Tubbataha now an EAA Flyway network site

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP) is now part 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 2015 in Manila.  EAAFP is a platform for international cooperation for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and the sustainable use of their habitats.

The two islets of TRNP regularly supports more than 20,000 seabirds. It serves as the main rookery and breeding ground of six seabird species (Red-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Great 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 1995.

Most of the seabird species breeding at the Tubbataha can be considered threatened at national or regional levels. The Critically Endangered Christmas Island Frigatebird (Frigata andrewesi) 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 3rd wetland and Ramsar Site in the Philippines to become a flyway network site; the other two being 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.

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