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Location Northern Mariana Islands (to USA), Saipan Island
Central coordinates 145o 49.00' East  15o 16.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 731 ha
Altitude 0 - 235m
Year of IBA assessment 2007





Site description The proposed Northern Saipan IBA is located on the island of Saipan. The proposed IBA contains two areas that are currently protected by CNMI law as conservation areas: Bird Island and land up to and including the Saipan Upland Mitigation Bank. The IBA also includes the Marpi area that is not protected. Bird Island has small populations of terrestrial and sea birds. The Mitigation Bank is an area that has specifically been set aside for the protection of Nightingale Reed Warblers and as mitigation for development in other locations that disturbs warblers.

Key Biodiversity In 1982, Engbring et al. (1986) found the Golden White-Eye to be well-distributed throughout Saipan. They also found that the bird was well adapted to residential and agriforest areas and apparently did well in all vegetation types. It was restricted to Saipan and Aguiguan only. Stinson and Stinson (1994) also found the bird in a variety of forest and semi-open areas. Craig (1996) repeated the methods of Engbring et al. (1986), comparing areas of limestone forest with disturbed sites. He found the Micronesian Megapode, Mariana Fruit-Dove, and Golden White Eye to be more common in limestone forest than in disturbed habitats. The White-throated Ground-Dove, Rufous Fantail, Micronesian Starling, Micronesian Honeyeater, and Bridled White Eye were all found in both native forest and disturbed habitats. The Nightingale Reed Warbler was observed more often in disturbed habitats than in limestone forest. The Mariana Swiftlet was not systematically surveyed by Craig (1996) but he did observe the birds in the more mountainous areas. After surveys in 2004 and 2005, Hess and Pratt (2006) wrote that most native birds on Saipan, including the Golden White-Eye, Nightingale Reed Warbler, Mariana Swiftlet, and Micronesian Megapode, are found in the northern part of Saipan. Micronesian Megapodes may be found throughout Saipan, but appear to be concentrated in the north. These species were found in existing conservation areas in the north of Saipan and in some unprotected lands, also in the north. This northern region corresponds with the Suicide region surveyed by Engbring et al. (1986), where, in 1982, the only Micronesian Megapodes in Saipan were observed. Stinson et al. (1993) found the Mariana Common Moorhen in Lake Susupe and in other small wetlands around the island. Tanaka and Haig (2004) found Mariana Common Moorhens at a number of seasonal and permanent wetlands on Saipan. Hess and Pratt (2006) found Mariana Common Moorhens and Nightingale Reed Warblers residing in wetlands in wetlands in the American Memorial Park in the Garapan region. Reichel (1991) reported over 500 pairs of breeding seabirds on Saipan, including 300 pairs of Brown Noddies and 200 pairs of White Terns.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Micronesian Scrubfowl Megapodius laperouse resident  1982  < 50 individuals  unknown  A1, A2  Endangered 
Mariana Fruit-dove Ptilinopus roseicapilla resident  1982  1,000-2,499 individuals  unknown  A1, A2  Endangered 
White-throated Ground-dove Alopecoenas xanthonurus resident  1982  50-249 individuals  unknown  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Mariana Swiftlet Aerodramus bartschi resident  1982  2,500-9,999 individuals  unknown  A1, A2  Endangered 
Micronesian Myzomela Myzomela rubratra resident  1982  10,000-19,999 individuals  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Rufous Fantail Rhipidura rufifrons resident  1982  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Nightingale Reed-warbler Acrocephalus luscinius resident  1982  1,000-2,499 individuals  unknown  A1, A2  Critically Endangered 
Bridled White-eye Zosterops conspicillatus resident  1982  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A1, A2  Endangered 
Golden White-eye Cleptornis marchei resident  1982  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A1, A2  Critically Endangered 
Micronesian Starling Aplonis opaca resident  1982  1,000-2,499 individuals  unknown  A2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 high not assessed not assessed
  unset
-

Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kagman Conservation Area Primeval Reserve 174 unknown 0  

Protection status The proposed IBA contains two areas that are currently protected by CNMI law as conservation areas: Bird Island and land up to and including the Saipan Upland Mitigation Bank. Bird Island has small populations of terrestrial and sea birds. The Mitigation Bank is an area that has specifically been set aside for the protection of Nightingale Reed Warblers and as mitigation for development in other locations that disturbs warblers.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Northern Saipan. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/12/2014

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