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Location St Kitts and Nevis, St Kitts
Central coordinates 62o 39.00' West  17o 14.58' North
IBA criteria B4i
Area 315 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description The southeast peninsula is composed of low hills, eight salt ponds, coastal cliffs, and beaches. It is approximately 15 kilometers long and a road runs its length. The peninsula widens towards the southeastern tip to approximately 4 kilometers wide, although the narrowest northern section is less than one kilometer wide. Tourism is concentrated in the northern section of the peninsula, which is dominated by resorts, a golf course, and restaurants. Similar developments are expected to expand southward. Ponds of importance to birds on the peninsula include Greatheeds Pond and beach, Half Moon, Friar's Bay, Great Salt, Major's Bay, Mosquito Bay, Little Salt, and Frigate Bay Ponds. The boundaries would be limited by an area thirty meters from the high water line of each pond.

Key Biodiversity Least Terns nest at three sites on the Southeast Peninsula. A survey in 2004 revealed that Mosquito Bay Pond has 20 Least Tern pairs, Great Salt Pond has 27 pairs, and Greatheeds Beach (which is just north of the peninsula) has 18 pairs. Although St. Kitts' population of 65 pairs meets the Important Bird Area requirements, there is no one site where concentrations are sufficient to classify as an IBA. Because Least Tern colonies have previously been recorded at other nearby sites, indicating possible movement between breeding sites, the entire Southeast Peninsula is proposed as an IBA. Further study is needed to determine the importance of these sites to migrant waterbirds

Non-bird biodiversity: Not applicable.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pelecanus occidentalis breeding  1985  56 nests  good  B4i  Not Recognised 
Least Tern Sternula antillarum breeding  2004  65 breeding pairs  good  B4i  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Second-growth or disturbed scrub  -
Wetlands (inland) Salt pans/salinas  -
Other   -
Forest Mangrove  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation -

Protection status The area is not protected, although building is prohibited on steep slopes.

Further web sources of information 

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

References Arendt, W.J. 1985;Burdon, K.J. 1920; Danforth, S.T. 1936; Faaborg, J. 1985; Hilder, P. 1989;Steadman, D.W., R.L. Norton, M.R. Browning, and W.J. Arendt. 1997; Towle E., A. Archer, P.J. Butler, K.E. Coulianos, M.H. Goodwin, S.T. Goodwin, I. Jackson, D. Nicholson, W.E. Rainey, J.A. Towle, W. Wernicke, and N.J.O. Liverpool. 1986; Van Halewyn, R. and R.L. Norton. 1984;

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Ponds of the Southeast Peninsula. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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