Important Bird Areas of the Caribbean - Saba

The Saba coastline IBA (AN006)—the island’s site priority for bird conservation—has been identified on the basis of nine key bird species (listed in Table 1) that variously trigger the IBA criteria. The IBA covers 2,000 ha of critical terrestrial and marine habitats that support the entire island’s population of breeding seabirds, and also the full complement of the restricted-range birds that still occur on the island. The lack of any legal protection for terrestrial areas is a concern that must be addressed to facilitate pro-active conservation of Saba’s terrestrial biodiversity (including breeding seabirds).

At present, it seems that the globally significant populations of Audubon’s Shearwater P. lherminieri, Redbilled Tropicbird P. aethereus and the restricted-range Bridled Quail-dove G. mystacea in the IBA are declining (or are at least limited) as a result of predation from cats and rats (exacerbated by trampling and grazing from goats). Saba is small enough that complete eradication of some invasive species may be feasible, given sufficient funding, time and local support. In anticipation of both formal protection of terrestrial habitats within the IBA, and a possible eradication program, there is an urgent need to determine the population of P. lherminieri and G. mystacea, and to continue monitoring the population of P. aethereus. Monitoring these populations within the IBA should be used to inform the assessment of state, pressure and response variables at each IBA in order to provide objective status assessments and inform management decisions (such as the necessity for invasive species control) that might be required to maintain this internationally important biodiversity site.


Retrieved from Birdlife International

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