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.
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.
Matt Jeffery, Walker Golder - National Audubon Society
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BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Joulter Cays. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 21/12/2014
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