|Location||St Lucia, Choiseul,Soufriere|
|Central coordinates||61o 3.19' West 13o 49.55' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, B4i|
|Altitude||0 - 777m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2007|
Ornithological information The species of national importance in this site include the following: St. Lucia Black Finch Melanospiza richardsoni, St. Lucia Oriole Icterus laudabilis, St. Lucia Pewee (Lesser Antillean Pewee) Contopus oberi (Contopus latirostris) , St. Lucia Warbler Dendroica delicata, St. Lucia Flycatcher (Lesser Antillean Flycatcher) Myiachus oberi sanctae luceae (Myiachus oberi ) and St. Lucia Wren (House Wren)Troglodytes aedon sanctae luceae (Troglodytes aedon)>. Other species that inhabit the area are: Banana Quit (Bananaquit) Coereba flaveola, Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigila noctis, Black-faced Grass Quit (Black-faced Grassquit) Tiaris bicolor, Broad-Winged hawk (broad-winged Hawk) Buteo platypterus, Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis, Green Heron Butorides virescens, Grey Trembler Cinclocerthia gutturalis, Brown Trembler Cinclocerthia ruficauda, Mangrove Cuckoo Coccyzus minor , Common Ground-dove Columbina passerina, Red-Necked Pigeon (Scaly-naped Pigeon) Patagioenas squamosa, Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica, Purple-throated Carib Eulampis jugularis, Antillean Euphonia Euphonia musica, American Kestrel Falco sparverius, Ruddy Quail Dove Geotrygon montana, Scaly-Breasted Thrasher Margarops fuscus, Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus, Carib Grackle Quiscalus lugubris, Lesser Antillean Saltator Saltator albicollis, Bare-eyed Thrush (Spectacled Thrush) Turdus nudigenis, Grey Kingbird Tyrannus dominicensis, Black-whispered Vireo (Black-whiskered Vireo) Vireo altiloquus, Zenaida Dove Zenaida aurita.
Site description The Pitons are located on the southwest coast of St. Lucia, near the coastal town of Soufriere, and provide an area of outstanding natural beauty, spectacular geological features, and highly productive biological ecosystems. The Pitons Management Area (PMA) is a World heritage Site comprising of 2 majestic volcanic spires that rise from the sea to 777m and 730m respectively. The Gros Piton and Petit Piton are volcanic plugs that are part of our national and international identity. The area comprise of 1450 hectares. Communities within the PMA are Fond Jens Libre and Chateau Belair. Two resorts Ladera and Jalousie Hilton also lie within the PMA.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Royal Tern Sterna maxima||resident||2007||-||medium||B4i||Least Concern|
|Purple-throated Carib Eulampis jugularis||resident||2007||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus||resident||2007||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica||resident||2007||-||medium||A2||Least Concern|
|Lesser Antillean Pewee Contopus latirostris||resident||2007||-||medium||A2||Least Concern|
|Lesser Antillean Flycatcher Myiarchus oberi||resident||2007||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Scaly-breasted Thrasher Margarops fuscus||resident||2007||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Brown Trembler Cinclocerthia ruficauda||resident||2007||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Grey Trembler Cinclocerthia gutturalis||resident||2007||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|St Lucia Warbler Dendroica delicata||resident||2007||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|St Lucia Oriole Icterus laudabilis||resident||2007||100 individuals||medium||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla noctis||resident||2007||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|St Lucia Black Finch Melanospiza richardsoni||resident||2007||200 individuals||medium||A1, A2||Endangered|
|Antillean Euphonia Euphonia musica||resident||2007||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Lesser Antillean Saltator Saltator albicollis||resident||2007||-||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Pitons Management Area||Other Area||2,000||protected area contained by site||0|
|Pitons Management Area||World Heritage Site||2,909||protected area contained by site||0|
|Soufriere (SMMA)||Marine Management Area||0||protected area overlaps with site||0|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Other biodiversity Other endemic species found in the area include St. Lucia anole Anolis luceae and St. Lucia Pygmy Gecko Sphaerodactylus microlepis, Boa constrictor (endemic subspecies) Fer de lance; a newly described mollusc(?). The Pitons have also a very high floristic diversity, including many endemics, for St Lucia.
Management considerations Some of the threats to the Piton management Area include the following: Non-native predators – especially small Indian mongoose; black, brown rats Development Pressures from tourism. Hurricanes – St. Lucia lies in the hurricane belt of the eastern Caribbean and as a result is vulnerable to hurricane strikes each year during the hurricane season which runs from June to November. However, the last hurricane to hit the Island was Hurricane Allen in 1980 where over 80% of the forest was either damaged or destroyed. Fires – The threat of fires is high in the dry season. The area has had a few fires in the past when fires lit by farmers or from persons camping in the area have escaped. Volcanic eruption – Since the Pitons are volcanic plugs of an extinct/dormant volcano, the threat of a volcanic eruption although remote cannot be ruled out. The Soufriere Hills in the Caribbean Island of Montserrat is a grim reminder of what extinct volcanoes can do.
Protection status The Area is a World Heritage Site and as a result the 2 pitons are protected while the surrounding lands are under some form of management. Part of the marine area is a marine reserve. The Wildlife Protection Act, The Fisheries Act and Crown Lands Ordinance all play a role in protecting the area. The protected area is contained by the proposed IBA.
Conservation response Botanist Roger Graveson is conducting an ongoing floral inventory
References Anthony D. 1977 Inventory of Flora and fauna of Gros Piton, St. Lucia. World Wildlife Fund /USAID /ENCORE St. Lucia Cox C. 1999. A rapid inventory of the Flora and Fauna of Petit Piton and the Ridge Between the Pitons. St. Lucia World Heritage Committee Jn. Pierre L.L. 1988. Report on the Status of the Flora and Fauna of the area of the Proposed Piton National Trust. St. Lucia national Trust Raffaele, H. Wiley J., Garrido, O., Keith A. and Raffaele J., 1998 A Guide to the Birds of the West Indies. Princeton University Press, Princeton New Jersey St. Lucia Biodiversity Country Report of St. Lucia. Castries: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. 2000. St. Lucia Environmental Profile, 1991.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Pitons Management Area. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2013
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