Tubbataha 14th Year as a Ramsar Site
Today marks the 14th year of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. Fourteen years ago the global community recognizes the important role of Tubbataha in the ecosystem particularly as a significant rookery and habitat for seabirds and other wildlife.
Tubbataha’s two islets are a rookery for migratory birds and are among the last known safe breeding habitats of seabirds in Southeast Asia. The islets are the only known breeding grounds for the Philippines’ endemic subspecies of Black Noddy (Anous minutus worcestri). They are also important breeding and feeding areas for critically endangered Christmas Island Frigatebirds (Fregata andrewsi) and Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata).
The Tubbataha Reefs was one of the three Philippine wetlands that made it to the Ramsar List in November 11, 1999 with the Naujan Lake National Park in Oriental Mindoro and Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Agusan del Sur. While Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Cebu is the first inscribed Ramsar Site (1994), the Underground River is the latest site to make it to the List on June 30, 2012. The Tubbataha Reefs and Underground River are also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.