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Location Cayman Islands (to UK), Little Cayman
Central coordinates 80o 2.00' West  19o 41.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 152 ha
Altitude 10 - 20m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description The site comprises 255 ha of pristine dry forest in the centre of the island, as characterised in the general introduction to this chapter. At present, there is no public road into the interior of the islands near the forest, although the owners have built survey tracks on the west and south edge. The dominant trees are Calyptranthes pallens, Sideroxylon salicifolium, Chionanthus caymanensis, Erythroxylum areolatum and Canella winterana.

Key Biodiversity The main species of importance is the Near-threatened restricted-range Vitelline Warbler crawfordi. It is estimated that the forest covers about 3% of its range. Six taxa breed, including the Caribbean Elaenia caymanensis, Bananaquit sharpei, Zenaida Dove and the migrant White-crowned Pigeon and Black-whiskered Vireo. Atotal of 86 migrant landbirds are recorded, including Yellowbellied sapsucker, Grey Catbird, White-eyed Vireo, and the warblers: Northern Parula, Cape May Warbler, YellowthroatedWarbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart and Ovenbird.

Non-bird biodiversity: Plants endemic to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac: Chionanthus caymanensis var. caymanensis, Encyclia kingsii, Myremecophila thompsoniana var. minor and Phyllanthus caymanensis. Endemic to Little Cayman: Dendropemon caymanensis. Phyllostomid bat Macrotus waterhousii minor found in caves. Endemic reptiles as KY001 plus Celestrus crusculus maculatus. Lepidoptera endemic to the Cayman Islands: Cyclargus amnon erembis and Memphis echemus danielana.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala breeding  2007  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica resident  2005  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Vitelline Warbler Dendroica vitellina resident  2005  unknown  A1, A2  Near Threatened 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised -
nature conservation and research -

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 (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Sparrowhawk Hill. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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