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Location Antigua and Barbuda, Antigua
Central coordinates 61o 52.40' West  17o 6.54' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 185 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description Hanson’s Bay – Flashes IBA is on the west coast of Antigua, just west of St John’s. More specifically it lies south-east of Five Island Village, and south-west of Gray’s Farm/Green Bay. The area comprises a complex wetland system (with salinas and mangroves) which forms the seaward outfall of the Body Ponds – Big Creek watershed (Antigua’s largest). The dense stand of mangroves (the largest mangrove woodland on Antigua) borders Hanson’s Bay, and this grades to salina and wet pasture (and bordering shrubland) on the landward side.

Key Biodiversity This IBA is significant as a feeding area for the Vulnerable West Indian Whistling-duck Dendrocygna arborea, with up to 80 occurring. Globally significant counts of 400 Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla have been reported. Good numbers of shorebirds, herons and egrets occur along with up to 100 White-cheeked Pintail Anas bahamensis , and the three species of restricted-range hummingbirds.

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  2007  80 individuals  poor  A1  Vulnerable 
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla resident  2007  400 individuals  poor  A4i  Least Concern 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised -

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: Hanson's Bay – Flashes. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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