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Location Antigua and Barbuda, Barbuda
Central coordinates 61o 50.00' West  17o 36.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i, A4ii
Area 7,785 ha
Altitude 0 - 7m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description Codrington Lagoon and Creek IBA is on the north-western side of Barbuda. It is a large (c.12 km long and 2 km wide),almost enclosed salt-water lagoon that is bordered by mangroves and sand ridges. The best developed mangroves border the lagoon along the eastern and north-western sides, and also along Codrington Creek which connects the lagoon to the sea in the north. Dry scrub vegetation borders the lagoon on the north-east side.

Key Biodiversity This IBA supports the largest breeding colony of Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens in the Caribbean, estimated at 1,743 nests and 5,300 birds in March 2008. A significant population (c.200) of Vulnerable West Indian Whistling-ducks Dendrocygna arborea occurs in the lagoon, as do four (of Antigua and Barbuda’s 11) Lesser Antilles EBA restrictedrange birds. The Near Threatened endemic Barbuda Warbler Dendroica subita occurs and the presence of up to 1,000 Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla is globally significant.

Non-bird biodiversity: This is a major nesting site for the Critically Endangered leatherback Dermochelys coriacea and hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata turtles. The lagoon is also of considerable importance as a major breeding ground for (economically important) fish and lobster.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
West Indian Whistling-duck Dendrocygna arborea resident  2007  200 individuals  poor  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens resident  2008  5,000 individuals  poor  A4ii  Least Concern 
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla resident  2007  1,000 individuals  poor  A4i  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 
Lesser Antillean Flycatcher Myiarchus oberi resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Barbuda Warbler Dendroica subita resident  2007  30 individuals  poor  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Loxigilla noctis resident  2007  unknown  A2  Not Recognised 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Codrington Lagoon Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 3,600 protected area contained by site 3,600  
Codrington Lagoon Wildlife Reserve 3,550 protected area contained by site 3,550  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation -
nature conservation and research -
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: The lagoon is also of considerable importance as a major breeding ground for (economically important) fish and lobster.

Acknowledgements Authors: Joseph Prosper, Victor Joseph, Andrea Otto, Shanee Prosper (Environmental Awareness Group)

Further web sources of information 

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

References Bacon, PR., (1991);Bunce, L., (1993);Caribbean Conservation Association. (1991);Lindsay, k. and Horwith, B. (1997);MacPherson, J. (1973);Martin-Kaye, P., (1969);Martin-Kaye, P., (1959);Pregill, GKD et al.(1994);Raffaele, H., et al. (1998); Spencer, W (1981)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Codrington Lagoon and the Creek. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife