Aerial view of Danjugan Island


Years of support 0

HECTARES FUNDED 0 (106 acres)


Described by the Convention on Biological Diversity as “one of the top global conservation areas”, the Philippines is a Southeast Asian archipelago state of over 110 million people and one of the Earth’s few megadiverse countries.

The rainforests, volcanic valleys, mangroves and coral reefs that cover the nation’s 7,000+ islands are home to an estimated 50,000+ species, over half of which are found nowhere else. Much of that life is of global conservation importance: Philippine flora, for example, is extraordinarily rich (only four other countries harbour more plant species) and endemic (25 plant genera are found only here).


85% of the Philippines’ amphibians and 67.5% of its reptiles are only known from within its borders, as are 61.1% of its mammals – such as the Tamaraw water buffalo – and 34.8% of its birds, from the Philippine Eagle (Critically Endangered) to the two species of Rufous Hornbill (both Vulnerable), known as the “clock-of-the-mountains” by virtue of their honking calls. There is also the well-documented and staggering diversity of marine life, helped along by the country’s position in the Coral Triangle.

Unfortunately, evidence shows that at least 700 of the Philippines’ species are threatened with extinction, while the country’s deforestation rates have at times ranked among the world’s fastest in recent decades. There is much conservation work that can still be done to save the flora and fauna of the Philippines, and in 1994 WLT supporters played a small but important part in this mission, joining an alliance for the protection of Danjugan Island.


Our Partners in the Philippines


Danjugan Island

The island of Danjugan is just 43 hectares in size – making it barely bigger than London’s St James’s Park – but its size belies its importance, as it contains one of the last tracts of tropical forest in this area of the Philippines’ Southern Negros Province. This forest’s canopy extends in a green arc, dotted by five lagoons, hemmed in by mangroves and white-sand beaches. Over 70 bird species can be sighted in the sky above, while 10 bat species can be found within the island’s limestone caves. The surrounding waters provide habitat for 572 fish species, as well as 244 hard coral species in the reefs and seagrass beds that are grazed by Green Sea Turtles.

All this was saved in 1994 when Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc (PRRCFI) purchased Danjugan with donations from a number of organisations and individuals, including WLT. The island’s owner initially offered to sell just a single tree – the island’s tallest – home to a nesting pair of White-bellied Sea-eagles. PRRCFI came up with a proposal to purchase the entire island instead, and the impact of that decision continues to be felt today. Kept safe from development and with its mangroves restored, it has remained a wildlife haven and now calls both students and ecotourists to its shores.

A view of a lagoon and forest on Danjugan Island

Key species protected by WLT projects