|Location||St Vincent and the Grenadines, The Grenadines|
|Central coordinates||61o 8.00' West 12o 57.55' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4ii, B4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 183m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
Ornithological information As with many of the other Grenadines islands, data on bird populations are non-existent. However, the island is a key roosting and nesting site for a variety of seabirds, namely larger species such as frigatebirds, gulls and boobies (Plate 29).
Site description Battowia, a privately-owned island, and its sister islet Battowia Bullet are among the most easterly of the Grenadine islands. They lie approximately 6 miles (10 km) to the south-east of Bequia (the largest Grenadine Island) and approximately 5 miles (8 km) to the north–east of Mustique. They also lie about 3 miles (5 km) north-east of All Awash island. Because of its location, Battowia is constantly exposed to the Atlantic. The island is therefore sparsely covered, particularly during the dry season. Its vegetation is primarily patchy coastal Dry Scrub Woodland, with the healthiest stands found within the islands few sheltered coves on the west. An unknown population of goats resides on the island and further impacts on the island’s vegetation. Battowia’s steep sides give rise to a saddle at the summit. Access is relatively difficult, particularly on windy days when surrounding waters and coastlines can get quite choppy. Annually, Battowia supports the second largest population of nesting seabirds numbering several thousand individuals (D. Hazell and R. Ragguette, pers. comm.). As a Wildlife Reserve, a number of management objectives have been identified for the site. These include habitat and wildlife protection, biodiversity conservation, research, recreation, education and heritage tourism.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens||non-breeding||2004||119 individuals||medium||B4ii||Least Concern|
|Red-footed Booby Sula sula||breeding||2004||3,000 nests||medium||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Brown Booby Sula leucogaster||breeding||2004||200 nests||medium||B4ii||Least Concern|
|Laughing Gull Larus atricilla||breeding||2004||400 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Battowia Island||Wildlife Reserve||0||is identical to site||0|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity Data on these species are unavailable. However, it is believed that the regionally endemic Congo snake M. bruesi occurs on the island.
Management considerations Some hunting occurs on the island (D. Hazell and R. Ragguette, pers. comm.). The meat of juvenile birds such as the booby, frigatebird and tropicbird are a delicacy. These birds are usually removed from the nest after the parents are chased away or have gone hunting. Eggs are also poached from nests. The extent of these activities and their effects on nesting and breeding successes are however unknown. Other major threats include squalls and other natural storms. The presence of a population of goats is a concern for the island’s vegetative structure and composition, and for ground-dwelling wildlife. Limited bird watching takes place near the island. A private tour is operated from the island of Mustique. The tour operator offers a 2-3 hour package, taking persons, namely birders and photographers, to see the nesting birds. The concern here is that such activity may expose the site to unscrupulous individuals and cause unnecessary and unwanted disturbance to birds. Rats may also be a concern although it is unknown if they are present.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Battowia Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013
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