protected Area (PA) is located in the north-westernmost part of mainland Palawan, at approximately 119°24 E and 11°11’ N.  The South China Sea lies on the western side, and the municipality of Taytay, on the south. ENTMRPA is situated in the Province of Palawan, covering two (2) Municipalities: El Nido and Taytay. El Nido covers 18 barangays and three (3) in Taytay. 

Conservation Status:  Key Biodiversity Area (KBA)


Physical Environment


The topographical characteristics of the terrestrial areas of ENMRPA vary from rolling to the slightly rugged terrain of the Pagdanan Range on the eastern periphery.  On the western side of the town is the Palatore rock with an elevation of 470 meters.  The highest elevation in the PA is 640 meters in Cadlao Island; the highest peak on the mainland is Sincocan Peak at 636 m. The coastal areas are highly irregular, punctuated with sheer limestone cliffs with pockets of sandy beaches or rocky shorelines. 


The geology of El Nido is composed mainly of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.  Some geological faults were identified, e.g. the south-to-north fault on the Villa Libertad / Pasadeña boundary which gives rise to the Makinit hot spring.

There are five rock formations in El Nido: the (1) Bacuit formation, (2) Miniloc limestone, (3) Liminangcong chert, (4) Kapoas diorite intrusive and the (5) alluvium.  The only geologic hazard that has been established is the continuous weathering of limestone that endangers infrastructures adjacent to the cliffs.

The following are the features or sites with economic and eco-tourism value:

  • Limestone cliffs and caves naturally carved by rainwater;
  • White beaches from weathered limestone;
  • Kapoas diorite with its steep dome at the waterfalls in Bulalacao river;
  • Hotspring in Pasadeña from a deep seated fault; and
  • Sand bar in Viga
  • Alluvium broad plains for agricultural areas


Land Classification

Land tenure rights in El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area range from private title, A & D land with and without claimants, timber land, public land and land with tax declarations which people may or may not formally claim.

Land Classification within the PA

Land classification

Land area (hectares)



Alienable & disposable






There are five (5) major types of natural forest are represented in ENTMRPA.


Terrestrial Forest 

  • Lowland evergreen rainforest

Primary old growth and secondary forest grows along the mainland hills and mountain range of the ENTMRPA.  Trees belonging to the Dipterocarpaceae, Burseraceae, Sapotaceae, Meliaceae, Moraceae, Annonaceae, Leguminosae, and Guttiferae families dominate.  Several palm species and rattan genera are present. The herbaceous flora includes orchids, aroids, gingers and legumes.  This forest type is particularly rich in plant species and also forms an important habitat for many of the endemic, rare and threatened birds and mammals of Palawan.


  • Semi-deciduous forests

These are found on some of the more gently sloping terrain of the islands where soil is sparse. It include trees such as the oak family (Sterculia spp.) and dap-dap (Erythrina spp.).  Where soil cover is better developed, a greater proportion of evergreen trees are found. These narra (Pterocarpus indicus) and ipil (Instia bijuga) intermixed with low-stature, hardy, deciduous trees.


  • Forest over limestone

The karst islands and outcrops provide a variety of plant habitats ranging from exposed rock at all inclinations to scree slopes, fissures, shaded gullies, and caves. The lower slopes of many karst islands are directly exposed to wave action and salt spray.

Forest over limestone is composed of plant species which are highly adapted to both acidic and basic soils and to exposed, dry and windy conditions.  Most plant species in this forest type form assemblages with semi-deciduous forest species in areas with more generous amounts of soils.  This is the dominant type of vegetation in the lower karst hill formations.


  • Beach Forest

The beach forest on the sandy fringes of the small islands of the PA and the main coastline is made up of trees adapted to grow in nutrient-poor, sandy soil. This forest is important in stabilizing the shoreline from erosion and in providing shelter for the terrestrial forest further inland. Palms predominate but a large number of other species can also be found (Appendix 1.5.2). Of special note is the occurrence of patayud (Messerschmidia argentea) and Hoya sp., which are characteristic of sandy beaches in many parts of Southeast Asia but rare in the Philippines.


Littoral Zone Habitats


  • Mangrove forests 

Estuarine mangrove forest is the most widely distributed in ENTMRPA.  These are found around major rivers and creeks on the mainland, including Taberna River north of Bucana, the rivers of Villa Libertad, Dagal–Dagal Bay and Bebeladan, and Cataban River. The coastal/island mangrove forests are commonly much smaller, often forming narrow strips along the coastline that are not necessarily connected with rivers and creeks, e.g. at Cadlao Island, Snake Island, Pasadena, Bebeladan and Manlag.


  • Beaches

Steep sandy beaches, are an essential nesting habitat for marine turtles. Within the ENTMRPA, nesting beaches are increasingly subject to disturbance from human presence (particularly at night), human settlements, tourism developments and artificial lighting.  This results in nesting females shifting their nesting sites, and sometimes being forced to use less suitable beaches.  Egg laying can thus be aborted or delayed.  Poaching of turtle eggs for human consumption is also a problem.


Marine Habitats

There are two major marine habitat types: seagrass and seaweed beds, and coral reefs:

  • Seagrass and/ or seaweed beds

Seagrass beds occur mainly in intertidal or shallow, inshore beds over sand, mud and coral-sand substrates. These are significant breeding, spawning and nursery grounds for fish species as well as an important habitat for dugongs (Dugong dugon) and some species of marine turtle. Seagrasses, such as syringe grass (Syringodium isoetifolium) and the seeds of eelgrass (Enhalus acoroides), are used for human consumption. The ENTMRPA has eight (8) species of seagrass (lusay) (UP MSI, 1998); their biomass, distribution and epiphytic growth are all seasonal as are the flora (e.g. algae/seaweeds) and fauna (e.g. dugongs, marine turtles, and fish of the family Siganidae) associated with them.

The distribution and density of seagrasses have been linked to several factors including substrate type, nutrient content and availability, light and protection from wave energy. Major seagrass beds are located around the township of El Nido Poblacion, extending north toward the airport, in the western bays of Cadlao Island, Dagal-Dagal Bay, Mainlong Bay, coastal areas of Bebeladan, and Custodia Point.

Seaweed areas are found predominantly in inshore tidal and shallow areas that are sometimes associated with seagrass or with coral reefs. The dominant genera of seaweed are Padina, Sargassum, Gracilaria and Caulerpa.


  • Coral reefs

Coral reefs are colonial calcareous structures formed by the skeletons of scleractinian (hard) corals and other organisms. Reefs are important fish-feeding grounds and a source of building materials and medicines.


Fauna Species

 ·         Birds

The sixteen bird species endemic to Palawan and found in ENTMRPA are dependent on natural forests. Nine (9) species are considered common; five (5) uncommon; and one (1) vulnerable. 

Species of Birds in ENTMRPA

Name of Flagship Species

Common Name


Centropus viridis

Philippine Coucal


Chloropsis palawanensis

Yellow throated Leafbird


Hypsipetes palawanensis

Sulphur-bellied Bulbul


Parus amabilis

Palawan Tit


Stachyris hypogrammica

Palawan Stripped Babbler


Cyornis lemprieri

Palawan Blue Flycatcher


Copsychus niger

White vented Shama


Aethopyga shelleyi

Lovely Sunbird


Dicaeum pygmaeum

Pygmy Flowerpecker


Collocalia troglodytes

Pygmy Swiftlet


Terpsiphone cyanescens

Blue Paradise Flycatcher


Egretta sacra

Eastern Reef-Egret


Egretta garzetta

Little Egret


Nycticorax caledonicus

Rufous Night Heron


Dendrocygna arcuata

Wandering whistling duck


Dicaeum aeruginosum

Striped Flowerpecker


Polyplectron emphanum

Palawan Peacock Pheasant


Prioniturus platenae

Blue-headed Racquet Tail


Anthracoceros marchei

Palawan Hornbill


Ficedula plateni

Palawan Flowerpecker


Otus fuliginosus

Palawan Scops Owl


Spizaetus philippensis

Philippine Hawk Eagle


Ducula pickeringii

Grey Imperial Pigeon


Tanygnathus lucionensis

Blue-naped Parrots


Malacopteron palawanense

Melodious babbler


Egretta eulophotes

Chinese Egret


            * Source: KKP Wildlife Report


·         Mammals

Six (6) species of large terrestrial mammal are limited to the Philippines in the Palawan faunal region. Rare or endangered, all are found in ENTMRPA.  Of the six species, (3) three are classified as rare; (2) two as vulnerable; and (1) one, the Malayan Pangolin (Manis javanica), as seriously endangered.  These species are threatened directly or indirectly by reduction in forest cover and five are actively hunted. 

Scaly Anteaters have been sighted on Cadlao Island.   The anteater is one of the most endangered species on Palawan (Gonzales, 1998).  Isolated populations of squirrels have also been noted on Cadlao, Miniloc, Lagen, Matinloc and Tapiutan Islands.  These appear to be different from squirrels on the mainland and may be island-endemic species or sub-species (Gonzales, 1998).

·         Coral Species

A total of 45 genera of hard corals were found in ENTMRPA.  The highest number of identified hard corals was found in Mabolo Island with 27, and the lowest, in Camago Island with 11.  On the other hand, the site with the highest number of identified hard coral genera was in Dilumacad Island, with 29 genera while the lowest was the site near Sitio Kiminawit and Pakanayos Island.  The coral generally observed in all the transect sites is Galaxea.  Other genera found in almost all the sites (except one transect site) are Acropora (branching), Favia, Favites, Porites and SeriatoporaAlveopora was observed in only one transect site, while Heliofungia and Leptastrea were similarly recorded in only one transect site.

·         Fish Species

Studies conducted by the DENR in 1999 recorded 197 fish species belonging to 28 families in the PA.  These included all the major coral reef fish families including the butterfly (Chaetodontidae), parrot (Scaridae), wrasses (Labridae), trigger (Balistidae), angel (Pomacanthidae), surgeon (Acanthuridae), damsel (Pomacentridae), emperors (Lethrinidae), snappers (Lutjanidae), groupers (Serranidae), and rabbit (Siganidae).  

In addition, previously common organisms such as Tridacna shells are now rare while lobsters, Trochus shells, green snails and edible sea cucumbers have all but disappeared.

·         Marine Turtles

Four (4) species of marine turtle are found in the ENTMRPA: the Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), the green sea (Chelonia mydas), the olive ridley sea (Lepidochelys olivacea) and the leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). These turtles are sighted year round throughout the PA.  While nesting is usually from February to May; Hawksbills are known to nest year round. Turtle nesting sites have been identified by the local community and experts from the Pawikan Conservation Project (Vidler, 1998).  

·         Dolphins and Whales

Dolphins and whales have been sighted in the waters within and adjacent ENTMRPA. Whales (toothed and baleen) have been sighted more commonly in deeper waters while dolphins, in both coastal and offshore waters.  Species which have been reported and/or sighted include: the Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris), Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni) and Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) (Tan, 1995). Accidental catches of dolphins have been reported particularly in shark nets.

·         Dugong

Dugongs (Dugong dugon) are regularly sighted in the PA, particularly from May to August, when seagrass is plentiful. Dugongs feed almost exclusively on seagrass with an observed preference for Halophila and Halodule species. Dugong sightings occur mostly around the El Nido Poblacion extending north towards the Lio airport, on Cadlao Island, in Dagal-Dagal Bay and in Mainlong Bay. Occasional sightings have also been reported in other areas along the coast. Dugongs, once actively hunted in the area for their meat and fat, are now a protected species and are rarely caught. However, Dugongs being trapped accidentally in baklads (fish pens) within the PA have been reported. Residents use dugong products (e.g. tusks, fat) to make traditional medicines.



Farming, fishing and tourism are the major sources of income.  The major cash crops are rice, mango, cashew, coconut and banana.  Fisheries include groupers, sweetlips, lobsters, mud crabs and squid.  One major seasonal ‘resource’ is the edible swift’s nests which commands a high market price.

Basic services for the people include: education (daycare centers, elementary, high school, collegiate and vocational); churches (twelve identified sects); municipal and barangay health units (traditional healthcare-givers, midwives and a nurse); found all over the ENTMRPA.



·         Tourism 

Tourism in El Nido commenced in 1983 when Ten Knots Development, Inc., a Filipino-Japanese joint venture company, opened a divers’ resort on Miniloc Island and an airstrip (Lio airport) at Villa Libertad on the mainland to provide access to the area. In 1984, the company set up a second resort on Pangulasian Island, and in 1998, the third and largest resort on Lagen Island. The opening of the third resort coincided with the destruction of the Pangulasian Resort by fire.  During this period, several other tourism establishments were also developed, paving the way for a thriving tourism sector. 

Aside from the beaches, cliffs, and the underwater world, other attractions for the tourists should also be considered for control and/or protection.  These are the Bulalacao falls, the Makinit hotspring and the caves.



There are now increasing signs of impacts directly attributed to human activities and the tourism industry which include: 

  • Pollution from waste and sewage disposal 
  • Damage to coral reefs caused by anchoring and, to a lesser degree, recreational activities such as diving, snorkeling and collecting
  • Disturbance of marine turtle and tabon bird nesting sites
  • Beach erosion

Tubbatha Reefs