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Location Virgin Islands (to USA), St. Thomas
Central coordinates 64o 56.00' West  18o 22.10' North
IBA criteria A2
Area 572 ha
Altitude 0 - 75m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description Magens Bay is located on the north central coast of St. Thomas, opens northwesterly into the Atlantic, and includes an extensive sandy beach, coastal mangrove wetlands, and deciduous dry and moist forests. Within the site is Magen’s Bay Preserve, a 129 hectare preserve co-owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, the Magens Bay Authority and the V.I. Territorial Government. The Preserve, established in 2002 by The Nature Conservancy, includes a modest arboretum, public beach, and nature trail. The land area around the bay is subject to intense development and disturbance from residential areas, a golf course, and recreation. Because of the natural features of the bay area and the district’s unique archeology, the Territorial Government has further designated Magens Bay Preserve as an Area of Particular Concern (APC).

Key Biodiversity A total of 41 species have been confirmed: …Brown Pelican, Brown Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-heron, Blue-winged Teal, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Common Moorhen, Semipalmated Plover, Wilson’s Plover, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, Royal Tern, Common Tern, Scaly-naped Pigeon, White-crowned Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Common Ground Dove, Brown-throated Parakeet, Mangrove Cuckoo, Smooth-billed Ani, Green-throated Carib, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Caribbean Eleania, Gray Kingbird, Northern Mockingbird, Pearly-eyed Thrasher, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black and White Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, Bananaquit, Black-faced Grassquit. Two unconfirmed reports of a Black-bellied Whistling Duck occurring in summer 2006.

Non-bird biodiversity: A total of 7 reptile species and 6 amphibian species were reported in the TNC inventory. Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) and Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricate) have been seen in Magens Bay. Several endangered/threatened species are know to occupy the preserve including the Mute Frog (Eleuterodactylus lentus), found in the lower woodlands, and the plants Chrysophyllum pauciflorum, Bull’s Foot Orchid (Psychilis macconelliae), Egger’s Cockspur (Erythrina eggersii) and Bulletwood (Manilkara bidentata). Introduced terrestrial pest species include mongoose, feral cats, and rats.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Green-throated Carib Eulampis holosericeus resident  2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus resident  2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica resident  2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus resident  2006  unknown  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Magens Bay Marine Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary 133 protected area contained by site 133  


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

Land use

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

Protection status The entire Magens Bay Preserve is officially recognized and designated for protection.

Acknowledgements Jim Corven

Further web sources of information 

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

References Boulon, Ralf H. & D. M. Griffin (1999), McLaughlin, M.(Eds)(1976);Platenberg et al(2005); Raffaele et al.(2003),Raffaele et al (1989) and The Nature Conservancy(2005)

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

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