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Location Antigua and Barbuda, Antigua
Central coordinates 61o 44.57' West  17o 2.54' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 95 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description Christian Cove IBA is at the head of Willoughby Bay on the south-east coast of Antigua, just north of Christian Point. The IBA is south-east of Bethesda Dam IBA (AG012). The road to Bethesda forms the western boundary of the IBA. Christian Cove is a wetland basin comprising fringing mangroves (shorter mangroves to the north and taller stands on the south-east side), saltmarsh, and a small freshwater marsh. The freshwater marsh is in the north-western corner of the IBA, and is fed by a stream that is bisected by the Bethesda road. Dry woodland of manchineel Hippomane mancinella and Acacia spp. surrounds the wetland.

Key Biodiversity This IBA is globally significant for its population of 400 Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla. The wetland supports a wide diversity of shorebirds and waterbirds (including ducks, herons, egrets and terns). The Vulnerable West Indian Whistling-duck Dendrocygna arborea and Near Threatened Piping Plover Charadrius and Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis have all been recorded, although not in significant numbers.

Non-bird biodiversity: Nothing recorded.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
West Indian Whistling-duck Dendrocygna arborea resident  2008  38 individuals  poor  A1  Vulnerable 
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla resident  2007  400 individuals  poor  A4i  Least Concern 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation -

Acknowledgements Authors Joseph Prosper, Victor Joseph, Andrea Otto, Shanee Prosper (Environmental Awareness Group)

Further web sources of information 

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

References Bacon, PR., (1991);Bunce, L., (1993);Caribbean Conservation Association. (1991);Lindsay, k. and Horwith, B. (1997);MacPherson, J. (1973);Martin-Kaye, P., (1969);Martin-Kaye, P., (1959);Pregill, GKD et al.(1994);Raffaele, H., et al. (1998); Spencer, W (1981)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Christian Cove. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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