|Location||Jamaica, Kingston Parish|
|Central coordinates||75o 59.00' West 17o 24.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4iii, B4i|
|Altitude||0 - 5m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2007|
Site description This is an offshore island group 51km SSE of Morant Point, Jamaica. The group consists of four small islets grouped closely together on the summit of a comparatively extensive crescent-shaped bank of coral, over 7km long, rising from 1000m, The cays are low-lying, and fronted by highly exposed reefs over which the sea constantly breaks. They have sparse vegetation and are a seabird rookery and turtle nesting area. Northeast Cay is sometimes divided into three parts, the sea washing over connecting sand spits. There is a lighthouse at Breezy Point, the easternmost point of the cay and of Jamaica.
Key Biodiversity Seabird nesting site: Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus, Brown Noddy Anous stolidus, Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus, Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus, Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens, Laughing Gull Larus atricilla, and Brown Pelican Pelcanus occidentalis. Also used as a stopover site by migratory species.
Non-bird biodiversity: Marine turtle nesting site. Plant species include: Sesuvium portulacastrum, Opuntia tuna, Sporobolus virginicus, Suriana maritime, among others.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus||resident||1997||30-60 individuals||poor||B4i||Least Concern|
|Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus||breeding||2007||1,000 individuals||poor||A4i||Least Concern|
|Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus||resident||1997||70,000-90,000 individuals||poor||A4i||Least Concern|
|Brown Noddy Anous stolidus||breeding||2006||4,500 individuals||medium||B4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||breeding||1997||50,000-99,999 breeding pairs||medium||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Middle Morant Cay NR/SciR||Nature Reserve||0||protected area contained by site||0|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Used as nesting area for some Sea birds. Of little economic importance but sea-eggs and guano collected at times.|
|Notes: Utilised as an off-shore fishing area by fishermen.|
|nature conservation and research||major|
|Notes: Protected under Morant and Pedro Cays Act (27th April, 1907)|
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 (2015) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Morant Cays and Bank. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/12/2015
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife