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Location Barbados, St. Lucy
Central coordinates 59o 36.67' West  13o 19.93' North
IBA criteria A2, A4i, A4iii
Area 9 ha
Altitude 18 - 41m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description Collectively, the shooting swamps in the northern parish of St. Lucy at: N 13°19' 29.21", W 59° 37' 18.09"; N 13°19' 56.30", W59° 36' 40.13"; N 13° 17' 40.44", W 59° 38' 04.01"; N 13° 18' 11.95", W 59° 37' 32.11"; N 13° 19' 01.25", W 59° 37' 00.48" form an IBA. These artificially created and maintained wetlands average 4 to 5 acres in extent and are all situated on private land. The express purpose is to provide habitat for migrating sandpipers so they can be shot. Generally, the immediate environs of these wetlands are pasture or sugar cane lands.

Key Biodiversity It is reported that a collective total from all these swamps of between 7 and 15 thousand Nearctic-nesting sandpipers are shot annually (see text for target species). Empirical evidence indicates that larger flights (and therefore the number of birds shot) are weather-dependent. More birds stop when affected by adverse weather conditions associated with tropical Atlantic waves, depressions and storms. Thus, numbers stopping vary from year to year in the season from July to October. Estimates vary and numbers shot are an unknown percentage of the total numbers passing. These wetlands also provide necessary habitat for non-target species.

Non-bird biodiversity: Not Applicable

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica winter  1991  4,050-9,000 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes winter  1991  13,200 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca winter  1991  2,550 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos winter  1991  6,600 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Green-throated Carib Eulampis holosericeus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Loxigilla noctis resident  2007  unknown  A2  Not Recognised 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2007  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting major
rangeland/pastureland minor

Protection status Not Applicable

Further web sources of information 

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

References Various informants Various informants. Dr. Karl Watson (

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: St Lucy Shooting Swamps. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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