Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Katouche Bay Pond
Anguilla (to UK)
63o 4.50' West 18o 12.74' North
Year of IBA assessment
Site description Katouche Bay Pond is a small, brackish basin located at the bottom of Katouche Valley. The pond is nestled amongst tall trees and dried mangrove branches. The pond is accessible through a clearing from Katouche Bay, the beach lining its western side. The eastern and southern sides of the pond are dry forested areas which were previously used as plantation grounds.
A road that provides access to Katouche Bay runs along the northern side of the pond. The pond and the road are separated by a wide tract of vegetation including tall dry forest trees. There is a foot path that runs along Katouche Valley, continues alongside the pond, and then opens at Katouche Bay.
The pond’s edges are lined with tall mangroves and buttonwood in particular. The trees along with old and dead branches are used as perches or roosting wetland birds.
During heavy rains, water may overflow from the pond and into the bay.
Katouche Bay Pond is a seasonal, brackish lagoon. The pond receives fresh water through runoff provided as water modroves the top of the valley to the bottom. It also collects water directly from rainfall. The pond can dry out completely during periods of low or no rainfall. Its salt content is derived from to its close proximity to the sea as waves tend to break over the beach and into the pond during rough seas. During heavy rains, water may overflow from the pond and into the bay.
Currently, monitoring of salinity, phosphates, nitrates, phosphates, pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and other gasses does not occur.
Key BiodiversityOverview of bird interests:
In 2007, average bird numbers are moderate and double in 2008. From 2009 to 2011, however, bird numbers had declined by 75%. The high number of birds in 2008 could be attributed to two larger flocks of Lesser yellowleg that visited the pond for a relatively short period.
Numbers at Katouche Bay Pond are consistently low. No birds are often seen during monitoring activites. Most frequent visitors to the Pond include Lesser yellowleg and White-cheeked pintail. Rarer species include Brown boobies and White-tailed tropicbirds.
Overview of botanical interests:
Apart from an abundance of buttonwood mangrove around the perimeter of the pond, tall trees grow just behind the mangrove line and are mainly manchineel (Hippomane mancinella) and seaside mahoe (Thespesia populnea). Seagrape trees are present on the western side of the pond, closer to the beach.
Evidence of plantation use of the land surrounding the pond provide habitat of an old animal round used. Also, the presence of fruit trees, for example orange, which were formed a small orchard on the property.
Overview of other biodiversity interests:
The marl shorelines on the northern, eastern and southern side of the pond are home to the at least three species of crustacean, namely hermit crab (superfamily: Paguroidea), fiddler crabs (Genus, Uca) and the blue land crab (Cardsoma guanhumi).