TL08
Jaco Island


Year of compilation: 2007

Site description
Jaco (or ‘Jako’) is a small island (12 km2) dominated by tropical dry deciduous forest, coastal strand vegetation, beaches and rock platforms in the far east of Timor-Leste. Sandlund et al. (2001) recently observed: “Jaco Island is covered with well developed forest. There is a radio mast on the island, but we did get the impression that the forest on the island has not been exploited. The forest on the island may therefore be quite well preserved primary forest. Jaco Island is relatively flat, surrounded by sandy beaches except in the south where there are some low cliffs”.

Key biodiversity
Eight restricted-range species have been recorded in this IBA (Thompson et al. 1974, Trainor et al. 2004), but given its limited isolation (only 900 m from the mainland) it is anticipated that more of these species will be found there in the future.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Local communities harvest turtles, mostly Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas, and rubbish is a problem along the beaches. Forest habitats are under little pressure. The island has cultural and spritual significance for local communities which imposes limits on permitted activities such as staying there overnight.

Protected areas
Proposed as a Wildlife Sanctuary by FAO/UNDP (1982) with a suggestion that it be linked to Lore (IBA TL06) and Mount Paitchau and Lake Iralalaro (IBA TL07) and considered for National Park status. Jaco Island was recognised as a Protected Wild Area by UNTAET (2000) under Regulation Number 2000/19. This IBA (together with IBAs TL06 and TL07 and other adjacent terrestrial and marine areas) has just been declared by the Government of Timor-Leste as Nino Konis Santana National Park.

Habitat and land use
Sandlund et al. (2001) recently observed: “Jaco Island is covered with well developed forest. There is a radio mast on the island, but we did get the impression that the forest on the island has not been exploited. The forest on the island may therefore be quite well preserved primary forest. Jaco Island is relatively flat, surrounded by sandy beaches except in the south where there are some low cliffs”.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Jaco Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/12/2022.