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Location Anguilla (to UK)
Central coordinates 63o 4.50' West  18o 12.74' North
IBA criteria A2
Area 1 ha
Altitude
Year of IBA assessment 2013





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.

Hydrological Value:

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 Biodiversity Overview 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).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Antillean Crested Hummingbird Orthorhyncus cristatus resident  2013  unknown individuals  good  A2  Least Concern 
Caribbean Elaenia Elaenia martinica resident  2013  unknown individuals  good  A2  Least Concern 
Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus resident  2013  unknown individuals  good  A2  Least Concern 
Lesser Antillean Bullfinch Loxigilla noctis resident  2013  unknown individuals  good  A2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual crops - small-holder farming past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting whole area/population (>90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Agricultural expansion and intensification perennial non-timber crops - small-holder plantations past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Climate change and severe weather drought likely in long term (beyond 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration likely in long term (beyond 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration medium
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%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Geological events earthquakes/tsunamis happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Geological events volcanic eruptions likely in long term (beyond 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance war, civil unrest and military exercises past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive alien species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive and other problematic species and genes problematic native species past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - trend unknown/unrecorded past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
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
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species habitat effects - hunting and trapping happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded 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

Forest Mangrove  0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Other   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) 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)
Other   major
Forest Mangrove  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research minor
Notes: ANT Monitoring Programme, Oliver's tours on medicinal plants
tourism/recreation minor
Notes: Trail through Katouche Valley passes alongside pond.

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: Katouche Bay Pond. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/12/2014

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