Philippines names urban coastal wetland

15 March 2013

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines has designated Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) (175 hectares, 14°29'35"N 120°58'50"E ), a coastal urban wetland and bird sanctuary situated within the metropolis of Metro Manila, as that country's sixth Wetland of International Importance. As described by Ramsar Assistant Advisor Ms Nessrine Alzahlawi, based on the accompanying Ramsar Information Sheet, the site comprises  two interconnected, mangrove-covered islands, shallow lagoons and coastline. A Presidential Proclamation in 2007 designated the site as a ‘Critical Habitat’ for the survival of threatened, restricted-range and congregatory species. At least 5,000 individuals of migratory and resident birds have been recorded at the site, including about 47 migratory species such as the vulnerable Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes). The most important of the resident bird species is the vulnerable Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica) which breeds at the site. Records from 2007-2011 show that the site supports at least 1% of the estimated population of Black-Winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus) using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.

The site faces threats associated with being located near densely populated areas. Waste from nearby cities accumulates along the coast and heavy metals and other organic contents coming from residential and industrial effluents affect surrounding areas. Other threats include ongoing land reclamation projects and mangrove cutting. Efforts to ensure the long-term conservation of this site are ongoing.  Ramsar Site. No. 2124. Most recent RIS information: 2013