Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Anguilla (to UK)
63o 25.74' West 18o 36.37' North
A4i, B4i, B4ii
0 - 12m
Year of IBA assessment
Site description A remote, 38 hectare flat-topped rocky outcrop lying 65 kilometres northwest of Anguilla. The cliffs and rocky areas are home to a large seabird colony and endemic ground lizard. The island is currently stark and bare following damage by Hurricane Luis in 1995 when large areas of cacti and other plants were destroyed. Extensive phosphate deposits were mined in the 19th and early 20th century leaving the surface pitted with craters up to 10 metres deep and the remains of industrial buildings. A manned lighthouse with associated buildings was in use until 2002 when it was replaced with an automated light.
Key Biodiversity At least 32 species are recorded on the island and several North American species of landbird have occurred as vagrants. The remote rocky outpost has long been important for breeding seabirds with confirmed reports of 14 species although only 7 species currently breed: Masked Booby (27 pairs), Brown Booby (386 pairs) Brown Noddy (700 pairs), Laughing Gull, Least Tern, Bridled Tern, and Sooty Tern. Species reported to have bred in the past 40 years but are no longer present are: Red-billed Tropicbird, Magnificent Frigatebird, Gull-billed Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Roseate Tern, and, Black Noddy. Audubon's Shearwater is suspected of breeding. Small numbers of shore birds are found on the island outside the breeding season when the Peregrine Falcon is often present.
Non-bird biodiversity: The island is noted for the endemic critically endangered Sombrero Ground Lizard Ameiva corvina, a widespread and easily seen species on the island. A recently discovered dwarf gecko Sphaerodactylus sp.has been tentatively named Sombrero dwarf gecko. The tree lizard Anolis gingivinus is also found on the island.