email a friend
printable version
Location Bahamas, Mayaguana
Central coordinates 72o 44.48' West  22o 19.26' North
IBA criteria A1, B4i, B4ii
Area 3,621 ha
Altitude 0 - 3m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Bahamas National Trust (Partner Designate)

Site description This site is located on the northwestern part of the island of Mayaguana. It comprises a wide shallow bay with sandy beach continuing into rocky shoreline toward Northwest Point and a cluster of offshore rocks known as Booby Rocks. Blackwood Point is at the northeastern tip of of this site. Mayaguana lies about 40 miles east of Acklins Island and is the most isolated inhabited island of The Bahamas. It is the size of New Providence with a population of less than 500 persons. Year 2006 brought massive change in the form of a mega resort development in the habitated western half of the island. The developers on Mayaguana plan to build a road around the entire island, thereby opening up the east end to possible habitat and human disturbance.

Key Biodiversity A Brown Booby colony nests on Booby Rocks off the NW point of Mayaguana. Magnificient Frigatebirds use smaller off-lying rocks to nest. At times Greater Flamingoes can be found at Blackwood Point. Shorebirds can be found around the NW point of Mayaguana, waterfowl and wading birds use the inland shallow mangrove wetlands, resident landbirds and winter migrants are found in the surrounding coppice. White-tailed Tropicbirds use the cliffs on the NW point of Mayaguana.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mayaguana is the only large Bahamian island that has no snakes. There are only two species of lizards, a Bark Anole and a Dwarf Gecko on the island.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus resident  2005  50-249 individuals  poor  B4ii  Least Concern 
Pelecanus occidentalis winter  2005  < 50 individuals  poor  B4i  Not Recognised 
Sula dactylatra winter  2005  < 50 individuals  medium  B4ii  Not Recognised 
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster breeding  2006  250-999 individuals  poor  B4ii  Least Concern 
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus winter  2005  < 50 individuals  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala resident  2005  50-249 individuals  poor  A1  Near Threatened 


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

Land use

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

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.

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: Booby Rocks and Pirates Bay. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife