Booby Rocks and Pirates Bay

Site description (2006 baseline):

Site location and context
This site is located on the northwestern part of the island of Mayaguana. It comprises a wide shallow bay with sandy beach continuing into rocky shoreline toward Northwest Point and a cluster of offshore rocks known as Booby Rocks. Blackwood Point is at the northeastern tip of of this site. Mayaguana lies about 40 miles east of Acklins Island and is the most isolated inhabited island of The Bahamas. It is the size of New Providence with a population of less than 500 persons. Year 2006 brought massive change in the form of a mega resort development in the habitated western half of the island. The developers on Mayaguana plan to build a road around the entire island, thereby opening up the east end to possible habitat and human disturbance.

Key biodiversity
A Brown Booby colony nests on Booby Rocks off the NW point of Mayaguana. Magnificient Frigatebirds use smaller off-lying rocks to nest. At times Greater Flamingoes can be found at Blackwood Point. Shorebirds can be found around the NW point of Mayaguana, waterfowl and wading birds use the inland shallow mangrove wetlands, resident landbirds and winter migrants are found in the surrounding coppice. White-tailed Tropicbirds use the cliffs on the NW point of Mayaguana.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mayaguana is the only large Bahamian island that has no snakes. There are only two species of lizards, a Bark Anole and a Dwarf Gecko on the island.

Habitat and land use
There is a very large percentage of undisturbed land, infact, the eastern half of the island is presently inaccesible except by boat. Until recently, there was only domestic farming, fishing and a small amount of off the beaten track tourism.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
A huge resort development is presently underway, undoubtly there will be habitat destruction and disturbance of birds. The new proposed development is planned to open up the freshwater wetlands to the sea for a commercial marina on the NW corner of Mayaguana, similarily another marina is planned for Curtis Creek, North Bay. Many major changes by the developer will have serious impact on the natural vegetation and currently undisturbed fresh and salt-water wetlands and shoreline on the entire island.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Booby Rocks and Pirates Bay. Downloaded from on 22/09/2023.