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Location Virgin Islands (to UK)
Central coordinates 64o 50.02' West  18o 26.36' North
IBA criteria A2, A4ii, B4i
Area 1,695 ha
Altitude 0 - 175m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description Great Tobago is one of the most Westerly of islands in BVI. It is a small, steep island of volcanic origin with mixed vegetation including Caribbean Dry forest and coastal scrub. Recent removal of 95% of feral goats by the Trust has resulted in the regeneration of vegetation particularly within the bird colony.

Key Biodiversity Great Tobago is known for its large colony of nesting Magnificent Frigatebirds. Hundreds of pairs nest in trees within Man o War Bay and the steep eastern hillsides facing the prevailing winds. Other nesting species include the Brown Pelican, Brown Booby, and, Laughing Gull. The Red-billed Tropicbird, or White-tailed Tropicbird, nest on exposed sea cliffs. Restricted range species found on Great Tobago, include the Green-throated Carib, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, and Puerto Rican Flycatcher .

Non-bird biodiversity: At present there is no other threatened or endemic wildlife known on Great Tobago.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens resident  2005  1,500-3,000 individuals  poor  A4ii  Least Concern 
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla breeding  2007  200 individuals  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
Bridled Quail-dove Geotrygon mystacea resident  2005  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Green-throated Carib Eulampis holosericeus resident  2005  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus resident  2005  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Puerto Rican Flycatcher Myiarchus antillarum resident  2005  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Loxigilla noctis resident  2005  unknown  A2  Not Recognised 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Great Tobago Island Bird Sanctuary 89 protected area contained by site 89  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  major
Shrubland Scrub  major
Forest   major

Further web sources of information 

Site profile from Important Bird Areas in the Caribbean: key sites for conservation (BirdLife International 2008)

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Great Tobago. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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