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Turks and Caicos Islands National Vegetation and Mapping Project

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<strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

<strong>National</strong> <strong>Vegetation</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Mapping</strong> <strong>Project</strong><br />

<strong>Mapping</strong><br />

of the<br />

Terrestrial Habitats Report<br />

Presented to:<br />

Ministry of Environment <strong>and</strong> District Administration<br />

Department of Environment <strong>and</strong> Coastal Resources<br />

<strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Government<br />

Presented by:<br />

SWA, Ltd.<br />

Blue Dolphin Research <strong>and</strong> Consulting Inc.<br />

EDSA<br />

1


TABLE OF CONTENTS<br />

Section Title Page #<br />

Acknowledgements 3<br />

1.0 - Executive Summary 4<br />

2.0 - Methodology 6<br />

3.0 - Analysis 12<br />

4.0 - West <strong>Caicos</strong> 27<br />

5.0 – Providenciales 37<br />

6.0 - Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s 51<br />

7.0 - French, Bush Fire, White & Seal Cay (<strong>Caicos</strong> Bank Cays) 63<br />

8.0 - North <strong>Caicos</strong> 73<br />

9.0 - East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s 93<br />

10.0 - Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> 103<br />

11.0 - Joe Grant Cay 117<br />

12.0 - South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays 125<br />

13.0 - Ambergris Cays 135<br />

14.0 - East <strong>Caicos</strong> 145<br />

15.0 - South <strong>Caicos</strong> 155<br />

16.0 - Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk 165<br />

17.0 - <strong>Turks</strong> Bank Cays <strong>and</strong> Big S<strong>and</strong> Cay 175<br />

18.0 - Salt Cay 185<br />

Appendix A – TCI Species of Interest 194<br />

Appendix B – Team Member Contributions 203<br />

References <strong>and</strong> Bibliography 204<br />

2


Acknowledgements<br />

On behalf of the SWA, Ltd., Blue Dolphin Research <strong>and</strong> Consulting Inc. <strong>and</strong> EDSA, we wish to thank the team members at the<br />

Ministry of Environment <strong>and</strong> District Administration Department of Environment <strong>and</strong> Coastal Resources <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

Government in the preparation of this report.<br />

More specifically we would like to acknowledge the following deparments <strong>and</strong> individuals for their specific roles in the development of<br />

the report:<br />

DECR<br />

Wesley Clerveaux, Director<br />

Jewel Barchasingh, <strong>Project</strong> Manager<br />

Brian Naqqi Manco, <strong>Project</strong> Liaison<br />

Lormeka Williams<br />

Dr. Eric F. Salamanca<br />

Marlon Hibbet<br />

Ground Truthing Assistance<br />

Judnel Blaise<br />

Jean Kenol<br />

L<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> Survey<br />

Leroy Charles<br />

Tracey Ann Grant<br />

Ministry of Environment<br />

Michelle Fulford Gardiner<br />

Department of Planning<br />

Carla Harrison<br />

Tshara Hyman<br />

Crown L<strong>and</strong> Unit MEDA<br />

Tatum Clerveaux<br />

JNCC<br />

Mark Crick (via speaker phone)<br />

Tara Pelembe<br />

Special acknowledgement to the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) Support Co., UK, for their funding <strong>and</strong><br />

support of the comprehensive efforts.<br />

3


1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY<br />

The <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s are currently experiencing rapid development. Until recently, the vast majority of terrestrial <strong>and</strong><br />

wetl<strong>and</strong> areas in the isl<strong>and</strong>s were unspoiled. Many l<strong>and</strong> areas have scattered histories of low-scale, residential <strong>and</strong> subsistence use,<br />

while other areas can be considered pristine. A long history of limited <strong>and</strong> sustainable use of natural resources has led to a scenario<br />

in which the natural environment enjoys numerous ecological variables of high value.<br />

Nevertheless, the relatively recent advent of exponential tourism development has been both an economic boon <strong>and</strong> an<br />

environmental detriment to the country. The isl<strong>and</strong>s now find themselves in the precarious position of balancing economic growth<br />

with environmental impact. In order to facilitate responsible decision making, the Department of Environment <strong>and</strong> Coastal<br />

Resources (DECR) has undertaken this l<strong>and</strong>mark study. No other country in the Caribbean Region has attempted the monumental<br />

task of preparing a st<strong>and</strong>ardized national vegetation classification <strong>and</strong> detailed, country-wide habitat mapping geodatabase at the<br />

scale presented here.<br />

The DECR, Ministry of Natural Resources, <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Government (TCIG) secured funds from the Joint Nature Conservation<br />

Committee (JNCC) Support Co., UK, for the purposes of the development of a national st<strong>and</strong>ardized vegetation classification <strong>and</strong><br />

mapping of the terrestrial habitats for the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s. An area, which covers approximately 430 square kilometers or<br />

107,000 acres of l<strong>and</strong>mass, was targeted for classification <strong>and</strong> mapping purposes. On March 19 th , 2009 (Revised April 9 th ), the team<br />

consisting of consultants from EDSA, Blue Dolphin Research <strong>and</strong> Consulting <strong>and</strong> SWA Ltd. submitted the final approved proposal<br />

for the study.<br />

As outlined in the proposal, the main goal of the work is to consolidate <strong>and</strong> develop baseline environmental information in a format<br />

that will aid decision making <strong>and</strong> the sustainable management of the natural resources of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s (TCI). More<br />

specifically, the work consists of the following:<br />

Development of a <strong>National</strong> St<strong>and</strong>ardized <strong>Vegetation</strong> Classification based on USGS 1 <strong>and</strong> Nature Conservancy 2 methodologies.<br />

Spatial analysis to determine discernable habitats.<br />

Ground Truthing<br />

Creation of Terrestrial Habitat Maps<br />

Analysis of existing scientific data <strong>and</strong> habitat maps to identify vulnerable areas <strong>and</strong> critical habitats for significant species<br />

populations including threatened, rare <strong>and</strong> endemic species<br />

Presentation in GIS format for input to the <strong>National</strong> GIS system.<br />

Creation of a desktop study that encompasses the entire process <strong>and</strong> dataset.<br />

1 FGDC, 2008<br />

2 Nature Conservancy, 1998<br />

4


The following report is intended to provide an overview of the project including an outline of research conducted, complete<br />

classification <strong>and</strong> mapping of the terrestrial habitats of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> a detailed methodology of the works<br />

undertaken to assist in all further data collection activities within the archipelago. The ground truthing summary <strong>and</strong> the <strong>National</strong><br />

St<strong>and</strong>ardized <strong>Vegetation</strong> Classification were submitted under separate cover <strong>and</strong> dated April, 2010 <strong>and</strong> July 2010 respectively.<br />

Therefore, vegetation classification <strong>and</strong> ground truthing will not be elaborated on in this report for brevity’s sake; however, final drafts<br />

of both reports will be submitted under separate cover with all feedback <strong>and</strong> recommendations of the DECR <strong>and</strong> JNCC<br />

incorporated. The following report provides an analysis on an isl<strong>and</strong> by isl<strong>and</strong> basis, which evaluates the base maps for habitat<br />

distribution. All known species <strong>and</strong> habitats of interest are also noted for each isl<strong>and</strong>.<br />

The team has included information that was provided in a compatible format into the report <strong>and</strong> database of information. Additionally<br />

our team reviewed a series of EIS <strong>and</strong> EIA reports <strong>and</strong> has included relevant data into the report. An overview of the methodologies<br />

for the creation of habitat maps will be outlined <strong>and</strong> the GIS geodatabase will be submitted on a portable hard drive.<br />

5


2.0 METHODLOGY<br />

2.1 <strong>Mapping</strong> Methodology<br />

A significant portion of this study was related to the mapping process. Our methodology integrates aerial imagery, remote sensing,<br />

ground-truthing <strong>and</strong> the st<strong>and</strong>ardized vegetation classification system developed as part of this study.<br />

In preparation for the field expeditions or ground truthing, <strong>and</strong> applying our local knowledge <strong>and</strong> expertise, we first analyzed the set<br />

of ortho <strong>and</strong> geo-rectified aerial raster images provided by DECR, creating a first draft map for each isl<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> cay using ArcGIS at<br />

various scales.<br />

Discernable community types, including the coastal zone were outlined to create numbered polygons into respective vector layers of<br />

the map. Each polygon was assigned a particular code to organize similar l<strong>and</strong> covers by appearance.<br />

Finally, <strong>and</strong> for the areas subject to ground-truthing efforts, these first map drafts were uploaded to ArcPad <strong>and</strong> transferred to a<br />

Trimble Unit, a highly accurate GPS tool (Δ ≤1m), which was in the field during ground-truthing.<br />

Ground-truthing aims at verifying aerial projection, accuracy <strong>and</strong> tentatively identified l<strong>and</strong> covers in the first draft of the map.<br />

Strategically selected ground-truthing transect lines were predetermined to incorporate the broadest array of habitat types possible.<br />

Transect lines <strong>and</strong> community locations in the field, as well as any other relevant data noted during field observations, was recorded<br />

onto the Trimble unit <strong>and</strong> later used for the final analysis.<br />

Upon return from the field surveys, all polygons were verified <strong>and</strong> received their final attributes, including color-coding. This<br />

completed the actual mapping process <strong>and</strong> allowed for the quantitative analysis of the spatial <strong>and</strong> environmental information, which<br />

is presented in the following sections.<br />

Upon completion of the attributing process, country-wide <strong>and</strong> isl<strong>and</strong> by isl<strong>and</strong> analyses were undertaken. Analyses include relative<br />

abundance ratios for each habitat, determination of rare <strong>and</strong>/or threatened habitats, l<strong>and</strong> area coverages for each habitat type <strong>and</strong><br />

identification of critical habitats for rare, threatened, endangered, endemic <strong>and</strong> significant species populations.<br />

6


Figure 2.1.1 - Equipment for Data Collection<br />

[From left to right: Trimble GeoExplorer, Contour Laser Rangefinder, Binoculars, Nikon D70 digital camera]<br />

7


2.2 Spatial Analysis<br />

Background<br />

Spatial Analysis is a field, which spans many related disciplines <strong>and</strong> brings together various tools for analyzing explicitly <strong>and</strong> implicitly<br />

spatial data. Underst<strong>and</strong>ing the spatial distribution of data from phenomena that occur in space helps to answer central questions<br />

(Where is the best location for the marina?), test a hypothesis (coral reef bleaching in the study area is caused by chemical<br />

contamination) or support a decision (the proposed location of a building or road must be changed). Spatial analysis can be applied<br />

to many areas including the environment, health <strong>and</strong> social studies. The central idea is always to incorporate space into the analysis.<br />

The key concept in underst<strong>and</strong>ing <strong>and</strong> analyzing spatial phenomena is Spatial Dependency, which is based on the realization that<br />

‘everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things’ (Waldo Tobler). In other words, most<br />

occurrences, natural or otherwise present among themselves a relationship that depends on distance. If we find beach erosion in<br />

one area then it is very likely that places close to this sample spot are also subject to erosion.<br />

Environmental analysis addresses natural phenomena such as discernable habitats, individual species, their interdependencies <strong>and</strong><br />

ecological significance but also the anticipated consequences of human activities such as the need for natural resource<br />

management, restoration <strong>and</strong> remediation.<br />

L<strong>and</strong> cover refers to the types of vegetation, or in absence of any vegetation, the types of material on the surface (rocks, s<strong>and</strong> etc.).<br />

L<strong>and</strong> use refers how l<strong>and</strong> is being used by humans (urban, recreational, agriculture <strong>and</strong> so on). The objective of large-scale or l<strong>and</strong><br />

cover mapping of TCI is to characterize l<strong>and</strong>scapes based on available aerial images, other remote sensed data, <strong>and</strong> a st<strong>and</strong>ardized<br />

vegetation classification system. Once the distinct natural vegetation types are accurately understood, described <strong>and</strong> mapped in a<br />

manner that is accepted <strong>and</strong> respected by all stakeholders, the resulting vegetation/l<strong>and</strong> cover maps become valuable tools in<br />

natural resource management <strong>and</strong> conservation. Further, they can serve as baseline information for l<strong>and</strong> development <strong>and</strong>/or<br />

change in l<strong>and</strong> use.<br />

Methodology<br />

Atlas-scale mapping of a region, archipelago or single isl<strong>and</strong>s requires imagery that can be manipulated for working over large areas.<br />

LANDSAT 7 images are often best suited for this project because the imagery is already geo-rectified <strong>and</strong> scenes are recorded<br />

continuously by satellite, circling the globe in predefined paths, which repeat every 16 days. However, the accuracy of these images<br />

is rather limited. Aerial images, taken from low-flying aircraft, provide much greater accuracy <strong>and</strong> were used for this study.<br />

The specific habitat types that occur <strong>and</strong> which were both mappable <strong>and</strong> discernable were defined, indexed <strong>and</strong> included in this<br />

mapping process. Ancillary data sources were used to help determine which habitat classes were visible from the imagery, <strong>and</strong> to<br />

develop priority sites for ground-truthing efforts.<br />

8


2.3 Geographic Information Systems<br />

The term Geographic Information System (GIS) is applied to systems that perform the computational treatment of geographic data<br />

<strong>and</strong> that store the geometry <strong>and</strong> the attributes of data that are geo-referenced, that is, situated on the earth surface <strong>and</strong> represented<br />

in a cartographic projection. Generally, a GIS has the following components:<br />

User interface;<br />

Data input <strong>and</strong> integration;<br />

Graph <strong>and</strong> image processing functions;<br />

Visualization <strong>and</strong> plotting;<br />

Data storage <strong>and</strong> retrieval (organized in the form of a geographic database).<br />

These components relate in a hierarchical way. The man-machine interface defines how the system is operated <strong>and</strong> controlled. In an<br />

intermediate level a GIS must have spatial data processing mechanisms (input, edition, analysis, visualization, <strong>and</strong> output). Internal to<br />

the system, a geographic database stores <strong>and</strong> retrieves spatial data. Every system, as a function of its objectives <strong>and</strong> needs,<br />

implements these components in a distinctive way.<br />

GIS is designed to support a range of different kinds of analysis of geographic information: techniques to examine <strong>and</strong> explore data<br />

from a geographic perspective <strong>and</strong> to present them in ways that lead to greater insight <strong>and</strong> underst<strong>and</strong>ing. These systems allow the<br />

spatial visualization of variables such as habitat types, populations, etc. using colored maps. GIS can be applied to many disciplinary<br />

areas, including ecology, l<strong>and</strong> use planning <strong>and</strong> management, geology <strong>and</strong> soils, hydrology <strong>and</strong> many more.<br />

Using GIS <strong>and</strong> spatial analysis, we can adequately characterize the form of the space organization, but not the function of each of its<br />

components. We can also establish what the structure of the space is when we model the phenomenon under study, but hardly will<br />

we be able to establish the dynamic nature of the processes, be they natural or others. The relationship between structure <strong>and</strong><br />

process can only be solved through the combination of analytical techniques (that describe the structure of the organization of<br />

space) <strong>and</strong> the specialist (that underst<strong>and</strong>s the dynamic of the process).<br />

2.4 Limitations of l<strong>and</strong> cover mapping based on remote sensed data<br />

The selection of l<strong>and</strong> cover classes is critical to the mapping process, <strong>and</strong> ideally, classes are chosen because they have both<br />

ecological significance <strong>and</strong> unique spectral visual qualities. Unfortunately, this is not always possible since some important ecological<br />

features are a combination of structures or coverage.<br />

Naturally, some characteristics associated with certain habitat types are not discernable from satellite <strong>and</strong>/or aerial images. Ancillary<br />

data <strong>and</strong> ground truthing expeditions were used to identify <strong>and</strong> distinguish such areas as much as possible given the time <strong>and</strong><br />

resource limitations of this project.<br />

9


The resolution of available imagery has an associated impact on the accuracy of the spatial analyses. For the most part, the images<br />

provided by the client were of excellent quality. Nevertheless, many of the images were not of sufficient quality to ensure 100%<br />

accuracy. These images include the satellite imagery of the southern edges of the RAMSAR site, aerial images of Joe Grant Cay,<br />

aerial images of French Cay <strong>and</strong> aerial images of various isl<strong>and</strong>s of the <strong>Turks</strong> Bank Cays. Images of West S<strong>and</strong> Spit <strong>and</strong> the Seal<br />

Cays were not available at all; consequently, these two areas were not assessed.<br />

The scale of habitat mapping the entire archipelago of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s is a monumental undertaking. The above<br />

methodology allows for a significant degree of accuracy, while at the same time reducing the amount of time (<strong>and</strong> expense) required<br />

for ground truthing. The submitted geodatabase is suitable for use as a base map for all applications in environmental <strong>and</strong><br />

developmental decision making processes.<br />

The final data set is designed to be used <strong>and</strong> updated into the indefinite future. As new areas are ground truthed <strong>and</strong> additional field<br />

data compiled, the database can be augmented to reflect the new information with relative ease. The submitted geodatabase<br />

collection should therefore be considered a work in progress rather than a final product.<br />

10


3.0 ANALYSIS<br />

3.1 Habitat Relative Distribution<br />

A total of 41 habitats were recognized throughout the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> during the mapping <strong>and</strong> attributing process. The following<br />

table illustrates relative distribution by percentage for each habitat type:<br />

Figure 3.1.1 - Relative Distribution of Terrestrial Habitats within the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

12


Figure 3.1.2 – Coastal Nonvascular Habitat – French Cay<br />

13


The following table lists TCI terrestrial habitats:<br />

Table 3.1.1 – <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Terrestrial Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 113 Estuarine Evergreen Forest 0.26<br />

2 131 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 3.90<br />

3 133 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 0.00<br />

4 134 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 0.85<br />

5 212 Coccothrinax inaguensis Coastal Evergreen Broadleaf Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.30<br />

6 213 Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.38<br />

7 214 Palustrine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 2.00<br />

8 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 8.40<br />

9 232 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.25<br />

10 233 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.10<br />

11 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 4.04<br />

12 244 Pinus caribaea Palustrine Coniferous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.93<br />

13 254 Pinus caribaea Palustrine Coniferous Woodl<strong>and</strong> w/Mixed Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.05<br />

Understory<br />

14 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.10<br />

15 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 10.36<br />

16 331 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.58<br />

17 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.43<br />

18 333 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.76<br />

19 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.31<br />

20 413 Estuarine Evergreen Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.83<br />

21 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.69<br />

22 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.15<br />

23 433 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 9.71<br />

24 434 Palustrine Mixed Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.94<br />

25 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.48<br />

26 512 Coastal Graminoid Herbaceous 0.00<br />

27 531 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.12<br />

28 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.51<br />

29 533 Estuarine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 4.37<br />

30 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 2.44<br />

14


31 612 Coastal Nonvascular 0.47<br />

32 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 13.03<br />

33 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 4.72<br />

34 615 Lacustrine Nonvascular 0.04<br />

35 633 Estuarine Mixed Algal Nonvascular 4.82<br />

36 710 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Maintained L<strong>and</strong>scape 5.37<br />

37 720 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Clear-cut L<strong>and</strong> 0.17<br />

38 730 Habitat Impacted by Exotic Nuisance Species 0.09<br />

39 740 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape Water 0.03<br />

40 750 Cave 0.00<br />

41 760 Archaeological Artifact 0.02<br />

Each of the above habitat classifications can be broken down into respective formations as follows:<br />

Estuarine Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 113 Estuarine Evergreen Forest 0.26<br />

3 133 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 0.00<br />

6 213 Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.28<br />

10 233 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.14<br />

15 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 10.36<br />

18 333 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.76<br />

20 413 Estuarine Evergreen Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.83<br />

23 433 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 9.71<br />

28 533 Estuarine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 4.37<br />

31 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 13.03<br />

34 633 Estuarine Mixed Algal Nonvascular 4.82<br />

Total 46.56<br />

Estuarine habitats represent the vast majority of terrestrial (<strong>and</strong> wetl<strong>and</strong>) formations within the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s. The vast<br />

network of estuarine habitats incorporated within the RAMSAR wetl<strong>and</strong> of international importance along the southern <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>s accounts for this distribution. Estuarine formations provide a wide variety of ecosystem services including critical habitats<br />

<strong>and</strong> as a keystone in marine <strong>and</strong> terrestrial ecological productivity.<br />

15


Palustrine Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

4 134 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 0.85<br />

7 214 Palustrine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 2.00<br />

11 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 4.04<br />

12 244 Pinus caribaea Palustrine Coniferous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.93<br />

13 254 Pinus caribaea Palustrine Coniferous Woodl<strong>and</strong> w/Mixed Shrubl<strong>and</strong><br />

Understory<br />

1.05<br />

19 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.31<br />

24 434 Palustrine Mixed Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.94<br />

29 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 2.44<br />

32 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 4.72<br />

Total 22.28<br />

Palustrine habitats are also a predominant formation within the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s. The large l<strong>and</strong> areas at or just above sea<br />

level are flooded with seasonal rains <strong>and</strong> provide critical habitat for waterfowl species. Palustrine habitats frequently form the<br />

ecotone between estuarine <strong>and</strong> upl<strong>and</strong> habitats.<br />

Upl<strong>and</strong> Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

2 131 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 3.90<br />

8 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 8.40<br />

16 331 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.58<br />

21 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.69<br />

26 531 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.12<br />

Total 15.69<br />

Upl<strong>and</strong> habitats are a noteworthy formation type within the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s comprising 15.69% of l<strong>and</strong> coverage. The vast<br />

unspoiled l<strong>and</strong> areas of North, Middle <strong>and</strong> East <strong>Caicos</strong> contribute to this statistic. Upl<strong>and</strong> habitats are critical nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging<br />

areas for significant bird populations <strong>and</strong> numerous endemic, threatened <strong>and</strong> protected floral species.<br />

Coastal Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

5 212 Coccothrinax inaguensis Coastal Evergreen Broadleaf Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.30<br />

16


9 232 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.25<br />

14 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.10<br />

17 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.43<br />

22 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.15<br />

25 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.48<br />

27 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.51<br />

30 612 Coastal Nonvascular 0.47<br />

Total 9.69<br />

Coastal habitats fringe the TCI along vulnerable shorelines <strong>and</strong> provide a buffer between l<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> sea. While coastal habitats have a<br />

relatively small distribution within the TCI, these habitats are the most threatened by tourism development. Yet coastal habitats are<br />

critical to a number of species populations including shoreline <strong>and</strong> seabird populations, endangered sea turtles <strong>and</strong> a wide variety of<br />

endemic floral populations, some of which are found nowhere else on earth.<br />

Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scapes<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

35 710 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Maintained L<strong>and</strong>scape 5.39<br />

36 720 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Clear-cut L<strong>and</strong> 0.17<br />

37 730 Habitat Impacted by Exotic Nuisance Species 0.09<br />

39 760 Archaeological Artifact 0.02<br />

Total 5.67<br />

In spite of the whirlwind of development that has taken place in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> over the past couple of decades, Human<br />

impact on l<strong>and</strong> areas remains relatively small comparatively. Optimistically, this quantitative analysis implies that with insightful<br />

planning, an environmentally sustainable future remains feasible for the TCI; however, a continuation of the status quo in terms of<br />

developmental policies will continue to erode pristine l<strong>and</strong> areas until this possibility is no longer plausible.<br />

Lacustrine Habitats<br />

Lacustrine nonvascular habitats are the rarest of all formations within the TCI accounting for a mere 0.04% of l<strong>and</strong> coverage.<br />

Lacustrine habitats provide critical habitat for waterfowl including threatened species <strong>and</strong> significant populations <strong>and</strong> are the habitat<br />

for unique genus <strong>and</strong> species in the TCI.<br />

17


Caves<br />

As the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s are l<strong>and</strong> masses formed of limestone, karst features are a significant formation of the isl<strong>and</strong><br />

geography. Caves are found distributed throughout the TCI with significant formations on Middle <strong>and</strong> East <strong>Caicos</strong>. Due to their<br />

subterranean nature, caves cannot be accurately mapped using aerial imagery with the methodologies proscribed for this project.<br />

For that reason, their distribution does not register as a percentage within two decimal points. Wherever caves are known; however,<br />

they are noted within the mapping process. Caves are critical habitats for a number of endemic crustaceans <strong>and</strong> threatened <strong>and</strong><br />

biome restricted bat populations.<br />

Relative distribution of each habitat type for each isl<strong>and</strong> is addressed within individual isl<strong>and</strong> analyses in proceeding sections.<br />

3.2 Species of Interest<br />

Species of interest in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s include rare, threatened, endangered <strong>and</strong> endemic species. Several species of<br />

interest are internationally recognized under the International Union on the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Convention on<br />

International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) <strong>and</strong> the Specially Protected Areas <strong>and</strong> Wildlife Protocol (SPAW). Other ecological<br />

items of interest include significant populations of flora <strong>and</strong> fauna, range-restricted species <strong>and</strong> rare habitat types. The IUCN has<br />

studied several populations of flora <strong>and</strong> fauna, which it considers to be of least concern at this time. Some endemic species enjoy a<br />

broad distribution across the wider Caribbean <strong>and</strong> are therefore also of less concern in terms of conservation. The SPAW Protocol<br />

lists several species which are not rare or threatened but which are dominant in significant habitat types. All known species of<br />

interest previously recorded in TCI, including those of Least Concern, common SPAW species <strong>and</strong> Caribbean endemic species<br />

appear as Appendix A – Terrestrial Species of Interest. This study addresses terrestrial flora, fauna, populations <strong>and</strong> habitats of<br />

interest.<br />

Supporting evidence for the presence/absence of species <strong>and</strong> habitats of interest was gathered from a large variety of sources <strong>and</strong><br />

include scientific research spanning several decades in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong>. Much of the information referenced was sourced from<br />

data compiled on behalf of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>National</strong> Trust, British Overseas Conservation Forum, TCI Department of<br />

Environment <strong>and</strong> Coastal Resources <strong>and</strong> TCI Department of Planning <strong>and</strong> from personal communications <strong>and</strong> observations with<br />

local <strong>and</strong> international experts. A complete bibliography of references used appears at the end of this report.<br />

All species of interest noted during the ground truthing exercise were recorded <strong>and</strong> located using GIS positioning. A comprehensive<br />

list including the updated addition of lat/long positions for each species noted during ground truthing is included in the final<br />

submission of the ground truthing report submitted under separate cover.<br />

Other specific species location data for Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis <strong>and</strong> Epicrates chrysogaster were provided to the<br />

consultants by DECR <strong>and</strong> have been incorporated as a layer file in the submitted geodatabase. The above locations are not<br />

reiterated in this report for brevity’s sake.<br />

18


Apart from the species locations recorded from ground truthing <strong>and</strong> location data submitted directly to the consultant team by<br />

DECR, lat/long locations are not included for each species of interest noted in this report simply because this information does not<br />

exist. Much of the data was sourced, as noted above from old reports, individual observations <strong>and</strong> personal communication with<br />

experts, <strong>and</strong> location data was never recorded. For this reason, species of interest have been linked to general areas in each on<br />

each of the isl<strong>and</strong>s rather than specific lat/long locations. The geodatabase is designed to allow for such location data to be added<br />

to the database as it becomes available through ongoing scientific research.<br />

A Note on Specific Nomenclature<br />

While it would seem prudent to permanently attach taxonomic nomenclature to an individual species, in reality, synonyms for various<br />

species are often concurrently in use. Officially, only one taxonomic designation is the “accepted” nomenclature, but often, other<br />

synonyms are more commonly used or are a recognized nomenclature for a species. For the past three decades, the l<strong>and</strong>mark<br />

work by Donovan <strong>and</strong> Helen Correll, the Flora of the Bahama Archipelago (Including the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s) has been the<br />

leading source for the floral identification <strong>and</strong> taxonomy in the region. The nomenclature used by the Correllls is readily recognized<br />

by all botanical professionals even if specific synonyms have been replaced for a few particular species. The floral nomenclature <strong>and</strong><br />

spelling within this report is largely taken from Correll <strong>and</strong> Correll 1 . Where synonyms have been replaced, wherever possible, the<br />

author of this report has indicated the new nomenclature. Additionally, the ITIS dynamic species indices located at<br />

http://www.itis.gov/index.html <strong>and</strong> http://www.catalogueoflife.org/dynamic-checklist/info_source_dbs.php are used as a reference<br />

for floral <strong>and</strong> faunal species nomenclature. In some instances within this report, older but commonly used synonyms may be used,<br />

particularly if changes have been made to the nomenclature in recent months. The use of synonyms is a perfectly valid <strong>and</strong><br />

accepted scientific practice, <strong>and</strong> the use of synonyms does not detract in any way from the substantive body of work of this study,<br />

particularly in light of the fact that the focus of this study is the vegetation classification <strong>and</strong> habitat mapping of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> not taxonomic nomenclature.<br />

Flora<br />

The <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s are home to numerous flora species of interest including rare, threatened, endangered, endemic,<br />

internationally-protected <strong>and</strong> range-restricted species. The following table illustrates TCI floral species of interest (excluding<br />

Caribbean endemic species, common SPAW species <strong>and</strong> species of Least Concern):<br />

Table 3.2.1 - <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Floral Species of Interest<br />

Species Common Name Comments<br />

Flora<br />

Acacia acuifera Pork <strong>and</strong> Doughboy Endemic B<br />

1 Correll <strong>and</strong> Correll, 1996 reprint.<br />

19


Acrostichum danaeifolium Giant Leather Fern Limited Distribution in TCI<br />

Agave braceana Century Plant Endemic B<br />

Agave inaguensis Inagua Agave Endemic B<br />

Argythamnia argentea Silver-leaved Argythamnia Endemic TCI<br />

Argythamnia lucayana Lucayan Argythamnia Endemic B<br />

Argythamnia sericea Silky Argythamnia Endemic B<br />

Borreria bahamensis Bahama Buttonweed Endemic B<br />

Borreria brittonii Britton’s Buttonweed Endemic TCI<br />

Borreria capillaris Fine-leaved Buttonweed Endemic TCI<br />

Borreria inaguensis Inagua Buttonweed Endemic B<br />

Borreria thymifolia Thyme-leaved Buttonweed Endemic B<br />

Bursera frenningae Frenning’s Bursera Endemic B<br />

Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

Calli<strong>and</strong>ra haematomma Red Calli<strong>and</strong>ra Endemic B<br />

Catesbaea foliosa Catesby’s Vine Endemic B<br />

Coccothrinax inaguensis Inagua Silver Palm Endemic B, IUCN<br />

Cordia lucayana Lucayan Cordia Endemic B<br />

Cynanchum stipulatum North <strong>Caicos</strong> Cynanchum Endemic to North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

Dodonaea erhenbergii Dogwood Endemic C<br />

Eleocharis bahamensis Bahama Spikerush Endemic B<br />

Encyclia caicensis<br />

Encyclia hodgeana (E.<br />

<strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Endemic<br />

Orchid Endemic TCI<br />

altissima) Tall Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

Encyclia inaguensis Inagua Orchid Endemic B, CITES<br />

Encyclia rufa Spring Orchid Endemic C<br />

Eragrostis bahamensis Bahama Lovegrass Endemic B<br />

Ernodea millspaughii Millspaugh’s Ernodea Endemic B<br />

Ernodea serratifolia Serrate-leaved Ernodea Endemic B<br />

Eupatorium lucayanum Lucayan Eupatorium Endemic B<br />

Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

Euphorbia gymnonota Milk Tree, False Frangipani Endemic B<br />

Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

Euphorbia vaginulata Sheathed Euphorbia Endemic B<br />

Evolvulus squamosus Broom Bush Endemic B<br />

20


Galactia bahamensis Bahama Milk Pea Endemic B<br />

Guaiacum officinale Lignum Vitae IUCN Vulnerable<br />

Guaiacum sanctum Lignum Vitae IUCN Vulnerable<br />

Heliotropium diffusum Low Heliotrope Endemic B<br />

Heliotropium eggersii Egger’s Heliotrope Endemic B<br />

Heliotropium nanum<br />

White Pussley, Low Ashy<br />

Heliotrope Doubtfully Endemic B<br />

Heliotropium nashii Nash’s Heliotrope Endemic B<br />

Hibiscus brittonianus Bahama Hibiscus Endemic B<br />

Lepidium filicaule Endemic TCI<br />

Limonium bahamense <strong>Turks</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong> Heather Endemic TCI<br />

Lobelia lucayana Lucayan Lobelia Endemic B<br />

Malaxis spicata Slender Malaxis CITES<br />

Mammillaria nivosa Woolly Nipple Cactus Endemic C, CITES<br />

Marsilea nashii Nash’s Pepperwort Endemic B<br />

Melocactus intortus Turk’s Cap Cactus Endemic C,CITES,SPAW<br />

Metastelma inaguense Inagua Metastelma Endemic B<br />

Mimosa bahamensis Bahama Mimosa Endemic B<br />

Oeceoclades maculata Spotted Orchid CITES<br />

Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash’s Tree Cactus Endemic B, CITES<br />

Opuntia bahamana Bahama Prickly Pear Endemic B, CITES<br />

Opuntia lucayana Turk’s Isl<strong>and</strong> Prickly Pear Endemic TCI, CITES<br />

Pavonia bahamensis Bahama Swamp Bush Endemic B<br />

Pedilanthus bahamensis Monkey Fiddle Endemic B<br />

Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C, CITES<br />

Pseudophoenix sargentii Buccaneer Palm Range-restricted Species<br />

Spiranthes polyantha Green Ladies’ Tresses CITES<br />

Stachytarpheta fruticosa Bahama Vervain Endemic B<br />

Sten<strong>and</strong>rium carolinae Caroline’s Sten<strong>and</strong>rium Endemic TCI<br />

Swietenia mahagoni Madeira, Mahogany IUCN Endangered<br />

Thouinia discolor<br />

Naked-wood, Quick Silver,<br />

Hard Bark Endemic B<br />

Vernonia bahamensis Bahama Vernonia Endemic B<br />

Ziziphus taylori Jujube Endemic B<br />

Wedelia bahamensis Rong Bush, Bahama Wedelia Endemic B<br />

21


Fauna<br />

Faunal species <strong>and</strong> populations of interest in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s include rare, threatened, endangered <strong>and</strong> endemic<br />

species <strong>and</strong> critical populations. The following table illustrates faunal species of interest noted within the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

(excluding species of Least Concern):<br />

Table 3.2.2 - <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Faunal Species of Interest<br />

Species Common Name Comments**<br />

AVES Birds<br />

Ardea alba Great White Egret CITES<br />

IUCN LC, regionally<br />

Anas bahamensis White-cheeked Pintail threatened<br />

Anous stolidus Brown Noddy IUCN LC, Critical Population<br />

Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret<br />

Bahama Woodstar<br />

CITES<br />

Calliphlox evelynae Hummingbird Endemic B, IUCN LC<br />

Charadrius alex<strong>and</strong>rinus Snowy Plover Regionally Threatened<br />

Charadrius melodus Piping Plover IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk IUCN LC<br />

Columba leucocephala White-Crowned Pigeon Regionally Threatened<br />

Corvus nasicus Cuban Crow<br />

West Indian Whistling<br />

Endemic C, IUCN LC<br />

Dendrocygna arborea Duck IUCN Vulnerable<br />

Dendroica kirtl<strong>and</strong>ii Kirtl<strong>and</strong>'s Warbler IUCN Vulnerable<br />

Falco columbarius Merlin CITES<br />

Falco peregrinus Peregrine Falcon IUCN Vulnerable<br />

Falco sparverius American Kestrel CITES<br />

Fulica caribaea Caribbean Coot IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Geotrygon chrysia Key West Quail Dove Biome-restricted Species<br />

Grus canadensis S<strong>and</strong>hill Crane CITES<br />

Loxigilla violacea ofella Greater Antillean Bullfinch Biome-restricted Species<br />

Margarops fuscatus Pearly-eyed Thrasher Biome-restricted Species<br />

Microligea palustris Green-tailed Warbler Endemic<br />

Mimus gundlachii Bahama Mockingbird Range-restricted Species<br />

22


P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

IUCN LC, Biome Restricted<br />

Phaethon lepturus White-tailed Tropicbird Species<br />

Phoenicopterus ruber West Indian Flamingo CITES<br />

Plegadis falcinellus Glossy Ibis CITES<br />

IUCN LC, Range-restricted<br />

Puffinus lherinieri Audubon's Shearwater Species<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

Spindalis zena Western Spindalis IUCN LC<br />

SPAW, IUCN LC, Critical<br />

Sterna anaethetus Bridled Tern<br />

Population<br />

Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

Sula leucogaster Brown Booby Only breeding pop. In TCI<br />

Tringa flavipes Lesser Yellowlegs IUCN LC, Critical Population<br />

Tringa melanoleuca Greater Yellowlegs IUCN LC, Critical Population<br />

Tyrannus cubensis Giant Kingbird IUCN Endangered<br />

Tyto alba<br />

Vireo crassirostris<br />

Barn Owl CITES<br />

stalagmium<br />

Reptiles<br />

Thick-billed Vireo Range-restricted Species<br />

Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

Loggerhead Turtle IUCN Endangered<br />

Chelonia Mydas Green Turtle IUCN Endangered<br />

Cyclura carinata carinata Rock Iguana IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

Dermochelys coriacea Leatherback Turtle IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

Eretmochelys imbricata Hawksbill Turtle IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

Epicrates chrysogaster<br />

Leiocephalus<br />

Bahama Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic B<br />

psammodromus<br />

Sphaerodactylus<br />

Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

caicosensis Dwarf Gecko Endemic Species<br />

Tropidophis greenwayi<br />

Invertebrates<br />

Pigmy Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic TCI<br />

Barbouria spp. Cave Shrimp Endemic TCI<br />

Cyclargus thomasi clenchi Clench’s Blue Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

23


Eurema chamberlaini Chamberlain’s Sulfur<br />

mariguanae<br />

Heraclides <strong>and</strong>raemon<br />

Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

bonhotei Bahama Swallowtail Endemic Sub-species<br />

Kaloketos pilosus Cottage Pond Shrimp Endemic Genus <strong>and</strong> Species<br />

Memphis intermedia Leafwing Butterfly<br />

Drury's Hairstreak<br />

Endemic TCI<br />

Strymon acis leucosticha<br />

Mammals<br />

Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

Brachyphylla nana Cuban Fruit-eating Bat IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Erophylla sezekorni Buffy Flower Bat Range-restricted Species<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

Lasiurus borealis Red Bat<br />

IUCN LC<br />

Waterhouse's Big Eared Biome-restricted Species,<br />

Macrotus waterhousii Bat<br />

IUCN LC<br />

Redman's Long-tongued Biome-restricted Species,<br />

Monophyllus redmani Bat<br />

IUCN LC<br />

Tadarida brasiliensis Brazilian Free-tailed Bat IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Species <strong>and</strong> populations of interest will be noted for each individual isl<strong>and</strong> in the following sections.<br />

3.3 Critical Habitats<br />

Critical habitats are described as l<strong>and</strong> areas that are essential habitat for rare, threatened, endangered, endemic <strong>and</strong> significant<br />

species populations. By definition, any l<strong>and</strong> area in which any of the above species is permanently located qualifies as critical<br />

habitat. Critical habitats are also l<strong>and</strong> areas where significant populations, such as those representing a significant proportion of the<br />

global or regional population, are located.<br />

As noted above for species of interest, critical habitats are listed on an isl<strong>and</strong> by isl<strong>and</strong> basis without specific reference to lat/long<br />

location, as this data is not available. As these areas are researched <strong>and</strong> ground truthed into the future, specific lat/long locations<br />

can be added to the geodatabase for each critical habitat<br />

24


4.0 WEST CAICOS 1<br />

West <strong>Caicos</strong> has a varied history of use. Archaeological evidence suggests the Lucayan peoples once inhabited or casually settled<br />

on West <strong>Caicos</strong> several hundred years ago. In the early 1900’s a sisal plantation was established, <strong>and</strong> briefly in the late 19 th century,<br />

West <strong>Caicos</strong> produced salt. In the late 1960’s a “religious group” attempted an aquicultural enterprise. Currently, West <strong>Caicos</strong> has<br />

undergone light tourism development with villa <strong>and</strong> hotel construction <strong>and</strong> associated infrastructures taking place in the northern<br />

region of the isl<strong>and</strong>.<br />

Figure 4.1.1 – Relative Abundance of Habitats on West <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

1 Species <strong>and</strong> habitat data for West <strong>Caicos</strong> were obtained by field observations by K. Wood <strong>and</strong> Slade, L.<br />

4.1 Relative Distribution<br />

of Habitats<br />

The vast majority of the l<strong>and</strong><br />

areas on the isl<strong>and</strong> of West<br />

<strong>Caicos</strong> remain in pristine<br />

condition.<br />

West <strong>Caicos</strong> has been<br />

determined to have 23<br />

habitat types. The figure<br />

below illustrates the relative<br />

abundance of habitats on<br />

West <strong>Caicos</strong> as identified by<br />

spatial analysis:<br />

27


Figure 4.1 - Coccothrinax inaguensis Evergreen Coastal Woodl<strong>and</strong>, West <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

28


The following table illustrates habitats noted on West <strong>Caicos</strong>:<br />

Table 4.1.1 – West <strong>Caicos</strong> Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 134 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 0.09<br />

2 212 Coccothrinax inaguensis Coastal Evergreen Broadleaf Woodl<strong>and</strong> 7.28<br />

3 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 4.58<br />

4 232 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 4.95<br />

5 233 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.01<br />

6 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 5.15<br />

7 331 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 9.17<br />

8 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 17.48<br />

9 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 7.11<br />

10 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.98<br />

11 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 6.79<br />

12 434 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 8.06<br />

13 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.28<br />

14 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.29<br />

15 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 2.32<br />

16 612 Coastal Nonvascular 0.68<br />

17 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 18.24<br />

18 615 Lacustrine Nonvascular 0.01<br />

19 710 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Maintained L<strong>and</strong>scape 0.01<br />

20 720 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Clear-cut L<strong>and</strong> 0.00<br />

21 730 Habitat Impacted by Exotic Nuisance Species 0.18<br />

22 740 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Water 0.01<br />

23 760 Archaeological Artifact 0.01<br />

West <strong>Caicos</strong> remains relatively undeveloped with only 0.02% of the total l<strong>and</strong> area being impacted by human activities (710, 720 <strong>and</strong><br />

740). The largest classification type on West <strong>Caicos</strong> is Palustrine Nonvascular (614) accounting for 18.24% of the total l<strong>and</strong> areas<br />

on the isl<strong>and</strong>. Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> (332) is also prevalent at 17.48%. The remaining 18 habitats<br />

range from l<strong>and</strong> coverages of 9.17% (Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong>, 331) to less than numerically<br />

detectable at two decimal points (Clear-cut l<strong>and</strong>, 720). Known species of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats within the terrestrial <strong>and</strong><br />

wetl<strong>and</strong> habitats are noted in the following sections.<br />

29


Figure 4.1.1 – 442 Coastal Habitat on West <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

30


4.2 Species of Interest<br />

The following table lists species of interest that have been noted within previous studies conducted at<br />

West <strong>Caicos</strong>: 1<br />

Table 4.2.1 - Species of Interest West <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

Species Common Name Comments<br />

Flora<br />

1Acacia acuifera Pork <strong>and</strong> Doughboy Endemic B<br />

2Argythamnia argentea Silvery Argythamnia Endemic TCI<br />

3Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

4Catesbaea foliosa Catesby’s Vine Endemic B<br />

5Coccothrinax inaguensis Inagua Silver Palm Endemic B, IUCN<br />

6Eleocharis bahamensis Bahama Love Grass Endemic B<br />

7Encyclia rufa Spring Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

8Eragrostis bahamensis Bahama Lovegrass Endemic B<br />

9Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

10Evolvulus squamosus Broom Bush Endemic B<br />

11Metastelma inaguense Inagua Metastelma Endemic B<br />

12Mimosa bahamensis Bahama Mimosa Endemic B<br />

13Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash's Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

14Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C<br />

15Thouinia discolor<br />

Naked-wood, Quick Silver, Hard<br />

Bark Endemic B<br />

16Ziziphus taylori Jujube Endemic B<br />

AVES Birds<br />

1Calliphlox evelynae Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird Endemic B<br />

2Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk Biome-restricted Species<br />

3Columba leucocephala White-Crowned Pigeon Regionally Threatened<br />

4Falco sparverius American Kestrel CITES<br />

5Margarops fuscatus Pearly-eyed Thrasher Biome-restricted Species<br />

6Mimus gundlachii Bahama Mockingbird Range-restricted Species<br />

7P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

8Phoenicopterus ruber West Indian Flamingo CITES<br />

1 Wood, K.,2000 <strong>and</strong> Slade, L., 2002<br />

31


9Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

10Vireo crassirostris Thick-billed Vireo Regional Variety<br />

Reptiles<br />

Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

Invertebrates<br />

Typhlatya spp. Sink Hole Shrimp Endemic TCI<br />

Figure 4.2.1 - Osprey in 212 Habitat on West <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

The diverse habitats of West <strong>Caicos</strong> provide habitat for a variety of floral <strong>and</strong> faunal species of interest. Known species include 16<br />

plants, 10 birds, one reptile <strong>and</strong> one invertebrate. Of interest is the endemic blue hole shrimp found in the small karst features at the<br />

32


southern portion of the isl<strong>and</strong>, <strong>and</strong> the TCI endemic Argythamnia argentea that finds habitat in the coastal <strong>and</strong> upl<strong>and</strong> floral<br />

communities on West <strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

The following section describes the known critical habitats on West <strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

4.3 Critical Habitats<br />

The West <strong>Caicos</strong> Marine <strong>National</strong> Park <strong>and</strong> Lake Catherine Nature Reserve are located at West <strong>Caicos</strong>. While the <strong>National</strong> Park is<br />

entirely marine based, the Lake Catherine Nature Reserve contains a large array of terrestrial <strong>and</strong> wetl<strong>and</strong> habitats. A wide variety of<br />

waterfowl, shoreline, seabird <strong>and</strong> wading bird populations find critical nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging habitat within the Nature Reserve.<br />

212 (Coccothrinax inaguensis Evergreen Coastal Woodl<strong>and</strong>) habitats are characterized by the dominance of the Bahamas endemic<br />

species Coccothrinax inaguensis. Located almost exclusively in coastal areas, 212 habitats are threatened by tourism development,<br />

which favor coastal locations for development. The endemic species Coccothrinax inaguensis is particularly vulnerable to l<strong>and</strong><br />

clearance, as the species cannot be transplanted with any measurable success <strong>and</strong> is very slow growing, making propagation from<br />

seed economically non-feasible. Coastal habitats with s<strong>and</strong>y substrates are also providing habitat for the TCI endemic species<br />

Argythamnia argentea.<br />

Pristine coastal, upl<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> wetl<strong>and</strong> communities provide mosaic habitats, which are particularly vital to bird populations. The<br />

combined wetl<strong>and</strong> habitats including palustrine, lacustrine <strong>and</strong> estuarine provide a variety of water qualities, nesting areas <strong>and</strong> fodder<br />

for wading, shoreline <strong>and</strong> waterfowl populations. Pristine woodl<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> shrubl<strong>and</strong> habitats are vital nesting areas for perching bird<br />

populations including the endemic subspecies of Thick-billed vireo <strong>and</strong> endemic Bahama woodstar hummingbird.<br />

The southwestern section of West <strong>Caicos</strong> is pockmarked with a series of 615 (lacustrine, karst feature pond) habitats. The small<br />

sinkholes are the habitat to a TCI endemic crustacean, Typhlatya spp. (note: identification is uncertain).<br />

33


The following table outlines critical habitats on the isl<strong>and</strong> of West <strong>Caicos</strong>:<br />

Table 4.3.1 – Critical Habitats, West <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

Area Significance<br />

Lake Catherine NR Nesting area for wading, shoreline, perching <strong>and</strong> seabird populations<br />

615 Southwest Sinkhole Formations Habitat for endemic crustacean populations<br />

212 Coastal Habitats Threatened habitats for endemic species.<br />

Myriad Wetl<strong>and</strong> Habitats Critical habitats for wading, shoreline, perching <strong>and</strong> seabird populations.<br />

Intact Upl<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> Coastal Habitats Critical habitats for floral species of interest <strong>and</strong> perching bird populations.<br />

34


Figure 4.3.1 – Lacustrine Karst Feature (615) habitat, West <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

35


5.0 PROVIDENCIALES 1<br />

Many of the habitats of Providenciales have been severely impacted <strong>and</strong> fragmented by residential, commercial, industrial <strong>and</strong><br />

tourism-related development. Habitats of high value are primarily restricted to Protected Areas <strong>and</strong> the remaining l<strong>and</strong> areas of<br />

Northwest Point which have to date avoided large-scale, high-density development.<br />

5.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

The following figure illustrates the relative distribution of habitats on the isl<strong>and</strong> of Providenciales:<br />

Figure 5.1.1 – Relative Distribution of Habitats on Providenciales<br />

1 Species <strong>and</strong> habitat data for the isl<strong>and</strong> of Providenciales is taken from a variety of sources. Please see bibliography.<br />

37


Figure 5.1, Uniola paniculata Coastal Graminoid Herbaceous Habitat, Providenciales<br />

Spatial analyses reveal a total of 32 habitat types for the isl<strong>and</strong> of Providenciales. The following table outlines these habitats:<br />

38


Table 5.1.1 – Providenciales Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 113 Estuarine Evergreen Forest 0.19<br />

2 131 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 1.1<br />

3 134 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 0.06<br />

4 212 Coccothrinax inaguensis Coastal Evergreen Broadleaf Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.19<br />

5 213 Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.97<br />

6 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 23.27<br />

7 232 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.82<br />

8 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 6.32<br />

9 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.2<br />

10 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.15<br />

11 331 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.15<br />

12 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.82<br />

13 333 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.49<br />

14 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.16<br />

15 413 Estuarine Evergreen Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.08<br />

16 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.17<br />

17 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.18<br />

18 433 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.12<br />

19 434 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.07<br />

20 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.32<br />

21 531 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.00<br />

22 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.2<br />

23 533 Estuarine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 1.3<br />

24 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.1<br />

25 612 Coastal Nonvascular 0.58<br />

26 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 3.84<br />

27 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 0<br />

28 615 Lacustrine Nonvascular 0.88<br />

29 710 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Maintained L<strong>and</strong>scape 29.14<br />

30 720 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Clear-cut L<strong>and</strong> 0.3<br />

31 730 Habitat Impacted by Exotic Nuisance Species 0.00<br />

32 740 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Water 0.23<br />

39


The largest classifications of l<strong>and</strong> coverage on Providenciales are human altered l<strong>and</strong>scapes (710 <strong>and</strong> 720, 29.44%). The remaining<br />

70.36% of upl<strong>and</strong>, wetl<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> coastal habitats remain ecologically intact. The dominant vegetation classification on Providenciales<br />

is (231) Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> (23.27%). While this habitat type once predominated across the<br />

isl<strong>and</strong>, large, intact st<strong>and</strong>s are now largely restricted to the undeveloped areas of Northwest Point <strong>and</strong> within the Protected Areas.<br />

The remaining habitats are found in varying distributions ranging from 6.32% (234, Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous<br />

Woodl<strong>and</strong>) to less than numerically detectable within 0.01% (531, Upl<strong>and</strong> Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous). Within the broad diversity<br />

of 32 habitats a number of species of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats are found on Providenciales. A detailed analysis of these species<br />

<strong>and</strong> critical habitats will be outlined in sections 5.2 <strong>and</strong> 5.3 below.<br />

Figure 5.1.1 – Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Woodl<strong>and</strong> Habitats, Providenciales<br />

40


5.2 Rare, Threatened, Endangered <strong>and</strong> Endemic Species Populations<br />

The following table lists species of interest that have been noted on the isl<strong>and</strong> of Providenciales:<br />

Table 5.2.1 – Species of Interest Providenciales<br />

Species Common Name Comments<br />

Flora<br />

1Acacia acuifera<br />

Pork <strong>and</strong> Doughboy, Bahama<br />

Acacia Endemic B<br />

2Agave braceana Century Plant Endemic B(5, 8-10)<br />

3Argythamnia argentea Shining Argythamnia Endemic TCI<br />

4Argythamnia lucayana Lucayan Argythamnia Endemic B<br />

5Argythamnia sericea Silvery Argythamnia Endemic B<br />

6Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

7Calli<strong>and</strong>ra haematomma Red Calli<strong>and</strong>ra Endemic B<br />

8Catesbaea foliosa Catesby’s Vine Endemic B<br />

9Coccothrinax inaguensis Inagua Silver Palm Endemic B, IUCN<br />

10Cordia lucayana Lucayan Cordia Endemic B<br />

11Encyclia hodgeana (E. altissima) Tall Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

12Encyclia inaguensis Inagua Orchid Endemic B, CITES<br />

13Encyclia rufa Spring Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

14Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

15Euphorbia vaginulata Coastal Spurge Endemic B<br />

16Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

17Evolvulus squamosus Broom Bush Endemic B<br />

18Galactia bahamensis Bahama Milk Pea Endemic B<br />

19Guaiacum officinale Lignum Vitae IUCN Vulnerable<br />

20Hibiscus brittonianus Bahama Hibiscus Endemic B<br />

21Malaxis spicata Slender Malaxis CITES<br />

22Metastelma inaguense Inagua Metastelma Endemic B<br />

23Mimosa bahamensis Bahama Mimosa Endemic B<br />

24Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash’s Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

25Opuntia bahamana Bahama Prickly Pear Endemic B<br />

26Pavonia bahamensis Bahama Swamp Bush Endemic B<br />

27Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C, CITES<br />

41


28Pseudophoenix sargentii Buccaneer Palm<br />

Threatened by<br />

harvesting<br />

29Spiranthes polyantha Green Ladies’ Tresses CITES<br />

30Swietenia mahagoni Madeira, Mahogany<br />

Naked-wood, Quick Silver, Hard<br />

IUCN Endangered<br />

31Thouinia discolor<br />

Bark Endemic B<br />

32Vernonia bahamensis Endemic B<br />

33Wedelia bahamensis Rong Bush, Bahama Wedelia Endemic B<br />

34Ziziphus taylori Jujube Endemic B<br />

AVES Birds<br />

1Ardea alba Great White Egret CITES<br />

IUCN LC, regionally<br />

2Anas bahamensis White-cheeked Pintail<br />

threatened<br />

3Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret CITES<br />

4Calliphlox evelynae Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird Endemic B, IUCN LC<br />

5Charadrius alex<strong>and</strong>rinus Snowy Plover Regionally Threatened<br />

Biome-restricted<br />

6Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk<br />

Species, IUCN LC<br />

7Columba leucocephala White-Crowned Pigeon Regionally Threatened<br />

8Corvus nasicus Cuban Crow Endemic C, IUCN LC<br />

9Dendrocygna arborea West Indian Whistling Duck IUCN Vulnerable<br />

11Falco columbarius Merlin CITES<br />

11Falco sparverius American Kestrel CITES<br />

12Fulica caribaea Caribbean Coot IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Biome-restricted<br />

13Loxigilla violacea ofella Greater Antillean Bullfinch<br />

Species<br />

Biome-restricted<br />

14Margarops fuscatus Pearly-eyed Thrasher<br />

Species<br />

Range-restricted<br />

15Mimus gundlachii Bahama Mockingbird<br />

Species<br />

16P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

17Phoenicopterus ruber West Indian Flamingo CITES<br />

18Plegadis falcinellus Glossy Ibis CITES<br />

19Spindalis zena Western Spindalis Biome-restricted<br />

42


Species, IUCN LC<br />

20Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

21Sterna fuscata Sooty Tern SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

22Sterna hirundo Common Tern SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

23Sterna maxima Royal Tern SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

24Sterna s<strong>and</strong>vicensis S<strong>and</strong>wich Tern SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

25Tyto alba Barn Owl CITES<br />

26Vireo crassirostris stalagmium<br />

Reptiles<br />

Thick-billed Vireo<br />

Range-restricted<br />

Species<br />

1Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

2Caretta caretta Loggerhead Turtle IUCN Endangered<br />

3Chelonia Mydas Green Turtle IUCN Endangered<br />

IUCN Critically<br />

4Cyclura carinata carinata TCI Rock Iguana<br />

Endangered<br />

IUCN Critically<br />

5Dermochelys coriacea Leatherback Turtle<br />

Endangered<br />

6Eretmochelys imbricata Hawksbill Turtle<br />

IUCN Critically<br />

Endangered<br />

7Epicrates chrysogaster Bahama Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic B<br />

8Leiocephalus psammodromus Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

9Mabouya mabouya Skink Regional Endemic<br />

10Sphaerodactylus caicosensis Dwarf Gecko Endemic Species<br />

11Tropidophis greenwayi<br />

Invertebrates<br />

Pigmy Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic TCI<br />

1Cyclargus thomasi clenchi<br />

2Eurema chamberlaini<br />

Clench’s Blue Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

mariguanae Chamberlain’s Sulfur Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

3Hericlides <strong>and</strong>raemon bonhotei Bahama Swallowtail Endemic Sub-species<br />

4Memphis intermedia Leafwing Butterfly Endemic TCI<br />

5Strymon acis leucosticha Drury’s Hairstreak Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

43


Figure 5.2.1 - Encyclia inaguensis Bahamas Endemic Orchid, Providenciales<br />

44


Figure 5.2.2 - Guaiacum sanctum CITES <strong>and</strong> IUCN Protected Species, Providenciales<br />

Species of interest including rare, threatened, endangered, endemic <strong>and</strong> significant populations on the isl<strong>and</strong> of Providenciales<br />

include 34 plants, 28 birds, 11 reptiles <strong>and</strong> 5 invertebrates. Of particular note are the TCI endemic plant species Argythamnia<br />

argentea, which is frequent in s<strong>and</strong>y <strong>and</strong> rocky substrates <strong>and</strong> robust populations of Guaiacum officinale <strong>and</strong> Swietennia mahagoni,<br />

IUCN Vulnerable <strong>and</strong> Endangered Species, respectively.<br />

Bird species include the regionally endemic Corvus nasicus <strong>and</strong> Calliphlox evelynae, <strong>and</strong> a number of biome <strong>and</strong> range-restricted<br />

species (please see table 5.2.1) <strong>and</strong> the IUCN Vulnerable Dendrocygna arborea. Reptilian populations within the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>s display a high degree of endemism, resulting in several populations which meet the criteria for IUCN as threatened species<br />

due to extremely limited distributions <strong>and</strong> habitat losses (please see table above). Of particular note, are the various species of<br />

Endangered <strong>and</strong> Critically Endangered sea turtle populations, which have historically used the beaches of Long Bay <strong>and</strong> West<br />

Harbor Bluff for nesting sites.<br />

45


Data for invertebrate populations is minimal due to limited scientific research in this area. The table lists known endemic species <strong>and</strong><br />

sub-species of butterflies known to Providenciales.<br />

Figure 5.2.3 - Swietennia mahogany IUCN <strong>and</strong> CITES Protected Species, Providenciales<br />

46


5.3 Critical Habitats<br />

The isl<strong>and</strong> of Providenciales has 5 Protected Areas including the Pigeon Pond <strong>and</strong> Frenchman’s Creek Nature Reserve, Northwest<br />

Point Pond Nature Reserve, Chalk Sound <strong>National</strong> Park, Princess Alex<strong>and</strong>ra <strong>National</strong> Park <strong>and</strong> Northwest Point Marine <strong>National</strong><br />

Park. Due to high developmental pressures, these Protected Areas conceivably will one day soon represent the only unspoiled<br />

natural habitats on Providenciales.<br />

Pigeon Pond <strong>and</strong> Frenchman’s Creek Nature Reserve, Chalk Sound <strong>National</strong> Park <strong>and</strong> Northwest Point Pond Nature Reserve are<br />

the only terrestrially based Protected Areas <strong>and</strong> as such, have been vulnerable to l<strong>and</strong> grabbing by individuals anxious to capitalize<br />

on the few remaining parcels of prime real estate on Providenciales. The issue has been contentious <strong>and</strong> the offering <strong>and</strong> taking<br />

back of l<strong>and</strong> has been the source of much controversy. The only solution for this problem is to set a precedent refusing any such<br />

speculation in the future.<br />

As some of the few remaining pristine habitats on Providenciales, the Protected Areas are a reservoir for biodiversity. Within the<br />

Pigeon Pond <strong>and</strong> Frenchman’s Creek Nature Reserve, numerous floral species of interest (please see table 5.2.1) find sanctuary on<br />

an otherwise artificially l<strong>and</strong>scaped isl<strong>and</strong>. The estuaries <strong>and</strong> palustrine wetl<strong>and</strong>s associated with the three above Protected Areas<br />

provide vital habitats for a large variety of shoreline, wading <strong>and</strong> waterfowl populations. The Frenchman’s Creek estuaries <strong>and</strong><br />

mangal wetl<strong>and</strong>s are the main nursery areas for all of the reef-dwelling species that find habitat along the fringing reefs of Northwest<br />

Point <strong>and</strong> West <strong>Caicos</strong>, providing revenues for the diving industry. The undeveloped beaches <strong>and</strong> margins of wetl<strong>and</strong>s in these<br />

Protected Areas are a vital habitat for the biome restricted Antillean nighthawk, which suffers habitat losses elsewhere throughout the<br />

developed archipelago <strong>and</strong> nesting hawksbill <strong>and</strong> green sea turtles.<br />

Due to developmental pressures on Providenciales, the l<strong>and</strong> areas contained within the Protected Areas are of vital importance<br />

ecologically, as they will conceivably become the only natural intact habitats on the isl<strong>and</strong> in the near future.<br />

The Northwest Point Pond is regarded as an important nesting area for shoreline, wading <strong>and</strong> seabird populations.<br />

The Chalk Sound <strong>National</strong> Park is a known nursery area for juvenile conch <strong>and</strong> lobster, two economically significant species. 1<br />

Other wetl<strong>and</strong> networks including palustrine <strong>and</strong> estuarine wetl<strong>and</strong>s provide critical habitat for a variety of wading, shoreline <strong>and</strong><br />

waterfowl bird populations. West Indian whistling duck has been noted in the palustrine habitats that appear temporarily in lowl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

between ridges. Recently, these habitats have become threatened by residential development.<br />

The following table outlines critical habitats on the isl<strong>and</strong> of Providenciales <strong>and</strong> the significance of each habitat:<br />

1 Pardee, M., Personal Communication 2010.<br />

47


Table 5.3.1 – Critical Habitats, Providenciales<br />

Area Significance<br />

Pigeon Pond <strong>and</strong> Frenchman’s Creek NR Nesting area for wading, shoreline, perching <strong>and</strong> seabird populations<br />

Nursery area for commercial <strong>and</strong> game fish species<br />

Nesting area for sea turtle populations<br />

Reservoir of floral <strong>and</strong> fauna diversity<br />

Northwest Point Pond NR Nesting area for wading, shoreline, <strong>and</strong> seabird populations<br />

Chalk Sound NP Nursery area for conch <strong>and</strong> lobster<br />

Reservoir for floral <strong>and</strong> faunal diversity<br />

Habitat for Critically Endangered Rock Iguana<br />

Juba Sound <strong>and</strong> Flamingo Pond Critical nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging habitat for wading, shoreline <strong>and</strong> seabird populations<br />

234 <strong>and</strong> 334 Palustrine Wetl<strong>and</strong> Habitats Critical nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging habitat for waterfowl including West Indian whistling duck.<br />

Long Bay Hills Nesting area for Endangered Sea Turtles<br />

Nesting area for White-tailed Tropicbird<br />

48


Figure 5.3.1 – Chalk Sound <strong>National</strong> Park, Providenciales<br />

49


6.0 LEEWARD ISLANDS<br />

The Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s are located between the Isl<strong>and</strong>s of North <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>and</strong> Providenciales <strong>and</strong> include the isl<strong>and</strong>s of Little Water Cay,<br />

Mangrove Cay, Donna Cay, Water Cay, Pine Cay, Fort George Cay, Dellis Cay, Stubbs Cay, Parrot Cay <strong>and</strong> various smaller islets<br />

<strong>and</strong> cays of unknown nomenclature.<br />

Much of the l<strong>and</strong> areas within the Leeward Cays remain undeveloped. Relative low density residential <strong>and</strong> tourism development has<br />

taken place on Pine Cay <strong>and</strong> Parrot Cay <strong>and</strong> intensive infrastructural <strong>and</strong> tourism development (incomplete) has altered the<br />

l<strong>and</strong>scape of Dellis Cay. Noninvasive boardwalks <strong>and</strong> trails have been installed across the isl<strong>and</strong> of Little Water Cay for sustainable<br />

use <strong>and</strong> some l<strong>and</strong> clearance <strong>and</strong> dredging has taken place on Water Cay.<br />

6.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

The following figure illustrates the relative distribution of habitats on the Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s:<br />

Figure 6.1.1 – Relative Distribution of Habitats, Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

51


Figure 6.1 - Pinus caribaea Coniferous Woodl<strong>and</strong>, Pine Cay<br />

Spatial analysis revealed a total of 31 habitats within the Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> the following table illustrates these habitats:<br />

52


Table 6.1.1 – Habitats, Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 113 Estuarine Evergreen Forest 2.71<br />

2 131 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 0.45<br />

3 212 Coccothrinax inaguensis Coastal Evergreen Broadleaf Woodl<strong>and</strong> 2.67<br />

4 213 Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 2.52<br />

5 214 Palustrine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.02<br />

6 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 10.73<br />

7 232 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 5.99<br />

8 233 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.03<br />

9 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 2.35<br />

10 244 Pinus caribaea Palustrine Coniferous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 3.45<br />

11 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.08<br />

12 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 7.48<br />

13 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 9.59<br />

14 333 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.64<br />

15 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.39<br />

16 413 Estuarine Evergreen Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 18.75<br />

17 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 5.00<br />

18 433 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.43<br />

19 434 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.03<br />

20 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.26<br />

21 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 4.05<br />

22 533 Estuarine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 1.82<br />

23 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 2.07<br />

24 612 Coastal Nonvascular 3.54<br />

25 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 2.43<br />

26 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 1.23<br />

27 615 Lacustrine Nonvascular 0.00<br />

28 633 Estuarine Mixed Algal Nonvascular 1.1<br />

29 710 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Maintained L<strong>and</strong>scape 4.33<br />

30 720 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Clear-cut L<strong>and</strong> 0.32<br />

31 730 Habitat Impacted by Exotic Nuisance Species 0.27<br />

53


In spite of scattered development across the Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s, the vast majority of habitats remain ecologically intact with only 4.65%<br />

of the total l<strong>and</strong> areas impacted by human development (710 <strong>and</strong> 720). Estuarine Evergreen (Rhizophora mangle) Shrubl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

comprise the largest habitat type in this area at 18.75%, <strong>and</strong> Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> comprises<br />

10.73% of l<strong>and</strong> coverage. The remaining 27habitats have distributions ranging from 9.59% (332, Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought<br />

Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong>) to less than numerically significant at two decimal places (615, Lacustrine Nonvascular). Known species of<br />

interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats within the Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s are described in the following sections.<br />

Figure 6.1.2 – Little Water Cay<br />

54


6.2 Species of Interest<br />

The following table lists known species of interest within the Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s:<br />

Table 6.2.1 – Species of Interest, Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

Species Common Name Comments<br />

Flora<br />

1Acacia acuifera<br />

Pork <strong>and</strong> Doughboy, Bahama<br />

Acacia Endemic B<br />

2Argythamnia argentea Silvery Argythamnia Endemic TCI<br />

3Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

4Catesbaea foliosa Catesby’s Vine Endemic B<br />

5Coccothrinax inaguensis Inagua Silver Palm Endemic B, IUCN<br />

6Encyclia caicensis <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Orchid Endemic TCI, CITES<br />

7Encyclia hodgeana (E. altissima) Tall Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

8Encyclia inaguensis Inagua Orchid Endemic B, CITES<br />

9Encyclia rufa Spring Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

10Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

11Evolvulus squamosus Broom Bush Endemic B<br />

12Guaiacum sanctum Lignum Vitae IUCN Vulnerable<br />

13Mimosa bahamensis Bahama Mimosa Endemic B<br />

14Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C, CITES<br />

Endemic variety, regionally<br />

restricted <strong>and</strong> threatened<br />

15Pinus caribaea var. bahamense Caribbean Pine<br />

species<br />

16Swietenia mahagoni Madeira, Mahogany<br />

Naked-wood, Quick Silver, Hard<br />

IUCN Endangered<br />

17Thouinia discolor<br />

Bark Endemic B<br />

18Wedelia bahamensis Rong Bush, Bahama Wedelia Endemic B<br />

AVES Birds<br />

1Ardea alba Great White Egret CITES<br />

IUCN LC, regionally<br />

2Anas bahamensis White-cheeked Pintail<br />

threatened<br />

55


3Anous stolidus Brown Noddy Globally significant breeding population<br />

4Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret CITES<br />

5Calliphlox evelynae Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird Endemic B, IUCN LC<br />

6Charadrius alex<strong>and</strong>rinus Snowy Plover Regionally Threatened<br />

7Charadrius melodus Piping Plover IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

8Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk<br />

IUCN LC<br />

9Columba leucocephala White-Crowned Pigeon Regionally Threatened<br />

10Corvus nasicus Cuban Crow Endemic C, IUCN LC<br />

11Falco sparverius American Kestrel CITES<br />

12Fulica caribaea Caribbean Coot IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

Pine Cay significant<br />

13Margarops fuscatus Pearly-eyed Thrasher<br />

population<br />

14Mimus gundlachii Bahama Mockingbird Range-restricted Species<br />

15P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

16Spindalis zena Western Spindalis<br />

IUCN LC<br />

Regionally significant<br />

17Sterna anaethetus Bridled Terns<br />

breeding population<br />

Regionally Threatened<br />

18Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern<br />

Species<br />

19Vireo crassirostris stalagmium<br />

Reptiles<br />

Thick-billed Vireo Range-restricted Species<br />

1Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

2Cyclura carinata carinata Rock Iguana IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

3Epicrates chrysogaster Bahama Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic B<br />

4Leiocephalus psammodromus Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

5Mabuya mabouya<br />

Invertebrates<br />

Skink Regional Endemic<br />

1Cyclargus thomasi clenchi Clench's Blue Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

2Eurema chamberlaini mariguanae Chamberlain's Sulfur Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

3Hericlides <strong>and</strong>raemon bonhotei Bahama Swallowtail Endemic Sub-species<br />

4Strymon acis leucosticha Drury's Hairstreak Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

56


Figure 6.2.1 - Mimus gundlachii, Pine Cay<br />

The Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s provide habitat for 18 plants, 19 birds, 5 reptiles <strong>and</strong> four invertebrates that are considered rare, threatened,<br />

endangered, endemic or significant populations. (Please see table 6.2.1 above). Of note are a significant population of pearly-eyed<br />

thrasher <strong>and</strong> the third largest population of the Critically Endangered TCI rock iguana. Critical habitats for species of interest are<br />

identified in the following section.<br />

57


6.3 Critical Habitats<br />

Figure 6.2.2- Margarops fuscatus (Pearly-eyed Thrasher), Pine Cay<br />

Within the small geographic areas of the Leeward Cays are two Protected Areas, The Princess Alex<strong>and</strong>ra Nature Reserve <strong>and</strong> the<br />

Fort George Cay L<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> Sea <strong>National</strong> Park.<br />

The isl<strong>and</strong>s contained within the Princess Alex<strong>and</strong>ra Nature Reserve are the critical habitat for the third-largest known population of<br />

the Critically Endangered <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s rock iguana (Cyclura carinata carinata).<br />

Pinus caribaea Coniferous Woodl<strong>and</strong>s are currently threatened by an invasive fungal blight that has practically wiped out this habitat<br />

type within the archipelago. The residents of Pine Cay were proactive at the onset of this blight <strong>and</strong> began treatment programs for<br />

individual tree specimens several years before the nationwide effort to save the Caribbean pine was undertaken.<br />

58


Pine Cay is also the location of a rare lacustrine (615) habitat with permanently exposed fresh water. The three freshwater lakes on<br />

Pine Cay are the only known geographic features of this kind in the archipelago.<br />

The isl<strong>and</strong>s of Little Water Cay <strong>and</strong> Pine Cay represent critical habitat for a regionally significant population of the biome restricted<br />

species pearly-eyed thrasher (Margarops fuscatus). At Pine Cay, several of these birds have become tolerant of human populations<br />

<strong>and</strong> regularly beg <strong>and</strong> scavenge for food at the Meridian Club restaurant.<br />

The Leeward Cays provide critical habitat for a regionally significant population of the biome restricted endemic sub-species of<br />

Western Spindalis (Spindalis zena).<br />

The Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s are also critical habitat for the range-restricted TCI endemic orchid, Encyclia caicensis.<br />

The following table lists critical habitats located in the Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s:<br />

Table 6.3.1 – Critical Habitats, Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

Area Significance<br />

Princess Alex<strong>and</strong>ra NR Critical habitat for wading, shoreline, perching <strong>and</strong> seabird populations<br />

Nursery area for commercial <strong>and</strong> game fish species<br />

Reservoir of floral <strong>and</strong> fauna diversity<br />

Critical habitat for Critically Endangered TCI Rock Iguana<br />

Fort George Cay L<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> Sea NP Critical habitat for shoreline, wading <strong>and</strong> seabird populations<br />

Reservoir for floral <strong>and</strong> faunal diversity<br />

244 Pinus caribaea Woodl<strong>and</strong> Threatened Habitat<br />

231 Pine Cay Woodl<strong>and</strong>s Critical habitat for pearly-eyed thrasher, significant population.<br />

615 Pine Cay Freshwater Lakes Rare Habitat<br />

Critical habitat for waterfowl species.<br />

Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s Woodl<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> Shrubl<strong>and</strong>s Critical habitat for myriad perching bird populations including western spindalis<br />

Coastal Habitats Critical habitat for TCI endemic Encyclia caicensis<br />

59


,<br />

Figure 6.3.1 - Lacustrine Freshwater Lake (Habitat 615), Pine Cay<br />

60


7.0 FRENCH, BUSH, FISH, WHITE <strong>and</strong> SEAL CAYS<br />

(<strong>Caicos</strong> Bank Cays)<br />

The French, Bush, Seal, Fish <strong>and</strong> White Cays lay scattered across the southern edge of the <strong>Caicos</strong> Banks. All of the small cays are<br />

low-lying isl<strong>and</strong>s with primarily low dwarf shrub <strong>and</strong> herbaceous habitats with some fringing mangal communities.<br />

Note that imagery for the Seal Cays <strong>and</strong> West S<strong>and</strong> Spit was not provided; therefore, these isl<strong>and</strong>s are not included in the spatial<br />

analysis.<br />

7.1 Relative Abundance of Habitats<br />

Spatial analysis identified 11 habitat types on the <strong>Caicos</strong> Banks Cays. The following figure illustrates the relative abundance<br />

distributions of these habitats:<br />

Figure 7.1.1 – Habitat Relative Abundance, <strong>Caicos</strong> Bank Cays<br />

63


Figure 7.1 – Brown Pelicans <strong>and</strong> Noddy Terns at French Cay<br />

64


The following table illustrates the habitats identified within the French, Bush, Seal, Fish <strong>and</strong> White Cays:<br />

Table 7.1.1 – <strong>Caicos</strong> Banks Cays Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description Area<br />

1 113 Estuarine Evergreen Forest 1.71<br />

2 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 8.05<br />

3 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.92<br />

4 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3,57<br />

5 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 39.32<br />

6 512 Coastal Graminoid Herbaceous 4.71<br />

7 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 29.74<br />

8 533 Estuarine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 1.20<br />

9 612 Coastal Nonvascular 10.41<br />

10 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 0.08<br />

11 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 0.30<br />

Coastal habitats predominate the formations of the <strong>Caicos</strong> Banks Cays with 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> (39.32%), 532<br />

Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous (29.74), 612 Coastal Nonvascular (10.41%), 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> (8.05%)<br />

<strong>and</strong> 512 Coastal Graminoid Herbaceous (4.71) covering the majority of l<strong>and</strong> area. The remaining habitats are largely estuarine in<br />

nature with a very small proportion (614 Palustrine nonvascular (0.30%)) of palustrine habitats.<br />

Analyses of species of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats on the <strong>Caicos</strong> Banks Cays follow.<br />

65


7.2 Species of Interest<br />

The following table lists all species of interest noted within the l<strong>and</strong> areas of the <strong>Caicos</strong> Banks Cays:<br />

Table 7.2.1 – Species of Interest, <strong>Caicos</strong> Banks Cays1 Species<br />

Flora<br />

Common Name Comments<br />

Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C, CITES<br />

AVES Birds<br />

Anous stolidus Brown Noddy Globally significant breeding population<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk<br />

IUCN LC<br />

Fregata magnificens Magnificent Frigatebird IUCN LC<br />

1 Species of interest data are taken from Pienkowski, M. <strong>and</strong> Gerber, G., personal communications with Riggs, B. <strong>and</strong> Manco, B., <strong>and</strong> field studies by Wood,<br />

K.<br />

66


Larus atricilla Laughing Gull IUCN LC<br />

Microligea palustris Green-tailed Warbler Regional Endemic<br />

P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Pelecanus occidentalis Brown Pelican SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

Phaethon lepturus White-tailed Tropicbird IUCN LC<br />

Puffinus lherinieri Audubon's Shearwater IUCN LC<br />

Regionally significant<br />

Sterna anaethetus Bridled Terns<br />

breeding population<br />

Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern<br />

Regionally Threatened<br />

Species<br />

Sterna fuscata Sooty Tern SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

Sula leucogaster Brown Booby Only breeding pop. In TCI<br />

Reptiles<br />

Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

Caretta caretta Loggerhead Turtle IUCN Endangered<br />

Chelonia Mydas Green Turtle IUCN Endangered<br />

Cyclura carinata carinata Rock Iguana IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

Dermochelys coriacea Leatherback Turtle IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

Eretmochelys imbricata Hawksbill Turtle IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

Leiocephalus psammodromus Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

67


Figure 7.2.1 – Globally Significant Seabird Populations at French Cay<br />

The <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays are critical nesting habitats for a wide variety of seabird <strong>and</strong> shoreline bird populations including globally <strong>and</strong><br />

regionally significant populations. Pienkowski notes globally significant breeding populations of laughing gull, bridled tern <strong>and</strong> brown<br />

noddy. Biome restricted Antillean nighthawk <strong>and</strong> regionally rare brown booby <strong>and</strong> Audubon’s Shearwater are also noted here.<br />

Significant reptile populations also find habitat in the <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays. French Cay now supports a large population of the Critically<br />

Endangered TCI rock iguana. Endangered sea turtle populations nest throughout the cays.<br />

68


Figure 7.3.1 – Brown Noddies at French Cay<br />

7.3 Critical Habitats<br />

The French Bush <strong>and</strong> Seal Cays are Protected Areas designated as Sanctuary. Sanctuary status has been bestowed upon the vast<br />

majority of these cays due to their values as critical nesting areas for bird <strong>and</strong> sea turtle populations. The cays provides habitat for at<br />

least 7 bird species that are considered rare, threatened or endangered. Of note are internationally important populations of Brown<br />

Noddies, Sooty Terns, Bridled Terns <strong>and</strong> Roseate Terns <strong>and</strong> the only known population of Green-tailed Warbler in TCI. The only<br />

known sighting of the Green-tailed Warbler was on Bush Cay.<br />

69


The cays provide habitat for several reptile species that are considered rare, threatened or endangered. Of note are nesting<br />

endangered sea turtle populations <strong>and</strong> the critically endangered TCI rock iguana (transplanted population from Big Ambergris Cay).<br />

Breeding populations of nurse shark arrive at French Cay each summer in the nearshore waters.<br />

The following table lists known critical habitats located within the <strong>Caicos</strong> Banks Cays:<br />

Table 7.3.1 – <strong>Caicos</strong> Banks Cays, Critical Habitats<br />

Area Significance<br />

French, Bush <strong>and</strong> Seal Cays Sanctuary Critical habitat for wading, shoreline, perching <strong>and</strong> seabird populations.<br />

Critical nesting areas for endangered sea turtles<br />

French Cay Nursery area for Nurse Shark<br />

Critical habitat for Critically Endangered TCI Rock Iguana<br />

Bush Cay Only known sighting of green-tailed warbler in TCI<br />

70


8.0 NORTH CAICOS<br />

North <strong>Caicos</strong> is geographically the second largest of the inhabited isl<strong>and</strong>s in the archipelago. As the northernmost isl<strong>and</strong>, North<br />

<strong>Caicos</strong> receives the most annual rainfall of all the isl<strong>and</strong>s. Subsequently, vegetation, which is limited by a lack of precipitation<br />

throughout much of the archipelago, thrives on North <strong>Caicos</strong>. North <strong>Caicos</strong> boasts the most diverse <strong>and</strong> substantive forest habitats<br />

in TCI.<br />

Most of the l<strong>and</strong> areas on North <strong>Caicos</strong> have not been developed <strong>and</strong> provide a significant reservoir of biodiversity <strong>and</strong> habitat for<br />

floral <strong>and</strong> faunal species.<br />

8.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

Spatial analysis identified 33 habitats on North <strong>Caicos</strong>. The following figure illustrates the relative distribution of these habitats:<br />

Figure 8.1.1 – Relative Distribution of Habitats, North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

73


Figure 8.1 - 131 Forest Habitat on North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

74


The following table outlines the habitats identified on North <strong>Caicos</strong>:<br />

# TCINVC<br />

Table 8.1 – North <strong>Caicos</strong> Habitats<br />

Habitat Description %<br />

1 131 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 14.17<br />

2 134 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 1.02<br />

3 212 Coccothrinax inaguensis Coastal Evergreen Broadleaf Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.93<br />

4 213 Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.18<br />

5 214 Palustrine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 2.84<br />

6 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 8.83<br />

7 232 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.49<br />

8 233 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.08<br />

9 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 4.78<br />

10 244 Pinus caribaea Palustrine Coniferous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.74<br />

11 254 Pinus caribaea Palustrine Coniferous Woodl<strong>and</strong> w/Mixed Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.51<br />

Understory<br />

12 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 9.99<br />

13 331 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.62<br />

14 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.77<br />

15 333 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.12<br />

16 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.83<br />

17 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.07<br />

18 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.58<br />

19 433 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 16.00<br />

20 434 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.88<br />

21 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.13<br />

22 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.04<br />

23 533 Estuarine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 3.42<br />

24 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 2.28<br />

25 612 Coastal Nonvascular 0.15<br />

26 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 6.64<br />

27 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 5.06<br />

28 615 Lacustrine Nonvascular 0.00<br />

75


29 633 Estuarine Mixed Algal Nonvascular 2.70<br />

30 710 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Maintained L<strong>and</strong>scape 2.43<br />

31 720 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Clear-cut L<strong>and</strong> 0.17<br />

32 730 Habitat Impacted by Exotic Nuisance Species 0.04<br />

33 760 Archaeological Artifact 0.00<br />

The vast majority of l<strong>and</strong> area on North <strong>Caicos</strong> remains ecologically intact with only 2.6% of the total l<strong>and</strong> area altered by human<br />

development (710 <strong>and</strong> 720). The remaining 97.4% contains a diverse sampling of the terrestrial <strong>and</strong> wetl<strong>and</strong> habitats of the <strong>Turks</strong><br />

<strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s.<br />

North <strong>Caicos</strong> is the most vegetatively lush isl<strong>and</strong> in the Archipelago <strong>and</strong> is often referred to as the “garden” isl<strong>and</strong>. The prevalence of<br />

forested habitats (131 <strong>and</strong> 134) reflects this characteristic. While the largest proportion of overall habitat is Estuarine Dwarf<br />

Shrubl<strong>and</strong> (433, 16%), Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest is the predominant upl<strong>and</strong> terrestrial habitat on North<br />

<strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

Of interest are the Bucida buceras Palustrine Woodl<strong>and</strong> Alliance habitats that do not exist elsewhere in the archipelago, <strong>and</strong><br />

threatened Pinus caribaea Palustrine Coniferous Woodl<strong>and</strong>s, which are restricted to Pine Cay <strong>and</strong> North <strong>and</strong> Middle <strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

Other habitat distributions vary from 9.99% (313, Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong>) to less than numerically detectable within two<br />

decimal places (615, Lacustrine Nonvascular). Known species of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats are described below in the following<br />

sections.<br />

76


Figure 8.1.2 – Bucida buceras Palustrine Woodl<strong>and</strong>, North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

77


8.2 Species of Interest<br />

Figure 8.2.1 – Bahamas Endemic Eupatorium lucayanum, North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

The following table lists known species of interest on North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

79


Table 8.2.1 – Species of Interest, North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

Species Common Name Comments<br />

Flora<br />

1Acacia acuifera<br />

Pork <strong>and</strong> Doughboy, Bahama<br />

Acacia Endemic B<br />

2Acrostichum danaeifolium Giant Leather Fern Limited Distribution in TCI<br />

3Agave braceana Century Plant Endemic B<br />

4Argythamnia argentea Endemic TCI<br />

5Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

6Calli<strong>and</strong>ra haematomma Red Calli<strong>and</strong>ra Endemic B<br />

7Catesbaea foliosa Endemic B<br />

8Coccothrinax inaguensis Inagua Silver Palm Endemic B, IUCN<br />

9Cordia lucayana Endemic B<br />

10Cynanchum stipitatum North <strong>Caicos</strong> Cynanchum Endemic to North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

11Eleocharis bahamensis Endemic B<br />

12Encyclia caicensis <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Endemic Orchid Endemic TCI, CITES<br />

13Encyclia hodgeana (E. altissima) Tall Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

14Encyclia inaguensis Inagua Orchid Endemic B, CITES<br />

15Encyclia rufa Spring Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

16Eragrostis bahamensis Bahama Lovegrass Endemic B<br />

17Ernodea serratifolia Endemic B<br />

18Eupatorium lucayanum Endemic B<br />

19Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

20Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

21Euphorbia vaginulata Endemic B<br />

22Evolvulus squamosus Broom Bush Endemic B<br />

23Galactia bahamensis Bahama Milk Pea Endemic B<br />

24Guaiacum sanctum Lignum Vitae IUCN Vulnerable<br />

25Hibiscus brittonianus Bahama Hibiscus Endemic B<br />

26Malaxis spicata Slender Malaxis CITES<br />

27Metastelma inaguense Inagua Metastelma Endemic B<br />

28Mimosa bahamensis Bahama Mimosa Endemic B<br />

29Oeceoclades maculata Spotted Orchid CITES<br />

30Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash's Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

80


1 Pienkowski (2002)<br />

2 Ibid<br />

31Opuntia bahamana Bahama Prickly Pear Endemic B<br />

32Pavonia bahamensis Bahama Swamp Bush Endemic B<br />

33Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C<br />

34Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis Caribbean Pine Endemic B<br />

35Pseudophoenix sargentii Buccaneer Palm Threatened by harvesting<br />

36Spiranthes polyantha Green Ladies' Tresses CITES<br />

37Stachytarpheta fruticosa Bahama Vervain Endemic B<br />

38Sten<strong>and</strong>rium carolinae Endemic TCI<br />

39Swietenia mahagoni Madeira, Mahogany IUCN Endangered<br />

40Thouinia discolor<br />

Naked-wood, Quick Silver, Hard<br />

Bark Endemic B<br />

41Vernonia bahamensis Endemic B<br />

42Wedelia bahamensis Rong Bush, Bahama Wedelia Endemic B<br />

43Ziziphus taylori Jujube Endemic B<br />

AVES Birds<br />

1Ardea alba Great White Egret CITES<br />

2Anas bahamensis White-cheeked Pintail IUCN LC, regionally threatened<br />

3Calliphlox evelynae Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird Endemic B, IUCN LC<br />

4Charadrius alex<strong>and</strong>rinus Snowy Plover Regionally Threatened<br />

5Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk<br />

Biome-restricted Species, IUCN<br />

LC<br />

6Columba leucocephala White-Crowned Pigeon Regionally Threatened<br />

7Corvus nasicus Cuban Crow Endemic C, IUCN LC<br />

8Falco sparverius American Kestrel CITES<br />

9Fulica caribaea Caribbean Coot IUCN Near-threatened<br />

10Geotrygon chrysia Key West Quail Dove<br />

Biome-restricted Species, Most<br />

important known population in<br />

TCI1 11Loxigilla violacea ofella Greater Antillean Bullfinch Biome-restricted Species<br />

Biome-restricted Species, Most<br />

important known population in<br />

12Margarops fuscatus Pearly-eyed Thrasher<br />

TCI2 81


13Mimus gundlachii Bahama Mockingbird Range-restricted Species<br />

14P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

15Phoenicopterus ruber West Indian Flamingo CITES<br />

16Spindalis zena Western Spindalis<br />

Biome-restricted Species, IUCN<br />

LC<br />

17Tyto alba Barn Owl CITES<br />

18Vireo crassirostris stalagmium<br />

Reptiles<br />

Thick-billed Vireo Range-restricted Species<br />

1Aristelliger hechti <strong>Caicos</strong> Barking Gecko Endemic TCI<br />

2Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

3Epicrates chrysogaster Bahama Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic B<br />

4Leiocephalus psammodromus Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

5Mabuya mabouya Skink Regional Endemic<br />

6Sphaerodactylus caicosensis <strong>Caicos</strong> Reef Gecko Endemic TCI<br />

7Tropidophis greenwayi<br />

Invertebrates<br />

Pigmy Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic TCI<br />

1Cyclargus thomasi clenchi Clench's Blue Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

2Eurema chamberlaini mariguanae Chamberlain's Sulfur Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

3Hericlides <strong>and</strong>raemon bonhotei Bahama Swallowtail Endemic Sub-species<br />

4Memphis intermedia Leafwing Butterfly Endemic TCI<br />

5Strymon acis leucosticha Drury's Hairstreak Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

82


Figure 8.2.2 – Encyclia caicensis, North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

The diverse <strong>and</strong> ecologically intact habitats of North <strong>Caicos</strong> provide habitat for a wide array of flora <strong>and</strong> fauna including at least 43<br />

plants, 18 birds, 7 reptiles <strong>and</strong> 5 invertebrates that are rare, threatened, endangered, endemic or significant populations.<br />

Of interest is a large population of the range restricted TCI endemic orchid Encyclia caicensis located along the northeastern coastal<br />

areas of the isl<strong>and</strong>. A TCI endemic species Cynanchum stipitatum has been recorded as unique to North <strong>Caicos</strong>, although it has not<br />

been recorded within the past 20 years. 1 Significant populations of elusive endemic <strong>and</strong> threatened snake <strong>and</strong> lizard species are<br />

also located at North <strong>Caicos</strong>. North <strong>Caicos</strong> is home to a significant population of the regionally endemic Cuban crow <strong>and</strong> local<br />

varieties of thick-billed vireo, Greater Antillean bullfinch <strong>and</strong> western spindalis. Important local populations of pearly-eyed thrasher<br />

are also reported. A significant nesting population of the biome-restricted Antillean nighthawk is located in the Dick Hill Creek Pond<br />

<strong>and</strong> Bellefield L<strong>and</strong>ing Nature Reserve.<br />

1 Correll <strong>and</strong> Correll, p. 1158<br />

83


Figure 8.2.3 – Cuban Crow, North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

84


Figure 8.2.4 – Antillean Nighthawk, at Dick Hill Creek, North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

Known critical habitats on North <strong>Caicos</strong> are outlined in the following section.<br />

85


8.3 Critical Habitats<br />

North <strong>Caicos</strong> is home to the Flamingo Pond <strong>and</strong> North <strong>Caicos</strong> RAMSAR Site Nature Reserve, The Pumpkin Bluff Pond Nature<br />

Reserve, Cottage Pond Nature Reserve, The Dick Hill Creek <strong>and</strong> Bellefield L<strong>and</strong>ing Pond Nature Reserve <strong>and</strong> Three Marys Cays<br />

Sanctuary. Each of these Protected Areas has been selected for conservation based primarily on their value as habitat for bird<br />

populations. Flamingo Pond is critical habitat for a significant population of West Indian Flamingo.<br />

The RAMSAR wetl<strong>and</strong> ecosystem is a recognized area of international ecological importance. Ecosystem services offered by this<br />

critical habitat include critical habitats <strong>and</strong> nesting areas for myriad avian populations, nursery areas for juvenile game fish, sea turtle<br />

nesting areas, floral <strong>and</strong> faunal reservoir for biodiversity <strong>and</strong> the basis of extensive terrestrial <strong>and</strong> marine food webs.<br />

The Pumpkin Bluff Pond Nature Reserve is located in the northeastern portion of North <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>and</strong> is a critical habitat for numerous<br />

waterfowl species including white-cheeked pintail <strong>and</strong> West Indian flamingo. The network of ponds serves ecologically as an<br />

extension of the RAMSAR wetl<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> provides nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging areas to myriad shoreline, wading, seabird <strong>and</strong> waterfowl<br />

populations.<br />

The Cottage Pond Nature Reserve is reported to be the habitat of a unique endemic Genus <strong>and</strong> Species, Kaloketos pilosus, a small<br />

crustacean. 1 Cottage Pond also provides critical habitat for waterfowl <strong>and</strong> the regionally rare floral species Acrostichum<br />

danaeifolium. Limited l<strong>and</strong> areas surrounding the pond are also included within the Nature Reserves boundaries <strong>and</strong> function as a<br />

reservoir for floral <strong>and</strong> faunal biodiversity.<br />

The Dick Hill Creek <strong>and</strong> Bellefield L<strong>and</strong>ing Pond Nature Reserve is a network of wetl<strong>and</strong> habitats that are an ecological extension of<br />

the RAMSAR site. This Nature Reserve provides several ecosystem services including but not limited to critical habitats <strong>and</strong> nesting<br />

areas for myriad avian populations <strong>and</strong> floral <strong>and</strong> faunal reservoir for biodiversity.<br />

The Three Mary’s Cays Sanctuary located off the northern shoreline of North <strong>Caicos</strong> is the nesting site of a resident pair of osprey.<br />

North <strong>Caicos</strong> contains a vast area of Pinus caribaea Palustrine Coniferous Woodl<strong>and</strong>, a habitat currently severely threatened by the<br />

invasion of the exotic tortoise scale insect Toumeyella pavicornis. Pine woodl<strong>and</strong>s on North <strong>and</strong> Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> form vegetative<br />

associations with Sabal palmetto. The Pinus caribaea/Sabal palmetto Palustrine Woodl<strong>and</strong> Alliance (244) is a rare habitat within the<br />

<strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong>. Similarly, the Sabal palmetto Palustrine Woodl<strong>and</strong> Association (214) is also only known to North <strong>and</strong> Middle<br />

<strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>and</strong> limited areas within the Leeward Isl<strong>and</strong>s.<br />

1 Koenemann, S., et al.<br />

86


The forest habitats of North <strong>Caicos</strong> are the most diverse <strong>and</strong> substantial of any found within the archipelago.<br />

Some floral species including Bucida buceras <strong>and</strong> Chrysophyllum oliviforme are not naturally occurring elsewhere in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong><br />

<strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s, with the exception of a small population of Bucida buceras on Parrot Cay.<br />

North <strong>Caicos</strong> provides habitat for a number of rare <strong>and</strong> endemic plant species (please see table 8.2.1) including but not limited to<br />

Sten<strong>and</strong>rium carolinae, Marsilea nashii, Encyclia caicensis, Eupatorium lucayanum <strong>and</strong> several others.<br />

The unfragmented forest habitats of North <strong>Caicos</strong> are critical habitat for perching bird populations. A number of species of interest<br />

including the regionally endemic Cuban crow, Bahamas endemic, Bahama woodstar <strong>and</strong> local variants of western spindalis, Antillean<br />

bullfinch <strong>and</strong> thick-billed vireo.<br />

In addition, North <strong>Caicos</strong> provides habitat for a number of biome restricted species including pearly-eyed thrasher <strong>and</strong> Antillean<br />

bullfinch. Regionally threatened species including white-cheeked pintail, white-crowned pigeon <strong>and</strong> great white egret also find<br />

refuge in North <strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

Endemic <strong>and</strong> rare reptilian species thrive in the myriad habitats of North <strong>Caicos</strong>. The TCI endemic <strong>Caicos</strong> barking gecko (Aristelliger<br />

hechti) <strong>and</strong> TCI endemic <strong>Caicos</strong> reef gecko (Sphaeroddactylus caicosensis) are common on North <strong>Caicos</strong>. 1 Bahamas endemic<br />

snake Epicrates chrysogaster <strong>and</strong> the TCI endemic pygmy boa constrictor, Tropidophis greenwayi are common but not often seen<br />

due to their reclusive natures.<br />

1 Manco, L<strong>and</strong> Animals on the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Field Roads.<br />

87


Figure 8.3.1 – Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Forest Habitat, North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

The following table lists known critical habitats on North <strong>Caicos</strong>:<br />

Table 8.3.1 – Critical Habitats, North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

88


Area Significance<br />

North <strong>Caicos</strong> RAMSAR Site Critical habitat nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging habitat for myriad avian species<br />

Nesting area for Endangered sea turtle populations<br />

Nursery area for juvenile game fish<br />

Basis of marine <strong>and</strong> terrestrial food webs<br />

Wetl<strong>and</strong> of international importance<br />

Reservoir of floral <strong>and</strong> faunal biodiversity<br />

Pumpkin Bluff Pond NR Critical habitat for waterfowl<br />

Ecological corridor for RAMSAR<br />

Nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging habitat for myriad avian species<br />

Cottage Pond NR Critical habitat for endemic Genus <strong>and</strong> species Kaloketos pilosus<br />

Critical habitat for rare species Acrostichum danaeifolium<br />

Critical habitat for waterfowl<br />

Dick Hill Creek <strong>and</strong> Bellefield L<strong>and</strong>ing NR Ecological corridor for RAMSAR<br />

Critical foraging <strong>and</strong> nesting habitat for birds<br />

Reservoir of floral <strong>and</strong> faunal biodiversity<br />

Three Marys Cays Sanctuary Nesting site of resident osprey pair<br />

244. 254 Critical habitat for threatened Pinus caribaea<br />

131 Forest habitats of exceptional diversity <strong>and</strong> stature<br />

131, 234 Critical habitats for rare species Bucida buceras <strong>and</strong> Chrysophyllum oliviforme<br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>-wide Critical habitat for myriad endemic species populations<br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>-wide Critical habitat for myriad avian species<br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>-wide Critical habitat for endemic reptiles<br />

89


Figure 8.3.2 - Pinus caribaea Palustrine Coniferous Woodl<strong>and</strong> with Mixed Shrubl<strong>and</strong> Understory<br />

(Habitat 254)<br />

90


Figure 8.3.3 – Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis/Sabal palmetto Palustrine Woodl<strong>and</strong> Association, North <strong>Caicos</strong> (Habitat 244 <strong>and</strong> 21<br />

91


9.0 EAST BAY ISLANDS<br />

The East Bay Cays are located between North <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>and</strong> Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>and</strong> consist of a group of three main isl<strong>and</strong>s with several<br />

small cays <strong>and</strong> vast network of wetl<strong>and</strong> habitats. The habitats of the East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s are largely coastal in nature, <strong>and</strong> these<br />

unspoiled isl<strong>and</strong>s are an important reservoir of coastal habitats threatened elsewhere in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s by tourism<br />

development.<br />

9.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

The following figure illustrates the habitats identified by spatial analysis on the East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> lists relative distribution by<br />

percent coverage for each habitat type:<br />

Figure 9.1.1 – Relative Distribution of Habitats, East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

93


Figure 9.1 – Shoreline on East Bay Cay<br />

A total of 24 habitats were identified on the East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s. No areas within the geographic range of the isl<strong>and</strong>s have been<br />

impacted by human development, <strong>and</strong> all habitats are ecologically intact with the exception of areas of ecological impact due to the<br />

invasion by the exotic nuisance species Casuarina spp. (0.99% of total l<strong>and</strong> area). Predominant habitat types include Estuarine<br />

Nonvascular (613, 22.51%), Estuarine Mixed Herbaceous (533, 14.84%) <strong>and</strong> Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> (313, 13.28%),<br />

revealing the extensive estuarine habitats associated with this small group of isl<strong>and</strong>s. Of upl<strong>and</strong> habitats, coastal mixed shrubl<strong>and</strong><br />

<strong>and</strong> dwarf shrubl<strong>and</strong> are the predominant habitats.<br />

The remaining 18 habitats range in relative distribution from 10.08% (Estuarine Algal Nonvascular) to less than detectable at two<br />

decimal places (Lacustrine Nonvascular). Analyses of species of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats on the East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s follow in<br />

subsequent sections.<br />

The following table illustrates habitats noted within the East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s:<br />

94


Table 9.1.1 - Habitats, East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 212 Coccothrinax inaguensis Coastal Evergreen Broadleaf Woodl<strong>and</strong> 4.01<br />

2 213 Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.52<br />

3 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.03<br />

4 232 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.78<br />

5 233 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.13<br />

6 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.54<br />

7 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.09<br />

7 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 13.28<br />

8 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 7.59<br />

9 333 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.40<br />

10 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.09<br />

11 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 13.05<br />

12 433 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 4.45<br />

13 434 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.02<br />

14 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.42<br />

15 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 1.53<br />

16 533 Estuarine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 14.84<br />

17 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.04<br />

18 612 Coastal Nonvascular 0.88<br />

19 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 22.51<br />

20 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 0.95<br />

21 615 Lacustrine Nonvascular 0.00<br />

22 633 Estuarine Mixed Algal Nonvascular 10.08<br />

23 730 Habitat Impacted by Exotic Nuisance Species 0.99<br />

95


Figure 9.1.2 – 413 <strong>and</strong> 633 Habitats, East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

96


9.2 Species of Interest East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s 1<br />

The following table lists known species of interest within habitats on the East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s:<br />

Table 9.2.1 – Species of Interest, East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

Species<br />

Flora<br />

Common Name Comments<br />

1Acacia acuifera Bahama Acacia Endemic B<br />

2Agave inaguensis Inagua Agave Endemic B<br />

3Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

4Catesbaea foliosa Catesby’s Vine Endemic B<br />

Endemic B, IUCN, Significant<br />

5Coccothrinax inaguensis Inagua Silver Palm<br />

population2 Endemic TCI, CITES, Significant<br />

6Encyclia caicensis <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Orchid<br />

population3 7Encyclia hodgeana (E. altissima) Tall Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

8Encyclia inaguensis Inagua Orchid Endemic B, CITES<br />

9Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

10Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash's Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

11Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C<br />

12Swietenia mahagoni Madeira, Mahogany IUCN Endangered<br />

13Vernonia bahamensis Bahama Vernonia Endemic B<br />

14Ziziphus taylori Jujube Endemic B<br />

AVES Birds<br />

1Calliphlox evelynae Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird Endemic B, IUCN LC<br />

2Charadrius alex<strong>and</strong>rinus Snowy Plover Regionally Threatened<br />

3Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk Biome-restricted Species, IUCN LC<br />

4Columba leucocephala White-Crowned Pigeon Regionally Threatened<br />

IUCN Vulnerable, Significant<br />

5Dendrocygna arborea West Indian Whistling Duck Population4 6Mimus gundlachii Bahama Mockingbird Range-restricted Species<br />

1 All species data is taken from field studies conducted by Kathleen Wood in 2004 in association with a strategic environmental assessment by ATM Ltd.<br />

2 ATM <strong>and</strong> Wood (2004)<br />

3 Ibid.<br />

4 Ibid.<br />

97


7P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

8Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

9Vireo crassirostris stalagmium<br />

Reptiles<br />

Thick-billed Vireo Range-restricted Species<br />

1Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

IUCN Critically Endangered,<br />

2Cyclura carinata carinata Rock Iguana<br />

Significant Population1 3Leiocephalus psammodromus Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

Within the varied habitats of the East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s are a number of rare, threatened, endangered, endemic <strong>and</strong> significant species<br />

populations including 14 plants, 9 birds <strong>and</strong> 3 reptile species.<br />

Of note is a significant population of the TCI endemic <strong>and</strong> range restricted floral species Encyclia caicensis, second largest<br />

population of the ICUN Critically Endangered TCI Rock Iguana (Cyclura carinata carinata) <strong>and</strong> a significant resident population of the<br />

IUCN Vulnerable West Indian whistling duck (Dendrocygna arborea).<br />

1 Gerber, G. (2009), Personal Communication<br />

98


Figure 9.2.1 – West Indian Whistling Ducks on East Bay Cay<br />

99


9.3 Critical Habitats<br />

Figure 9.3.1 – Estuarine Habitats at East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

The East Bay Cays are a Protected Area classified as <strong>National</strong> Park.<br />

Numerous species of interest find habitat within the East Bay Cays. The second largest population of Critically Endangered rock<br />

iguana in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> is located on East Bay Cay. As developmental pressures increase on Ambergris Cay (home of the<br />

largest known population), the habitat provided within the East Bay Cays becomes more critical.<br />

The vast network of wetl<strong>and</strong>s within this <strong>National</strong> Park (including Bottle Creek) provide excellent foraging areas for seabird, wading<br />

<strong>and</strong> shoreline bird populations, <strong>and</strong> numerous species <strong>and</strong> relatively large populations have been recorded at this location.<br />

100


Numerous sightings of a significant population of the IUCN Vulnerable species Dendrocygna arborea (West Indian whistling duck)<br />

has been noted on East Bay Cay.<br />

A number of endemic floral species find habitat in the East Bay Cays. Of particular note is a significant population of Encyclia<br />

caicensis, the TCI endemic orchid.<br />

The extensive wetl<strong>and</strong> habitats of the East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s function as an ecological corridor to the RAMSAR sites of North <strong>and</strong> Middle<br />

<strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

The following table lists critical habitats within the East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s:<br />

Table 9.3.1 – Critical Habitats, East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

Area Significance<br />

Estuarine Habitats Critical nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging habitat for myriad avian species<br />

Estuarine Habitats Nursery area for juvenile game fish<br />

Estuarine Habitats Basis of marine <strong>and</strong> terrestrial food webs<br />

Coastal Habitats Reservoir of floral <strong>and</strong> faunal biodiversity<br />

Critical habitat for Encyclia caicensis<br />

Major Hill <strong>and</strong> East Bay Cay Critical habitat for Critically Endangered TCI Rock Iguana<br />

East Bay Cay Critical habitat for West Indian whistling duck<br />

All Wetl<strong>and</strong> Habitats Ecological corridor for RAMSAR<br />

101


102


10.0 MIDDLE CAICOS<br />

Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> is the largest isl<strong>and</strong> in the archipelago <strong>and</strong> also currently boasts the smallest human population of the larger inhabited<br />

isl<strong>and</strong>s. Vast l<strong>and</strong> areas combined with a small population results in vast areas of unspoiled l<strong>and</strong>scapes.<br />

Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> has a long <strong>and</strong> varied history of human habitation. Reported to be one of the most significant Lucayan settlements in<br />

the Bahamas archipelago, 1 numerous artifacts have been unearthed within the extensive cave networks <strong>and</strong> coastal l<strong>and</strong> areas of<br />

the isl<strong>and</strong>. Middle <strong>Caicos</strong>’ relatively large l<strong>and</strong> area combined with limited physical development allows for a wide diversity of<br />

terrestrial <strong>and</strong> wetl<strong>and</strong> habitats.<br />

Figure 10.1.1 – Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

1 Personal Communication with Brian Riggs (former Curator of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>National</strong> Museum).<br />

103


Figure 10.1 – Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> Cave<br />

10.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

The following figure illustrates the relative distribution of habitats on Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> identified by spatial analysis:<br />

Spatial analysis identified 39 habitats within Middle <strong>Caicos</strong>, <strong>and</strong> the following table lists those habitats:<br />

104


10.2 Species of Interest<br />

The following table lists the known species of interest on Middle <strong>Caicos</strong>:<br />

Table 6.2.1 - Species of Interest Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> 1<br />

Species Common Name Comments**<br />

Flora<br />

1Acacia acuifera Bahama Acacia Endemic B<br />

2Agave braceana Century Plant Endemic B<br />

3Agave inaguensis Inagua Agave Endemic B<br />

4Argythamnia argentea Silvery Argythamnia Endemic TCI<br />

5Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

6Catesbaea foliosa Catesby’s Vine Endemic B<br />

7Coccothrinax inaguensis Inagua Silver Palm Endemic B<br />

8Cordia lucayana Lucayan Cordia Endemic B<br />

9Cynanchum inaguense Inagua Metastelma Endemic B<br />

10Eleocharis bahamensis Bahama Spike Rush Endemic B<br />

11Encyclia caicensis <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Endemic Orchid Endemic TCI, CITES<br />

12Encyclia hodgeana Tall Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

13Encyclia inaguensis Inagua Orchid Endemic B, CITES<br />

14Encyclia rufa Spring Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

15Eragrostis bahamensis Bahama Lovegrass Endemic B<br />

16Ernodea serratifolia Serrate-leaved Ernodea Endemic B<br />

17Eupatorium lucayanum Lucayan Eupatorium Endemic B<br />

18Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

19Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

20Evolvulus squamosus Broom Bush Endemic B<br />

21Galactia bahamensis Bahama Milk Pea Endemic B<br />

22Guaiacum sanctum Lignum Vitae IUCN Vulnerable<br />

23Hibiscus brittonianus Bahama Hibiscus Endemic B<br />

24Limonium bahamense <strong>Turks</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong> Heather Endemic TCI<br />

25Malaxis spicata Slender Malaxis CITES<br />

1 Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> species data is excerpted from the Darwin Initiative project, various studies by M. Pienkowski <strong>and</strong> B. Naqqi Manco, personal communication<br />

with B. Naqqi Manco <strong>and</strong> Ground Truthing Studies (2010).<br />

105


26Mammillaria nivosa Woolly Nipple Cactus Endemic C, CITES<br />

27Marsilea nashii Nash’s Pepperwort Endemic B<br />

27Mimosa bahamensis Bahama Mimosa Endemic B<br />

28Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash's Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

29Opuntia bahamana Bahama Prickly Pear Endemic B<br />

30Pavonia bahamensis Bahama Swamp Bush Endemic B<br />

31Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C<br />

32Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis Caribbean Pine Endemic B<br />

33Pseudophoenix sargentii Buccaneer Palm Threatened by harvesting<br />

34Spiranthes polyantha Green Ladies' Tresses CITES<br />

35Stachytarpheta fruticosa Bahama Vervain Endemic B<br />

36Sten<strong>and</strong>rium carolinae Caroline’s Sten<strong>and</strong>rium Endemic TCI<br />

37Swietenia mahagoni Madeira, Mahogany IUCN Endangered<br />

38Thouinia discolor Naked-wood, Quick Silver Endemic B<br />

39Vernonia bahamensis Bahama Vernonia Endemic B<br />

40Wedelia bahamensis Rong Bush, Bahama Wedelia Endemic B<br />

41Ziziphus taylori Jujube Endemic B<br />

Aves<br />

1Ardea alba Great White Egret CITES<br />

2Anas bahamensis White-cheeked Pintail Regionally threatened<br />

3Calliphlox evelynae Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird Endemic B, IUCN LC<br />

4Charadrius alex<strong>and</strong>rinus Snowy Plover Regionally Threatened<br />

5Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

IUCN LC<br />

6Columba leucocephala White-Crowned Pigeon Regionally Threatened<br />

7Corvus nasicus Cuban Crow Endemic C<br />

8Dendrocygna arborea West Indian Whistling Duck IUCN Vulnerable<br />

9Dendroica kirtl<strong>and</strong>ii Kirtl<strong>and</strong>'s Warbler IUCN Vulnerable<br />

10Falco sparverius American Kestrel CITES<br />

11Fulica caribaea Caribbean Coot IUCN Near-threatened<br />

12Grus canadensis S<strong>and</strong>hill Crane CITES<br />

13Loxigilla violacea ofella Greater Antillean Bullfinch Biome-restricted Species,<br />

14Margarops fuscatus Pearly-eyed Thrasher Biome-restricted Species,<br />

15Mimus gundlachii Bahama Mockingbird Range-restricted Species<br />

106


16P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

17Phaethon lepturus White-tailed Tropicbird Biome restricted, nesting<br />

18Phoenicopterus ruber West Indian Flamingo CITES<br />

19Ralus spp. Rail (various species) Nesting<br />

20Spindalis zena Western Spindalis<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

IUCN LC<br />

21Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

22Tyrannus dominicensis Gray Kingbird' IUCN LC<br />

23Tyto alba Barn Owl CITES<br />

24Vireo crassirostris stalagmium Thick-billed Vireo Range-restricted Species,<br />

Reptiles<br />

1Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

2Epicrates chrysogaster Bahama Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic B<br />

3Leiocephalus psammodromus Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

4Mabouya mabouya Skink Regional Endemic<br />

5Sphaerodactylus caicosensis Dwarf Gecko Endemic Species<br />

6Tropidophis greenwayi Pigmy Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic TCI<br />

Invertebrates<br />

1Cyclargus thomasi clenchi Clench's Blue Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

2Eurema chamberlaini mariguanae Chamberlain's Sulfur Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

3Hericlides <strong>and</strong>raemon bonhotei Bahama Swallowtail Endemic Sub-species<br />

4Memphis intermedia Leafwing Butterfly Endemic TCI<br />

5Strymon acis leucosticha Drury's Hairstreak Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

Mammals<br />

1Brachyphylla nana Cuban Fruit-eating Bat IUCN Near-threatened<br />

2Erophylla sezekorni Buffy Flower Bat Range-restricted Species<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

3Lasiurus borealis Red Bat<br />

IUCN LC<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

4Macrotus waterhousii Waterhouse's Big Eared Bat<br />

5Monophyllus redmani Redman's Long-tongued Bat<br />

IUCN LC<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

IUCN LC<br />

107


The vast <strong>and</strong> diverse unspoiled l<strong>and</strong> areas of Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> provide habitat for at least 41 plants. 24 birds, 6 reptiles, 5 invertebrates<br />

<strong>and</strong> 5 mammals that are considered rare, threatened, endangered, endemic <strong>and</strong> significant species populations (please refer to the<br />

table above).<br />

Floral species of note are TCI endemics Encyclia caicensis, Argythamnia argentea, Sten<strong>and</strong>rium carolinae <strong>and</strong> Limonium bahamense<br />

<strong>and</strong> near endemics Coccothrinax inaguensis, Agave inaguensis <strong>and</strong> Encyclia inaguensis. Numerous Bahamas archipelago endemic<br />

<strong>and</strong> Regional endemic floral species also thrive on Middle <strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

Significant avian populations include the range restricted thick-billed vireo <strong>and</strong> Bahama mockingbird, <strong>and</strong> biome restricted Greater<br />

Antillean bullfinch, pearly-eyed thrasher, white-tailed tropicbird, rail <strong>and</strong> Antillean nighthawk. Mike Pienkowski reports that<br />

populations of Greater Antillean bullfinch, thick-billed vireo, Cuban crow <strong>and</strong> Kirtl<strong>and</strong>’s warbler on Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> are the most<br />

important in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s. 1<br />

Significant endemic reptile populations are also present.<br />

The caves of Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> are particularly vital to biome restricted bat populations.<br />

Analysis of critical habitats follows in the proceeding section.<br />

1 Pienkowski, 2002.<br />

108


10.3 Critical Habitats<br />

Figure 10.2.1 – Western Spindalis<br />

The Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> RAMSAR Nature Reserve <strong>and</strong> Conch Bar Caves <strong>National</strong> Park Protected Areas are located on Middle <strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

As the largest isl<strong>and</strong> in the archipelago, Protected Areas are relatively underrepresented on Middle <strong>Caicos</strong>. Several other critical<br />

habitats should be targeted for conservation.<br />

The Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> RAMSAR Nature Reserve has been studied extensively as a component of the Darwin Initiative <strong>Project</strong>. 1 The<br />

RAMSAR site is a wetl<strong>and</strong> of international importance that provides critical habitat for a wide variety of species of interest, <strong>and</strong> acts<br />

as an invaluable keystone in terrestrial <strong>and</strong> marine food webs. For a more comprehensive ecological description of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong><br />

<strong>Caicos</strong> RAMSAR site please see the complete document on the World Wide Web at<br />

http://www.ukotcf.org/pdf/TCIRamMP/Contents%20<strong>and</strong>%20Summary.pdf,<br />

1 CABI Bioscience, TCNT <strong>and</strong> UK Overseas Conservation Forum, 2002.<br />

109


The Conch Bar Caves <strong>National</strong> Park includes an extensive cave network that stretches across the northern section of Middle <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

is critical habitat for threatened <strong>and</strong> rare bat populations <strong>and</strong> endemic crustacean populations. Barn owls are also known to<br />

frequent the caves. 1<br />

Pelican Cay off of Bambarra beach provides critical nesting areas for Bridled <strong>and</strong> Sooty Tern populations.<br />

Numerous rare endemic plant populations are noted on Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> including but not limited to Sten<strong>and</strong>rium carolinae, Marsilea<br />

nashii, Limonium bahamense <strong>and</strong> several others (please see table10.2.1 above).<br />

Village Pond is an important breeding habitat for rails (Rallus spp.), white-cheeked pintail (Anas bahamensis), black-necked stilt<br />

(Himantopus mexicanus) <strong>and</strong> others <strong>and</strong> is also a known breeding <strong>and</strong> nesting area for the IUCN Vulnerable species Dendrocygna<br />

arborea (West Indian whistling duck) 2 .<br />

The mosaic of palustrine <strong>and</strong> lacustrine wetl<strong>and</strong> Located on Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> are a rare habitat type <strong>and</strong> provide a scarce source of<br />

fresh water for avian populations, particularly waterfowl. Resident populations of West Indian Whistling Duck are noted at Nanny<br />

Pond <strong>and</strong> at other locations. Other significant lacustrine <strong>and</strong> palustrine habitats include Washing Pond, Big Pond, Armstrong Pond<br />

<strong>and</strong> Garden Pond.<br />

Large, unspoiled l<strong>and</strong> areas of Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> are critical habitats for the endemic snake species Epicrates chrysogaster <strong>and</strong><br />

Tropidophis greenwayi.<br />

Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> has the largest area of Pinus caribaea Coniferous Palustrine Woodl<strong>and</strong>.<br />

South of Middle <strong>Caicos</strong>, Man-o-War Bush is habitat for the largest known nesting colony of Magnificent Frigatebird in TCI.<br />

Vast acreages of unspoiled habitats on Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> are critical habitats for a variety of perching <strong>and</strong> predatory bird populations<br />

including the regionally endemic Cuban crow (Corvus nasicus), American kestrel (Falco sparverius), Bahamas endemic Bahama<br />

woodstar hummingbird (Calliphlox evelynae), yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia), Thick-billed vireo (Vireo crassirostris), Antillean<br />

bullfinch (Loxigilla violacea), Cape May warbler (Dendroica tigrina) <strong>and</strong> several others. 3<br />

The bluffs that adorn the northern shoreline are critical habitat for nesting white-tailed tropicbirds (Phaethon lepturus).<br />

1 Manco, B., <strong>and</strong> TCNT.<br />

2 Ibid.<br />

3 Ibid.<br />

110


Figure 10.3.1 - Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> Habitats on Bluffs at Middle <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

The following table lists known critical habitats on Middle <strong>Caicos</strong>:<br />

111


Table 10.3.1 – Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> Critical Habitats<br />

Area Significance<br />

Middle <strong>Caicos</strong> RAMSAR Site Critical habitat nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging habitat for myriad avian species<br />

Nesting area for Endangered sea turtle populations<br />

Nursery area for juvenile game fish<br />

Basis of marine <strong>and</strong> terrestrial food webs<br />

Wetl<strong>and</strong> of international importance<br />

Reservoir of floral <strong>and</strong> faunal biodiversity<br />

Conch Bar Caves Critical habitat for waterfowl (Town Pond)<br />

Critical habitat for bats<br />

Critical habitat for endemic crustaceans<br />

Palustrine Wetl<strong>and</strong> Habitats Critical habitat for waterfowl including West Indian whistling duck<br />

244. 254 Critical habitat for threatened Pinus caribaea<br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>-wide Critical habitat for myriad endemic species populations<br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>-wide Critical habitat for myriad avian species<br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>-wide Critical habitat for endemic reptiles<br />

112


Figure10.3.2 - Palustrine Mixed Herbaceous, Garden Pond, Middle <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

113


Figure 10.3.3 – 442, Coastal Rock Bluff Habitat, Middle <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

114


115


116


11.0 JOE GRANT CAY<br />

Joe Grant Cay is located along the northern shores of the archipelago between Middle <strong>and</strong> East <strong>Caicos</strong>. As one of the few<br />

significant l<strong>and</strong> areas of undeveloped Crown l<strong>and</strong>, Joe Grant Cay has been under developmental pressures in recent years.<br />

11.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

The following figure illustrates the relative distribution of habitats on Joe Grant Cay:<br />

Figure 11.1.1 – Relative Distribution of Habitats, Joe Grant Cay<br />

117


Figure 11.1 – Joe Grant Cay<br />

118


Spatial analysis identified 28 habitats on Joe Grant Cay.<br />

The following table illustrates the habitats recorded at Joe Grant Cay:<br />

Table 11.1.1 – Joe Grant Cay Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 113 Estuarine Evergreen Forest 0.81<br />

2 133 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 0.12<br />

3 213 Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.52<br />

4 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 5.87<br />

5 232 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 14.79<br />

6 233 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.42<br />

7 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.36<br />

8 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.21<br />

9 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 6.44<br />

10 331 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.98<br />

11 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 13.4<br />

12 333 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.49<br />

13 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.45<br />

14 413 1.93<br />

15 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.83<br />

16 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 18.07<br />

17 433 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 9.46<br />

18 434 0.18<br />

19 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.00<br />

20 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.64<br />

21 533 Estuarine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 3.76<br />

22 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.06<br />

22 612 Coastal Nonvascular 1.25<br />

24 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 2.09<br />

25 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 0.06<br />

26 633 Estuarine Mixed Algal Nonvascular 8.78<br />

27 730 Habitat Impacted by Exotic Nuisance Species 1.02<br />

28 760 Archaeological Artifact 0.00<br />

119


Joe Grant cay does not have any current ecological impact due to human development; however, some historic use of the isl<strong>and</strong> is<br />

evident from archaeological remnants of old stone structures on the isl<strong>and</strong>.<br />

The predominant communities on Joe Grant Cay are Coastal habitats with 432 (Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf<br />

Shrubl<strong>and</strong>) accounting for 18.07% of the total l<strong>and</strong> area, 232 (Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong>) covering<br />

14.79% of the l<strong>and</strong>, <strong>and</strong> 332 (Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong>) with 13.4% l<strong>and</strong> coverage.<br />

Estuarine habitats also comprise a significant relative distribution. 433 habitats (Estuarine Mixed Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong>) have 9.46%<br />

coverage, 313 habitats (Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong>) have 6.44% coverage, <strong>and</strong> 633 habitats (Estuarine Mixed Algal Nonvascular)<br />

have 8.78% coverage.<br />

The remaining habitats range in coverage from 5.87% (231, Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Woodl<strong>and</strong>) to less than numerically perceptible at two<br />

decimal points (760, Archaeological Artifact).<br />

Known species of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats on Joe Grant Cay are analyzed in the following sections.<br />

120


11.2 Species of Interest<br />

Limited species data is available for Joe Grant Cay. No previous environmental assessments of the isl<strong>and</strong> could be found during the<br />

data collection period of this study. The following species were noted during a site visit by K. Wood in 2002.<br />

The following table lists known species of interest on Joe Grant Cay:<br />

Table 11.2.1 – Species of Interest, Joe Grant Cay<br />

Species Common Name Comments<br />

Flora<br />

1Acacia acuifera Pork <strong>and</strong> Doughboy Endemic B<br />

2Borreria bahamensis Bahama Borreria Endemic B<br />

3Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C<br />

4Coccothrinax inaguensis Inagua Silver Palm Endemic B, IUCN<br />

5Encyclia caicensis <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Endemic Orchid Endemic TCI, CITES<br />

6Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

7Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

8Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash's Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

9Vernonia bahamensis Endemic B<br />

10Wedelia bahamensis Rong Bush, Bahama Wedelia Endemic B<br />

11Ziziphus taylori Jujube Endemic B<br />

AVES Birds<br />

1P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

2Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

Reptiles<br />

1Chelonia Mydas Green Turtle IUCN Endangered<br />

121


Figure 11.2.1 – Joe Grant Cay<br />

122


While limited data is available for the isl<strong>and</strong>, one TCI endemic floral species, Encyclia caicensis, <strong>and</strong> 10 Bahamas endemic floral<br />

species have been recorded.<br />

A nesting pair of osprey is resident on the isl<strong>and</strong> in addition to a sighting of roseate tern. Numerous adolescent green turtles were<br />

noted in the shallow estuarine creeks adjacent to the isl<strong>and</strong>.<br />

11.3 Critical Habitats<br />

The coastal areas at Joe Grant Cay provide habitat for the endemic species Coccothrinax inaguensis <strong>and</strong> Encyclia caicensis.<br />

Developmental pressures on Joe Grant Cay are high, placing these habitats at risk.<br />

The shallow tidal creeks that run between Joe Grant Cay <strong>and</strong> East <strong>Caicos</strong> are critical habitat for the Green Turtle.<br />

123


124


12.0 SOUTH CAICOS CAYS<br />

The South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays are scattered around the southern extremity of South <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>and</strong> include Long Cay, Six Hills Cay, Middleton<br />

Cay, Moxy Cay <strong>and</strong> several other smaller rocky outcroppings. The South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays are windswept limestone formations with<br />

harsh environmental variables.<br />

12.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

The following figure illustrates the relative distribution of habitats identified with spatial analysis on the South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays”<br />

Figure 12.1.1 – Relative Distribution of Habitats – South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays<br />

125


Spatial analysis identified 14 habitats on the South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays.<br />

Figure 12.1 - Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong>, Long Cay<br />

126


The following table illustrates the habitats recorded at the South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays:<br />

Table 12.1 - South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 113 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 0.68<br />

2 213 Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.17<br />

3 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 4.78<br />

4 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.10<br />

5 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 24.34<br />

6 333 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.05<br />

7 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.30<br />

8 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 31.88<br />

9 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 22.77<br />

10 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 1.04<br />

11 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 4.27<br />

12 612 Coastal Nonvascular 8.07<br />

13 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 0.40<br />

14 760 Archaeological Artifact 0.16<br />

The South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays are relatively pristine habitats without any contemporary human development <strong>and</strong> no discernible significant<br />

ecological impacts associated the invasion by exotic species. Middleton Cay is the location of an important Lucayan archaeological<br />

site 1 . Of the habitats on the South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays, the vast majority are dwarf shrubl<strong>and</strong> coastal formations. 432 Coastal Mixed<br />

Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> accounts for 31.88% of l<strong>and</strong> coverage <strong>and</strong> (442) Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong><br />

accounts for 22.77% of l<strong>and</strong> coverage. 332 Coastal Mixed Shrubl<strong>and</strong> habitats also account for a significant distribution at 24.34%.<br />

The remaining habitats range in coverage from 8.07% (612 Coastal Nonvascular) to 0.05% (333 Estuarine Mixed Shrubl<strong>and</strong>). The<br />

following sections analyze species of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats on the South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays.<br />

1 Personal communication, Riggs, B., 2006.<br />

127


Figure 12.1.1 – Long Cay Habitats, South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays<br />

128


12.2 Species of Interest<br />

The following table lists known species of interest on the South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays:<br />

Table 12.2.1 – Species of Interest, South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays<br />

Species Common Name Comments<br />

Flora<br />

1Borreria bahamensis Bahama Borreria Endemic B<br />

2Borreria brittonii Britton’s Borreria Endemic TCI<br />

3Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

4Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

5Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C<br />

AVES Birds<br />

1Anous stolidus Brown Noddy Significant Population<br />

2P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

3Phaethon lepturus White-tailed Tropicbird Biome Restricted Species<br />

4Puffinus lherminieri Audubon’s Shearwater Rare Species<br />

5Sterna anaethetus Bridled Tern Significant Population<br />

6Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

7Sula leucogaster Brown Booby Rare Species<br />

Reptiles<br />

1Cyclura carinata carinata Rock Iguana IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

The South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays are generally climactically harsh environments; thus, vegetative growth is limited by factors such as<br />

persistent winds, limited topsoil <strong>and</strong> exposure to salt spray. Nevertheless, 5 floral species of interest have been noted on the South<br />

<strong>Caicos</strong> Cays including the TCI endemic species Borreria brittonii.<br />

Several significant bird populations have also been noted at the South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays including but not limited to the regionally rare<br />

Audubon’s Shearwater <strong>and</strong> brown booby.<br />

129


Figure 12.2.1 - Endemic Species Borreria brittonii at Long Cay<br />

130


12.3 Critical Habitats<br />

Long Cay, Middleton Cay <strong>and</strong> Six Hills Cay comprise the Admiral Cockburn Nature Reserve.<br />

The South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays have been noted as critical habitats <strong>and</strong> nesting areas for a number of avian species.<br />

The biome restricted white-tailed tropicbird nests in significant numbers along the high bluffs of Long Cay.<br />

Six Hills Cay is the only known habitat for the Audubon’s shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri) in TCI.<br />

The cays are important stopover <strong>and</strong> resting habitat for a wide variety of seabird populations including terns <strong>and</strong> gulls.<br />

Recently, Critically Endangered Rock Iguana populations have been transplanted to the South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays as part of a conservation<br />

effort to relocate some of the Ambergris Cay population.<br />

Figure 12.3.1 - White –tailed Tropic Bird, Long Cay<br />

131


The following table lists known critical habitats within the South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays:<br />

Table 12.3.1 – Critical Habitats, South <strong>Caicos</strong> Cays<br />

Area Significance<br />

Admiral Cockburn Nature Reserve Critical habitat for Audubon’s shearwater<br />

Critical nesting areas for significant seabird populations<br />

Long Cay Critical nesting habitat for white-tailed tropicbird.<br />

Area-wide Critical habitat for TCI endemic Borreria brittonii<br />

132


133


134


13.0 AMBERGRIS CAYS 1<br />

The Ambergris Cays include the isl<strong>and</strong>s of Big <strong>and</strong> Little Ambergris Cay. Big Ambergris Cay was once the location of a small<br />

subsistence settlement, <strong>and</strong> Little Ambergris Cay has a scattered history of stopover use by mariners. Significant Lucayan<br />

archaeological artifacts have been discovered both isl<strong>and</strong>s. The Ambergris Cays are currently not Protected Areas, although the<br />

<strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>National</strong> Trust has secured a long term lease for Little Ambergris Cay, presumably for conservation purposes.<br />

13.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

The following table illustrates the relative distribution of habitats on Ambergris Cay as identified by spatial analysis:<br />

Figure 13.1.1 - Relative Distribution of Habitats, Ambergris Cays<br />

1 Species information from various field studies by B. Naqqi Manco, G. Gerber, K. Wood <strong>and</strong> Ground Truthing (2010).<br />

135


Figure 13.1 – Ambergris Cay<br />

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A total of 29 habitats were identified by spatial analysis on the Ambergris Cays. The following table lists these habitats:<br />

Table 13.1.1 – Ambergris Cays Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 113 Estuarine Evergreen Forest 0.25<br />

2 213 Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 4.05<br />

3 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 6.91<br />

4 233 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.04<br />

5 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.72<br />

6 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.14<br />

7 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.63<br />

8 331 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.66<br />

9 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.57<br />

10 333 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.26<br />

11 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.45<br />

12 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 8.04<br />

13 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 19.51<br />

14 433 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 7.8<br />

15 434 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.30<br />

16 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.27<br />

17 531 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 1.38<br />

18 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 1.87<br />

19 533 Estuarine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 2.99<br />

20 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 1.51<br />

21 612 Coastal Nonvascular 2.59<br />

22 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 8.18<br />

23 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 2.78<br />

24 633 Estuarine Mixed Algal Nonvascular 10.76<br />

25 710 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Maintained L<strong>and</strong>scape 7.72<br />

26 720 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Clear-cut L<strong>and</strong> 0.46<br />

27 740 Habitat Impacted by Exotic Nuisance Species 0.16<br />

28 750 Cave 0.00<br />

29 760 Archaeological Artifact 0.00<br />

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For isl<strong>and</strong>s occupying a small l<strong>and</strong> area, the Ambergris Cays have a relatively large number of discernable habitats. The diverse<br />

habitats are relatively equally distributed indicating high biodiversity on a community level. The largest proportion of habitat is 432<br />

(Coastal Mixed Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong>) at 19.51% coverage.<br />

Estuarine habitats exhibit a relatively high distributions largely due to the extensive estuarine networks at Little Ambergris Cay <strong>and</strong><br />

include 633 Estuarine Mixed Algal Nonvascular (10.76%), Estuarine Mixed Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> (7.8%) <strong>and</strong> 613 Estuarine Nonvascular<br />

(8.18%).<br />

Upl<strong>and</strong> habitats with significant distributions include 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> (6.91%) <strong>and</strong><br />

Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> (8.04%).<br />

The remaining habitats have distributions ranging from 4.05% (Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong>) to less than numerically detectable at<br />

two decimal points (Cave <strong>and</strong> Archaeological Artifacts).<br />

The following sections analyze species of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats known on the Ambergris Cays.<br />

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13.2 Species of Interest<br />

The following table lists all known species of interest on the Ambergris Cays:<br />

Table 13.2.1 - Species of Interest Ambergris Cays<br />

Species<br />

Flora<br />

Common Name Comments**<br />

1Acacia acuifera Pork <strong>and</strong> Doughboy Endemic B<br />

2Agave inaguensis Inagua Agave Endemic B<br />

3Argythamnia argentea Silvery Argythamnia Endemic TCI<br />

4Borreria bahamensis Bahama Borreria Endemic B<br />

5Borreria brittonii Britton’s Borreria Endemic TCI<br />

Endemic B, questionable<br />

6Borreria inaguensis Inagua Borreria<br />

7Borreria thymifolia Thyme-like Borreria<br />

Endemic B, questionable<br />

I.D.<br />

8Bursera frenningae Frenning’s Gumbo Limbo Endemic B<br />

9Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

10Catesbaea foliosa Catesby’s Vine Endemic B<br />

11Coccothrinax inaguensis Inagua Silver Palm Endemic B, IUCN<br />

12Eleocharis bahamensis Bahama Spikerush Endemic B<br />

13Encyclia caicensis <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Endemic Orchid Endemic TCI, CITES<br />

14Encyclia hodgeana (E. altissima) Tall Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

15Eragrostis bahamensis Bahama Lovegrass Endemic B<br />

16Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

17Euphorbia gymnonota Milk Tree, False Frangipani Endemic B<br />

18Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

19Evolvulus squamosus Broom Bush Endemic B<br />

20Heliotropium nanum<br />

White Pussley, Low Ashy<br />

Heliotrope Doubtfully Endemic B<br />

21Limonium bahamense <strong>Turks</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong> Heather Endemic TCI<br />

22Mammillaria nivosa Woolly Nipple Cactus Endemic C, CITES<br />

23Metastelma inaguense Inagua Metastelma Endemic B<br />

24Melocactus intortus Turk's Cap Cactus<br />

I.D.<br />

Endemic C,CITES, TCI<br />

most Significant population<br />

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25Mimosa bahamensis Bahama Mimosa Endemic B<br />

26Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash's Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

27Pedilanthus bahamensis Monkey Fiddle Endemic B<br />

28Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C<br />

29Swietenia mahagoni Madeira, Mahogany IUCN Endangered<br />

30Thouinia discolor<br />

Naked-wood, Quick Silver, Hard<br />

Bark Endemic B<br />

31Vernonia bahamensis Bahama Vernonia Endemic B<br />

32Wedelia bahamensis Rong Bush, Bahama Wedelia Endemic B<br />

33Ziziphus taylori Jujube Endemic B<br />

AVES Birds<br />

1Ardea alba Great White Egret CITES<br />

2Calliphlox evelynae Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird Endemic B, IUCN LC<br />

3Charadrius alex<strong>and</strong>rinus Snowy Plover Regionally Threatened<br />

4Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

IUCN LC<br />

5Falco columbarius Merlin CITES<br />

6Falco sparverius American Kestrel CITES<br />

7Mimus gundlachii Bahama Mockingbird Range-restricted Species<br />

8P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

9Sterna dougallii<br />

Reptiles<br />

Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

1Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

2Cyclura carinata carinata Rock Iguana IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

3Epicrates chrysogaster Bahama Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic B<br />

4Leiocephalus psammodromus Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

5Sphaerodactylus caicosensis Dwarf Gecko Endemic Species<br />

6Tropidophis greenwayi Pigmy Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic TCI<br />

A large number of species of interest are recorded for the Ambergris Cays including 33 plants, 9 birds <strong>and</strong> 6 reptiles.<br />

The Ambergris Cays are apparently a reservoir for endemic flora. Many species common in the Ambergris Cays are infrequent or<br />

unknown elsewhere in the Archipelago. The Bahamas endemic species Bursera frenningae has only been recorded in TCI on Big<br />

Ambergris Cay in recent years. The very rare TCI endemic species Borreria capillaris has been recorded at Little Ambergris Cay but<br />

140


has not been seen at that location for several years. Other floral species of interest include TCI Endemics Limonium bahamense,<br />

Encyclia caicensis <strong>and</strong> Borreria brittonii. A total of 24 Bahamas endemic floral species have been recorded (please see above table<br />

for the complete list).<br />

Other floral species of note include CITES Listed cacti <strong>and</strong> orchids. Of particular note is a significant population of Melocactus<br />

intortus, which has been harvested relentlessly throughout the rest of its TCI range. The Big Ambergris Cay population of this<br />

species is the most significant known population in the TCI.<br />

Reptilian populations also thrive in the Ambergris Cays. The largest known population of the Critically Endangered TCI rock iguana<br />

(Cyclura carinata carinata) lives on the Ambergris Cays. The Bahamas endemic boa constrictor, Epicrates chrysogaster has been<br />

recorded at several locations as well as the TCI endemic pygmy boa Tropidophis greenwayi. The endemic curly-tail lizard<br />

Leiocephalus psammodromus <strong>and</strong> endemic <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s gecko Sphaerodactylus caicosensis are abundant.<br />

Significant breeding, resting <strong>and</strong> foraging areas for avian species are contained within the Ambergris Cays. Prior to marina<br />

construction on Big Ambergris Cay, the shallow estuarine habitats adjacent to .the airport were vital foraging <strong>and</strong> nesting areas for a<br />

variety of shoreline <strong>and</strong> seabird populations.<br />

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Figure 13.2.1 – Bahamas Endemic Euphorbia gymnonota Figure 13.3.1 – TCI Rock Iguana<br />

142


13.3 Critical Habitats<br />

The Ambergris Cays are the most important critical habitat for the Critically Endangered TCI rock iguana <strong>and</strong> support the world’s<br />

largest population of this species.<br />

The Ambergris Cays provide critical habitat for a wide variety of endemic plant populations including the TCI endemic plant species<br />

Limonium bahamense, Borreria brittonii, Encyclia caicensis <strong>and</strong> Argythamnia argentea. Numerous Bahamas endemic floral species<br />

have been noted in addition to other floral populations including significant populations of CITES <strong>and</strong> IUCN listed plant species.<br />

Estuarine <strong>and</strong> palustrine habitats are critical nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging habitats for numerous shoreline, wading <strong>and</strong> seabird populations.<br />

Upl<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> coastal habitats provide nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging areas for perching birds.<br />

Table 13.3.1 – Ecological Features of Interest, Little Ambergris Cay<br />

Area Description<br />

Big <strong>and</strong> Little Ambergris Cays Critical habitats for TCI endemic floral species<br />

Critical habitats for numerous Bahamas endemic floral species<br />

Critical habitats for CITES <strong>and</strong> IUCN listed floral species<br />

Critical habitats for TCI Rock Iguana<br />

Estuarine <strong>and</strong> palustrine habitats Critical nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging areas for wading, shoreline <strong>and</strong> seabird populations.<br />

Coastal <strong>and</strong> upl<strong>and</strong> habitats Critical nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging areas for perching birds.<br />

143


144


14.0 EAST CAICOS<br />

East <strong>Caicos</strong> has a history of limited use. In the late 19 th <strong>and</strong> early 20 th centuries, sisal (Agave sisalana) was cultivated on East <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

<strong>and</strong> various infrastructures to accommodate the industry were constructed on the isl<strong>and</strong>. Labor for the plantation was drawn largely<br />

from Middle <strong>Caicos</strong>, <strong>and</strong> no permanent residential development took place on the isl<strong>and</strong> with the exception of the overseer’s cottage<br />

<strong>and</strong> temporary worker barracks.<br />

Upon the failure of the industry, East <strong>Caicos</strong> quickly reverted back to nature, but a few remnants of the industry remain including the<br />

ruins of the overseer’s cottage, donkey rail infrastructures <strong>and</strong> a significant population of feral donkeys.<br />

East <strong>Caicos</strong> represents the largest continuous l<strong>and</strong>mass in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s unfragmented by development, <strong>and</strong> as<br />

such is a critical reservoir of biodiversity on a community, genetic <strong>and</strong> species level.<br />

14.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

The following figure illustrates the relative distribution of habitats identified by spatial analysis on East <strong>Caicos</strong>:<br />

Figure 14.1.1 – Relative Distribution of Habitats, East <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

145


Figure 14.1 – East <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

146


Spatial analysis identified a total of 33 habitats on East <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>and</strong> the following table outlines these habitats:<br />

Table 14.1.1 - East <strong>Caicos</strong> Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 113 Estuarine Evergreen Forest 0.48<br />

2 131 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 0.66<br />

3 134 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 1.97<br />

4 213 Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.34<br />

5 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 2.63<br />

6 232 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.82<br />

7 233 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.09<br />

8 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 4.12<br />

9 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.05<br />

10 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 13.18<br />

11 331 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.44<br />

12 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 5.05<br />

13 333 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 5.18<br />

14 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 5.85<br />

15 413 Estuarine Evergreen Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.16<br />

16 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.79<br />

17 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.37<br />

18 433 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 8.24<br />

19 434 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.91<br />

20 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.7<br />

21 531 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.06<br />

22 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.55<br />

23 533 Estuarine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 4.46<br />

24 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 6.85<br />

25 612 Coastal Nonvascular 0.2<br />

26 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 7.92<br />

27 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 6.94<br />

28 615 Lacustrine Nonvascular 0.08<br />

29 633 Estuarine Mixed Algal Nonvascular 12.86<br />

32 750 Cave 0.00<br />

33 760 Archaeological Artifact 0.05<br />

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East <strong>Caicos</strong> enjoys a relatively uniform distribution of habitats across the spectrum of formations with no individual habitat type<br />

accounting for more than 13.18$ of the total l<strong>and</strong> area. The large uninterrupted estuarine habitats located in the southeast of the<br />

isl<strong>and</strong> are the largest proportion of habitats with 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> (13.18%), 433 Estuarine Mixed<br />

Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong>, 613 Estuarine Nonvascular (7.92%) <strong>and</strong> 633 Estuarine Mixed Algal Nonvascular<br />

(12.86%) displaying the highest distributions.<br />

Palustrine formations, which generally form the ecotone between estuaries <strong>and</strong> upl<strong>and</strong> habitats also present with significant<br />

distributions. 614 Palustrine Nonvascular, 534 Palustrine Mixed Herbaceous, 334 Palustrine Mixed Shrubl<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> 234 Palustrine<br />

Mixed Woodl<strong>and</strong> present with relative distributions of 6.94%, 6.85%, 5.85% <strong>and</strong> 4.12%, respectively.<br />

Coastal formations cover 9.19% of l<strong>and</strong> area, <strong>and</strong> upl<strong>and</strong> formations account for a mere 7.48% of the total l<strong>and</strong> areas on East<br />

<strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

Caves <strong>and</strong> archaeological artifacts are also significant features of East <strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

Analyses of species of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats on East <strong>Caicos</strong> follow.<br />

14.2 Species of Interest<br />

The following table lists known species of interest noted at East <strong>Caicos</strong>:<br />

Species of Interest East <strong>Caicos</strong> 1<br />

Species Common Name Comments**<br />

Flora<br />

1Acacia acuifera Pork <strong>and</strong> Doughboy Endemic B<br />

2Agave braceana Century Plant Endemic B<br />

3Agave inaguensis Endemic B<br />

4Argythamnia argentea Endemic TCI<br />

5Borreria bahamensis Endemic B<br />

6Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

7Catesbaea foliosa Endemic B<br />

8Cephalocereus millspaughii Dildo Cactus Endemic C<br />

1 Species data from various field studies by B. Naqqi Manco, M. Pienkowski, K. Wood <strong>and</strong> Ground Truthing (2010)<br />

148


9Coccothrinax inaguensis Inagua Silver Palm Endemic B, IUCN<br />

10Cordia lucayana Endemic B<br />

11Eleocharis bahamensis Endemic B<br />

12Encyclia caicensis <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Endemic Orchid Endemic TCI, CITES<br />

13Encyclia hodgeana (E. altissima) Tall Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

14Encyclia inaguensis Inagua Orchid Endemic B, CITES<br />

15Encyclia rufa Spring Orchid Endemic C, CITES<br />

16Eragrostis bahamensis Bahama Lovegrass Endemic B<br />

17Ernodea serratifolia Endemic B<br />

18Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

19Euphorbia gymnonota Milk Tree, False Frangipani Endemic B<br />

20Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

21Euphorbia vaginulata Endemic B<br />

22Euphorbia lecheoides Endemic B<br />

23Evolvulus squamosus Broom Bush Endemic B<br />

IUCN Vulnerable, only<br />

24Guaiacum officinale Lignum Vitae<br />

known TCI population<br />

25Guaiacum sanctum Lignum Vitae<br />

White Pussley, Low Ashy<br />

IUCN Vulnerable<br />

26Heliotropium nanum<br />

Heliotrope Doubtfully Endemic B<br />

27Hibiscus brittonianus Bahama Hibiscus Endemic B<br />

28Melocactus intortus Turk's Cap Cactus Endemic C,CITES,SPAW<br />

29Metastelma inaguense Inagua Metastelma Endemic B<br />

30Mimosa bahamensis Bahama Mimosa Endemic B<br />

31Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash's Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

32Opuntia bahamana Bahama Prickly Pear Endemic B<br />

Endemic TCI, only known<br />

33Opuntia lucayana Turk's Isl<strong>and</strong> Prickly Pear<br />

TCI population<br />

34Pavonia bahamensis Bahama Swamp Bush Endemic B<br />

35Pedilanthus bahamensis Monkey Fiddle Endemic B<br />

36Stachytarpheta fruticosa Bahama Vervain Endemic B<br />

37Swietenia mahagoni Madeira, Mahogany<br />

Naked-wood, Quick Silver, Hard<br />

IUCN Endangered<br />

38Thouinia discolor<br />

Bark Endemic B<br />

39Vernonia bahamensis Endemic B<br />

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40Wedelia bahamensis Rong Bush, Bahama Wedelia Endemic B<br />

41Ziziphus taylori Jujube Endemic B<br />

AVES Birds<br />

1Calliphlox evelynae Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird Endemic B, IUCN LC<br />

2Charadrius melodus Piping Plover IUCN Near Threatened<br />

3Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

IUCN LC<br />

4Columba leucocephala White-Crowned Pigeon Regionally Threatened<br />

5Corvus nasicus Cuban Crow Endemic C, IUCN LC<br />

6Dendrocygna arborea West Indian Whistling Duck IUCN Vulnerable<br />

7Dendroica kirtl<strong>and</strong>ii Kirtl<strong>and</strong>’s Warbler IUCN Vulnerable<br />

8Egretta rufescens Reddish Egret Significant Population<br />

9Falco sparverius American Kestrel CITES<br />

10Loxigilla violacea ofella Greater Antillean Bullfinch Biome-restricted Species<br />

11Mimus gundlachii Bahama Mockingbird Range-restricted Species<br />

12P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

13Phaethon lepturus White-tailed Tropicbird Biome-restricted Species<br />

14Phoenicopterus ruber West Indian Flamingo CITES<br />

15Sterna hirundo Common Tern<br />

Significant Breeding<br />

Population<br />

16Vireo crassirostris stalagmium<br />

Reptiles<br />

Thick-billed Vireo Range-restricted Species<br />

1Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

2Leiocephalus psammodromus<br />

Mammals<br />

Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

1Brachyphylla nana Cuban Fruit-eating Bat IUCN Near-threatened<br />

2Erophylla sezekorni Buffy Flower Bat Range-restricted Species<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

3Lasiurus borealis Red Bat<br />

IUCN LC<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

4Macrotus waterhousii Waterhouse's Big Eared Bat<br />

5Monophyllus redmani Redman's Long-tongued Bat<br />

IUCN LC<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

IUCN LC<br />

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The undeveloped <strong>and</strong> diverse habitats on East <strong>Caicos</strong> allow for high biodiversity on a species level for floral species <strong>and</strong> a high<br />

number of endemic floral species. A total of 41 plants, 16 birds, 2 reptiles <strong>and</strong> 5 mammal species of interest have been recorded<br />

here. The rare endemic species Opuntia lucayana has only been recorded on East <strong>Caicos</strong> in recent years, although it was previously<br />

recorded at Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk. The IUCN vulnerable Guaiacum officinale is another floral species that is only recorded at East <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

within the TCI archipelago.<br />

Other floral species of interest include several the TCI endemic species Argythamnia argentea <strong>and</strong> several Bahamas endemic<br />

species including but not limited to Pedilanthus bahamensis, Euphorbia gymnonota <strong>and</strong> Eragrostis bahamensis. Numerous IUCN<br />

<strong>and</strong> CITES listed species populations are also recorded (please see above table).<br />

Avian species of interest include IUCN Vulnerable species Dendroica kirtl<strong>and</strong>ii (wintering habitat) <strong>and</strong> Dendrocygna arborea.<br />

Significant breeding populations of Sterna hirundo <strong>and</strong> Egretta rufescens are also recorded.<br />

Endemic reptile populations are robust, <strong>and</strong> 5 species of biome-restricted bat populations are recorded at East <strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

151


Figure 14.2.1 – Opuntia lucayana, East <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

152


14.3 Critical Habitats<br />

The continuous, undeveloped large l<strong>and</strong>mass is the most significant reservoir of terrestrial floral <strong>and</strong> faunal biodiversity in the <strong>Turks</strong><br />

<strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s including several populations of rare, threatened, endangered <strong>and</strong> endemic species.<br />

The intact habitats possess observed high degrees of endemism <strong>and</strong> biodiversity <strong>and</strong> provide nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging habitat for<br />

perching bird populations.<br />

Coastal habitats throughout the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s are extremely threatened by tourism development. The vast majority of<br />

these habitats along the northern shoreline of Providenciales have already been lost. Other coastal habitats are threatened by the<br />

invasion of the exotic nuisance species Casuarina equisetifolia. Pristine habitats such as those found at East <strong>Caicos</strong> are an<br />

invaluable resource <strong>and</strong> constitute a national reservoir for biodiversity on a community, species <strong>and</strong> genetic level, particularly for<br />

threatened coastal formations.<br />

Numerous sightings of the IUCN Vulnerable species, Dendrocygna arborea (West Indian whistling duck) have been noted at East<br />

<strong>Caicos</strong> indicating an important habitat for this species.<br />

The extensive cave network on East <strong>Caicos</strong> provides habitat for threatened <strong>and</strong> biome restricted bat species. The following table<br />

lists known critical habitats on East <strong>Caicos</strong>:<br />

Table 14.3.1 – Critical Habitats, East <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

Area Significance<br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>-wide Critical reservoir of terrestrial biodiversity<br />

Critical habitat for endemic flora <strong>and</strong> fauna<br />

Only known habitat for Opuntia lucayana<br />

Only known habitat in TCI for Guaiacum officinale<br />

Critical nesting areas for significant bird populations<br />

Critical habitat for bird species of interest<br />

Caves Critical habitat for bat populations<br />

153


154


15.0 SOUTH CAICOS<br />

South <strong>Caicos</strong> has a long history of habitation <strong>and</strong> development. Once considered the most productive of all the salt isl<strong>and</strong>s, South<br />

<strong>Caicos</strong> now functions as the hub of the TCI fisheries industry. In modern history, hard economic times have befallen South <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

<strong>and</strong> much of the human population has migrated to the more prosperous isl<strong>and</strong>s of Providenciales <strong>and</strong> Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk in search of<br />

work.<br />

While the old town surrounding the historic salina is intensively developed, much of the isl<strong>and</strong> of South <strong>Caicos</strong>, particularly the<br />

northern ridge area, remains undeveloped.<br />

15.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

The following table illustrates the distribution of habitats on South <strong>Caicos</strong> identified by spatial analysis”<br />

Figure 15.1.1 – Relative Distribution of Habitats, South <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

155


Figure 15.1 – South <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

156


Spatial analysis identified 28 habitats on South <strong>Caicos</strong>, <strong>and</strong> the following table outlines habitats identified on South <strong>Caicos</strong>:<br />

Table 15.1.1 - South <strong>Caicos</strong> Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 113 Estuarine Evergreen Forest 1.67<br />

2 212 Coccothrinax inaguensis Coastal Evergreen Broadleaf Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.27<br />

3 213 Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.11<br />

4 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 3.96<br />

5 232 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 3.46<br />

6 233 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.58<br />

7 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 5.09<br />

8 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.01<br />

9 331 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 10.62<br />

10 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 12.03<br />

11 333 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.43<br />

12 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 4.68<br />

13 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 4.28<br />

14 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.79<br />

15 433 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.11<br />

16 434 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 8.19<br />

17 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.73<br />

18 531 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.98<br />

19 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.79<br />

20 533 Estuarine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 0.6<br />

21 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 5.94<br />

22 612 Coastal Nonvascular 0.89<br />

23 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 0.5<br />

24 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 17.06<br />

25 633 Estuarine Mixed Algal Nonvascular 0.68<br />

26 710 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Maintained L<strong>and</strong>scape 11.29<br />

27 720 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Clear-cut L<strong>and</strong> 1.12<br />

28 730 Habitat Impacted by Exotic Nuisance Species 0.11<br />

29 760 Archaeological Artifact 0.03<br />

157


A significant proportion of the l<strong>and</strong> areas (12.41%) on South <strong>Caicos</strong> have been impacted by human development (710 <strong>and</strong> 720);<br />

however the most significant formations on South <strong>Caicos</strong> are palustrine. 614 Palustrine Nonvascular, 434 Palustrine Mixed Dwarf<br />

Shrubl<strong>and</strong>, 234 Palustrine Mixed Woodl<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> 334 Palustrine Mixed Shrubl<strong>and</strong> have l<strong>and</strong> coverages of 17.06, 8.19, 5.09 <strong>and</strong><br />

4.68%, respectively. The relatively high proportion of palustrine habitats is unique to South <strong>Caicos</strong> within the archipelago.<br />

A considerable proportion of l<strong>and</strong> coverage is also occupied by upl<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> coastal habitats. Upl<strong>and</strong> habitats account for a total of<br />

19.84% of total l<strong>and</strong> coverage, <strong>and</strong> coastal habitats account for 21.7% of total l<strong>and</strong> areas.<br />

Estuarine habitats on South <strong>Caicos</strong> account for a mere 4.68% of l<strong>and</strong> areas.<br />

Analyses of species of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats follow.<br />

158


15.2 Species of Interest<br />

The following table lists known species of interest on South <strong>Caicos</strong>:<br />

Table 15.2.1 - Species of Interest South <strong>Caicos</strong>1 Species<br />

Flora<br />

Common Name Comments<br />

1Acacia acuifera Pork <strong>and</strong> Doughboy Endemic B<br />

2Agave inaguensis Inagua agave Endemic B<br />

3Argythamnia argentea Silvery Argythamnia Endemic TCI<br />

4Borreria bahamensis Bahama Borreria Endemic B<br />

5Borreria brittonii Britton’s Borreria Endemic TCI<br />

6Borreria capillaris Thin-leaved Borreria Endemic TCI<br />

7Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

8Coccothrinax inaguensis Inagua Silver Palm Endemic B, IUCN<br />

9Eragrostis bahamensis Bahama Lovegrass Endemic B<br />

10Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

11Euphorbia gymnonota Milk Tree, False Frangipani Endemic B, Rare variety<br />

12Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

13Evolvulus squamosus Broom Bush Endemic B<br />

14Heliotropium nanum Low Ashy Heliotrope Doubtfully Endemic B<br />

15Heliotropium nashii Nash’s heliotrope Endemic B<br />

16Limonium bahamense <strong>Turks</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong> Heather Endemic TCI<br />

17Mammillaria nivosa Woolly Nipple Cactus Endemic C, CITES<br />

18Marsilea nashii Nash's Pepperwort Endemic B<br />

19Melocactus intortus Turk's Cap Cactus Endemic C,CITES,SPAW<br />

20Mimosa bahamensis Bahama Mimosa Endemic B<br />

21Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash's Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

22Pedilanthus bahamensis Monkey Fiddle Endemic B<br />

23Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C<br />

24Swietenia mahagoni Madeira, Mahogany IUCN Endangered<br />

25Thouinia discolor Naked-wood, Quick Silver Endemic B<br />

26Vernonia bahamensis Bahama Vernonia Endemic B<br />

27Wedelia bahamensis Rong Bush, Bahama Wedelia Endemic B<br />

28Ziziphus taylori Jujube Endemic B<br />

1 South <strong>Caicos</strong> species information from various studies by B. Naqqi Manco <strong>and</strong> K. Wood <strong>and</strong> Ground Truthing (2010).<br />

159


AVES Birds<br />

1Calliphlox evelynae Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird Endemic B, IUCN LC<br />

2P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

CITES, significant local<br />

3Phoenicopterus ruber West Indian Flamingo<br />

population1 Biome-restricted Species,<br />

4Spindalis zena Western Spindalis<br />

IUCN LC<br />

5Sterna dougallii<br />

Reptiles<br />

Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

IUCN Critically Endangered,<br />

Cyclura carinata carinata TCI Rock Iguana<br />

TCI Endemic Sub-species<br />

South <strong>Caicos</strong> provides habitat for 28 known plants <strong>and</strong> 5 known birds that are considered species of interest <strong>and</strong> is a reservoir of<br />

rare endemic floral species. The very rare endemic Borreria capillaris is has not been recorded elsewhere on earth in recent years.<br />

Other TCI endemic floral populations include the <strong>National</strong> flower Limonium bahamense <strong>and</strong> Borreria brittonii <strong>and</strong> Argythamnia<br />

argentea.<br />

Numerous Bahamas endemic floral species have also been recorded at South <strong>Caicos</strong> including a rare variety of Euphorbia<br />

gymnonota <strong>and</strong> the near-endemic Marsilea nashii. Please see above list for further information.<br />

Several bird populations also thrive on South <strong>Caicos</strong>. Of interest is a resident flock of West Indian Flamingo at the town salina. This<br />

rare population is the only known significant population that resides easily within proximity to human development creating a zoo-like<br />

feature on South <strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

A small TCI rock iguana population is present on the small cays within the Bell Sound Nature Reserve. The following section<br />

analyzes critical habitats.<br />

1 The local West Indian Flamingo population on South <strong>Caicos</strong> is the only known population in the archipelago that has naturalized in a human populated area.<br />

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Figure 15.2.1 – Rare TCI Endemic Borreria capillaries Figure 15.2.2 – Rare Variety of Euphorbia gymnonota<br />

161


Figure 15.2.3 – Unusual West Indian Flamingo Population, South <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

162


15.3 Critical Habitats<br />

The Bell Sound Nature Reserve <strong>and</strong> Boiling Hole Area of Historical Interest Protected Areas located at South <strong>Caicos</strong>.<br />

The Bell Sound Nature Reserve is an area of tidal flats <strong>and</strong> mangroves that provides critical habitat for juvenile game fish <strong>and</strong> a small<br />

TCI Rock Iguana population located on the small cays within the Nature Reserve.<br />

The Boiling Hole Area of Historical Interest provides critical habitat for a number of species of interest. The now defunct salina rock<br />

walls are habitat for the TCI endemic Limonium bahamense. And, as noted above, the defunct salina functions as critical habitat for<br />

a resident West Indian flamingo population. Numerous other species of shoreline <strong>and</strong> wading bird populations have also been<br />

recorded within this critical habitat for birds.<br />

Palustrine formations including 534 <strong>and</strong> 334 (mixed herbaceous <strong>and</strong> mixed shrubl<strong>and</strong>s) are the critical habitat for the rare,<br />

threatened, endangered <strong>and</strong> endemic species (including but not limited to) Marsilea nashii, Borreria capillaris, Euphorbia gymnonota<br />

<strong>and</strong> Pedilanthus bahamensis. Palustrine habitats are also a vital seasonal source of fresh water for bird populations<br />

The following table lists known critical habitats on South <strong>Caicos</strong>:<br />

Area Significance<br />

Bell Sound Nature Reserve Critical habitat for TCI rock iguana<br />

Vital fisheries habitat<br />

Boiling Hole Area of Historical Interest Critical habitat for West Indian flamingo population<br />

Critical habitat for endemic flora <strong>and</strong> fauna<br />

Critical habitat for numerous shoreline <strong>and</strong> wading bird populations<br />

334 <strong>and</strong> 534 Palustrine Habitats Critical habitat for rare endemic Borreria capillaris<br />

Critical habitat for endemic flora populations<br />

Critical habitat for bird populations<br />

163


164


16.0 GRAND TURK<br />

Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk is the political capital of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>and</strong> continues to be the main seat of government within the isl<strong>and</strong>s.<br />

Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk has a very long history of human activity. One of the oldest known Lucayan archaeological sites is on Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk (Gr<strong>and</strong><br />

Turk 3), <strong>and</strong> some promote the idea that Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk was the New World l<strong>and</strong>fall of Christopher Columbus. Although the New World<br />

discovery claims are arguable, the historic record reflects a period of human involvement on Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk dating back to that era.<br />

16.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

The following figure illustrates the relative distribution of habitats identified with spatial analysis on Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk:<br />

Figure 16.1.1 – Relative Distribution of Habitats, Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk<br />

165


Figure 16.1 – Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk<br />

166


Spatial analysis identified 22 habitats on Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk. The following table lists these habitats:<br />

Table 16.1.1 - Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 113 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 2.85<br />

2 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.04<br />

3 232 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.24<br />

4 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.02<br />

5 312 Palustrine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.30<br />

6 331 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 18.05<br />

7 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 9.87<br />

8 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.33<br />

9 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.90<br />

10 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.78<br />

11 434 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.23<br />

12 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.18<br />

13 531 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 2.79<br />

14 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 1.69<br />

15 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 2.71<br />

16 612 Coastal Nonvascular 1.62<br />

17 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 7.66<br />

18 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 11.38<br />

19 710 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Maintained L<strong>and</strong>scape 34.96<br />

20 720 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Clear-cut L<strong>and</strong> 1.06<br />

21 730 Habitat Impacted by Exotic Nuisance Species 0.21<br />

22 740 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Water 0.10<br />

167


Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk has the highest relative proportion of human impacted l<strong>and</strong>scapes in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s with 34.96% <strong>and</strong><br />

1.06% of l<strong>and</strong> areas being covered by 710 Maintained L<strong>and</strong>scapes <strong>and</strong> 720 Clear-cut L<strong>and</strong>, respectively. Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk’s terrestrial<br />

habitats are also impacted by feral donkeys, cows <strong>and</strong> horses.<br />

Other significant habitats include 331 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Shrubl<strong>and</strong>s (18.05%) <strong>and</strong> 614 Palustrine Nonvascular (11.38%).<br />

Upl<strong>and</strong> habitats have total l<strong>and</strong> coverage of 22.78%, Coastal habitats have total l<strong>and</strong> coverage of 14.38%, Palustrine habitats have a<br />

total l<strong>and</strong> coverage of 13.26%, <strong>and</strong> Estuarine habitats have a total l<strong>and</strong> coverage of 10.51%.<br />

Analyses of species of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats follow.<br />

168


16.2 Species of Interest<br />

The following table lists known species of interest on Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk:<br />

Table 16.2.1 - Species of Interest Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk 1<br />

Species Common Name Comments**<br />

Flora<br />

1Acacia acuifera Pork <strong>and</strong> Doughboy Endemic B<br />

2Agave inaguensis Inagua agave Endemic B<br />

3Borreria bahamensis Bahama Borreria Endemic B<br />

4Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

5Eragrostis bahamensis Bahama Lovegrass Endemic B<br />

6Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

7Euphorbia gymnonota Milk Tree, False Frangipani Endemic B<br />

8Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

9Heliotropium nanum<br />

White Pussley, Low Ashy<br />

Heliotrope Doubtfully Endemic B<br />

10Heliotropium nashii Endemic B<br />

11Limonium bahamense <strong>Turks</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong> Heather Endemic TCI<br />

12Melocactus intortus Turk's Cap Cactus Endemic C,CITES,SPAW<br />

13Mimosa bahamensis Bahama Mimosa Endemic B<br />

14Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash's Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

15Opuntia bahamana Bahama Prickly Pear Endemic B<br />

16Pedilanthus bahamensis Monkey Fiddle Endemic B<br />

17Swietenia mahagoni Madeira, Mahogany IUCN Endangered<br />

18Vernonia bahamensis Endemic B<br />

19Wedelia bahamensis Rong Bush, Bahama Wedelia Endemic B<br />

20Ziziphus taylori Jujube Endemic B<br />

AVES Birds<br />

1Ardea alba Great White Egret CITES<br />

2Anas bahamensis White-cheeked Pintail<br />

IUCN LC, regionally<br />

threatened<br />

3Calliphlox evelynae Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird Endemic B, IUCN LC<br />

4Charadrius alex<strong>and</strong>rinus Snowy Plover Regionally Threatened<br />

1 Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk species information from various field studies by K. Wood <strong>and</strong> bird surveys conducted by K. Wood, M. Pienkowski, P. Bradley <strong>and</strong> R. Ground.<br />

169


5Charadrius melodus Piping Plover IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

6Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk<br />

IUCN LC<br />

7Columba leucocephala White-Crowned Pigeon Regionally Threatened<br />

8Falco columbarius Merlin CITES<br />

9Falco sparverius American Kestrel CITES<br />

10Limnodromus griseus Short-billed Dowitcher Significant Population<br />

11Micropalama himantopus Stilt S<strong>and</strong>piper Significant Population<br />

12Mimus gundlachii Bahama Mockingbird Range-restricted Species<br />

13P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

14Phoenicopterus ruber West Indian Flamingo CITES<br />

15Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C<br />

16Plegadis falcinellus Glossy Ibis CITES<br />

17Sterna antillarum Common Tern Significant Population<br />

18Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

19Tringa flavipes Lesser Yellowlegs Significant Population<br />

20Tringa melanoleuca<br />

Reptiles<br />

Greater Yellowlegs Significant Population<br />

1Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

2Leiocephalus psammodromus Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

In spite of an intense developmental history <strong>and</strong> degraded habitats, 20 plant, 20 bird <strong>and</strong> two reptile species of interest have been<br />

recorded on Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk.<br />

Floral species of interest include the TCI endemic Limonium bahamense <strong>and</strong> numerous Bahamas endemic species (please see<br />

above list). IUCN <strong>and</strong> CITES listed floral species are also prevalent.<br />

Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk is home to some of the most significant avian population in the archipelago including globally significant populations of<br />

greater <strong>and</strong> lesser yellowlegs, short-billed dowitcher <strong>and</strong> stilt s<strong>and</strong>piper. The following section outlines critical habitats<br />

170


Figure 16.3.1 – North Wells Critical Bird Habitat, Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk<br />

16.3 Critical Habitats<br />

The South Creek <strong>National</strong> Park is the only terrestrially-based protected Area on Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk. Varied wetl<strong>and</strong> habitats of the NP<br />

provide significant habitat for waterfowl <strong>and</strong> shoreline <strong>and</strong> wading bird populations.<br />

In spite of the intensive development that has taken place on Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk over the years, many l<strong>and</strong> areas provide critical habitat for<br />

a wide variety of species of interest.<br />

171


Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk boasts a wide variety of wetl<strong>and</strong> habitats across a large salinity gradient ranging from hypersaline ponds to fresh water<br />

seasonal wetl<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> is one of the most significant birding habitats within the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> archipelago. 1 The isl<strong>and</strong> boasts an<br />

extraordinary array of resident bird populations <strong>and</strong> is an important stopover point during seasonal migrations.<br />

The freshwater seasonal habitats (614 Palustrine Nonvascular <strong>and</strong> 534 Palustrine Mixed Herbaceous) are critical nesting <strong>and</strong><br />

foraging areas for an impressive array of waterfowl <strong>and</strong> wading bird populations. 614 saline habitats including the Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk<br />

salinas are critical stopover areas, nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging areas for numerous shoreline, wading <strong>and</strong> seabird populations.<br />

Significant habitat for the TCI endemic Limonium bahamense once existed on Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk, but much of this habitat was destroyed<br />

during the creation of the cruise ship hub. Some scattered habitat still remains on Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk for this rare <strong>and</strong> threatened species.<br />

The following table lists known critical habitats on Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk:<br />

1 Pienkowski, personal communication, 2002.<br />

Table 16.3.1 – Critical Habitats, Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk<br />

Area Significance<br />

South Creek <strong>National</strong> Park Critical habitat for waterfowl, shoreline <strong>and</strong> wading birds.<br />

Vital fisheries habitat<br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>-wide Critical habitat for Limonium bahamense<br />

Critical habitat for endemic flora <strong>and</strong> fauna<br />

Critical habitat for bird populations<br />

614 <strong>and</strong> 534 Palustrine Habitats Critical habitat for bird populations<br />

614 Salina Habitats Critical habitat for bird populations<br />

172


173


174


17.0 TURKS BANK CAYS AND BIG SAND CAY<br />

The small cays on the <strong>Turks</strong> Bank consist of Cotton Cay, Long Cay, Big S<strong>and</strong> Cay, Penniston Cay <strong>and</strong> Pinzon Cay. Each of these<br />

small isl<strong>and</strong>s is exposed to constant exposure to buffeting winds <strong>and</strong> salt spray. <strong>Vegetation</strong> is consequently mostly dwarfed, salt<br />

tolerant <strong>and</strong> of low diversity. Nevertheless, these small isl<strong>and</strong>s have enormous ecological values as important areas for numerous<br />

bird <strong>and</strong> rock iguana populations.<br />

17.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

The following figure illustrates the distribution of habitats identified with spatial analysis on the <strong>Turks</strong> Banks Cays:<br />

Figure 17.1.1 – Relative Distribution of Habitats, <strong>Turks</strong> Bank Cays<br />

175


Figure 17.1 – <strong>Turks</strong> Bank Cays, Big S<strong>and</strong> Cay<br />

176


Spatial analysis identified 13 habitats on the <strong>Turks</strong> Bank <strong>and</strong> Big S<strong>and</strong> Cays <strong>and</strong> the following table lists these habitats:<br />

Table 17.1.1 – Habitats, <strong>Turks</strong> Bank Cays <strong>and</strong> Big S<strong>and</strong> Cay<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 5.02<br />

2 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.95<br />

3 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 6,93<br />

4 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 12.65<br />

5 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 18.89<br />

6 434 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 1.68<br />

7 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 17.64<br />

8 512 Coastal Graminoid Herbaceous 0.53<br />

9 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 12.79<br />

10 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 4.52<br />

11 612 Coastal Nonvascular 14.72<br />

12 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 3.50<br />

13 760 Archaeological Artifact 0.17<br />

No human development is present within the <strong>Turks</strong> Bank Cays with the exception of a communications tower erected on Big S<strong>and</strong><br />

Cay <strong>and</strong> scattered archaeological artifacts (0.17%).<br />

The vast majority of l<strong>and</strong> areas on Big S<strong>and</strong> Cay are coastal formations including 432 Coastal Mixed Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> (18.89%), 442<br />

Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> (17.64%), 532 Coastal Mixed Herbaceous (12.79%), 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> (5.02%) <strong>and</strong><br />

612 Coastal Nonvascular (14.72). A large proportion of 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> is located on Cotton Cay (12.65%).<br />

Palustrine habitats cover a total of 16% of all l<strong>and</strong> areas.<br />

Analyses of species of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats follow.<br />

177


17.2 Species of Interest<br />

The following table lists known species of interest on the <strong>Turks</strong> Bank Cays:<br />

Table 17.2.1 - Species of Interest <strong>Turks</strong> Bank Cays <strong>and</strong> Big S<strong>and</strong> Cay<br />

Species<br />

Flora<br />

Common Name Comments<br />

1Borreria bahamensis Bahama Borreria Endemic B<br />

2Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

3Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

4Melocactus intortus Turk's Cap Cactus Endemic C,CITES,SPAW<br />

5Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash's Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

6Pilosocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C<br />

AVES Birds<br />

Globally Significant<br />

1Anous stolidus Brown Noddy<br />

Population<br />

2Dendrocygna arborea West Indian Whistling Duck IUCN Vulnerable<br />

3Grus canadensis S<strong>and</strong>hill Crane CITES<br />

Significant Breeding<br />

4Fregata magnificens Magnificent Frigatebird<br />

Population<br />

Regionally Significant<br />

5Laurus atricilla Laughing Gull<br />

Population<br />

6Loxigilla violacea ofella Greater Antillean Bullfinch Biome-restricted Species<br />

7P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Regionally significant<br />

8Phaethon lepturus White-tailed Tropicbird<br />

population<br />

Globally significant<br />

9Puffinus lherminieri Audubon’s Shearwater<br />

population<br />

Globally significant<br />

10Sterna anaethetus Bridled Tern<br />

population<br />

Regionally significant<br />

11Sterna antillarum Least Tern<br />

population<br />

12Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

Globally significant<br />

13Sterna fuscata<br />

Reptiles<br />

Sooty Tern<br />

population<br />

178


1Cyclura carinata carinata Rock Iguana IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

2Epicrates chrysogaster Bahama Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic B<br />

3Leiocephalus psammodromus Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

The l<strong>and</strong> areas of the <strong>Turks</strong> Bank Cays are habitat for 6 plants, 13 birds <strong>and</strong> 3 reptiles that are considered species <strong>and</strong> populations<br />

of interest.<br />

4 Bahamas endemic floral species <strong>and</strong> 2 Caribbean endemic CITES listed species are noted here.<br />

Significant reptile populations of interest are present. The Bahamas endemic snake, Epicrates chrysogaster was recorded on Gibbs<br />

Cay, <strong>and</strong> a significant population of the TCI Critically Endangered Rock Iguana is located on Big S<strong>and</strong> Cay.<br />

Of Note are significant avian populations of interest. Globally <strong>and</strong> regionally significant populations of sooty tern, bridled tern, least<br />

tern, brown noddy <strong>and</strong> laughing gull are recorded on the various cays. Rare TCI populations of Audubon’s Shearwater are also<br />

noted. IUCN Vulnerable West Indian whistling duck has been recorded at Cotton Cay.<br />

179


Figure 17.2.1 – View of Gibbs Cay<br />

180


17.3 Critical Habitats<br />

17.3.1 – Coastal Habitats, Long Cay<br />

Numerous Protected Areas are contained within the cays of the <strong>Turks</strong> Bank Cays:<br />

Big S<strong>and</strong> Cay Sanctuary<br />

Long Cay Sanctuary<br />

Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk Cays L<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> Sea <strong>National</strong> Park<br />

181


Most, if not all of the cays provide critical nesting habitat for a wide variety of seabird <strong>and</strong> shoreline bird populations. Each of the<br />

cays is a nesting site for a resident pair of osprey. Round Cay is a nesting site for at least 50 pairs of brown noddy 1 <strong>and</strong> possibly<br />

bridled terns. Long Cay is a critical nesting site for brown noddy, bridled tern <strong>and</strong> American oystercatcher. East (Pinzon) Cay<br />

provides habitat for laughing gull, S<strong>and</strong>wich tern, brown noddy, brown booby <strong>and</strong> magnificent frigatebird. West Indian whistling<br />

duck has been noted on Cotton Cay. At Big S<strong>and</strong> Cay, brown noddy, nesting white-tailed tropicbird, nesting common ground dove,<br />

laughing gull, ruddy turnstone, American oystercatcher, bridled tern <strong>and</strong> green heron, <strong>and</strong> total of 25,000 nesting sooty terns were<br />

noted, representing a globally-significant breeding population of this species 2 .<br />

Big S<strong>and</strong> Cay provides critical habitat for a large population of the IUCN Critically Endangered TCI rock iguana.<br />

Significant habitat for 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong>s of outst<strong>and</strong>ing quality is provided by the cays of the <strong>Turks</strong> Bank. These<br />

habitats are threatened elsewhere by tourism development.<br />

The following table lists known critical habitats of the <strong>Turks</strong> Bank Cays:<br />

1 Pienkowski, 2002<br />

2 Ibid<br />

Table 17.3.1 – Critical Habitats, <strong>Turks</strong> Banks Cays<br />

Area Significance<br />

Long Cay Sanctuary Critical habitat for nesting shoreline <strong>and</strong> seabird populations.<br />

Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk L<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> Sea <strong>National</strong> Park Critical habitat for endemic reptile populations<br />

Big S<strong>and</strong> Cay Sanctuary Critical habitat for bird populations<br />

Critical habitat for TCI rock iguana<br />

Cotton Cay Recorded population of West Indian Whistling Duck<br />

All Cays Critical habitat for threatened 442 communities<br />

182


Figure 17.3.2 – 442 Habitat on Long Cay<br />

183


184


18.0 SALT CAY<br />

Salt Cay has a long <strong>and</strong> varied history of human habitation <strong>and</strong> development stretching from the sustainable hunter gatherer<br />

Lucayan societies dating from around 800 C.E. to eager visitors in the modern era. In recent times, Salt Cay was at the forefront of<br />

the salt <strong>and</strong> whaling industries in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong>; however, in the 1960’s the last remnants of these industries folded due to<br />

lack of economic viability <strong>and</strong> political incorrectness, respectively.<br />

Salt Cay’s industry <strong>and</strong> human populations have dramatically altered the natural l<strong>and</strong>scape. Naturally occurring hyper-saline ponds<br />

were altered into salinas or salt ponds to accommodate the salt industry. Natural vegetation was continually cleared with the belief<br />

that vegetation encouraged rainfall, which was detrimental to the production of salt. Donkeys <strong>and</strong> cows introduced to service the salt<br />

industry <strong>and</strong> for food were allowed to roam freely <strong>and</strong> further compromised natural vegetative communities.<br />

18.1 Relative Distribution of Habitats<br />

The following figure illustrates the relative distribution of habitats identified by spatial analysis on the <strong>Turks</strong> Banks Cays:<br />

Figure 18.1.1 – Relative Distribution of Habitats, Salt Cay<br />

185


Figure 18.1 – Salt Cay<br />

186


Spatial analysis identified 27 habitats on Salt Cay, <strong>and</strong> the following table lists these habitats:<br />

Table 18.1.1 – Salt Cay Habitats<br />

# TCINVC Habitat Description %<br />

1 113 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Forest 0.70<br />

2 213 Estuarine Evergreen Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.01<br />

3 231 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.90<br />

4 232 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.24<br />

5 233 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 0.13<br />

6 234 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Woodl<strong>and</strong> 1.77<br />

7 312 Coastal Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.09<br />

8 313 Estuarine Evergreen Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.00<br />

9 331 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 9.87<br />

10 332 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 4.12<br />

11 334 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 3.70<br />

12 431 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 15.55<br />

13 432 Coastal Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 6.82<br />

14 433 Estuarine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.55<br />

15 434 Palustrine Mixed Evergreen/Drought Deciduous Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 0.59<br />

16 442 Coastal Rock Dwarf Shrubl<strong>and</strong> 2.23<br />

17 531 Upl<strong>and</strong> Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 2.18<br />

18 532 Coastal Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 4.55<br />

19 533 Estuarine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 1.35<br />

20 534 Palustrine Mixed Graminoid/Forb Herbaceous 9.72<br />

21 612 Coastal Nonvascular 4.33<br />

22 613 Estuarine Nonvascular 2.75<br />

23 614 Palustrine Nonvascular 17.69<br />

24 710 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Maintained L<strong>and</strong>scape 7.79<br />

25 720 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Clear-cut L<strong>and</strong> 2.55<br />

26 730 Habitat Impacted by Exotic Nuisance Species 0.03<br />

27 740 Human Altered L<strong>and</strong>scape, Water 0.01<br />

187


Human altered l<strong>and</strong>scapes account for a total of 10.35% of l<strong>and</strong> areas on Salt Cay (710, 720 <strong>and</strong> 740 habitats).<br />

Palustrine formations total 33.47%, upl<strong>and</strong> formations total 28.5%, coastal formations total 22.38% <strong>and</strong> estuarine formations total<br />

5.49% of total l<strong>and</strong> areas.<br />

Within these formations are several species <strong>and</strong> populations of interest <strong>and</strong> critical habitats. Analyses of species of interest <strong>and</strong><br />

critical habitats follow.<br />

Figure 18.1.1 – 534 Palustrine Mixed Herbaceous Habitat, Salt Cay<br />

188


18.2 Species of Interest<br />

The following table lists known species of interest recorded on Salt Cay:<br />

Table 18.2.1 - Species of Interest Salt Cay 1<br />

Species Common Name Comments**<br />

Flora<br />

1Acacia acuifera Pork <strong>and</strong> Doughboy Endemic B<br />

2Borreria bahamensis Bahama Borreria Endemic B<br />

3Borreria brittonii Britton’s Borreria Endemic TCI<br />

4Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

5Eleocharis bahamensis Bahama Spikerush Endemic B<br />

6Eragrostis bahamensis Bahama Lovegrass Endemic B<br />

7Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

8Euphorbia gymnonota Milk Tree, False Frangipani Endemic B<br />

9Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

10Heliotropium nanum Low Ashy Heliotrope Doubtfully Endemic B<br />

11Heliotropium nashii Nash’s Heliotrope Endemic B<br />

12Limonium bahamense <strong>Turks</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong> Heather Endemic TCI<br />

13Melocactus intortus Turk's Cap Cactus Endemic C,CITES,SPAW<br />

14Mimosa bahamensis Bahama Mimosa Endemic B<br />

15Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash's Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

16Pedilanthus bahamensis Monkey Fiddle Endemic B<br />

17Pilocereus royenii Dildo Cactus Endemic C, CITES<br />

18Wedelia bahamensis Rong Bush, Bahama Wedelia Endemic B<br />

AVES Birds<br />

1Ardea alba Great White Egret CITES<br />

2Anas bahamensis White-cheeked Pintail<br />

IUCN LC, regionally<br />

threatened<br />

3Calliphlox evelynae Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird Endemic B, IUCN LC<br />

4Charadrius alex<strong>and</strong>rinus Snowy Plover Regionally Threatened<br />

Charadrius Wallonia Wilson’s Plover 1% of Global Population<br />

5Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk<br />

Biome-restricted Species,<br />

IUCN LC<br />

1 Salt Cay species information from various field studies by K. Wood <strong>and</strong> bird surveys conducted by K. Wood <strong>and</strong> M. Pienkowski.<br />

189


6Columba leucocephala White-Crowned Pigeon Regionally Threatened<br />

7Dendrocygna arborea West Indian Whistling Duck IUCN Vulnerable<br />

8Falco columbarius Merlin CITES<br />

9Falco sparverius American Kestrel CITES<br />

Larus atricilla Laughing Gull<br />

6% of Caribbean<br />

Population<br />

10Limnodromus griseus Short-billed Dowitcher Significant Population<br />

11Micropalama himantopus Stilt S<strong>and</strong>piper Significant Population<br />

12Mimus gundlachii Bahama Mockingbird Range-restricted Species<br />

13P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

30$ of Caribbean<br />

Pelecanus occidentalis Brown Pelican<br />

Population<br />

14Phoenicopterus ruber West Indian Flamingo CITES<br />

8% of Caribbean<br />

15Sterna antillarum Least<br />

Population<br />

16Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

2% of Caribbean<br />

Sterna maxima Royal Tern<br />

Population<br />

Sterna s<strong>and</strong>vicensis S<strong>and</strong>wich Tern Significant Population<br />

17Tringa flavipes Lesser Yellowlegs Significant Population<br />

18Tringa melanoleuca<br />

Reptiles<br />

Greater Yellowlegs Significant Population<br />

1Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

2Leiocephalus psammodromus Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

At least 18 plant, 18 bird <strong>and</strong> two reptile species of interest are recorded on Salt Cay.<br />

Important endemic plant populations include the largest known population of the TCI endemic Limonium bahamense, TCI endemic<br />

species Borreria brittonii <strong>and</strong> numerous Bahamas endemic floral species (please see table 18.2.1).<br />

Bird populations of interest include significant populations of short billed dowitcher, stilt s<strong>and</strong>piper, common tern <strong>and</strong> lesser <strong>and</strong><br />

greater yellowlegs <strong>and</strong> the IUCN Vulnerable West Indian whistling duck.<br />

190


Globally <strong>and</strong> regionally significant breeding populations of brown pelican, least tern, stilt s<strong>and</strong>piper, laughing gull <strong>and</strong> royal tern have<br />

been noted at the North <strong>and</strong> South Creek estuaries <strong>and</strong> Town Pond Salina. Critical habitats for the above species are described<br />

below.<br />

Figure 18.2.1 – TCI Endemic Limonium bahamense, Salt Cay<br />

191


18.3 Critical Habitats<br />

Salt Cay has only one Protected Area, The Salt Works <strong>and</strong> Village Area of Historical Interest. This is an oversight, as the isl<strong>and</strong> has<br />

several critical habitats for numerous species of interest <strong>and</strong> significant populations (please see table 18.2.1).<br />

The largest known population of the Critically Endangered (by IUCN definition), endemic <strong>National</strong> Flower, <strong>and</strong> Limonium bahamense<br />

is located in the palustrine mixed herbaceous habitats around the perimeter of salt ponds <strong>and</strong> estuaries on Salt Cay.<br />

Numerous other endemic floral species including the TCI endemic species Borreria brittonii also find critical habitat within the largely<br />

undisturbed terrestrial communities of Salt Cay.<br />

The diversity of palustrine, estuarine <strong>and</strong> Lacustrine wetl<strong>and</strong> communities on Salt Cay provide critical habitat for a significant number<br />

of avian species. Globally <strong>and</strong> regionally significant breeding populations of brown pelican, least tern, stilt s<strong>and</strong>piper, laughing gull<br />

<strong>and</strong> royal tern have been noted at the North <strong>and</strong> South Creek estuaries <strong>and</strong> Town Pond Salina.<br />

A series of palustrine <strong>and</strong> lacustrine ponds <strong>and</strong> wetl<strong>and</strong>s at the northern section of Salt Cay are critical habitat for a wide variety of<br />

waterfowl including but not limited to white-cheeked pintail, blue <strong>and</strong> green winged teal <strong>and</strong> American coot. West Indian whistling<br />

duck may also utilize this habitat, as this species has been noted in the area.<br />

An area in the town salina referred to locally as “Bird Cage” is critical nesting habitat for a wide variety of shoreline, wading <strong>and</strong><br />

seabird populations.<br />

The following table lists known critical habitats on Salt Cay:<br />

Table 18.3.1 – Critical Habitats<br />

Area Significance<br />

Salt Works <strong>and</strong> Village Salinas are critical bird habitats<br />

534 habitats along salina margins are critical habitat for endemic Limonium bahamense<br />

North <strong>and</strong> South Creek Critical habitat for wading, shoreline <strong>and</strong> seabird populations<br />

Estuaries<br />

534, 614 <strong>and</strong> 615 Habitats Critical nesting <strong>and</strong> foraging habitat for waterfowl including IUCN Vulnerable West Indian whistling<br />

duck.<br />

The Bird Cage Critical nesting habitat for Shoreline, wading <strong>and</strong> seabird populations<br />

Isl<strong>and</strong>-wide Critical habitats for endemic plant populations<br />

192


Figure 18.3.1 – Tricolor Heron at North Creek, Salt Cay<br />

193


Appendix A<br />

Species of Interest, <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

194


Species of Interest in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s<br />

Species Common Name Comments**<br />

Flora<br />

Acacia acuifera Pork <strong>and</strong> Doughboy, Bahama Acacia Endemic B<br />

Acrostichum danaeifolium Giant Leather Fern Limited Distribution in TCI<br />

Agave braceana Century Plant Endemic B(5, 8-10)<br />

Agave inaguensis Endemic B(1,2)<br />

Angadenia sagraei Lice Root Endemic C<br />

Antirhea lucida Endemic C<br />

Antirhea myrtifolia False Myrtle Endemic C<br />

Ardisia obovata Guadeloupe Marlberry Endemic C<br />

Argythamnia argentea Endemic TCI<br />

Argythamnia c<strong>and</strong>icans Endemic C<br />

Argythamnia lucayana Endemic B<br />

Argythamnia sericea Endemic B<br />

Atriplex domingensis Dominican Atriplex Endemic C<br />

Avicennia germinans Black Mangrove SPAW<br />

Ayenia insulicola Endemic C<br />

Ayenia tenuicaulis Endemic C<br />

Batis maritima Saltwort SPAW<br />

Borreria bahamensis Endemic B<br />

Borreria brittonii Endemic TCI<br />

Borreria capillaris Endemic TCI<br />

Borreria inaguensis Endemic B<br />

Borreria thymifolia Endemic B<br />

Bucida spinosa Spiny Black Olive, Brier Tree Endemic B<br />

Sideroxylon americanum Milk Berry Endemic C<br />

Bursera frenningae Endemic B<br />

Buxus bahamensis Boxwood Endemic C<br />

Caesalpinia bahamensis Endemic C<br />

Caesalpinia reticulata Brazileeta Endemic B<br />

Calli<strong>and</strong>ra formosa White Calli<strong>and</strong>ra Endemic C<br />

Calli<strong>and</strong>ra haematomma Red Calli<strong>and</strong>ra Endemic B<br />

195


Cassia inaguensis Endemic C<br />

Cassia lineata Endemic C<br />

Cassine xylocarpa Olive Wood Endemic C<br />

Catesbaea foliosa Endemic B<br />

Cephalocereus millspaughii Dildo Cactus Endemic C<br />

Cissus intermedia Bull Vine Endemic C<br />

Coccoloba krugii Crab Wood, Bow-pigeon Endemic C<br />

Coccoloba tenuifolia Bahama Pigeon Plum Endemic C<br />

Coccothrinax inaguensis Inagua Silver Palm Endemic B, IUCN<br />

Conocarpus erectus Green Buttonwood SPAW<br />

Cordia brittonii Endemic C<br />

Cordia lucayana Endemic B<br />

Croton discolor Endemic C<br />

Metastelma bahamense Bahama Metastelma Endemic C<br />

Metastelma eggersii Endemic C<br />

Metastelma inaguense Inagua Metastelma Endemic B<br />

Cynanchum stipulatum North <strong>Caicos</strong> Cynanchum Endemic to North <strong>Caicos</strong><br />

Dodonaea ehrenbergii Dogwood Endemic C<br />

Eleocharis bahamensis Endemic B<br />

Encyclia caicensis <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Endemic Orchid Endemic TCI<br />

Encyclia hodgeana (E. altissima) Tall Orchid Endemic C<br />

Encyclia inaguensis Inagua Orchid Endemic B<br />

Encyclia rufa Spring Orchid Endemic C<br />

Eragrostis bahamensis Bahama Lovegrass Endemic B<br />

Ernodea millspaughii Endemic B<br />

Ernodea serratifolia Endemic B<br />

Eupatorium lucayanum Endemic B<br />

Euphorbia (Chamaesyce) articulata Bushy Spurge Endemic C<br />

Euphorbia inaguensis Wild Thyme Endemic B<br />

Euphorbia gymnonota Milk Tree, False Frangipani Endemic B<br />

Euphorbia lecheoides Pinweed Spurge Endemic B<br />

Euphorbia certioraris Broad-leaved Spurge Endemic C<br />

Euphorbia vaginulata Endemic B<br />

Euphorbia lecheoides Endemic B<br />

Evolvulus bracei Endemic C<br />

196


Evolvulus squamosus Broom Bush Endemic B<br />

Fimbristylis inaguensis Endemic C<br />

Galactia bahamensis Bahama Milk Pea Endemic B<br />

Galactia dubia Endemic C<br />

Galactia rudolphioides Red Milk Pea Endemic C<br />

Galactia uniflora One-flowered Milk Pea Endemic C<br />

Gochnatia paucifloscula C<strong>and</strong>lewood Endemic C<br />

Guaiacum officinale Lignum Vitae IUCN Vulnerable<br />

Guaiacum sanctum Lignum Vitae IUCN Vulnerable<br />

Guettarda krugii Frogwood Endemic C<br />

Gundlachia corymbosa Jamaican Trash Endemic C<br />

Halodule wrightii Halodule Seagrass SPAW<br />

Helicteres jamaicensis Blind Eye Bush, Cow Bush, Salz Bush Endemic C<br />

Helicteres semitriloba Wild Salve Endemic C<br />

Heliotropium diffusum Low Heliotrope Endemic B<br />

Heliotropium eggersii Endemic B<br />

Heliotropium nanum White Pussley, Low Ashy Heliotrope Doubtfully Endemic B<br />

Heliotropium nashii Endemic B<br />

Hibiscus brittonianus Bahama Hibiscus Endemic B<br />

Jacquemontia cayensis Endemic C<br />

Laguncularia racemosa White Mangrove SPAW<br />

Lantana bahamensis Endemic C<br />

Lepidium filicaule Endemic TCI<br />

Limonium bahamensis <strong>Turks</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong> Heather Endemic TCI<br />

Lobelia lucayana Endemic B<br />

Malaxis spicata Slender Malaxis CITES<br />

Mammillaria nivosa Woolly Nipple Cactus Endemic C<br />

Marsilea nashii Nash's Pepperwort Endemic B<br />

Maytenus buxifolia Box-leaved Maytenus Endemic C<br />

Melocactus intortus Turk's Cap Cactus Endemic C,CITES,SPAW<br />

Mimosa bahamensis Bahama Mimosa Endemic B<br />

Oeceoclades maculata Spotted Orchid CITES<br />

Oplonia spinosa Prickly Bush Endemic C<br />

Opuntia (Consolea) nashii Nash's Tree Cactus Endemic B<br />

Opuntia bahamana Bahama Prickly Pear Endemic B<br />

197


Opuntia lucayana Turk's Isl<strong>and</strong> Prickly Pear Endemic TCI<br />

Oxalis eggersii Endemic C<br />

Panicum distantiflorum Narrow Panic-grass Endemic C<br />

Panicum leonis Endemic C<br />

Paspalum bakeri Endemic C<br />

Paspalum saugetii Endemic C<br />

Passiflora cupraea Devil's Pumpkin, Wild Watermelon, Smooth Passionflower Endemic C<br />

Passiflora pectinata Wild Apricot, Passionflower Endemic C<br />

Pavonia bahamensis Bahama Swamp Bush Endemic B<br />

Pedilanthus bahamensis Monkey Fiddle Endemic B<br />

Phialanthus myrtilloides C<strong>and</strong>lewood Endemic C<br />

Phillanthus epiphyllanthus Sword Bush Endemic C<br />

Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis Caribbean Pine Endemic B<br />

Ponthieva racemosa CITES<br />

Pseudophoenix sargentii Buccaneer Palm Threatened by harvesting<br />

Rhizophora mangle Red Mangrove SPAW<br />

Ruppia maritima Widgeon Grass SPAW<br />

Salicornia bigelovii Annual Glasswort SPAW<br />

Salicornia virginica Perennial Glasswort SPAW<br />

Salmea petrobioides Bushy Salmea Endemic C<br />

Securinega acidoton Endemic C<br />

Sesuvium microphyllum Endemic C<br />

Sesuvium portulacastrum Sea Purslane SPAW<br />

Spiranthes polyantha Green Ladies' Tresses CITES<br />

Stachytarpheta fruticosa Bahama Vervain Endemic B<br />

Sten<strong>and</strong>rium carolinae Endemic TCI<br />

Swietenia mahagoni Madeira, Mahogany IUCN Endangered<br />

Syringodium filiforme Manatee Grass SPAW<br />

Tabebuia bahamensis White Cedar, Five Finger Endemic C<br />

Thalassia testudinum Turtle Grass SPAW<br />

Thouinia discolor Naked-wood, Quick Silver, Hard Bark Endemic B<br />

Vernonia bahamensis Endemic B<br />

Ziziphus taylori Jujube Endemic B<br />

Wedelia bahamensis Rong Bush, Bahama Wedelia Endemic B<br />

AVES Birds<br />

198


Actitis macularia Spotted S<strong>and</strong>piper IUCN LC<br />

Ardea alba Great White Egret CITES<br />

Anas bahamensis White-cheeked Pintail IUCN LC, regionally threatened<br />

Anas discors Blue-winged Teal IUCN LC<br />

Anous stolidus Brown Noddy IUCN LC<br />

Ardea herodias Great Blue Heron IUCN LC<br />

Arenaria interpres Ruddy Turnstone IUCN LC<br />

Botaurus lentiginosus American Bittern IUCN LC<br />

Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret CITES<br />

Butorides virescens Green Heron IUCN LC<br />

Calidris alba S<strong>and</strong>erling IUCN LC<br />

Calidris minutilla Least S<strong>and</strong>piper IUCN LC<br />

Calidris pusilla Semipalmated S<strong>and</strong>piper IUCN LC<br />

Calliphlox evelynae Bahama Woodstar Hummingbird Endemic B, IUCN LC<br />

Catoptrophorus semipalmatus Willet IUCN LC<br />

Ceryle alcyon Belted Kingfisher IUCN LC<br />

Charadrius alex<strong>and</strong>rinus Snowy Plover Regionally Threatened<br />

Charadrius melodus Piping Plover IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Charadrius semipalmatus Semipalmated Plover IUCN LC<br />

Charadrius vociferus Killdeer IUCN LC<br />

Charadrius wilsonia Wilson's Plover IUCN LC<br />

Chordeiles gundlachii Antillean Nighthawk Biome-restricted Species, IUCN LC<br />

Coccyzus americanus Yellow-billed Cuckoo IUCN LC<br />

Coccyzus minor Mangrove Cuckoo IUCN LC<br />

Coerba flaveola Bananaquit IUCN LC<br />

Columba leucocephala White-Crowned Pigeon Regionally Threatened<br />

Columbina passerina Common Ground Dove IUCN LC<br />

Corvus nasicus Cuban Crow Endemic C, IUCN LC<br />

Crotophaga ani Smooth-billed Ani IUCN LC<br />

Dendrocygna arborea West Indian Whistling Duck IUCN Vulnerable<br />

Dendroica discolor Prairie Warbler IUCN LC<br />

Dendroica kirtl<strong>and</strong>ii Kirtl<strong>and</strong>'s Warbler IUCN Vulnerable<br />

Dendroica petechia Yellow Warbler IUCN LC<br />

Dendroica tigrina Cape May Warbler IUCN LC<br />

Egretta caerulea Little Blue Heron SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

199


Egretta rufescens Reddish Egret IUCN LC<br />

Egretta thula Snowy Egret IUCN LC<br />

Egretta tricolor Tri-color Heron SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

Falco columbarius Merlin CITES<br />

Falco peregrinus Peregrine Falcon IUCN Vulnerable<br />

Falco sparverius American Kestrel CITES<br />

Fregata magnificens Magnificent Frigatebird IUCN LC<br />

Fulica americana American Coot IUCN LC<br />

Fulica caribaea Caribbean Coot IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Gallinago gallinago Common Snipe IUCN LC<br />

Gallinula chloropus Common Moorhen SPAW<br />

Geotrygon chrysia Key West Quail Dove Biome-restricted Species<br />

Grus canadensis S<strong>and</strong>hill Crane CITES<br />

Haematopus palliatus American Oystercatcher IUCN LC<br />

Himantopus mexicanus Black-necked Stilt IUCN LC<br />

Hirundo rustica Barn Swallow IUCN LC<br />

Larus atricilla Laughing Gull IUCN LC<br />

Limnodromus griseus Short-billed Dowitcher IUCN LC<br />

Loxigilla violacea ofella Greater Antillean Bullfinch Biome-restricted Species<br />

Margarops fuscatus Pearly-eyed Thrasher Biome-restricted Species<br />

Microligea palustris Green-tailed Warbler Endemic<br />

Mimus gundlachii Bahama Mockingbird Range-restricted Species<br />

Mimus polyglottos Northern Mockingbird IUCN LC<br />

Numenius phaeopus Whimbrel IUCN LC<br />

Nycticorax nycticorax Black-crowned Night Heron SPAW<br />

Nyctanassa violacea Yellow-crowned Night Heron SPAW<br />

P<strong>and</strong>ion haliaetus Osprey IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Parula americana Northern Parula IUCN LC<br />

Pelecanus occidentalis Brown Pelican SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

Phaethon lepturus White-tailed Tropicbird IUCN LC<br />

Phoenicopterus ruber West Indian Flamingo CITES<br />

Plegadis falcinellus Glossy Ibis CITES<br />

Podilymbus podiceps Pied-billed Grebe IUCN LC<br />

Polioptila caerulea Blue-gray Gnatcatcher IUCN LC<br />

Puffinus lherinieri Audubon's Shearwater IUCN LC<br />

200


Rallus longirostris Clapper Rail IUCN LC<br />

Recurvirostra americana American Avocet IUCN LC<br />

Seiurus aurocapillus Ovenbird IUCN LC<br />

Seiurus noveboracensis Northern Waterthrush IUCN LC<br />

Spindalis zena Western Spindalis Biome-restricted Species, IUCN LC<br />

Sterna anaethetus Bridled Tern SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

Sterna antillarum Least Tern IUCN LC<br />

Sterna caspia Caspian Tern IUCN LC<br />

Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern Regionally Threatened<br />

Sterna fuscata Sooty Tern SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

Sterna hirundo Common Tern SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

Sterna maxima Royal Tern SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

Sterna s<strong>and</strong>vicensis S<strong>and</strong>wich Tern SPAW, IUCN LC<br />

Sula leucogaster Brown Booby Only breeding pop. In TCI<br />

Tachybaptus dominicus Least Grebe IUCN LC<br />

Tringa flavipes Lesser Yellowlegs IUCN LC<br />

Tringa melanoleuca Greater Yellowlegs IUCN LC<br />

Tringa solitaria Solitary S<strong>and</strong>piper IUCN LC<br />

Tyrannus cubensis Giant Kingbird IUCN Endangered<br />

Tyrannus dominicensis Gray Kingbird' IUCN LC<br />

Tyto alba Barn Owl CITES<br />

Vireo crassirostris stalagmium Thick-billed Vireo Range-restricted Species<br />

Zenaida asiatica White-winged Dove IUCN LC<br />

Zenaida aurita Zenaida Dove IUCN LC<br />

Zenaida macroura Mourning Dove IUCN LC<br />

Reptiles<br />

Anolis scriptus scriptus Bark Anole Lizard Endemic Sub-species<br />

Caretta caretta Loggerhead Turtle IUCN Endangered<br />

Chelonia Mydas Green Turtle IUCN Endangered<br />

Cyclura carinata carinata Rock Iguana IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

Dermochelys coriacea Leatherback Turtle IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

Eretmochelys imbricata Hawksbill Turtle IUCN Critically Endangered<br />

Epicrates chrysogaster Bahama Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic B<br />

Leiocephalus psammodromus Curly-tail Lizard Endemic Species<br />

Mabouya mabouya Skink Regional Endemic<br />

201


Sphaerodactylus caicosensis Dwarf Gecko Endemic Species<br />

Tropidophis greenwayi Pigmy Boa Constrictor CITES, Endemic TCI<br />

Invertebrates<br />

Barbouria spp. Cave Shrimp Endemic TCI<br />

Cyclargus thomasi clenchi Clench's Blue Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

Eurema chamberlaini mariguanae Chamberlain's Sulfur Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

Heraclides <strong>and</strong>raemon bonhotei Bahama Swallowtail Endemic Sub-species<br />

Kaloketos pilosus Cottage Pond Shrimp TCI Endemic Genus <strong>and</strong> Species<br />

Memphis intermedia Leafwing Butterfly Endemic TCI<br />

Strymon acis leucosticha Drury's Hairstreak Butterfly Endemic Sub-species<br />

Mammals<br />

Balaenoptera borealis Sei Whale IUCN Endangered<br />

Balaenoptera edeni Bryde's Whale IUCN DD<br />

Brachyphylla nana Cuban Fruit-eating Bat IUCN Near-threatened<br />

Erophylla sezekorni Buffy Flower Bat Range-restricted Species<br />

Globicephala malaaena Pilot Whale Migrating/SPAW<br />

Globicephala macrorhynchus Shortfinned Pilot Whale IUCN Lower Risk<br />

Grampus griseus Risso's Dolphin IUCN DD<br />

Lagenodelphis hosei Fraser's Dolphin IUCN DD<br />

Lasiurus borealis Red Bat Biome-restricted Species, IUCN LC<br />

Macrotus waterhousii Waterhouse's Big Eared Bat Biome-restricted Species, IUCN LC<br />

Megaptera novaeangliae Humpback Whale IUCN Vulnerable<br />

Mesoplodon densirostris Blainville's Beaked Whale IUCN DD<br />

Monophyllus redmani Redman's Long-tongued Bat Biome-restricted Species, IUCN LC<br />

Physeter macrocephalus Sperm Whale Migrating/SPAW<br />

Stenella attenuata Bridled Dolphin IUCN Lower Risk<br />

Stenella clumene Atlantic Spinner Dolphin IUCN DD<br />

Stenella frontalis Striped Dolphin IUCN Lower Risk<br />

Stenella longirostris Longbeaked Dolphin IUCN Lower Risk<br />

Steno bredanensis Rough-toothed Dolphin IUCN DD<br />

Tadarida brasiliensis Brazilian Free-tailed Bat IUCN Near-threatened<br />

202


Appendix B<br />

Team Member Contributions <strong>and</strong> Titles<br />

Kathleen McNary Wood<br />

SWA<br />

Terrestrial ecologist<br />

Developer of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> St<strong>and</strong>ardized <strong>Vegetation</strong> classification<br />

Author of reports<br />

Co-attribution of habitat maps<br />

Barbara J. Brunnick Ph.D.<br />

Blue Dolphin Research <strong>and</strong> Consulting, Inc.<br />

Conservation Bio/Ecologist<br />

Habitat Cartographer<br />

GIS/ ArcView Specialist<br />

Co-attribution of habitat maps<br />

Dr. rer.nat. Stefan Harzen<br />

Blue Dolphin Research <strong>and</strong> Consulting, Inc.<br />

Research <strong>and</strong> Conservation Biologist<br />

Contributor<br />

Paul D. Kissinger, FASLA, RLA<br />

EDSA<br />

Principal in Charge<br />

Contributor<br />

Paul Weinberg, ASLA, RLA<br />

EDSA<br />

<strong>Project</strong> Manager<br />

Contributor<br />

203


ATM <strong>and</strong> Wood, K. (2003). Amanyara Resort –Environmental Impact Assessment.<br />

ATM <strong>and</strong> Wood, K., (2004). Marbello Development, East Bay Isl<strong>and</strong>s Strategic Environmental Assessment.<br />

Bradley, P (?). A Checklist of the Birds of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s. <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>National</strong> Trust Publication.<br />

CABI Bioscience, <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>National</strong> Trust, UK Overseas Conservation Forum, 2002. Plan for Biodiversity Management <strong>and</strong><br />

Sustainable Development Around <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Ramsar Site.<br />

Canadian International Development Authority, 2002. Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk Solar Desalination Greenhouse <strong>Project</strong> Environmental Impact<br />

Assessment.<br />

CEDA, <strong>and</strong> Wood, K. (2004). Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk Cruise Shipping Industry, <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Environmental Impact Assessment.<br />

Correll, D., <strong>and</strong> Correll, H., 1996 Reprint. The Flora of the Bahama Archipelago (Including the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s). A.R.G.<br />

Gantner Verlag K.-G., FL-9490, VADUZ. 1,692 pages.<br />

EDSA, 2005. Protected Area Belonger Business Opportunity Development Program, <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s. Unpublished<br />

Report to government.<br />

Ground, Richard (2003). The Birds of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s. <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>National</strong> Trust Publication.<br />

Koenemann, S., Iliffe, T., <strong>and</strong> Yager, J., Kaloketos pilosus, a new genus <strong>and</strong> species of Remipedia (Crustacea) from the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong><br />

<strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s. Zootaxa 618: 1-12 (2004).<br />

Manco, B., N. Conch Bar Caves Nature Reserve. Published by the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>National</strong> Trust, 2004.<br />

Manco, B., N. L<strong>and</strong> Animals on the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Field Roads. Published by the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> <strong>National</strong> Trust, 2004.<br />

Nature Conservancy, Grossman, D. H., D. Faber-Langendoen, A. S. Weakley, M. Anderson, P. Bourgeron, R. Crawford, K. Goodin,<br />

S. L<strong>and</strong>aal, K. Metzler, K. D. Patterson, M. Pyne, M. Reid, <strong>and</strong> L. Sneddon. 1998. International classification of ecological<br />

communities: terrestrial vegetation of the United States. Volume I. The <strong>National</strong> <strong>Vegetation</strong> Classification System: development,<br />

status, <strong>and</strong> applications. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, Virginia, USA.<br />

204


Nature Conservancy, Anderson, M., P. Bourgeron, M. T. Bryer, R. Crawford, L. Engelking, D. Faber-Langendoen, M. Gallyoun, K.<br />

Goodin, D. H. Grossman, S. L<strong>and</strong>aal, K. Metzler, K. D. Patterson, M. Pyne, M. Reid, L. Sneddon, <strong>and</strong> A. S. Weakley. 1998.<br />

International classification of ecological communities: terrestrial vegetation of the United States. Volume II. The <strong>National</strong> <strong>Vegetation</strong><br />

Classification System: list of types. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, Virginia, USA.<br />

Nautilus Consultants, 2006. Review <strong>and</strong> Re-Assessment of the TCI Protected Area System. Unpublished Report to Government.<br />

Pardee, M. <strong>and</strong> Wood, K., 2005. Cockburn Village <strong>and</strong> Conch Farm, Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk Environmental Impact Assessment. Contracted<br />

through CEDA, <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong>. Unpublished Report to Government.<br />

Pardee, M., July, 2010. Personal Communication.<br />

Pienkowski, M., 2005. Important Bird Areas in the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s. Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 18(1).<br />

Pienkowski, M., Pienkowski, A., <strong>and</strong> Manco, B., 2005. Birds on the Outer Cays of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s. Journal of<br />

Caribbean Ornithology 18:31-43.<br />

Slade, Lorna, 2002. Field Observations of Bird Populations at the Lake Catherine Nature Reserve, West <strong>Caicos</strong>. Unpublished<br />

Report.<br />

Wood, Kathleen, 2009. Salt Cay Development Company Survey of Terrestrial <strong>and</strong> Wetl<strong>and</strong> Habitats. Private consultancy.<br />

Wood, K., Wild, R., <strong>and</strong> Manco, B., 2007. Plant List for the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s.<br />

Wood, Kathleen, 2005. Moores Hall, North <strong>Caicos</strong> Strategic Environmental Assessment. Contracted through CEDA, <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong><br />

<strong>Caicos</strong>. Unpublished Report to Government.<br />

Wood, K., Slade, L., <strong>and</strong> Pardee, M., 2005. <strong>National</strong> Environmental St<strong>and</strong>ards. Preparation of draft guidelines for environmental<br />

st<strong>and</strong>ards for the Government of the <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s. Contracted by <strong>Turks</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Caicos</strong> Isl<strong>and</strong>s Government <strong>and</strong><br />

Department for International Development, UK.<br />

Wood, Kathleen, 2003. Leeward Marina Extension <strong>Project</strong> Environmental Impact Assessment. Terrestrial <strong>and</strong> mangrove community<br />

assessment including habitat classification, population measurement, species identification, biodiversity assessment, relative<br />

abundance for flora, identification of potential impacts, mitigation management <strong>and</strong> alternatives.<br />

Contracted through Hall Tech, Providenciales<br />

205


Wood, Kathleen, 2002/03. Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk Cruise Shipping Industry <strong>Project</strong> Environmental Impact Assessment. Contracted through<br />

Hall Tech, Providenciales.<br />

Wood, K., <strong>and</strong> Pardee, M., 2002. Cockburn Harbor <strong>Project</strong>, Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk, Preliminary Environmental Assessment. Private<br />

Consultancy.<br />

Wood, K., 2002. Coastal Resources Management <strong>Project</strong> Rapid Site Assessment. Unpublished Report to Government. Report<br />

Wood, K, 2001. Leeward Limited Canals <strong>Project</strong> Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

Wood, K., 2000. West <strong>Caicos</strong> Development <strong>Project</strong> Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

Wood, K., 2000. HAB Limited Beachfront Condominium Development Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

Wood., K., 1999. Leeward Waterfront Development Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

Wood, K., 1998. Harbor View Villas Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

Wood, K. 1998. Gr<strong>and</strong> Turk Harbor Subdivision <strong>and</strong> Development Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

Wood, K., 1998. Tradewinds by the Sea Hotel Development Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

Wood, K., 1998. Royal West Indies Condominium Development Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

Wood, K., 1998. Cooper Jack Marina Subdivision <strong>and</strong> Development Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

Wood, K., 1998. Sol International Mixed Use Development Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

Wood, K., 1996. Point Grace Hotel <strong>and</strong> Condominium Development Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

Wood, K. 1996. Hemispheres II Condominium Development Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

Wood, K., 1996. Comfort Suites Hotel Environmental Impact Statement.<br />

206

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