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Location Curaçao (to Netherlands), Curaçao
Central coordinates 69o 6.25' West  12o 21.15' North
IBA criteria A2, A3, B4i
Area 13,554 ha
Altitude
Year of IBA assessment 2007





Site description Area extending along coast from Westpunt and Noordpunt at northern end of island around northern tip and south along coast through Playa Grandi and ending near Hato Airport. At northern end of island extending inland from the 100 hectare coastal Shete Boka Park. to include the 2000 hectare Christoffel Park,

Key Biodiversity Major Least Tern nesting area with at least 514 breeding birds documented in 2002 (over 10% of regional population). Brown Booby roosts of unknown size at several locations within IBA and just offshore are important feeding areas for Least Terns and Brown Booby and likely other seabirds. Inland portion of Christoffel Park is one of largest unfragmented scrub habitat remaining on island with significant numbers of characteristic species including Curaçao subspecies of Brown-throated Parakeet (was former breeding area for now-extirpated Yellow-shouldered Amazon), Black-whiskered Vireo, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Caribbean Elaenia, Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, Yellow Oriole, Scaly-naped Pigeon, Bare-eyed Pigeon, and a few White-tailed Hawks. The rare endemic Curaçao subspecies of Barn Owl nests along the limestone escarpments near Hato and the rare endemic subspecies of Grasshopper Sparrow is known historically from the Hato Plains. Ten of the eleven Leeward Dutch Antilles endemic subspecies of birds occurring on Curaçao also breed in the Christoffel Park and the proposed IBA. The area is further visited annually by large flocks of neotropical migrants among which warblers, swallows and many shore birds, the Merlin and the Osprey. Several natural springs and manmade waterholes are frequented by native and migrant birds.

Non-bird biodiversity: The Christoffel Park is home to no less than 50 rare plants that are found almost only within the park boundaries, and 26 other more widely distributed rare plant species (Debrot et al. 1992). The Christoffel Park is further home to seven rare mammal species including the rare mouse Calomys hummelincki and the Curaçao white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus curassavica. The Shete Boka Park forms a nesting area for three species of endangerd sea turtles (Debrot and Pors 1995). The Hato-Boka Ascension section is home to no less than 55 species that are either endemic to the Leeward Dutch Antilles or which have a very limited geographical distribution outside of this island group (Debrot 2003)

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Least Tern Sternula antillarum breeding  2002  514 individuals  medium  B4i  Least Concern 
Bare-eyed Pigeon Patagioenas corensis resident  2007  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica resident  2007  unknown  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Christoffel National Park 0 protected area contained by site 0  
Curaçao Underwater Park 1,040 protected area contained by site 1,040  
Shete Boka Park National Park 435 protected area contained by site 435  

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -

Protection status Included in boundaries of IBA are Shete Boka National Park and Christoffel National Park, which are managed by the Carmabi Foundation. The rest of the area has been legally designated as protected conservation area by island ordinance (1997) but remains unmanaged.

Further web sources of information 

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

References Beers, C. E., J. de freitas and P. Ketner (1997);Debrot A. O. (2003);Debrot, A. O., C. Boogerd and D. van den Broeck.(2002);Debrot, A. O. and J. A. de Freitas. (1991);Debrot, A. O. and J. A. de Freitas. (1993);Debrot, A. O. and L. P. J. J. Pors. (1995);Debrot, A. O., J. Sybesma, A. C. Rojer and L. P. J. J. Pors. (1992);Wells, J. pers. obs.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: North-east Curaçao parks and coast, Curaçao. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/11/2014

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