|Country/Territory||St Helena (to UK)|
The island of St Helena covers 122km2 and rises to 823m. It is a UK dependent territory (see also EBAs 079, 080) in the South Atlantic Ocean, lying some 1,960km from the nearest point on the south-west coast of Africa and 2,900km east of South America. The majority of the original vegetation has been almost entirely destroyed, with over 60% of the island now covered by eroded areas of rock or prickly pear, aloe and other exotic species. The island is a Secondary Area on account of its one surviving endemic landbird, the St Helena Plover Charadrius sanctaehelenae, which occurs only in the northern flatter parts of the interior. Intensive study during 1988-1989 showed that some 450 birds were then present, at highest densities in relatively dry, flat pasture, and that the only threat appeared to lie in potential land-use changes. However, more recent censuses suggest a steady decline, and the species has been classified as Endangered (Collar et al. 1994). The fossil record on St Helena is well represented including evidence of at least four, presumably endemic, landbirds (two flightless rails, a cuckoo and a hoopoe) which were probably present when the island was discovered in 1502, after which they quickly succumbed to the effects of predation by man and his commensal animals and deforestation.
|St Helena Plover (Charadrius sanctaehelenae)||CR|
|IBA Code||Site Name||Country|
|SH003||North-east St Helena||St Helena (to UK)|
|SH004||South-west St Helena||St Helena (to UK)|
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Endemic Bird Area factsheet: St Helena. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2013
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