The Cumberland Forest Reserve encompasses three main forest types (Rainforest, Montane and plantation forest) in its higher elevations, and two (Secondary and Coastal Scrub forest) in the lower regions. The Reserve contains portions of the last remaining stand of primary forests in SVG (C. Richards, pers. comm.).
This Reserve is very rich in bird life with over thirty-one (31) species of birds recorded (Ivor Jackson and Associates, 2004). The diversity of habitat allows for all thirteen (13) of the island’s RRS and two (2) Globally-threatened species to be represented. Other regionally-endemic species (Ivor Jackson and Associates, 2004) including Short-tailed Swift and Scaly-naped Pigeon exist. The Reserve is a stronghold for the St. Vincent Parrot, which numbers around 175 individuals (Forestry Department, 2004) and may be observed foraging within valleys and near farmlands. Parrots also move between mountain peaks surrounding those valleys.
Non-bird biodiversity: Species of endemic flora include B. rotundifolia, P. cuneata and P. vincentiana, E. vincentinum and C. tenera . The endemic E. shrevei and C. vincenti , and endemic sub-species M. bruesi also reside in the Reserve. A. griseus and A. trinitatus are also present. A. griseus appears most common near coastal areas.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Concerns within this Reserve include illegal hunting of armadillo, opossum and agouti and poaching of St. Vincent Parrot nests.
The impact of the armadillo is also quite evident in this Reserve. Trails created by its nightly foraging can be seen along slopes and at the base of tree trunks. As highlighted above, this soil exposure often leads to increased erosion and, in many cases, tree fall.
Existing Forest Reserve and part of the proposed Central Forest reserve (SPAHS).
Habitat and land use
Dominant rainforest species include Dacryodes excelsa , several species of Lauraceae, Meliosma herbertii, Micropholis chrysophylloides and Sloanea caribaea ; dominant montane (elfin woodland) species include Freziera hirsuta, Prestoea Montana and Inga laurina ; while plantation species include Hibiscus elatus and Pinus caribaea .
Cumberland Forest Reserve is an important source of hydroelectric power, producing approximately 234 million gallons (13.2%) of water annually. Its numerous rivers and streams add great diversity to the rich forests found in the Reserve. Farming is a common practice within valley areas but do not adversely affect the forest, which is relatively intact (Ivor Jackson and Associates, 2004). A proposed scenic 1.6-mile (2.6 km) nature trail (under the SPAHS) will traverse the variety of forest vegetation and farmlands, providing opportunities to see many of the country’s endemic flora and fauna. Overnight camping and lodging to facilitate bird watching are also activities proposed within portions of this Reserve.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cumberland Forest Reserve. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 28/01/2022.