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Location Bahamas, Andros
Central coordinates 77o 34.11' West  24o 3.83' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i
Area 10,059 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2013

Bahamas National Trust (Partner Designate)



Site description This site is located on South Andros Island, and spans a distance of about 30 miles of road which runs along the east coast. Several known blue holes are found in this site including Rat Bat Lake and Twins located north of Congo Town airport. Nine Tasks Blue Hole, Evelyn Green Blue Hole and another near the seashore at the S-bend located south of The Bluff settlement make for added birding adventure. However, it is advisable to contact the Bahamas Tourist Office in South Andros for local guide assistance. It is very easy to get lost or injured in this rugged terrain, insect repellant and protective clothing are essential. Accomodations and rental cars are available, and the airport at Congo Town provide daily flights to Nassau.

Key Biodiversity On South Andros you may find most of the listed resident landbirds including the elusive Great Lizard Cuckoo, Bahama Yellowthroat, Bahama Oriole, White-crowned Pigeon, Doves, Bahama Mockingbird, Northern Mockingbird, Thick-billed Vireo and Bananaquit. Shorebirds, waterbirds and migrant warblers are also found in this site. This site also gained prominence for being the only known nesting site of Cave Swallows in the Bahamas. They are reported to nest between early April and late July in limestone cavities of the blue holes. This was evident in June 2007 when they were recorded in ponds eight and nine at Nine Tasks Blue Hole and at Twins Blue Hole. The ponds/blue holes have the potential for being the habitat for many species of waterbirds including grebes, ducks, coots, moorhens, herons and egrets. Flycatchers also feed busily over the water. Yellow-crowned Night Herons were nesting at all the above-mentioned blue holes visited in June 2007.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Piping Plover Charadrius melodus winter  2006  38 individuals  poor  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala resident  2005  250-999 individuals  poor  A1  Near Threatened 
Bahama Woodstar Calliphlox evelynae resident  2005  < 50 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Thick-billed Vireo Vireo crassirostris resident  2005  < 50 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Bahama Mockingbird Mimus gundlachii resident  2005  < 50 females only  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Bahama Yellowthroat Geothlypis rostrata resident  2005  < 50 individuals  poor  A2  Least Concern 
Bahama Oriole Icterus northropi resident  2013  present  A1, A2  Critically Endangered 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   -
Shrubland   major
Coastline   -
Forest Mangrove  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
hunting -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport major
not utilised major
fisheries/aquaculture -

Further web sources of information 

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

References White, A.W. 1998b. A Birder's Guide to the Bahama Islands (Including Turks and Caicos). American Birding Association. Colorado Springs, CO. 302pp. Bainton, Alieen M. and Anthony W. White. 2006. A Bibliography of Birds, Ornithology and Birding in The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands. Media Enterprises Ltd. Nassau, Bahamas. 96pp. 2006 and 2007. Carolyn Wardle and Predensa Moore field trips to South Andros. Unpublished documents available at Bahamas National Trust.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Driggs Hill to Mars Bay. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2014

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