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Location Haiti, Department du Sud-Est
Central coordinates 74o 1.00' West  18o 19.34' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 1,061 ha
Altitude 950 - 1,200m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Site description Bois Musicien is located at the southwestern tip of the Macaya Biosphere Reserve in the Massif de la Hotte on the Morne Cavalier mountain chain. It consists of karst formation border to the North and west by the upper Morne Cavalier/chaine Formond and slopes of Cavalier, to the east by the plain of Durand and to the south by the harsh karstic zone of Soulette. Nearby localities of Durand, Portal, Formond connect to Cavalier by paths used intensely especially during market days and during planting and harvest seasons. Altitudes range between 950 to 1200 meters and mean annual daytime temperature 22°C. Bi-modal annual precipitations range between 2500-3000 mm with two rainy peaks in May and October; driest months are December to February. At higher altitudes, cloud cover is common, restricting growth of certain crops that are cultivated in the karst formation area. The population is left in isolation and benefit from sporadic projects. Family size is 8. The majority of the people in these areas are very poor, live in ajoupas, plant tubers (yam, sweet potato, taro), corn, plantains, black beans, cabbage, carrots and thyme that are sold in local markets and use in the household. In addition, they raise free style cattle (sheep, goats, cows) and pigs for cash and meat. Relatively richer families, those that have family abroad (France, St. Martin, Guadeloupe) control the land (they don't own the land but they consider it their property) in Plain Durand and Plain Formond and poorer work in their fields or are shepherds.

Key Biodiversity The bird diversity of Bois Musicien is far higher than any other area surveyed in the Macaya Biosphere Reserve area. Species diversity also increases in winter months when migratory species arrive from northern latitudes and utilize the habitats. Last inventory of February 2004t included mistnetting, sight counting and banding all day from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Bird species of special concern are the Hispaniolan Highland-Tanager (White-Winged Warbler), Western, Antillean Piculet that are threatened due to habitat lost. Although local people that have participated as guides in scientific research, understand banding, they have no place to report scientific information, which is unfortunately lost. In addition, because of lack of funding, simple management of wildlife is lacking. Due to the fact that this area was managed from 1989 to 2001, Hispaniolan Highland-Tanager had been able to recover. Interestingly enough, Swainson’s Warbler was reported for the first time during the 2004 exploration.

Non-bird biodiversity: There are also a number of endemics. The most notorious are the snails and the small frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus parapelates, Eleutherodactylus amadeus, Eleutherodactylus corona, Eleutherodactylus dolomedes, etc. ), many of them described only after 1985. A number of lizards (Anolis sp.) and other reptiles are restricted to the Massif de la Hotte and the karstic formation of Bois Musicien. Land mammals include the Hutia (Plagiodontia aedium) and the relic insectivore (Solenondon paradoxus ). Bat include species restricted to the one or two islands of the Greater Antilles such as Sooty Moustached Bat (Pteronotus quadridens), Parnell's Moustached Bat (Pteronotus parnelli), Leach's Long-tongued Bat (Monophyllus redmani clinedaphus), Dominican Fig-eating Bat (Phyllops haitiensis), Haitian Flower Bat (Phyllonycteris poeyi obtuse), Hispaniolan Brown Flower Bat (Erophylla sezekorni bombifrons), Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus hispaniolae) and Haitian Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis constanzae) A number of butterflies (Calisto sp), insects and mollusks are endemic to the area as well.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Plain Pigeon Patagioenas inornata resident  2004  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Anthracothorax dominicus resident  2004  unknown  A2  Not Recognised 
Hispaniolan Emerald Chlorostilbon swainsonii resident  2004  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Hispaniolan Trogon Temnotrogon roseigaster resident  2004  unknown  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Narrow-billed Tody Todus angustirostris resident  2004  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Antillean Piculet Nesoctites micromegas resident  2004  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Hispaniolan Woodpecker Melanerpes striatus resident  2004  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Greater Antillean Elaenia Elaenia fallax resident  2004  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Golden Swallow Tachycineta euchrysea resident  2004  unknown  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Rufous-throated Solitaire Myadestes genibarbis resident  2004  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
White-winged Warbler Xenoligea montana resident  2004  unknown  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Grey-crowned Palm-tanager Phaenicophilus poliocephalus resident  2004  unknown  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Chat Tanager Calyptophilus frugivorus resident  2004  unknown  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Hispaniolan Spindalis Spindalis dominicensis resident  2004  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Antillean Euphonia Euphonia musica resident  2004  unknown  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Parc Macaya Natural National Park 2,000 protected area contains site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Tropical wet limestone  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -
energy production and mining -
rangeland/pastureland -

Protection status Bois Musicien is included in the karstic zone of the Macaya Biosphere Reserve. It supports an extreme diversity and is the most accessible region of the reserve, thus most vulnerable due to edaphic factors (soils, exposure to sun, local rainfall, wind and huricane) that suits local farmers (See map). It is in fact the easiest place to manage within the protected area because it is in the lowest elevations of the protected area and fairly accessible in contrast to Pic Formon and Pic Macaya that actually have a lower biological diversity.

Acknowledgements Florence Sergile, 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: Bois Musicien. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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