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Location Jamaica, Hanover Parish,Westmoreland Parish
Central coordinates 78o 19.13' West  18o 19.21' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i
Area 27,739 ha
Altitude 0 - 280m
Year of IBA assessment 2007





Site description The Negril Environmental Protected Area (18° 19’ 21.34” N, 78° 19’ 13.68” W) is situated at the western end of Jamaica, in the parishes of Westmoreland and Hanover. It consists of the entire Negril watershed - an area of 37,100 ha including unique ecosystems in the Negril Great Morass, the Royal Palm Reserve, and the Fisher River and Negril hills. The Negril Great Morass is Jamaica’s second largest fresh water wetland, with an area of c.2,289 ha. The Morass is limited by the Fish River Hills to the east, the Negril Hills to the south, a narrow beach strip (Long Bay) and the Caribbean Sea to the west. The wetland boundary is the same as that utilized for the designation of the wetland as a game reserve under the Wild Life Protection Act (NEPA) and determined in the Negril Environment Protection Plan prepared by NEPT in collaboration with NEPA (NEPT & NRCA, 1997). It follows ecological boundaries based on soil type, with the dominant soil being sedge and mangrove peat. The Royal Palm Reserve is located within the southern section of the Negril Great Morass with its most southern boundary being the South Negril River. The Reserve covers approximately 121 ha, comprising approximately 89 ha of forested peat lands and the remaining area occupied by open bog or marsh. The Fish River and Negril hills are composed of limestone which permits the surface flow of the North and South Negril rivers. The water makes its way to the morass which serves as a catchment area. The area is a major tourism and recreational asset. In 1991, the population in the Negril EPA stood at 19,911 with majority of the growth occurring in the town of Negril (Town Planning Department, 1994). Population within 4 km of the Royal Palm Reserve increased by 37% between 1970 and 1991(CL Environment, 2001). Population growth is directly linked to Negril’s expanding tourism industry and together both trends have placed intense pressure on natural resources. Negril is Jamaica's third largest tourist resort.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
West Indian Whistling-duck Dendrocygna arborea resident  2001  50-249 individuals  poor  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala resident  2002  55 individuals  poor  A1  Near Threatened 
Jamaican Mango Anthracothorax mango resident  2002  7 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Red-billed Streamertail Trochilus polytmus resident  2002  32 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima resident  2002  4 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Tody Todus todus resident  2002  23 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Woodpecker Melanerpes radiolatus resident  2002  32 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Becard Pachyramphus niger resident  2002  16 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Elaenia Myiopagis cotta resident  2002  16 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Pewee Contopus pallidus resident  2002  17 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Sad Flycatcher Myiarchus barbirostris resident  2002  1 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Rufous-tailed Flycatcher Myiarchus validus resident  2002  27 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Stolid Flycatcher Myiarchus stolidus resident  2002  14 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Vireo Vireo modestus resident  2002  39 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
White-chinned Thrush Turdus aurantius resident  2002  23 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Arrowhead Warbler Dendroica pharetra resident  2002  11 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Oriole Icterus leucopteryx resident  2002  18 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Yellow-shouldered Grassquit Loxipasser anoxanthus resident  2002  19 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Orangequit Euneornis campestris resident  2002  39 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Spindalis Spindalis nigricephala resident  2002  25 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Euphonia Euphonia jamaica resident  2002  19 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Negril Environmental Protection Area 25,900 protected area contained by site 25,900  
Negril Bay/Bloody Bay - Hanover FIS Fisheries Sanctuary 0 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Negril Coastal forest NR/SciR Nature Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Negril Swamp forest NR/SciR Nature Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 0  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mangrove  major
Caves and subterranean habitats (non-aquatic)   minor
Coastline   major
Introduced vegetation   minor
Wetlands (inland)   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture minor
agriculture major
nature conservation and research major
tourism/recreation minor

Other biodiversity Other fauna found in the Negril area includes invertebrates (especially butterflies, dragonflies, ants, termites, bees, wasps, spiders and endemic land snails, ) and herpetofauna (including the the endemic Jamaican slider turtle (Trachemys terrapen and several species of endemic lizards and frogs), Trachemys terrapin is the only native freshwater turtle species known to occur on the island (Tuberville et. al., 2005). Unregulated and unsustainable hunting and sale of turtles (outside the reserve) is a critical issue needing immediate curtailment to protect this species.

Protection status The majority of the lands are public, under the jurisdiction of Urban Development Corporation, Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica and Ministry of Agriculture.

Further web sources of information 

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

References Haynes-Sutton, A. and D. B. Hay (2007), Williams, S.A. (2007).

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: Negril. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/09/2014

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