Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

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Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    96,828 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    08°57'N 119°52'E
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Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park;12/11/99;96,828 ha; 8°57N 119°52E. This Ramsar Site is a National Marine Park and World Heritage Site located in the center of the Sulu Sea. This wetland is an example of an ecosystem with near pristine coral reefs having high diversity with at least 359 species of corals (equivalent to about 80% of all coral species in the Philippines), 600 species of fish, 7 species of seagrass, 13 species of sharks and two species of marine turtles. Being the apex of the Coral Triangle, this biogeographic region has one of the highest coral diversity in the world harbouring threatened species like the vulnerable Staghorn Coral (Acropora abrolhosensis) and Dana Staghorn Coral (Acropora aculeus) and servers as an important source and sink for not only coral larvae but also fish and other marine species. To date, this site harbors the highest number of white-tip sharks and supports threatended fish such as the endangerd Humphead Wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) and the vulnerable Giant Grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus). Islets provide the only known breeding area for the endemic subspecies of Black Noddy (Anous minutus worcestri) in the Philippines and act as breeding and feeding grounds for threatended species such as the critically endangered Christmas Island Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) and the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). Threats to the site include, plans for oil exploration in the Sulu Sea, illegal harvesting of Topshell and introduction of invasive plant species. This biologically rich site is managed by the Tubbataha Protected Area Management Board. Ramsar site no. 1010. Most recent RIS information:2010.

Administrative region: 
Sulu Sea

  • Global international designation: 
    • World Heritage site
  • National legal designation: 
    • National Marine Park - TRNP
  • Last publication date: 


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