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Location Anguilla (to UK)
Central coordinates 63o 1.32' West  18o 13.39' North
IBA criteria A2, B4i
Area 43 ha
Altitude
Year of IBA assessment 2013





Site description 

Cauls’ Pond, is the second largest pond on the Anguilla mainland. It is a large, oblong shaped pond located within the south-eastern area of the island. The pond has a mostly limestone substrate with marl substrate on its western end. The limestone stretches up a slope on its northern, eastern and southern sides. Within the pond, there is a small mud flat ‘island’. There are two access points to the pond: one on the eastern end and one on its western end. 

The pond lies within a relatively undeveloped area. Lying under sea level, it is a water catchment for a large area of land surrounding it. The only development within the surrounding vegetation is the remnants of the Crystal Stream processing plant. An unpaved road that is overgrown by vegetation leads to the building’s ruins. The building was initially constructed by the Government of Anguilla to serve as a desalination plant but due to equipment failure, the plant was closed. 

Vegetation is evenly distributed around the pond. It is primarily scrub-like with a number of native plants lining the pond. Buttonwood mangrove and cacti grow close to the water’s edge, with trees, including mauby, tamarind and cedars, growing just behind the mangrove line.

Hydrological value: 

Cauls Pond is a brackish pond that has several springs. Over the years, some of the springs have closed naturally, some were deliberately blocked and others are still functional. The eastern, northern and southern sides of the pond are elevated above the pond which allows runoff after heavy rains to collect in the pond’s basin. 

Despite the pond’s distance from the sea, the pond is brackish. The source of salt water is believed to be attributed to the pond existing below sea level, the porosity of the base of the pond allows for the introduction of salt water. 

The pond has had no construction of dams or other water management measures.
Currently, monitoring of salinity, phosphates, nitrates, phosphates, pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and other gasses does not occur.

Key Biodiversity 


Overview of bird interests:

The average number of birds observed per month for each of the years studied gradually increased until 2010 where numbers dropped significantly. Bird numbers have continued to increase.

This pond is usually high in numbers of birds observed and has a moderate level of species diversity. An average of 25 different species of wetland birds were observed within the last five years.

IUCN redlisted species observed at this pond include Semipalmated sandpipers (near-threathened), and Caribbean Coot (near-threatened). . In addition, although listed as Least Concern on the IUCN’s Redlist, Least tern are considered endanged in the territories where they are observed, including Anguilla. They are protected within Appendix I of the Biodiversity and Heritage Conservation Act (2009).

Rare and scarce bird sightings at the pond include a group of Lesser Scaup which remained on the pond for three months in early 2011 as well as a few Black-bellied whistling ducks present for two months during mid-2009.

Overview of botanical interests:

The vegetation surrounding the pond’s edge consists primarily of buttonwood mangrove with Turks cap cacti interspersed around its circumference. Behind the perimeter layer of buttonwood mangrove and cacti, a thicker layer of scrub vegetation is present. White cedars, acacia, and mauby are some of the more dominant plants in the area around the pond. 

Within the water of the pond, an aquatic plant - wigeongass (ruppia maratima) - is also present.

Overview of other biodiversity interests:

The pond has a large population of the invasive Giant African snail (Achatina fulica). Their presence is indicated by their shells which have been abandoned which are now being claimed by the native Soldier Crabs (Coenobita clypeatus). 

The vegetation surrounding the pond provides habitat for a few species of spider.
 

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis resident  2011  max 64 individuals  good  B4i  Least Concern 
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla passage  2008  max 177 individuals  good  B4i  Least Concern 
Least Tern Sternula antillarum breeding  2009  max 323 individuals  good  B4i  Least Concern 
Green-throated Carib Eulampis holosericeus resident  2013  present  A2  Least Concern 
Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica resident  2013  present  A2  Least Concern 
Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus resident  2013  present  A2  Least Concern 
Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla noctis resident  2013  present  A2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 high favourable negligible
Population
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Climate change and severe weather drought happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
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
Climate change and severe weather storms and floods happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Climate change and severe weather temperature extremes likely in long term (beyond 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Geological events earthquakes/tsunamis happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Geological events volcanic eruptions likely in short term (within 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance war, civil unrest and military exercises past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - herbicides and pesticides happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution air-borne pollutants - smog happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - sewage likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution garbage & solid waste happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Pelecanus occidentalis Brown Pelican 30 30 individuals 100 favourable
Larus atricilla Laughing Gull 150 150 individuals 100 favourable
Sternula antillarum Least Tern 45 45 individuals 100 favourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mangrove  major
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires & springs; Freshwater lakes & pools  major
Shrubland Arid lowland scrub  minor

Land ownership Private/State

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation minor
nature conservation and research major
agriculture minor
Notes: livestock grazing

Protection status None

Access/Land-Owner requests None

Acknowledgements 

Author: Clarissa Lloyd, Anguilla National Trust.

Edited by: Farah Mukhida, Anguilla National Trust.

References 

Anguilla National Trust. ANT wetland bird count data (2007 – 2011). Unpublished.

Daniels, Edsel B. 2011. Anguilla Wetlands Mapping Project Report: A component of the UK DFID/OTEP funded “Building a Foundation for Anguilla’s Wetland Future” Project. Unpublished Report.

Holliday, S.H.; Hodge, K.V.D.; Hughes, D.E. 2007. A guide to the birds of Anguilla. Bedfordshire, England; Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Lloyd C. and Mukhida, F. 2012. The state of Anguilla’s wetland birds 2007-2011. The Valley, Anguilla: Anguilla National Trust.

Raffaele, H.; Wiley, J.;Garrido, O.; Keith, A. ; Raffaele, J. (2003) Birds of the West Indies. New Jersey, USA: Princeton University Press.

Subin, E, Dudley, J, Crock, J, Bryan, JAS, Thomas, R, Christian, I, Vanterpool, V & Warner, B (1998) A Field Guide to Anguilla’s Wetlands. Anguilla National Trust, The Valley, Anguilla

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cauls Pond. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2014

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