email a friend
printable version
Location Jamaica, Portland Parish,Saint Andrew Parish,Saint Mary Parish,Saint Thomas Parish
Central coordinates 76o 33.00' West  18o 5.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4ii
Area 40,067 ha
Altitude 200 - 2,256m
Year of IBA assessment 2010





Site description Located in the eastern side of the island, almost the entire area is also a Forest Reserve, but much has been altered from its natural state and is now used for forestry, coffee production or subsistence farming. The Grand Ridge of the Blue Mountains covers 16 km across the eastern part of Jamaica and much of the range is over 1800 m, the highest section being Blue Mountain Peak, comprising Middle Peak (2256 m), the highest point of Jamaica, and East Peak (2246 m). Lesser peaks and ridges radiate from these, while to the west of the Grand Ridge are the lower Port Royal Moun-tains. Wet slope forest occurs on the northern slopes of the Blue Mountains below 1000 m. It is characterized by large trees (c. 26 m high, 70 cm dbh. Climbers are abundant. Upper montane forest is the most extensive natural forest type of the Blue Mountains. These forests protect the watershed of Jamaica's capital city, Kingston.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black-capped Petrel Pterodroma hasitata unknown  2009  50-249 individuals  poor  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Ring-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas caribaea resident  2006  300-700 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Crested Quail-dove Geotrygon versicolor resident  2000-2002  2-3 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Yellow-billed Amazon Amazona collaria resident  2007  unknown  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo Coccyzus pluvialis resident  2000-2002  1-2 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Lizard-cuckoo Coccyzus vetula resident  2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Mango Anthracothorax mango resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Red-billed Streamertail Trochilus polytmus resident  2000-2002  65-81 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima resident  2000-2002  12-14 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Tody Todus todus resident  2000-2002  10-13 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Woodpecker Melanerpes radiolatus resident  2000-2002  15-16 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Becard Pachyramphus niger resident  2000-2002  5 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Elaenia Myiopagis cotta resident  2000-2002  1-3 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Greater Antillean Elaenia Elaenia fallax resident  2000-2002  10 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Pewee Contopus pallidus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Sad Flycatcher Myiarchus barbirostris resident  2000-2002  1-3 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Rufous-tailed Flycatcher Myiarchus validus resident  2000-2002  1-3 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Vireo Vireo modestus resident  2000-2002  15-27 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Blue Mountain Vireo Vireo osburni resident  2000-2002  3-4 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Golden Swallow Tachycineta euchrysea resident  2007  unknown  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Rufous-throated Solitaire Myadestes genibarbis resident  2000-2002  38-50 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Bicknell's Thrush Catharus bicknelli winter  2007  90 individuals  poor  A1  Vulnerable 
White-chinned Thrush Turdus aurantius resident  2000-2002  30-31 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
White-eyed Thrush Turdus jamaicensis resident  2000-2002  26-28 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Arrowhead Warbler Dendroica pharetra resident  2000-2002  6 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Blackbird Nesopsar nigerrimus resident  2000-2002  7 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Endangered 
Jamaican Oriole Icterus leucopteryx resident  2000-2002  12-17 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Yellow-shouldered Grassquit Loxipasser anoxanthus resident  2000-2002  4 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Orangequit Euneornis campestris resident  2000-2002  28-48 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Spindalis Spindalis nigricephala resident  2007  22-24 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Euphonia Euphonia jamaica resident  2000-2002  11-12 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Blue Mountain Reserve Forest Reserve 41,940 is identical to site 41,940  
Blue Mountain/John Crow Mountain National Park 78,000 protected area contains site 0  
Blue Mountains Other Area 0 protected area contains site 0  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Montane broadleaf evergreen forest; Second-growth or disturbed forest  major
Introduced vegetation   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry major
water management major
tourism/recreation minor
nature conservation and research major
agriculture -

Other biodiversity Within the forests, approximately 50% of the flower-ing plants are endemic to the island, and about 40% of these are endemic to the area. At least 10 spe-cies appear on the 2006 IUCN list as Vulnerable. Tree ferns and bromeliads are characteristic of the wetter locations. Among reptiles & amphibians in the park five are considered at risk (CR) or (EN): Eleutherodactylus alticola, E. andrewsi, E. nubi-cola, E. orcutti and Anolis reconditus , although the latter does not appear in the IUCN list, but is re-stricted to the Blue Mountains; plus E. glau-coreius (NT). Six bats have been recorded from Green Hillls, Cinchona and Hardwar Gap with Ariteus flavescens (VU) being the most en-dangered, while two are near threatened, and the classification of Eptesicus (fuscus) lynni is still in debate but not recorded by IUCN.

Protection status Established as a National Park in 1989, this was the first reserve to be managed by a local NGO, the Ja-maica Conservation & Development Trust, but it was not until September 19, 2002, after lengthy negotia-tions, that a delegation agreement was signed with the National Environment and Planning Agency for management of the park. As with other reserves managed by NGOs, funding has been and continues to be problematic, thus restricting action.

Further web sources of information 

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

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Blue Mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/08/2014

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