|Location||Haiti, Department du Sud-Est|
|Central coordinates||74o 1.00' West 18o 19.34' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||950 - 1,200m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
Ornithological information 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.
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.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Plain Pigeon Patagioenas inornata||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Antillean Mango Anthracothorax dominicus||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Hispaniolan Emerald Chlorostilbon swainsonii||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Hispaniolan Trogon Priotelus roseigaster||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Narrow-billed Tody Todus angustirostris||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Antillean Piculet Nesoctites micromegas||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Hispaniolan Woodpecker Melanerpes striatus||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Greater Antillean Elaenia Elaenia fallax||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Golden Swallow Tachycineta euchrysea||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Rufous-throated Solitaire Myadestes genibarbis||resident||2004||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|White-winged Warbler Xenoligea montana||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Grey-crowned Palm-tanager Phaenicophilus poliocephalus||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Chat Tanager Calyptophilus frugivorus||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Hispaniolan Spindalis Spindalis dominicensis||resident||2004||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Antillean Euphonia Euphonia musica||resident||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|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||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|energy production and mining||-|
Other 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.
Management considerations Ephemerality of conservation program, habitat destruction, introduced animals, fuelwood extraction, lumber extraction, demography, land tenure, introduction of exotic species, erosion, recreational activities, hunting and conversion to agriculture.
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.
Conservation response Bois Musicien is probably the most studied area in Haiti because of it rich biodiversity. Research in the Massif de la Hotte goes back to 18 century. The first explorer was Louis-Claude Richard, a French naturalist and botanist (1787). Then in 1920's, Drs. Erik Ekman (Stokholm Museum of Natural History), Rollo Beck, William Abbott, Henry Baker (Department de l'Agriculture / Ecole d'agronomie, Haiti) collected in the area. In the 1930's, Wetmore collected birds in the area. More recently, from 1973 to 1995, Charles Woods and his students undertook a series of research expeditions to document the rich biodiversity of the Massif de la Hotte. Expedition of 1977 included Margaret Langworthy, Richard Rosen, James Bicket, Betsy Holland, Bill Holland and David Barrignton of the University of Vermont. A report was prepared to recommend the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development the establishment of a protected (Wood and Rosen 1977). From December 1982 to January 1983, University of Florida explorations included: Charles Woods, Kevin Jordan, Mara McDonald, Jose Ottenwalder of the University of Florida, Donald Dod of the Jardin Botanico of the Dominican Republic. In January 1984, expedition members included scholars and students from the University of Florida and colleagues from Earthwatch, Peace Corps and ISPAN; in 1985, on-site inventories included students of the University of Vermont, mammalogist from Jersey Wildlife Trust and Haitian counterparts. In November - December 1988. A rapid reconnaissance survey (sondeo) was completed for the Formond areas. An eight-person team visited the target area to interview local residents, observe firsthand the ecology of the area, and develop suitable intervention strategies for the project. Team included: The table below depicts individuals and their institutions that have contributed in the biophysical knowledge, management of its biodiversity and conservation in this area.
Acknowledgements Florence Sergile, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bois Musicien. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2013
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