Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Philippine Reef & Rainforest Project

Danjugan Island

This is a completed project.
The Philippine Reef & Rainforest Project, launched by David Bellamy OBE, was the third project of World Land Trust, and gave everyone a unique opportunity to become a 'founder owner' of the tropical paradise island of Danjugan.

More about the history of this project »

Project aim

Danjugan is an extremely important island as it is one of the few islands in the area that still has its original tropical forests, which are literally teeming with wildlife. Additionally, the island is surrounded by a beautiful coral reef that was in urgent need of protection. The aim of this project was to permanently protect Danjugan's forest and wildlfe by purchasing the whole island to be managed by PRRFCI.


Philippine Reef and Rainforest Project (PRRFCI) »

Other projects in The Philippines:

Reef & Mangrove Appeal »

How WLT is helping

The former owners of Danjugan Island had been seeking to sell, and WLT staff were alerted to the fact that developers were waiting in the wings to move in and begin clearance. This really was a 'window of opportunity' - and in order to purchase and start to protect Danjugan and save its natural resources from inappropriate development, WLT had to commit to raising £250,000. In 2000, all the loan had been repaid and the fundraising for the land purchase successfully completed, thanks to the generosity of individuals, companies and groups.

Funding needed

This is a successfully completed project.

Clark's anemone fish
Clark's Anemone Fish (Amphiprion clarkii) photographed off typhoon beach, Danjugan Island.


Coral Cay Conservation Volunteers surveyed a 100 acre (40 hectares) area of coral reef in 1996 and identified 190 species and 73 genera of corals. The Great Barrier Reef, stretching some 1,600 km, is known to contain approximately 80 genera of corals and it is truly astounding that the Danjugan Reefs contain, in small areas surveyed, as much diversity as the whole of the Great Barrier Reef.


  • An important resting-place for migratory species, such as swallows, swifts and several species of kingfisher;
  • Sea eagles, fish eagles, Mangrove Heron (Butorides striata) and Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) frequent the mangrove swamps;
  • The forests are alive with warblers, flycatchers, bulbuls, weaverbirds and sunbirds.


Dugongs (Dugong dugon) are also seen occasionally in the crystal clear waters, while whales, including the large Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus), are seen off shore.


Marine turtles include: the Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). Both species are listed as Endangered by IUCN and numbers continue to decline due to illegal collecting of eggs, meat and, in the case of the hawksbill, its shell.

Learn more about animals in our reserves »

Threats to Danjugan Island

Danjugan Island was saved from inappropriate development that would have threatened the forest and the surrounding reefs. Between them, tropical forests and coral reefs contain the world's richest and most diverse environments, but both have suffered from a wide range of destructive human activities.

  • Forests: threatened by clearance for timber, agriculture and development
  • Coral reefs: threatened by pollution, quarrying, over-fishing and exploitive tourism.
  • Mangroves: threatened by extensive cutting to produce charcoal, for fish farming and infill development. They are important as they form a barrier between land and sea, are nutrient-rich breeding grounds for fish, birds and other wildlife, as well as providing vital 'shock absorbers' for hurricanes.
  • Communities: Island communities are particularly fragile and vulnerable to disturbance.
Danjugan Island
An aerial view of Danjugan Island

The reserve

Danjugan Island

Total acres saved by WLT: 106 acres (43 hectares)

Danjugan is a small island, 1.5km long and 0.5km at its widest point (1 mile x 1/3 mile). It lies in the Sulu Sea, 3km west of Negros Island, in the Visayan Island Group, and is surrounded by coral reef. Unlike the majority of smaller islands in the Philippines it still has almost all of its original forest cover.

See a map of the reserve »

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