Bubali Wetlands

Year of compilation: 2007

Site description
Located towards the west end of the island between the high-rise and low-rise tourist hotels the wetlands were created to contain water from a waste water treatment facility. The wetlands have undergone some management in the past but are now suffering from rapidly expanding aquatic vegetation and reeds that are minimizing the open water areas.

Key biodiversity
A significant nesting area for caribbean coot (Fulica caribbaea, >30 pairs), also common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), white-cheeked pintail (Anas bahamensis, 25+ prs.), least grebe (Tachybaptus dominicus), pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) and green heron (Butorides virescens). The mixed desert scrub vegetation along the south (seaward) side of the wetland contains nesting white-tailed nightjar (Caprimulgus cayennensis), yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia), burrowing owl (Athene arubensis), ruby-topaz hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus), eared dove (Zenaida auriculata), common ground dove (Columbina passerine) and bannaquit (Coereba flaveola) amongst others. A large roost of up to 400+ individual neo-tropical cormorants (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) occupies a section of trees on the south side of the wetland. The wetland contains several hundreds of shorebirds during spring and autumn migration during which time the entire area contains several species of neo-tropical passerines, particularly warblers and flycatchers.

Non-bird biodiversity: The in filling of the wetland by encroaching reeds is slowing the water flow and leading to sedimentation and terrestrial plant growth. Current (June 2007) area of open water is approximately 4-5 hectares compared to approximately 8-10 hectares in 1999.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The wetland is under severe threat of in filling due to aquatic plant encroachment and an associated lack of wetland management.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
None. Periodic counts and observations of bird numbers by the author – mostly during April-July.

Protected areas
We are not aware of any formal protection but the area is a well-recognized nature reserve and thus de facto protection exists through general awareness of the site’s wildlife status.

Habitat and land use
Diminishing area of open water surrounded by hotel and commercial development to the east and west and a road to the north.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bubali Wetlands. Downloaded from on 26/07/2021.