|Location||St Helena (to UK), St Helena|
|Central coordinates||5o 40.00' West 15o 57.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A4i, A4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 616m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2001|
Summary Update for site in Prater T. (2012). Important Bird Areas: St. Helena. British Birds 105: 638-653
Site description The site covers the north-eastern part of the island, north of a line linking Long Point in the south-east and Banks Point in the north-west, via Hutt’s Gate in the interior, together with Shore Island (68 m), George Island (32 m) and all other offshore rocks. There are three vegetation zones. Below 350 m, c.25% of the area, the landscape is arid with large-scale erosion, dominated by Suaeda, Lantana and Carpobrotus. This gives way, up to 500 m, to pasture and non-indigenous woodland dominated by Pennisetum, Cynodon and Digitaria, with Acacia and Pinus. Above 500 m lies ‘moist’ and ‘semi-moist’ grassland, woodland (dominants include Agrostis, Pennisetum and Stenotaphrum, with Podocarpus, Acacia and Pinus), and flax Phormium tenax plantations. The coast is dominated by imposing sea cliffs, rising mainly to between 300 m and 570 m. The Barn (616 m), in the far north-east, is the highest point, but the elevation is almost the same at Hutt’s Gate (609 m). Shore Island is a large, steep basaltic stack, whereas George Island, also basaltic, is shoe-shaped, less steep, its ‘toe’ pointing into the south-easterly swell. Encircled by breakers, with landing difficult, both islets are barren, with heavy guano deposits at upper levels. Included are eight important Charadrius sanctaehelenae breeding sites, Sane Valley, Deadwood Plain (the main site), Longwood Farm, Bottomwoods, Horse Point Plain, Prosperous Bay North, Prosperous Bay Plain and Upper Prosperous Bay. Important fossil sites are at Sugarloaf, Flagstaff Hill, Prosperous Bay and Dry Gut.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus||breeding||1992||43 breeding pairs||medium||A4ii||Least Concern|
|St Helena Plover Charadrius sanctaehelenae||resident||2001||335 individuals||good||A1, A4i||Critically Endangered|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Diana's Peak||National Park||47||protected area overlaps with site||0|
|Prosperous Bay Plain||Habitat Management Area||206||protected area contained by site||206|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Other biodiversity Of particular importance are the endemic invertebrates, of which the best known are Labidura herculeana (CR) and Aplothorax burchelli (CR), known alive only from the area of Horse Point Plain, and last seen in the mid-1960s. Both may well be extinct. This highlights the extreme importance of habitat protection of the northern plains areas.
References Ashmole (1963), Ashmole and Ashmole (2000), Benson (1950), Chapin (1954), Cronk (2000), Drucker and Pearce-Kelly (1992), Hartog (1984), Haydock (1954), Maunder et al. (1993), McCulloch (1991, 1992, 1999), McCulloch and Norris (in press), Melliss (1875), Olson (1973, 1975), Pearce-Kelly and Cronk (1990), Rowlands (1992, 1995, 2001), Rowlands et al. (1998), Wetmore (1963).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: North-east St Helena. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/04/2014
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