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Location Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK), Middle Caicos
Central coordinates 71o 50.15' West  21o 50.63' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, B4i, B4ii
Area 1,024 ha
Altitude 0 - 15m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description Western part of the northern coast of Middle Caicos, including Fish Ponds, Crossing Place Trail, Indian Cave and Blowing & Juniper Holes. Limestone cliffs, with small offshore cays, slope inland to ponds, which are connected to the sea under the cliffs. There are several sea-caves, and a dry inland cave within the site, Indian Cave.

Key Biodiversity Several restricted-range and biome-restricted species occur, including the Antillean Nighthawk, Bahama Woodstar and Bahama Mockingbird.The offshore cays are one of the few sites in TCI where there are reports of breeding Audubon's Shearwaters and numbers are probably of regional importance. There are several other species of regional importance in relation to the Caribbean population: breeding White-tailed Tropic-birds (50 breeding pairs), Greater Flamingos (500 individuals), Laughing Gulls (150 individuals), Gull-billed Terns (50 individuals), Royal Terns (120 individuals), Sandwich Terns (50 individuals), and Least Terns (50 individuals). There are also small numbers of migrant Sandhill Cranes.

Non-bird biodiversity: Crossing Place Trail is the traditional route along the Caicos Islands, in particular the Middle Caicos section. As such, it is of great cultural importance. The trail is also of great scenic value, and along its route are important sites for wildlife, including specialist plants and butterflies, including the endemic Drury's hairstreak butterfly Strymon acis leucostricha. Fish Ponds comprise some of the most important wetlands in the area not included within the Ramsar site. The area is rich in fish and invertebrate life.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
West Indian Whistling-duck Dendrocygna arborea resident  2007  16 breeding pairs  medium  A1  Vulnerable 
White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus breeding  2005  50 breeding pairs  poor  B4ii  Least Concern 
Sterna nilotica non-breeding  2005  50 individuals  poor  B4i  Not Recognised 
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla non-breeding  2005  150 individuals  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus non-breeding  2005  120 individuals  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
Least Tern Sternula antillarum non-breeding  2005  50 individuals  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
Bahama Woodstar Calliphlox evelynae resident  2005  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Bahama Mockingbird Mimus gundlachii resident  2005  unknown  A2  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline   major
Sea   major
Rocky areas   minor
Caves and subterranean habitats (non-aquatic)   minor
Shrubland   major
Wetlands (inland)   minor

Land use

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

Protection status Interim protection.

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: Fish Ponds and Crossing Place Trail, Middle Caicos. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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