Graham's Harbour

Year of compilation: 2006

Site description
Graham's Harbour is located at the northern end of San Salvador with several cays scattered in its environs. which provide ideal nesting sites for various species of seabirds. A half-day boat trip into Graham's Harbour is considered the natural-history highlight of a trip to San Salvador, however, a local guide is necessary because there are numerous reefs and rocks in the bay. Green Cay located in the northwest side of the harbour, provides a challenge to find a safe landing spot but is easy walking once you have landed.White Cay is near the reef, waters are generally rougher than any other spot in the harbour, but there is a fine beach on the leeward side. Gaulin Cay and Cato Cay are closer to the mainland, there is good snorkelig on the reef off Gaulin Cay.

Key biodiversity
There are reliable reports of several species of seabirds nesting on the afore-mentioned cays. Magnificant Frigatebirds and Brown Boobies live on Green Cay year round, Bridled Terns are reported to nest in hollows along the shoreline of the cay. White Cay is the site of Magnificant Frigatebirds nesting in the Sea Lavender bushes and Brown Boobies nesting on the ground. Brown Noddies, Bridled Terns and Sooty Terns nest on Gaulin and Cato Cays. Yellow Warblers are also found on these two cays.

Non-bird biodiversity: There were an estimated 250 San Salvador Rock Iguanas (Cyclura carinata) approximately 50% of its population living on Green Cay in 1997.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The pristine quality of these cays can be ruined by invasive plant species that over a period of time can crowd out native flora.The introduction of animal predators would cause the destruction of eggs and chicks of nesting birds which would be disastrous. Ecotourism, not properly managed would create destruction of habitat and disturbance to the birds.

Habitat and land use
The habitat of this site is primarly uninhabited low scrub cays with rocky shorelines, their prime asset is providing undisturbed nesting sites for seabirds. This area is targeted to become a National Park and a managed ecotourism site.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Graham's Harbour. Downloaded from on 22/02/2020.