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Location Haiti
Central coordinates 72o 41.09' West  20o 1.59' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 79 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Site description Les Grottes are sheltered in the limestone cliffs on the terrace system of Île de la Tortue, located on the northeast part of Morne Monde and Morne Pois Congo. It is in the la Tortue commmune, Departement du Nord'Ouest. The land is exploited by farmers that plant plantains and bananas, coffee, beans. Access from the main land is from Port Vincent to Aux Palmistes. Identified as historic landscapes and monuments to be protected by the Ministry of Culture and Communication and in 1997 by the Route 2004 project. This IBA will consist of three caves and surroundings where the Atlantic Ocean and marine birds can be observed. Nearby Aux Palmistes (Lat: 20.01667 Long: -72.73333) and surroundings are densely populated with about 10,000 people. It counts religious missions, schools, health centers, stores, and a radio station.

Key Biodiversity Its avifauna includes more than 40 species with 3 unique forms: Tortue Thick-billed Vireo (Vireo crassirostris tortugae), (Coereba bananivora nectarea), (Loxigilla violacea maurella) not found on the main land. It is an important area for migratory species including transiting species.

Non-bird biodiversity: Endemic subspecies do Île de la Tortue Thick-billed Vireo (Vireo crassirostris tortugae); Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola nectarea); Greater Antillean Bullfinch (Loxigilla violacea maurella). Marine migratory species need to be inventoried, this includes species the wetlands/mangrove

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala resident  2007  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Plain Pigeon Patagioenas inornata resident  2007  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Hispaniolan Lizard-cuckoo Coccyzus longirostris resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Anthracothorax dominicus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Not Recognised 
Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Stolid Flycatcher Myiarchus stolidus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Thick-billed Vireo Vireo crassirostris resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Rocky areas Inland cliffs  major
Caves and subterranean habitats (non-aquatic) Caves  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
urban/industrial/transport -
rangeland/pastureland -

Protection status Protected area is only proposed.

Acknowledgements Florence Sergile, Société Audubon Haiti Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida

Further web sources of information 

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

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Les Grottes. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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