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Location Virgin Islands (to USA), St. John
Central coordinates 64o 44.74' West  18o 19.91' North
IBA criteria A2, B4i
Area 2,978 ha
Altitude
Year of IBA assessment 2007





Site description St. John is the smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands with 28 square miles, 53% (7,000 acres) of which is the Virgin Islands National Park. Most of the landscape is second growth with relatively few introduced plant and bird species. Diverse habitats include rocky and sandy coastlines, semi-arid thorn-cactus communities, a comprehensive assortment of tropical dry forest formations from coastal hedge to shrublands and canopied upland forests, moist forests, mangrove wetlands, freshwater and saltwater ponds, small agricultural/pasture lands, and small towns. The island receives an average of 44 inches of rainfall annually, but is highly seasonal, with the heaviest precipitation occurring from August to November, augmented by a late-spring wet period. The winter-spring dry season normally lasts 3 months or more.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis resident  2006  300 breeding pairs  poor  B4i  Least Concern 
Bridled Quail-dove Geotrygon mystacea resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Green-throated Carib Eulampis holosericeus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica resident  2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Puerto Rican Flycatcher Myiarchus antillarum resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla noctis resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Saint John Marine Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary 0 protected area contained by site 0  

Habitats

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

Land use

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

Other biodiversity Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) and Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) have been seen on St. John beaches and may nest. The Virgin Islands tree boa (Epicrates monensis granti) is listed as endangered by the VI Dept. of Fish & Wildlife. A number of endangered plant species have been identified on St. John including Eugenia earhartii (Earhart's eugenia), Solanum conocarpum (Marron baccora), Agave eggersiana (Eggers' agave), Erythrina eggersii (Eggers' cockspur), Machaonia woodburyana (Woodbury's machaonia), Calyptranthes thomasiana (St. Thomas lidflower), Zanthoxylum thomasianum (St. Thomas Prickly ash).

Protection status The Virgin Islands National Park, including nearshore coral reefs, is legally protected and managed by the U.S. National Park Service (NPS). The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has about 9 hectares in its Coral Bay Preserve and Island Resources Foundation (IRF) has the Nancy Spire Nature Preserve consisting of approximately 17 hectares. All mangroves in the U.S. Virgin Islands are legally protected.

Further web sources of information 

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

References Boulon, R.H. and D. M. Griffin (1999); McLaughlin, M.(Eds)(1976);Platenberg et al. (2005); Raffaele et al. (2003);Raffaele, H. (1989).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: St John. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/07/2014

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