Resting 3 kilometers Southwest off the coast of Negros Occidental, Danjugan is a lush, 43-hectare island rich in marine and terrestrial biodiversity. This island, about 1.5 kilometers long and 0.5 kilometers at its widest point, has 5 lagoons and is covered with limestone forests providing asylum to many wildlife species that struggle to exist in the mainland.
Together with Sipalay City and the Municipality of Hinobaan, it forms the southern border of the province and is situated in the Sulu Sea, an important eco-region for marine biodiversity. The island’s surrounding reef is under the Danjugan Island Marine Reserve and Sanctuaries with three Special Management Areas or No Take Zones established in 2000 through Cauayan Municipal Ordinance 99-52.
Seen both for its potential as a biodiversity conservation site and its vulnerability to exploitation, Danjugan Island was purchased in 1994 through the efforts of the PRRCFI and the World Land Trust.
It holds an incredible biodiversity given its small size. At least 72 bird species have been recorded on the island, including a nesting pair of White- breasted Sea Eagles Heliatus leucogaster that have been breeding atop Typhoon Beach Camp since 1974 and Tabon scrub fowls Megapodius cumingi which are common around the island.
At least 10 bat species and 22 butterfly species (with Pachliopta phlegon recorded for the first time in Negros Occidental) have also been documented.
At least 17 species of mangroves, 572 fish species belonging to 139 genera, 244 species of hard corals, 8 species of seagrasses and 74 species of macroalgae have been recorded.
Commercially important marine invertebrates such as the giant clams (Tridacna crocea, T. squamosa and Hippopus hippopus) are observed in the reefs. A restocking program for the endangered Tridacna gigas is being implemented in collaboration with UP-MSI.Other commercially important invertebrates observed are Abalone Haliotis asinine and Spiny lobster Panulirus spp. The endangered coconut crab Birgus latro still occur in the coastal and mangrove forests of the island. The western beaches of Danjugan Island are known nesting sites of the Hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata and Green Sea Chelonia mydas turtles. There was one sighting of a Dugong in the past while sightings of dolphins are common within the municipal waters of Cauayan which is a migration path of some larger marine mammal species.
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