Apo Reef is a coral reef system in Philippines lcoated on the western part of Occidental Mindoro pronvince in Mindo Strait. It is the second largest contiguous coral reef in the world and it is the largest in the country. It is on the makeshift list of UNESCO.
The Apo Reef Natural Park deceits approximately 33km off the coast of Sablayan in province of Occidental Mindoro. The coral reefs cover total area of 34 square km, making it the second biggest contiguous coral reef in the world, next to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Apo Reef Natural Park consist of 3 islands. Apo Reef is the largest among the 3 islands, it has a shallow lagoon with a depth 2 meters – 10 meters gathered by mangrove forest which serves as source of food, spawning gounrd of some coastal, and nursery, and also marine species of fauna and sanctuary of birds.
There are 3 islands comprise the Apo Reef Natural Park. The Apo Menor (Binagaan island is marked of limestone rock with some vegetation). Cayos del Bajo is coralline rock formation with no vegetation. Apo Island, is the largest of the 3 at 22 heactres.
Apo Meron is located in the western end of Apo Reef, about 2.4km east of Apo Island. It is rocky limestone island with little vegetation.
The largest is Apo Island having 22 hectares with some mangroves and beach vegetation. The reef surrounding the island extends to 0.90km in places.
Cayos del Bajo
Cayos del Bajo is a flat coralline rock formations with no vegetation on the northern lagoon near in the eastern edge of the reef. At low tide plenty small rocks are dry in the reef particularly in the north side.
The Apo Reef Natural Park was a protected area under the Presidential Proclamation No.868. In May 2006, The DENR Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau submitted the reef for consideration as a World Heritage Site.
The protection and conservation is a joint force of the DENR and the local government unit, and also the civil society.