|Central coordinates||72o 41.09' West 20o 1.59' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
Ornithological information 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.
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.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala||resident||2007||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Plain Pigeon Patagioenas inornata||resident||2007||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Hispaniolan Lizard-cuckoo Coccyzus longirostris||resident||2007||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Antillean Mango Anthracothorax dominicus||resident||2007||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima||resident||2007||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Stolid Flycatcher Myiarchus stolidus||resident||2007||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Thick-billed Vireo Vireo crassirostris||resident||2007||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Rocky areas||Inland cliffs||major|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other 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
Management considerations Habitat destruction, introduced animals, conversion to agriculture, fuelwood extraction, elimination of bird species, demography, recreational activities, sedimentation and erosion.
Protection status Protected area is only proposed.
Conservation response In the search for mammals of Hispaniola, in 1985, Charles Woods and Associates (William Oliver, Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust; Rose Paul and Sandy Whidden University of Vermont, Florence Sergile, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, made inventories for birds and mammals. In 1985, bird and bat monitoring was carried by Charles Woods, University of Florida and John Hermanson, Emory University. In 1988, a group of professional at the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, concerned by the degradation of the environment produced an official declaration listing 70 sq km on the island of La Tortue to be protected areas. Between 1994 and 1996, the Ministry of Tourism selected a number of sites for their natural environment under the direction of Maryse Penete Kedar, Minister of Tourism; Danielle St. Lot, Head of Cabinet. In 1997, Route 2004 undertook studies of historical monuments to be protected in their natural environment. Project direction included Gisèle Hyvert (Deceased), Harold Gaspard (actual Minister for Culture) and a team of architects, anthropologist and other consultants: Rachel Beauvoir, Pierre Eddy Lubin, Marie Bremeau guided by Victor Edmund. At the same time, due to the particularity of fauna and flora of Tortue Island, high potential for ecotourism and historical sites protections in their natural environment, ECMU (Environmental Coordination and Monitoring Unit) of the United Nations Development Program financed a rapid assessment on the environment. Both projects were financed by UNDP/Haiti.
Acknowledgements Florence Sergile, Société Audubon Haiti Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Les Grottes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/05/2013
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