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Lake Profile


General Information

Description Taal Lake is located about 60 km southeast of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The lake is located within a complex volcanic caldera, one of the great volcano-tectonic depressions of the world. There is a small volcanic island in the middle of the lake which has been the site of almost all the historic volcanic activity.
Country Philippines
Latitude 14° 0' 0" (14.0000)
Longitude 121° 0' 0" (121.0000)

Physical Characteristics

Description The Taal Volcano itself has a lake of its own inside its crater called "Crater Lake." One can even swim inside the Crater Lake but the lake's water is a very diluted form of sulfuric acid with high concentration of boron, magnesium, aluminum and sodium in salt form. The whole region surrounding Lake Taal is at considerable volcanic risk.
Surface Area 2,100.00 km2
Origin Volcanic
Type Fresh


Economic Value
Major Cities Manila

Watershed Management

Description The Philippine National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan advocates the priority development of a management plan for Lake Taal, allocation of implementation funds, and rapid analysis of what policy reforms might be needed to ensure the protection of Lake Taal, and others of similar importance.
Issues Taal Lake is situated in a highly populated and rapidly growing agricultural and industrial region. The Philippine Government has designated the Taal region as a favored site for setting up new industries and infrastructures. Unsustainable development presents a very real threat to the lake.

Currently pollution from fish cages and aquaculture is a problem, as is overfishing.

Other Issues Polluted runoff

Biodiversity Conservation

Description Taal Lake is listed in the Philippine National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan in the highest, most urgent category of conservation targets. This rating indicates both extremely valuable biological resources and extremely high socio-economic pressure on resources in the area.

Designations National Designation
WWF Global 200
Species of Concern Taal Lake is home to a venomous blakc and white "sea snake" (Hydrophis semperi). This species is one of only a few snakes of its type that breeds in freshwater. Taal Lake is also the only habitat of the world's only freshwater sardine, Sardinella tawilis. The bleniid Omobranchus ferox is also endemic to Lake Taal.

Some claim that sharks swam in Taal Lake before their extermination by overfishing in the 1930's.

LakeNet Programs

Philippines: Establishment of Country-wide Lake Network


Memorandum of Understanding Between SEAMEO SEARCA and LakeNet  (PDF) Partnership Agreement. 11/25/2003.
Tagaytay Declaration on Philippine Lakes  (PDF) PlaNet. 11/28/2003.


Biological and fisheries assessment of 7 major lakes of the Philippines
ILEC Database
Origin and geologic features of Taal Lake
Philippine freshwater zooplankton: an illustrated list (Oct. 2003)


1/10/2005 - Tsunami jitters even among Taal Lake folk
11/25/2003 - Philippines holds first national lake congress

Additional Data Sources

Birkett, C., and I. Mason. 1995. A new global lakes database for remote sensing programme studying climatically sensitive large lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 21 (3) 307-318.
Ong, P.S., L.E. Afuang, and R.G. Rosell-Ambal (eds.) 2002. Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priorities: A Second Iteration of the National Biodviersity Strategy and Action Plan. Dept. of Environment & Natural Resources-Protected Areas & Wildlife Bureau, Conservation International Philippines, Biodiversity Conservation Program-Univ. of the Philippines Center for Iintegrative & Development Studies, & Foundation for the Philippine Environment, Quezon City, Philippines.

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