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Location Cayman Islands (to UK), Grand Cayman
Central coordinates 81o 11.00' West  19o 19.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 446 ha
Altitude 0 - 18m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description The site lies inland on North Side, bounded on the west and south by KY006, the Central Mangrove Wetland, and to the north by agricultural land. The dry forest has bothprimary- and second-growth trees with areas of grassland once used for agriculture. It comprises the largest area of contiguous dry forest in the Cayman Islands, with thehighest degree of endemism and biodiversity, having been above the sea for 2 to 2.5 million years; it also includes the highest elevation on Grand Cayman (18 m). It has retained its pristine nature because there is no road access; only two footpaths bisect the site. Dominant trees are as characterised in the general introduction to this chapter; rare species mainly confined to this site are Casearia sp. nov., Daphnopsis occidentalis, Sideroxylon foetidissimum, Terminalia eriostachya, Celtis trinervia, Jacquininia sp. nov., Jatropha divaricata, Dendropanax arboreus and Xylosoma bahamsense. It is floristically distinct from Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and, due to slight variations in elevation and the high water table, there are distinct vegetation zones of differing tree heights. The Mastic trail, a 2.5-mile traditional footpath and public right of way from north to south, was opened for tourism in 1994 with a grant from the RARE Centre for Tropical Conservation.

Key Biodiversity The extinct Grand Cayman Thrush was collected at the site by WW Brown in 1911 and the last individual of the extirpated Jamaican oriole was collected here by Bond in 1930. Key species include the Near-threatened Cuban Parrot caymanensis, approx 25-350 birds, and the Vitelline Warblervitellina, each more than 1% of the global population. Other common restricted-range species are the Thick-billed Vireo alleni, Yucatan Vireo caymanensis and Cuban Bullfinch taylori. Five biome species occur: the Caribbean Dove collaris, West Indian Woodpecker caymanensis, Loggerhead Kingbird caymanensis, Western Spindalis salvini and the Greater Antillean Grackle caymanensis. In total, 23 taxa breed, which are all of Grand Cayman's endemic races and indigenous landbirds except the Yellow-faced Grassquit: the Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus gundlachii, Caribbean Elaenia caymanensis, Bananaquit sharpei, and indigenous species White-crowned Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Whitewinged Dove, Common Ground-dove, Mangrove Cuckoo, Smooth-billed Ani, Barn Owl, La Sagra's Flycatcher Myiarchus sagrae and the Yellow Warbler. The NorthernMockingbird breeds uncommonly in cleared areas.Regular migrant landbirds include Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Grey Catbird, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea, Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus, and 27 species of warbler, most commonly Northern Parula, Cape May Warbler, Yellowrumped Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Palm Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird and the rare Swainson's Warbler Limnothlypis swainsonii.

Non-bird biodiversity: Plants endemic to the Cayman Islands: Allophylus cominia var. caymanensis. Plants endemic to Grand Cayman: Casearia sp., Chionanthus caymanensis var. longipetala, Daphnopsis occidentalis, Crossopetalum caymanense, Myrmecophilia thompsoniana thompsonia, Dendrophylax fawcettii, Tolumnia caymanense, Jatropha divaricata and Dendropanax arboreus. Reptiles endemic to Grand Cayman: Anolis conspersus conspersus, Sphaerodactylus argivus lewisi, Tropidophis caymanensis caymanensis and Alsophis cantherigerus caymanensis. Lepidoptera endemic to the Cayman Islands: Cyclargus ammon erembis, Dryas iulia zoe (with Cayman Brac)and Memphis echemus danielana. Endemic to Grand Cayman: Heraclides andraemon tailori and Brephidium exilis thompsoni.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala resident  2007  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Cuban Amazon Amazona leucocephala resident  2005  25-350 individuals  poor  A1  Near Threatened 
Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica resident  2005  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Thick-billed Vireo Vireo crassirostris resident  2005  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Yucatan Vireo Vireo magister resident  2005  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Vitelline Warbler Dendroica vitellina resident  2005  unknown  A1, A2  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed low

Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Mastic Reserve (Grand Cayman) Reserve 162 protected area overlaps with site 172  


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

Land use

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

Protection status 44% of the site is protected by the National Trust

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: Mastic Reserve. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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