NAUJAN LAKE NATIONAL PARK (NLNP)

 

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GENERAL INFORMATION

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.

 

Accessibility

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

 

PHYSICAL FEATURES

 

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.

 

                 

BIOLOGICAL FEATURES

 

Flora

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. 

  

Fauna

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.

 

  SOCIO-ECONOMIC FEATURES

 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

 

USES

 

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. 

 

 

LOCAL PARK ADMINISTRATION

 The Regional Executive Director

DENR Region 4-B (MIMAROPA)

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

 

  

            PASu Edwin G. Pesigan      

    CENRO-Socorro, Oriental Mindoro

    Protected Area Management Board