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Location Anguilla (to UK)
Central coordinates 63o 25.74' West  18o 36.37' North
IBA criteria A4i, B4i, B4ii
Area 618 ha
Altitude 0 - 12m
Year of IBA assessment 2013

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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster breeding  2000  350-400 breeding pairs  medium  B4ii  Least Concern 
Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus breeding  1999-2005  270 breeding pairs  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Brown Noddy Anous stolidus breeding  1999  700 breeding pairs  good  B4i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sombrero Island Marine Park 0 protected area contained by site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea Open sea; Pelagic waters  major
Shrubland Arid lowland scrub  minor
Coastline Sea cliffs & rocky shores; Shallow marine areas, coral reefs & keys  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport major
Notes: lighthouse, boats
fisheries/aquaculture major
nature conservation and research major

Other 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.

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: Sombrero. Downloaded from on 01/10/2014

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