|Location||Anguilla (to UK)|
|Central coordinates||63o 10.70' West 18o 15.94' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4ii, B4i, B4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2013|
Site description This cay lies 5 miles north of Anguilla. It is a low, rocky island with sandy shores on the north and east coasts and heavily fissured limestone cliffs on the remaining coastline. A small pond lies behind the northern beach and the centre of the island contains areas of scrub. The island also has an inshore coral reef system that is popular with visitors from the mainland and from neighbouring St. Martin. Two restaurants are open at peak visitor times, making Prickly Pear East Anguilla’s most accessible and most visited small island. It is uninhabited and is accessed primarily by water. Prickly Pear West – The larger of the two islands, Prickly Pear West is separated from its sister island by a narrow channel. Apart from one small beach, the island is a low limestone outcrop with low cliffs; it is the more rockier and rugged of the two islands.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus||breeding||2012||29 breeding pairs||good||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis||breeding||2007||29 breeding pairs||medium||B4i||Least Concern|
|Brown Booby Sula leucogaster||breeding||2012||644 breeding pairs||good||B4ii||Least Concern|
|Laughing Gull Larus atricilla||resident||2004||2,500 breeding pairs||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Least Tern Sterna antillarum||breeding||2007||29 breeding pairs||medium||B4i||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Prickly Pear & Sea Island||Marine Park||3,300||protected area contained by site||0|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Sand dunes & beaches; Sea cliffs & rocky shores; Shallow marine areas, coral reefs & keys||major|
|Sea||Open sea; Pelagic waters||major|
|Shrubland||Arid lowland scrub||major|
|Wetlands (inland)||Freshwater lakes & pools||minor|
Land ownership Prickly Pear East is a privately-owned island while Prickly Pear West is crown-owned. Both islands are situated within a marine park (Prickly Pear Marine Park). Marine park regulations only govern activities occurring in the water and on the beach. No protection is afforded to other areas of the islands or the seabirds that found there. At least one large scale development proposal for tourism purposes on Prickly Pear East had been submitted to the Government of Anguilla during the 1990s. The proposal was not approved and today tourism activities centre on Prickly Pear East’s white sand beach, coral reefs, and two restaurants. Anecdotal evidence suggests increased use in the area by day and overnight visitors to Anguilla. Publications about the island request that visitors not venture into the seabird breeding colonies. The Anguilla National Trust, with in-water assistance provided by the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources, is currently working towards developing a management strategy (with stakeholder involvement) for the marine park and the islands. A count of the birds on both islands was completed in June 2007 by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
|Notes: Annual seabirds counts|
Other biodiversity Nothing recorded.
Protection status Cays unprotected; waters protected as a marine park
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Prickly Pear (East and West). Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/03/2014
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