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Location Bahamas, San Salvador
Central coordinates 74o 28.76' West  24o 8.36' North
IBA criteria B4i, B4ii
Area 4,261 ha
Altitude 0 - 6m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Bahamas National Trust (Partner Designate)

Site description Graham's Harbour is located at the northern end of San Salvador with several cays scattered in its environs. which provide ideal nesting sites for various species of seabirds. A half-day boat trip into Graham's Harbour is considered the natural-history highlight of a trip to San Salvador, however, a local guide is necessary because there are numerous reefs and rocks in the bay. Green Cay located in the northwest side of the harbour, provides a challenge to find a safe landing spot but is easy walking once you have landed.White Cay is near the reef, waters are generally rougher than any other spot in the harbour, but there is a fine beach on the leeward side. Gaulin Cay and Cato Cay are closer to the mainland, there is good snorkelig on the reef off Gaulin Cay.

Key Biodiversity There are reliable reports of several species of seabirds nesting on the afore-mentioned cays. Magnificant Frigatebirds and Brown Boobies live on Green Cay year round, Bridled Terns are reported to nest in hollows along the shoreline of the cay. White Cay is the site of Magnificant Frigatebirds nesting in the Sea Lavender bushes and Brown Boobies nesting on the ground. Brown Noddies, Bridled Terns and Sooty Terns nest on Gaulin and Cato Cays. Yellow Warblers are also found on these two cays.

Non-bird biodiversity: There were an estimated 250 San Salvador Rock Iguanas (Cyclura carinata) approximately 50% of its population living on Green Cay in 1997.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Puffinus lherminieri breeding  2005  93 breeding pairs  medium  B4ii  Not Recognised 
White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus breeding  2007  20 breeding pairs  poor  B4ii  Least Concern 
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster breeding  2005  50 breeding pairs  poor  B4ii  Least Concern 
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus breeding  2007  10 breeding pairs  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
Brown Noddy Anous stolidus breeding  2005  300 breeding pairs  medium  B4i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high near favourable low

Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Shrubland   0 0 good (> 90%) moderate (70-90%) near favourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Rocky areas   major
Coastline   major
Shrubland   -
Sea   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport -
tourism/recreation -
fisheries/aquaculture -

Further web sources of information 

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

References White, A.W. 1998b. A Birder's Guide to the Bahama Islands (Including Turks and Caicos). American Birding Association. Colorado Springs, CO. 302pp.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Graham's Harbour. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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