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Location Cayman Islands (to UK), Little Cayman
Central coordinates 80o 1.00' West  19o 41.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B4i
Area 516 ha
Altitude 0 - 14m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description The pristine wetlands of Little Cayman comprise 1,100 (40%) of the island' s area. The Crown Wetlands cover ha and occur as four types:1. On the north and south coasts, the 'mangrove' wetlands, each associated with a hypersaline lagoon, are Easterly Pond (3 ha), Rosetta Flats Pond (2 ha), Sandy Point Pond (3.5 ha), Tarpon Lake Complex (236 ha), Spot Bay Pond (5 ha), Jackson's Pond (9 ha) and Grape Tree Pond (10 ha). The fringe vegetation is of differing combinations of the four mangrove species mixed with Cordia sebestena, Thespesia populnea and Rhabdadenia biflora.2. In the south-west, Preston Bay westerly ponds (8.4 are brackish herbaceous wetlands on pavement ironshore; the vegetation is Conocarpus, Laguncularia, Acrostichum aureum and herbaceous species Sesuvium portulacastrum, Salicornia bigelovii, Ruppia maritima and Rhachiallis americana.3. An inland wetland on the eastern bluff, Charles Bight Pond (8.5 ha) with monospecific Conocarpus sp.4. A temporary freshwater wetland, Coot Pond (0.1 ha), on the south-east coast; the vegetation is Conocarpus grassland.All wetlands dry out seasonally, except Tarpon Lake.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
West Indian Whistling-duck Dendrocygna arborea resident  2005  135 breeding pairs  good  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Least Tern Sternula antillarum breeding  2005  60 breeding pairs  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala resident  2007  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   major
Forest Mangrove  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
urban/industrial/transport minor
tourism/recreation -

Other biodiversity Endemic reptiles as KY001. Other important species are Cardisoma guanhami and Barbouria caymanensis.

Further web sources of information 

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Crown Wetlands. Downloaded from on 25/10/2014

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