Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Municipality of Cagayancillo, Province of Palawan
N8 57 12 E119 52 3
Date of Inscription: 1993
Extension: 2009
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Property : 96,828 ha
Ref: 653bis
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The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park covers 96,828 ha, including the North and South Atolls and the Jessie Beazley Reef. It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park lies in a unique position in the centre of the Sulu Sea, and includes the Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley Reefs. It protects an area of almost 100,000 hectares of high quality marine habitats containing three atolls and a large area of deep sea. The property is home to a great diversity of marine life. Whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and Napoleon wrasse are amongst the key species found here. The reef ecosystems support over 360 species of coral and almost 700 species of fish. The reserve also protects one of the few remaining colonies of breeding seabirds in the region.

Criterion (vii): Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park contains excellent examples of pristine reefs with a high diversity of marine life. The property includes extensive reef flats and perpendicular walls reaching over 100m depth, as well as large areas of deep sea. The remote and undisturbed character of the property and the continued presence of large marine fauna such as tiger sharks, cetaceans and turtles, and big schools of pelagic fishes such as barracuda and trevallies add to the aesthetic qualities of the property.

Criterion (ix): Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park lies in a unique position in the middle of the Sulu Sea and is one of the Philippines’ oldest ecosystems. It plays a key role in the process of reproduction, dispersal and colonization by marine organisms in the whole Sulu Sea system, and helps support fisheries outside its boundaries. The property is a natural laboratory for the study of ecological and biological processes, displaying the ongoing process of coral reef formation, and supporting a large number of marine species dependant on reef ecosystems. The presence of top predator species, such as tiger and hammerhead sharks, are indicators of the ecological balance of the property. The property also offers a demonstration site to study the responses of a natural reef system in relation to the impacts of climate change.

Criterion (x): Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park provides an important habitat for internationally threatened and endangered marine species. The property is located within the Coral Triangle, a global focus for coral biological diversity. The reefs of the property support 360 species of corals, almost 90% of all coral species in the Philippines. The reefs and seas of the property also support eleven species of cetaceans, eleven species of sharks, and an estimated 700 species of fishes, including the iconic and threatened Napoleon wrasse. The property supports the highest population densities known in the world for white tip reef sharks. Pelagic species such as jacks, tuna, barracuda, manta rays, whale sharks and different species of sharks also are common here and the property is a very important nesting, resting and juvenile development area for two species of endangered marine turtles: green turtles and hawksbill turtles. There are seven breeding species of seabirds and Bird Islet and South Islet are breeding grounds to seven resident and endangered breeding species of seabirds. The critically endangered Christmas Island Frigatebird is a regular visitor to the property.

Suggested Bases:

Puerto Princesa is the capital of the island province of Palawan. The city has been acclaimed several times as the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines. With a wide range of attractions ranging from beaches to wildlife reserves, Puerto Princesa is a nature lover’s paradise. Jeepneys, multicabs and tricycles are the most common means to get around Puerto Princesa. As in Manila, jeepneys usually have standard routes which they ply. Tricycles on the other hand are fairly limited to certain areas and would not be able to go very long distances. Standard jeepney and tricycle fare around the city is ₱10 per person. The bus terminal is a few kilometers outside the city centre. A jeepney from the bus terminal to downtown should cost ₱10. For touring, it could be a good idea to arrange special transport whether it be a jeepney or, for more comfort, air-conditioned vans or AUVs. This way, you will not be subject to the hassles of public transport availability [read more].

1 reply »

  1. There’s truly something for everyone at Tubbataha Reef from shallow waters to the deep sea. Beginners to advanced divers are all welcomed.

    Like

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