|Central coordinates||78o 7.00' West 25o 16.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Year of IBA assessment||2012|
Site description The Joulter Cays (25o 16.00 North 78o 7.00 West) lie on the margins of the Grand Bahama Bank north of Andros Island. It is a large intertidal to shallow subtidal area of stabilized sand flats that covers approximately 160 km2 (16,000 ha). The sand flats are penetrated partly by tidal channels with grass beds. The flats area fringed on the windward eastern and northeastern boarders by mobile sands creating roosting habitats for shorebirds. On the seaward side there is a ridge of vegetated islands up to 6 m above mean sea level. The primary vegetation on the Joulter Cays is Red and Black Mangrove. Other vegetated islands are scattered among the sand flats. The sand bars are primarily made up of Ooid or Oolite sand. This unique spherical grained sand resembling Fish-roe is developed through a chemical process adding concentric layers around a central nucleus. The sands have a large surface area that promotes bacterial growth and are mainly used in the aquarium industry.
Non-bird biodiversity: Bonefish, Lemon Shark, Green Sea Turtle, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Sawfish
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Piping Plover Charadrius melodus||winter||2012||min 326 individuals||medium||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus||winter||2012||min 2,339 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Climate change and severe weather||habitat shifting and alteration||likely in long term (beyond 4 years)||whole area/population (>90%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||high|
|Residential and commercial development||housing and urban areas||likely in long term (beyond 4 years)||small area/few individuals (<10%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||low|
|Little/none of site covered (<10%)||No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun||Some limited conservation initiatives are in place||low|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Joulter Cays||Wild Bird Reserve||117||protected area contained by site||117|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Sand bars, banks & spits||major|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||minor|
Protection status Not currently protected. The Joulter Cays are named under the 1968 Wild Bird Act as a Wild Bird reserve. The Act stipulates that it is illegal to harm, kill or capture or attempt to harm, kill or capture ANY wild birds in these areas at any time. While the legislation does not protect the habitats directly it does provide the platform for future protections.
Acknowledgements Compilers: Matt Jeffery, Walker Golder - National Audubon Society
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Joulter Cays. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/08/2015
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