VC005
Colonarie Forest Reserve


Year of compilation: 2007

Site description
This Reserve essentially encompasses the mid and upper reaches of the Colonarie watershed. The Colonarie River is the longest watercourse on St. Vincent and its watershed; the second largest on the island has a drainage area of about 8.8 sq. miles (22.7 km2). The area faces continued land pressure from the population living within the lower regions and has in the past seen intensive exploitation for agriculture. This Reserve is a main source of potable water and hydro electricity. Within the upper parts (over 1000 ft/305 m) of the Reserve, slopes cut deeply into ash agglomerates, and basaltic bedrock creating an area of irregular, complex and steeply sloping landform units (Reid, Collins and Associates, 1994). The steepness of the terrain also causes high rates of erosion and landslide hazards. Much of the area is still covered with Primary forest but encroachment is a major concern. This natural forest zone is being converted to agriculture cultivation and pasturing of animals. Timber is also removed for charcoal purposes. Land settlement is also a serious threat to the remaining Primary Forest (Reid, Collins and Associates, 1994). The average rainfall within this area is 214 inches (5,436 mm) (Metereological Office, VINLEC) though it can exceed 185 inches (4,700 mm) (See Reid, Collins and Associates, 1994).



Key biodiversity
The Reserve is a traditional stronghold for the St. Vincent Parrot, which numbered 142 individuals in 2004 (Forestry Department, 2004). The site supports the other Globally-threatened species, the Whistling Warbler, and thirteen (13) RRS. Other important species include the House Wren, Short-tailed Swift, Scaly-naped Pigeon, Caribbean Elaenia and Black Hawk.

Non-bird biodiversity: Endemic herpetofauna A. griseus, C. vincenti, A. griseus and A. trinitatus; endemic sub-species M. bruesi and endemic flora A. vincentiana, B. rotundifolia, P. cuneata, P. vincentiana, E. vincentinum, C. vincentiana and C. tenera.



Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Conservation concerns consist of lack of riparian buffers, deforestation that causes disturbance to wildlife and habitat, erosion of soils leading to slope instability and sedimentation of streams, tree harvesting for charcoal and agriculture on steep slopes, which accelerates erosion. Squatting, involving the use of makeshift shelters and storage buildings particularly for agricultural purposes (storage buildings), is another concern. It is possible that these may eventually lead to more permanent structures within the Reserve (see also Reid, Collins and Associates, 1994). River poisoning to harvest crayfish during the Easter period is a common practice in nearby communities. It causes death of many aquatic fauna, and possibly associated avian species.



Protected areas
Proposed Forest Reserve (under the SPAHS) and part of the proposed Central Forest Reserve (SPAHS) and part of the proposed Central Reserve (SPAHS).



Habitat and land use
This Reserve is a main source of potable water and hydro electricityMuch of the area is still covered with Primary forest but encroachment is a major concern. This natural forest zone is being converted to agriculture cultivation and pasturing of animals. Timber is also removed for charcoal purposes.




Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Colonarie Forest Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/08/2022.