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San Andrés Island, politically part of Colombia, lies 200 km east of the Nicaraguan coast and 100 km south of Providence Island (Secondary Area s012; see map, p. 135). It is a sand and limestone island of 52 km2, rising to c.100 m, and is densely populated, its northernmost 20% (around the capital San Andrés) being the island's centre for tourism and highly urbanized. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the island apparently supported extensive stands of cedar (possibly Cedrela odorata) which were severely reduced by early colonists. The current vegetation cover is mainly coconut palm (covering the southern half of the island) with farmland in between, the native vegetation being restricted to small patches of trees (associated with inland mangrove swamps) and scrub among the farmland and settlements. Encroachment is caused by urbanization and agriculture, with coastal mangroves being destroyed (on the east coast) by waste oil and the outflow of hot cooling water (Collar et al. 1992). The island supports 16 resident landbird species (Hilty and Brown 1986), including two restricted-range species, namely the threatened endemic San Andrés Vireo Vireo caribaeus (classified as Critical and now apparently restricted to an area of 17 km2: Collar et al. 1992) and Jamaican Oriole Icterus leucopteryx which also occurs on Jamaica (EBA 027) and Grand Cayman (Secondary Area s014).
Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
Threat and conservation
BirdLife International (2021) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: San Andrés Island. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 18/09/2021.