Tubbataha now an EAA Flyway Network Site

by Victoria Asuncion S. Mendoza
Philippine Information Agency, Republic of the Philippines


Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP) [EAAF123] is now a Flyway Network Site of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), a platform for international cooperation for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and the sustainable use of their habitats.

Spike Millington, Chief Executive of the EAAFP announced the inclusion of TRNP as a Flyway Network Site, in a meeting with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Biodiversity Management Bureau, on 23–28 May in 2015 in Manila.

The two islets of TRNP regularly support over 20,000 seabirds. They serve as main rookeries and breeding grounds for six seabird species (Red-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Greater Crested Tern, Sooty Tern, Black Noddy and Brown Noddy), four of which are migratory. Tubbataha is the only known breeding area of the worcestri subspecies of Black Noddy, one of the few breeding areas of Sooty Tern and Brown Noddy, and it was the last known breeding area of Masked Booby in the Philippines until it disappeared in 1995.

Most of the seabird species breeding at Tubbataha can be considered threatened at national or regional levels. The Critically Endangered Christmas Island Frigatebird regularly occurs with up to five individuals at a time, as well as Chinese Egret, Swinhoe’s Storm Petrel, Eurasian Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit.

Tubbataha is the third wetland and Ramsar Site in the Philippines to become a Flyway Network Site following Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary and Naujan Lake National Park.

The inclusion of Tubbataha in the EAAFP strengthens its efforts to conserve the seabirds breeding and roosting in the park through conservation of the population in the areas within their migratory route. (VSM/TMO/LBR/PIA4b/Palawan)


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