|Location||Sint Maarten (to Netherlands), Sint Maarten|
|Central coordinates||63o 3.77' West 18o 1.35' North|
|Year of IBA assessment||2007|
Ornithological information The Near Threatened Caribbean Coot nests at this site. Two nests have been recorded while a maximum of 22 individuals have been observed. Four pairs of Pied-billed Grebes have been recorded nesting at Fresh Pond. Four Common Moorhen pairs have been recorded nesting. White-cheeked Pintail and Ruddy Duck nest at this site as well. Other regionally limited species found at this site include Green-throated Carib Eulampis holosericeus, Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus, Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus, and Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla noctis.
Site description Little Bay Pond is approximately 2.5 kilometers in diameter. It is located near the capital city of Phillipsburg but remains fairly undeveloped. Due to the low salinity (4-8 parts per thousand), this pond supports species uncommon in other parts of St. Maarten and the Lesser Antilles.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Caribbean Coot Fulica caribaea||breeding||2001-2006||22 individuals||poor||Near Threatened|
|Green-throated Carib Eulampis holosericeus||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus||resident||2006||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica||resident||2007||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus||resident||2006||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla noctis||resident||2006||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Not applicable.
Management considerations The pond is owned by a foreign development corporation and is up for sale. Previous development proposals have sought to dredge the pond and turn it into a marina, which would support a proposed resort. Local opposition halted these plans but no legal protections exist for the site. However, the legality of owning this pond has been questioned as all ponds are supposed to be public land. The water is high in nutrients from sewage outflow from surrounding areas, sometimes resulting in fish die-offs due to eutrophication. Trash is prevalent among the shoreline vegetation. Pollution runoff from adjacent roads is problematic. Predators such as cats, dogs, rats, and mongoose frequent the area.
Protection status Little Bay Pond has no legal protection, although its aesthetic and ecological value have inspired residents to fight for its protection.
Conservation response Weekly or monthly population counts have been conducted every winter since 2001 by Environmental Protection In the Caribbean (EPIC). In 2004, a census was conducted during the spring and summer months as well. Nature Foundation St. Maarten planted mangrove trees at the site, which have thrived in the low salinity, high nutrient waters. EPIC and the Nature Foundation, with funding from Royal Caribbean, constructed a bird observation tower and educational signage along the hiking path. During the winter, free monthly educational mangrove/bird walks are held at the pond.
References A.C. BROWN and N. COLLIER unpublished data 2001-2006;ADAM C. BROWN and N. COLLIER XXXX; ADAM C. BROWN and N. COLLIER 2001;2002;2003;2004;2005; HOOGERWERF, A. 1977; VOOUS, K. H. 1955; VOOUS, K. H. 1983
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Little Bay, Sint Maarten. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013
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