The Minasawa Bird Sanctuary is located in Burdeos on Polillo Island in Quezon Province. Polillo Island is just off the town of Jomalig but still part of Burdeos. The 4 1/2 hectare island was established as a sanctuary by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to protect the bird population in the area. The Minasawa Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary is home to five species of birds: the Nutmeg Imperial Pigeon, the Black Naped Oriole, the Rufus Night Heron, the Amusling, and the Swifts species. There are no cottages or tourist facilities on the island so it is also advisable to bring your own food, picnic mats, and even a tent if you choose to stay overnight on the island. The beach of Polillo features pebbles and small gravel rocks, a contrast from the white powdery sand found in beaches in other parts of the Philippines. Continue reading
Baras Bird Sanctuary is the most visited tourist site in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. Located by the Banga River, the sanctuary is a two-hectare patch of riverside forest home to over 20,000 egrets and herons. Unlike other bird sanctuaries, its avian residents are easy to observe and photograph, as flocks of them roost as close as 20 to 30 meters away from the walkway. The birds hunt for food, particularly fishes, in Liguasan marsh, Lake Buluan and Lake Sebu. Liguasan and Lake Buluan straddle part of North Cotabato and Maguindanao while Lake Sebu is in South Cotabato. The birds were also monitored as hunting food in the remote coastal town of Lebak in Sultan Kudarat. The best time to witness the birds in massive flight are early morning and just before sunset. Only 10-15 visitors are allowed to tour at any given time. The Sanctuary Continue reading
Tabuk Island is a mangrove sanctuary protected by the municipality of Palompon, in Leyte Province. The 3-storey watch-tower in Tabuk Island is perfect for viewing the mangrove forest, and the adjacent main town of Palompon. It is also perfect for catching the colourful sunsets. A boardwalk through the mangrove forest takes you to see numerous fishes swimming freely. Wild ducks and migratory birds make this spot a stopover in their journey. On the other side of the mangrove is thousands of sleeping giant bats hanging upside down on trees. There are also picnic cottages next to the sea for swimming.
One of the prime eco-tourism destinations in the province of Palawan is Rasa Island. It is considered as a bird sanctuary, but of outmost importance – it is home to the dense population of the already critically endangered Philippine Cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia). The only large population of Philippine Cockatoo left that can be found in a single area – reaching as high as 70 individuals or heads. Aside from the Philippine Cockatoo that resides in the island, it also shares residence with the other endemic Palawan wildlife such as black-nape oriole, white-vented shama, racquet-tailed parrot, and rufous-tailed tailorbird. Continue reading
Ursula Island Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary were declared through Administrative Order No. 14 on April 30, 1960. The islet of Ursula is approximately 20 kilometers off Brooke’s Point in southern Palawan, about one hour by boat from Rio Tuba, Bataraza. The vegetation is made up of old growth lowland forest with moderate undergrowth, consisting mostly of tree saplings and seedlings. Fishermen frequent the island and there are numerous trails to wells dug in the interior and some small nipa huts. Ursula has been promoted in the past as an ecotourism destination, but it is apparently not visited by many tourists at present. Continue reading