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Location Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago
Central coordinates 60o 30.19' West  11o 17.86' North
IBA criteria A3, A4i, A4ii, B4i, B4ii
Area 1,351 ha
Altitude 0 - 140m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description Little Tobago Island is a small island about 2 km off the coast at Speyside in north-east Tobago. It is approximately 113 ha in area and has a maximum elevation of about 140m. There is no permanent habitation on the island but it is regularly visited by day visitors to view the tropicbirds and marine life surrounding the island.

Key Biodiversity The Island serves as an important breeding site for Audubon’s Shearwater, Red-billed Tropicbird and Brown Noddies. Other breeding species include Brown Booby, Bridled Tern, Sooty Tern and Laughing Gull. The island supports small populations of the biome restricted species Rufous-vented Chachalaca and Copper-rumped Hummingbird.

Non-bird biodiversity: Little Tobago supports populations of three replitles with limited distributions. The Ocellated Gecko Gonatodes ocellatus are common in the stands of Coccothrinax and Anthurium. This species is endemic to Tobago and Little Tobago (Murphy 1997). The subspecies of snake Mastigodryas boddaerti, M.d. dunni has a similar distribution. The subspecies of Bachia heteropa, B.h. alleni is limited to Tobago, Little Tobago, Grenada and the Grenadines. One endemic plant Pilea tobagensis has been collected on Little Tobago.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Rufous-vented Chachalaca Ortalis ruficauda resident  2006  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Puffinus lherminieri resident  1958-1968  500 breeding pairs  poor  B4ii  Not Recognised 
Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus breeding  1958-1968  250 breeding pairs  poor  A4ii  Least Concern 
Red-footed Booby Sula sula resident  1958-1968  419 breeding pairs  poor  B4ii  Least Concern 
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster resident  1958-1968  100-300 breeding pairs  poor  B4ii  Least Concern 
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla breeding  2000  50-208 breeding pairs  poor  A4i  Least Concern 
Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus breeding  2000  43 breeding pairs  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
Copper-rumped Hummingbird Amazilia tobaci resident  2006  unknown  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Little Tobago Game Sanctuary 101 is identical to site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
tourism/recreation major

Protection status Little Tobago has been protected as a game sanctuary since 1928. It is currently managed by the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Tobago House of Assembly. Access is restricted without authorised tour operators.

Further web sources of information 

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

References Bacon, P.B. and R.P. ffrench (1972);Beard, J.S. , (1944);Dinsmore, J.J. (1972);Murphy, J.C. (1997);Hardy, J.D Jr. (1982); Hayes, F. E., and S. Bodnar. (2007)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Little Tobago Island. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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