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Location Jamaica, Trelawny Parish
Central coordinates 77o 40.00' West  18o 16.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 63,937 ha
Altitude 100 - 700m
Year of IBA assessment 2007





Site description Cockpit Country-Central is one of three IBAs that lie within the Cockpit Country Conservation Area (CCCA). The other two IBAs, Cockpit Country-East (Litchfied-Matheson) and Cockpit Country-west (Catadupa), are separated from Cockpit Country-Central by rural communities, agriculture, and Class B road networks. The CCCA is located in west-central Jamaica and is the globally recognized type locality for cockpit karst limestone. The Cockpit Country Forest Reserve is the largest contiguous block of wet limestone forest remaining on Jamaica and is surrounded by private lands of disturbed broadleaf forest and agriculture. Surface water is limited except in low-lying areas because of the limestone geology. However, CCCA includes the upper parts of five major watersheds, and rivers originating from it account for approximately one-quarter of Jamaica’s exploitable surface run-off. The two largest rivers in Jamaica (the Black River, the lower portion of which is an IBA site, and the Great River) originate in Cockpit Country. Annual rainfall is 1750-3800mm.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala resident  2007  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Ring-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas caribaea resident  1998-2006  unknown  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Plain Pigeon Patagioenas inornata resident  2007  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Crested Quail-dove Geotrygon versicolor resident  1998-2006  unknown  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Black-billed Amazon Amazona agilis resident  2000-2006  15,000-19,000 unknown  unknown  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Yellow-billed Amazon Amazona collaria resident  2000-2006  10,000-16,000 unknown  unknown  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo Coccyzus pluvialis resident  2001  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Lizard-cuckoo Coccyzus vetula resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Owl Pseudoscops grammicus resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Mango Anthracothorax mango resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Red-billed Streamertail Trochilus polytmus resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Tody Todus todus resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Woodpecker Melanerpes radiolatus resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Becard Pachyramphus niger resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Elaenia Myiopagis cotta resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Greater Antillean Elaenia Elaenia fallax resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Pewee Contopus pallidus resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Sad Flycatcher Myiarchus barbirostris resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Rufous-tailed Flycatcher Myiarchus validus resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Stolid Flycatcher Myiarchus stolidus resident  2002-2005  1 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Vireo Vireo modestus resident  2002-2005  18 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Blue Mountain Vireo Vireo osburni resident  2002-2006  6 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Jamaican Crow Corvus jamaicensis resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Golden Swallow Tachycineta euchrysea resident  2007  unknown  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Rufous-throated Solitaire Myadestes genibarbis resident  2002-2005  11 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
White-chinned Thrush Turdus aurantius resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
White-eyed Thrush Turdus jamaicensis resident  2002-2005  9 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Arrowhead Warbler Dendroica pharetra resident  1998-2006  4 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Blackbird Nesopsar nigerrimus resident  1998-2006  unknown  A1, A2  Endangered 
Jamaican Oriole Icterus leucopteryx resident  2002-2005  11 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Yellow-shouldered Grassquit Loxipasser anoxanthus resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Orangequit Euneornis campestris resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Spindalis Spindalis nigricephala resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Euphonia Euphonia jamaica resident  1998-2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Cockpit Country Forest Reserve 22,344 protected area contained by site 0  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   70%
Introduced vegetation   5%
Other   25%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
water management major
rangeland/pastureland minor
fisheries/aquaculture minor
hunting minor
forestry minor
nature conservation and research major
tourism/recreation minor
other minor
Notes: Use for Limestone Mining

Other biodiversity Giant Swallowtail Pterourus homerus (EN; Cockpit Country population is one of only two known populations; the viability of the second population, in Jamaica’s Blue Mountain’s, is poor because high mortality rates from a parasitic wasp); Jamaican Kite Swallowtail Eurytides marcellinus (VU); Cockpit Eleuth Eleutherodactylus griphus (CR; Alliance for Zero Extinction); Leaf Mimic Eleuth (CR; Alliance for Zero Extinction); Jamaican Boa Epicrates subflavus (VU); Jamaican Slider Trachemys terrapen (VU); Jamaican Flower Bat Phyllonycteris aphylla (EN; Alliance for Zero Extinction). Two crab species (Sesarma windsor; Sesarma fossarum) are restricted in range to the headwaters of rivers emanating from Cockpit Country; their status has not been ranked by IUCN. A minimum of 66 plants have ranges restricted entirely to Cockpit Country

Protection status Seven Forest Reserves, encompassing approximately 29,000 ha, occur within Cockpit Country-Central IBA; the largest reserve is the Cockpit Country Forest Reserve (22,327 ha).

Further web sources of information 

Site profile from Important Bird Areas in the Caribbean: key sites for conservation (BirdLife International 2008)

References http://wrc.cockpitcountry.com/bbdbhome.php

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cockpit Country. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/09/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife