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Location Sint Maarten (to Netherlands), Sint Maarten
Central coordinates 63o 1.09' West  18o 1.08' North
IBA criteria A4i, B4i
Area 328 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description Pelican Rock is a small rocky islet about 3 acres in size located approximately one mile southeast of St. Maarten.

Key Biodiversity Audubon’s Shearwater Puffinus lherminieri is suspected of breeding at Pelican Rock in unknown numbers due to the presence of fledglings in March and May (Voous and Koelers 1967) although none were seen in June 2004 (EPIC, unpublished data). Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis breeds annually, with a maximum record of thirty-five nests (Voous 1983). One hundred breeding pairs of Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla were estimated in 2004. Royal Tern Sterna maxima observations included 47 nests with eggs and 90 individuals. Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus eggs were found and 15 nests estimated based on the number of adults calling (EPIC, unpublished data). Brown Noddy Anous stolidus reported as breeding in unknown numbers by Voous and Hoogerwerf in 1970s and 80s but none observed in 2004 by EPIC (unpublished data).

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  1983-2006  35 nests  medium  B4i  Not Recognised 
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla breeding  2004  100 breeding pairs  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus breeding  2004  90 individuals  medium  B4i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
St Maarten Marine Park 5,128 protected area contains site 328  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major

Protection status Pelican Rock lies within a marine protected area where jet skis, fishing, anchoring, and ship traffic is prohibited.P> Pelican Rock falls within the boundaries of the conservation area of the marine park; it does not have its own boundary. The Marine Park is in the process of drafting a management plan for the execution of the Marine Park Ordinance in which all islets within the conservation areas of the marine park will be accounted for. In January 1997 the marine park was unofficially established. The completion of the Marine Park Ordinance, which is in the final stages of completion, will make the park an official marine protected area.

Acknowledgements St. Maarten Nature Foundation

Further web sources of information 

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

References COLLIER, N.C. and A.C. BROWN. Unpublished data;COLLIER, N.C., A.C. BROWN, and M. HESTER. 2002;COLLAZO, J. A., J. E. SALIVA, AND J. PIERCE. 2000;DANFORTH, S. T. 1930;HOOGERWERF, A. 1977;ROJER, A. 1997;VOOUS, K. H. 1955a;VOOUS, K. H. 1955b;VOOUS, K. H. 1983;VOOUS, K. H. AND H. J. KOELERS. 1967.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Pelikan Rock, Sint Maarten. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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