|Location||St Vincent and the Grenadines, Mainland St Vincent|
|Central coordinates||61o 10.75' West 13o 19.80' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||0 - 1,220m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
Ornithological information La Soufrière has two (2) Globally-threatened Species and thirteen (13) RRS. Following the 1979 eruption, the entire population of Parrots disappeared, returning some 20 years thereafter. This habitat is also important for the Rufous-throated Solitaire, particularly at higher well-forested elevations, where the birds are often heard. Ivor Jackson and Associates (2004) gave the following description of abundance for the listed Globally-threatened and Restricted-range Species . The RRS Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Green-throated Carib, Grenada Flycatcher, Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, Purple-throated Carib and Scaly-breasted Thrasher were all identified as common, with the Purple-throated Carib being very common on the windward side of La Soufrière. Other species such as the RRS Lesser Antillean Tanager, Brown Trembler and Whistling Warbler were identified as occasional, while the Rufous-throated Solitaire and St. Vincent Parrot rare. The frequency with which certain species such as the Brown Trembler and Scaly-breasted Thrasher was recorded was however dependent on the east/west location (See Ivor Jackson and Associates, 2004).
Site description The proposed La Soufrière National Park occupies the majority of the northern quarter of the island. It is the largest IBA and encompasses St. Vincent’s most northerly and youngest volcano. The volcano’s 1-mile (1.6-km) wide summit crater, whose north-east rim is cut by a crater formed in 1812, lies on the south-west margin of the 1.4-mile (2.2-km) wide Somma crater, which is breached widely to the south-west as a result of slope failure (Smithsonian Institution, 2000). Historically, La Soufrière first erupted in 1718, followed by another in 1812. Both produced major explosions. In 1902, another eruption devastated much of the northern end of the island. That eruption coincided with that of Mount Pelée on Martinique. ‘A lava dome was emplaced in the summit crater in 1971 during a strictly effusive eruption, forming an island in a lake that filled the crater prior to an eruption in 1979. The lake was then largely ejected during a series of explosive eruptions, and the dome was replaced with another’ (Smithsonian Institution, 2000) (Plate 20). Its activity is monitored locally by the Seismic Unit within the Ministry of Agriculture, and in association with the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. The active La Soufrière is one of St. Vincent’s main tourist attractions. Volcanic eruptions have devastating effects on the surrounding ecosystem, which contains a mixture of secondary rainforest and volcanic pioneer vegetation. It is an area of unique ecological significance because it has the largest area of succession forest in St. Vincent (Ivor Jackson and Associates, 2004).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|St Vincent Amazon Amazona guildingii||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Lesser Antillean Swift Chaetura martinica||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Purple-throated Carib Eulampis jugularis||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Green-throated Carib Eulampis holosericeus||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Grenada Flycatcher Myiarchus nugator||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Scaly-breasted Thrasher Margarops fuscus||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Brown Trembler Cinclocerthia ruficauda||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Rufous-throated Solitaire Myadestes genibarbis||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Whistling Warbler Catharopeza bishopi||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla noctis||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Lesser Antillean Tanager Tangara cucullata||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Antillean Euphonia Euphonia musica||resident||2006||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|La Soufriere||Forest Reserve||0||protected area overlaps with site||0|
|Soufriere||Other Area||0||is identical to site||4,991|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Second-growth or disturbed forest||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Illegal Hunting|
Other biodiversity Several of the island's endemic plant species occur within the area, including T. cistoides, M. herbertii, B. rotundifolia, C. tenera and C. vincentiana. The endemic and endangered herpetofauna consists of A. griseus, A. vincentiana, C. vincenti and M. bruesi. Additionally, the endemic tree frog E. shrevei is also found.
Management considerations Eruptions of La Soufrière adversely affect bird populations and habitats, and continue to be a major conservation concern. During an eruption, large tracks of forests may be destroyed and impacts may last decades. As seen with the disappearance of the St. Vincent Parrot from that area after 1979, other birds may also be affected. It is likely too that species may be totally exterminated from the area.Several non-native species are present, including the rat, opossum and mongoose that are likely to affect bird populations. The armadillo is also known to have devastating effects on soil through its burrowing activities that causes considerable soil disturbance and tree fall. Marijuana C. sativa is illegally farmed within this proposed Reserve. Areas of natural forest are removed for this activity, often eliminating prime habitat for many of the island's endemic and endangered species.Squatting, and hunting of the wild pigeon, opossum and agouti also occurs.
Protection status Proposed National Park (under the SPAHS) and part of the proposed Central Forest Reserve (SPAHS)
References Ivor Jackson and Associates. 2004; Smithsonian Institution. 2000
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: La Soufrière National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/05/2013
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