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Location Jamaica, Portland Parish,Saint Thomas Parish
Central coordinates 76o 22.00' West  18o 4.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4ii
Area 14,237 ha
Altitude 150 - 1,036m
Year of IBA assessment 2007





Site description 18004’ N; 76022 W The most easterly mountain on the island, almost the entire area is a Forest Re-serve. The John Crow Mountains comprise white limestone overlain by marine sandstones and shale. The range rises gently from the east to a maximum height of 1140 m, but ends abruptly along a steep escarpment to the west. The Rio Grande separates the John Crow Mountains from the Blue Mountains; the ranges join at Corn Puss Gap (640 m), the boundary of the parishes of Port-land and St Thomas. Unlike the sharp peaks of the Blue Mountains, the summit of the John Crow Mountains is a slightly tilted plateau, with an un-usual landscape of sinkholes and outcrops.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Jamaican Petrel Pterodroma caribbaea breeding  1900  unknown  A1, A4ii  Critically Endangered 
White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala resident  2003  30 individuals  poor  A1  Near Threatened 
Ring-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas caribaea resident  2006  100-300 individuals  medium  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Crested Quail-dove Geotrygon versicolor resident  2003  23 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Black-billed Amazon Amazona agilis resident  2003  47 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Yellow-billed Amazon Amazona collaria resident  2003  8 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo Coccyzus pluvialis resident  2003  10 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Lizard-cuckoo Coccyzus vetula resident  2003  4 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Mango Anthracothorax mango resident  2003  6 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Black-billed Streamertail Trochilus scitulus resident  2003  60,000-120,000 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima resident  2003  9 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Tody Todus todus resident  2003  45 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Woodpecker Melanerpes radiolatus resident  2003  28 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Becard Pachyramphus niger resident  2003  12 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Elaenia Myiopagis cotta resident  2003  12 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Pewee Contopus pallidus resident  2003  10 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Sad Flycatcher Myiarchus barbirostris resident  2003  4 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Rufous-tailed Flycatcher Myiarchus validus resident  2003  26 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Vireo Vireo modestus resident  2003  51 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Blue Mountain Vireo Vireo osburni resident  2003  34 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Jamaican Crow Corvus jamaicensis resident  2003  15 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Rufous-throated Solitaire Myadestes genibarbis resident  2003  31 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
White-chinned Thrush Turdus aurantius resident  2003  54 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
White-eyed Thrush Turdus jamaicensis resident  2003  79 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Arrowhead Warbler Dendroica pharetra resident  2003  33 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Blackbird Nesopsar nigerrimus resident  2003  10 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Endangered 
Jamaican Oriole Icterus leucopteryx resident  2003  18 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Yellow-shouldered Grassquit Loxipasser anoxanthus resident  2003  5 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Orangequit Euneornis campestris resident  2003  126 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Spindalis Spindalis nigricephala resident  2003  29 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Euphonia Euphonia jamaica resident  2003  16 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Blue Mountain/John Crow Mountain National Park 78,000 protected area contains site 0  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   90%
Shrubland   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
water management major
Notes: Forms part of National Watershed Area
nature conservation and research minor
forestry major
tourism/recreation minor
agriculture minor

Other biodiversity Within the forests, approximately 50% of the flow-ering plants are endemic to the island, and about 40% of these are endemic to the area. At least 10 species appear on the 2006 IUCN list as Vulner-able. Tree ferns and bromeliads are characteristic of the wetter locations. Among reptiles & amphibians in the park four are considered at risk (CR) or (EN): Eleutherodacty-lus orcutti (CR), E. jamaicensis, E. andrewsi and Osteopilus wilderi (EN), also E. pentasyrin-gus (VU) and E. glaucoreius (NT). Few caves exist in the John Crow Mountains and there are no records of bats taken there, however as not all bats in Jamaica are cave-roosting, it is possible that some tree-roosting species may be present in the area. Jamaica's Giant Swallowtail Pterourus homerus (EN) occurs in the John Crow Mountains where collecting and habitat disturbance has reduced its numbers significantly.

Protection status Established as a National Park in 1989, this was the first reserve to be managed by a local NGO, the Jamaica Conservation & Development Trust, but it was not until September 19, 2002, after lengthy negotiations, 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: John Crow Mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/07/2014

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