|Location||Bahamas, Cay Sal Bank|
|Central coordinates||80o 24.51' West 23o 42.38' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, B4i, B4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 3m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2007|
Ornithological information This site is a seabird nesting haven, healthy colonies of Terns and Audubon's Shearwaters is reported to nest on the Cay Sal Bank. Elbow Cay the northwest corner is considered the principal nesting site for Audubon's Shearwaters, Royal Terns, Roseate Terns, Bridle Terns, Sooty Terns, and Brown Noddies. Smaller colonies of Terns including Sandwich Terns nest on Dog Rocks, Damas and Anguilla Cays. Resident non-breeding seabirds include Brown Pelicans, Magnificant Frigatebirds, Double-crested Cormorants and Brown Boobies. Landbirds are few, Green Herons, Yellow-crowned Night Herons, Antillean Nighthawks, Gray Kingbirds,White-crowned Pigeons, Mourning Doves and Common Ground Doves. It is used as a stopover site for migrating landbirds. There is also a saltwater logoon on Cay Sal that is used as a resting place for shorebirds.
Site description This remote group of cays are located due south of Miami midway between Florida and Cuba, although it is part of the Bahamas it is closer to Florida and Cuba than to Andros. They are presently uninhabited except for providing ideal harbour for yachts sailing between Cuba and Florida, however, plans are afoot to build a marina on Cay Sal. Cays making up this group are Double Headed Shot Cays, Elbow Cay, Damas and Anguilla Cays and Cay Sal.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Audubon's Shearwater Puffinus lherminieri||breeding||2006||abundant breeding pairs||poor||B4ii||Least Concern|
|Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis||winter||2005||present individuals||poor||B4i||Least Concern|
|Royal Tern Sterna maxima||breeding||2005||-||poor||B4i||Least Concern|
|Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis||breeding||2005||frequent individuals||poor||B4i||Least Concern|
|Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii||breeding||2005||common individuals||poor||A4i||Least Concern|
|Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus||breeding||2005||common individuals||poor||A4i||Least Concern|
|Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata||breeding||2006||abundant breeding pairs||poor||B4i||Least Concern|
|White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala||resident||2005||present individuals||poor||A1||Near Threatened|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity An endemic anole is found on Cay Sal and one of the Anguilla Cays. Bahamian Brown Anoles, Worm Snakes, and Pygmy Boas are also found on this site. Loggerhead Turtles are known to nest on the sandy beaches, Hawksbill and Green Turtles may also nest here according to reports in 1994 and 1995
Management considerations Upcoming development will create disturbance to birds and destruction of habitat. Elbow Cay has a fresh water cistern and Cuban refugees frequently stop there. They have decimated the Audubon's Shearwater colony to obtain fresh meat.
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, Aileen 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.
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 (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cay Sal. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2013
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife