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Location St Martin (to France)
Central coordinates 63o 8.55' West  18o 3.43' North
IBA criteria A2, B4i
Area 18 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description Grand Etang is a large saline pond located in the gated Lowlands subdivision of St. Martin. It is approximately 50 hectares in size. Due to its high salinity (>100 parts per thousand), the pond has little vegetation. At the west end, a small pond is separated from the larger pond by a narrow strip of land. Electric wires on poles cross the pond at this point. The surrounding land is low hills of scrub habitat interspersed with roads and homes on large estates. A dirt road runs directly next to the shore along one side. An exclusive resort borders the road.

Key Biodiversity Least Terns nest on a sandy spit located in the smaller pond of Grand Etang. Wilson's Plover nests at the same location and in surrounding areas. In the summer of 2004, nesting success of both species was monitored by EPIC. During that time, a high count of 180 Least Tern nests and 82 breeding pairs was recorded. Ten pairs of Wilson's Plover were recorded. Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus also breeds at Grand Etang (25 nests).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.

Non-bird biodiversity: Not applicable.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Least Tern Sternula antillarum breeding  2004  82 breeding pairs  medium  B4i  Least Concern 
Green-throated Carib Eulampis holosericeus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus resident  2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Loxigilla noctis resident  2006  unknown  A2  Not Recognised 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Zones humides et marines de Saint-Martin Ramsar Site Other 2,997 protected area contains site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised -

Protection status Grand Etang is afforded some legal protections as a recognized natural area.

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 2001-2006; DANFORTH, S. T. 1930;HALEWYN, R. VAN, AND R. L. NORTON. 1984; HOOGERWERF, A. 1977;PINCHON, R. 1976;ROJER, A. 1997;VOOUS, K. H. 1954;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: Grand Etang. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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