|Location||Cayman Islands (to UK), Little Cayman|
|Central coordinates||80o 2.00' West 19o 39.99' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A4ii, B4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 3m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2007|
Ornithological information The Red-footed Booby colony breeds in the reserve; there were 4,839 pairs (an estimated 20,000 birds) in 1997, which is more than 1% of the global population, and it is the largest colony in the Caribbean. The sulid population was estimated at 10,000 birds in 1888, 2,700 pairs in 1975 and 3,155 pairs in 1985. The birds breed on the north side of Booby Pond in the mangrove, shrubland and inland dry forest. A colony of 150-200 pairs of Magnificent Frigatebirds breeds alongside the sulids on the pond edge. Two Species of Global Concern breed: up to 20 pairs of West Indian Whistling-ducks and 20 pairs of Vitelline Warblers crawfordi. The biome species Greater Antillean Grackle bangsi breeds at the site with 35 pairs noted; the race bangsi occurs only on Little Cayman, having become extirpated from Cayman Brac after 1945. There are 31 breeding taxa: 16 landbirds, Caribbean Elaenias caymanensis and Bananaquits sharpei are fairly common. Indigenous species are the White-crowned Pigeon, Zenaida Dove Zenaida aurita, Common Grounddove, Mangrove Cuckoo Coccyzus minor, Smooth-billed Ani, Northern Mockingbird, Barn Owl and the Yellow Warbler, with summer breeding migrants the White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica, Grey Kingbird Tyrannus domincensis, Antillean Nighthawk Chordeiles gundlachii and the Blackwhiskered Vireo Vireo altiloquus. There are 15 species of waterbird including, in a mixed heronry, max counts 250 pairs snowy egrets, 40 pairs Tricoloured Herons, 14 pairs Cattle Egrets, eight pairs Little Blue Herons and 25 pairs Yellow-crowned Night-herons. Max counts 20 pairs Least Terns, four pairs Pied-billed Grebes, 12 pairs Green Herons, 18 pairs American Coots, 230 Common Moorhens (breeding and migrant), 103 pairs Black-necked Stilts and five pairs of Willets.Key SpeciesA major wintering waterbird site for up to 500 Blue-winged Teals, 40 Northern Shovelers Anas clypeata, 18 American Wigeons Anas americana and 20 Lesser Scaups Aythya affinis, 300 American Coots, 40 Great Blue Herons Ardea herodias, 130 Great Egrets Casmerodias albus, and 300 Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca and Lesser Yellowlegs T. flavipes, and flocks of up to 400 Semipalmated Sandpipers Calidris pusilla and Least Sandpipers Calidris minutilla. Migrant raptors include Ospreys, Merlins and Peregrine Falcons. Regular migrant landbirds include Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius, Gray Catbird, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons and 21 species of warbler, most commonly Northern Parula Parula americana, Cape May Warbler Dendroica tigrina, Yellowthroated Warbler D. dominica, Palm Warbler D. palmarum, Prairie Warbler D. discolor, Yellow-rumped Warbler D. coronata, Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia, American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla, Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla and Northern Waterthrush S. noveboracensis.
Site description Booby Pond Nature Reserve lies on the south coast of Little Cayman behind the beach ridge at South Hole Sound. It comprises a seasonally flooded, enclosed hypersalinelagoon, Booby Pond (43 ha), with a broken black and white mangrove fringe and, on the north inland side of the pond, an area of dry forest. Thespesia populnea and Cordia sebestena var. caymanensis are intermixed with mangrove species on the pond fringe. The dominant dry forest species are Bursera simaruba, Canella winterana, Guipera discolour, Coccothrinax procterii, Ficus aurea, Myrcianthus fragrans and Plumeria obtusa.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|West Indian Whistling-duck Dendrocygna arborea||breeding||2005||20 breeding pairs||good||A1||Vulnerable|
|Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens||breeding||2007||150-200 breeding pairs||medium||B4ii||Least Concern|
|Red-footed Booby Sula sula||breeding||1997||present [units unknown]||-||Least Concern|
|Red-footed Booby Sula sula||resident||2007||20,000 individuals||medium||A4ii||Least Concern|
|White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala||resident||2007||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica||resident||2005||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Vitelline Warbler Dendroica vitellina||breeding||2005||60 individuals||poor||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Booby Pond and Rookery||Animal Sanctuary||192||protected area contains site||113|
|Booby Pond and Rookery||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||82||protected area contained by site||82|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Coastal lagoons||major|
|Forest||Mangrove forest (tropical)||minor|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity Plants endemic to the Cayman Islands are: Allophylus cominia var. caymanensis; Cordia sebestena var. caymanensisand Cocothrinax procterii. Endemic to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are: Chionanthus caymanensis var. caymanensis, Encyclia kingsii, Myremecophila thompsoniana var. minor and Phyllanthus caymanensis. Endemic fish: Limnea caymanensis and Gambusia xanthosma. Reptiles include Anolis mayardi, endemic to Little Cayman. Endemic to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac: Alsophis cantherigerus ruttyi, Cyclura (nubile) caymanensis (EN), Sphaerodactylus argivus bartschi and Tropidophis caymanensisis parkeri. The land crab Cardisoma guanhami is decreasing. Endemic molluscs: Cerion nanus (EN), Proserpinula lewisi, Alcadia lewisi and C pannosum. Endemic insects to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac include Diceroprocta caymanensis and Psammoleon reductus.
Management considerations The encroachment on the south shore of Booby Pond by illegal hotel buildings that, to date, have escaped legal sanction, is thought to contribute to pollution in Booby Pond. However, the major concern is the effects on the sulid colony that will result from construction and operation of a proposed new airport. In particular, disturbance from night lights, propeller and jet aircraft, and access roads too close to the booby colony, especially as the airport plan has recently been extended and moved closer to the colony. Predation from numerous rats, feral cats and domestic dogs would be a threat if colony numbers showed any decline.
Protection status Ramsar Site, 80% National Trust protected and protected as an animal sanctuary.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Booby Pond Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2013
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