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Location Jamaica, Westmoreland Parish
Central coordinates 78o 1.60' West  18o 10.04' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 4,660 ha
Altitude 0 - 801m
Year of IBA assessment 2007





Site description Bluefields is a spectacularly scenic area of Jamaica. It is located on the south-west coast of the island in the parish of Westmoreland. The area was first settled by the Taino (Amerindians from the Orinoco Basin in Venezuela) around 650 A.D. Bluefields Bay is a large natural harbour and was visited by Henry Morgan the pirate and Governor of Jamaica in 1670 and also Captain Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty and breadfruit fame in 1793. Behind Bluefields Beach, a popular bathing area, there is a small area of wetland through which streams and The Bluefields River percolate. The mountain range, with its limestone outcrops, rises steeply from the narrow coastal plain to 801 m. There are remnants of Pimento (Jamaican Allspice) plantations throughout the hilly areas. The fruit of this tree is very attractive to a wide range of birds. Along the coast there are narrow stands of mangrove (mostly Red Mangrove Rhizophora mangle) that are important food and breeding areas for birds. All four species of mangrove found in Jamaica are present in the area. Rainfall in the area is in the range 100 – 300 cm per annum (Morrissey 1983).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala resident  2007  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Yellow-billed Amazon Amazona collaria winter  2007  unknown  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Jamaican Owl Pseudoscops grammicus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Mango Anthracothorax mango resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Red-billed Streamertail Trochilus polytmus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Tody Todus todus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Woodpecker Melanerpes radiolatus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Becard Pachyramphus niger resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Elaenia Myiopagis cotta resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Greater Antillean Elaenia Elaenia fallax resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Pewee Contopus pallidus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Sad Flycatcher Myiarchus barbirostris resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Rufous-tailed Flycatcher Myiarchus validus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Stolid Flycatcher Myiarchus stolidus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Vireo Vireo modestus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Crow Corvus jamaicensis resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Rufous-throated Solitaire Myadestes genibarbis resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
White-chinned Thrush Turdus aurantius resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
White-eyed Thrush Turdus jamaicensis resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Arrowhead Warbler Dendroica pharetra resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Oriole Icterus leucopteryx resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Yellow-shouldered Grassquit Loxipasser anoxanthus resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Orangequit Euneornis campestris resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Spindalis Spindalis nigricephala resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Jamaican Euphonia Euphonia jamaica resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 

Habitats

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

Land ownership The land in the area is mostly privately owned, with the exception of government owned beach/shoreline.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
rangeland/pastureland -
fisheries/aquaculture -
urban/industrial/transport -
energy production and mining -
agriculture minor

Other biodiversity There is a small population of the Jamaican Kite Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellinus) [IUCN, 2006 VU] present in the area. This is usually seen on the coastal plain. Other less common endemic butterflies include: Jamaican Admiral (Adelpha abyla), Thersites Swallowtail (Papilio thersites), Hewiston’s Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus antaeus), Butler’s Skipper (Astraptes jaira). The Jamaican Boa (Epicrates subflavus) [IUCN, 2006 VU] is said to occur in the limestone areas.

Protection status Bluefields IBA is not a protected area.

Acknowledgements Vaughan and Carolyn Turland, and Reliable Adventures Jamaica, Veda Tate

Further web sources of information 

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

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bluefields. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/09/2014

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