Morne Diablotin National Park (MDNP) is located within one of the northern mountain ranges and boasts the tallest mountain peak Morne Diablotin (1447m) on Dominica. The MDNP was established in January 2000, the first park to be established in the new millennium and covers some 3,335.4 hectares, between the 579m elevation and 1447m elevation. The MDNP primary function is to specifically provide habitat for Dominica’s two endemic Amazona parrots. Private lands are located mainly on the north, northwestern and southwestern boundaries of the park and used strictly for agricultural holdings. Human settlements are more than 10km away on the western coastal region.
This site supports one endangered and one vulnerable species of parrots, and 15 restricted- range species. Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens), Hooded Warbler (Wilsonia citrine), Black-and-White Warbler (Mniotilta varia), and Merlin (Falco columbarius) are the more common migrant species seen at that site. The Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) and Yellow-crowned night Heron (Nycticorax violaceus) are the more frequently seen waterbirds in the park.
Non-bird biodiversity: Other flora found in the Morne Diablotin National Park is Mang Blan (Symphonia globulifera), Mang Rouge (Tovomita plumieri), Bwa Rouge (Cyrilla racemiflora), Bwa Riviere (Chimarhis cymosa), Bwa Bandé (Richeria grandis), Bwa Cote (Tapura latifolia), Bwa Pen (Talauma dodecapetala), Kaklen (Clusia mangle), and Palmiste (Euterpe broadwayi) and (Prestoea acuminate).
Fauna species include Feral Pigs (Sus scrofa), several species of bats, Agouti (Dasyprocta leporine), Opossum (Didelphys marsupialis insularis), Boa Constrictor (Constrictor constrictor nebulosis), the Lesser Antillean Iguana (Iguana delacatissima), Tree Lizard (Anolis oculatus), the pigmy gecko (Sphaerodactylus vincenti) and other lizard species, the Dominican tink frog (Eleutherodactylus amplinympha), and several species of freshwater fish and crustaceans.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Deforestation– Unauthorized occupation of some areas in the interior for illegal agricultural farming activities. In some cases key tree species utilized by both parrot species for nesting and foraging are felled and left to waste. This activity is also occurring on private lands in close proximity to the park.
Hurricanes - Dominica like the other Eastern Caribbean Islands lies in the hurricane belt and as a result are vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storm strikes annually. Some of these storms impact on nest trees/nest cavities and food source of both species of parrots.
Illegal hunting - Illegal hunting for feral pigs is a major concern, as this activity may possibly lead to discovery of parrot nests and subsequent poaching.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
There is ongoing research on Dominica’s two parrot species in collaboration with Rare Species Conservatory Foundation (RSCF) based in Florida. The MDNP is primarily managed by the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division within the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment.
The Northern Forest Reserve and Central Forest Reserve are in close proximity to the Morne Diablotin National Park. Actually the Northern Forest Reserve bounds with the MDNP in the east, northeast and south boundaries.
Habitat and land use
The vegetation types are mature rainforest and montane forest at lower and middle elevations and cloud forest at higher elevations. The dominant tree species are Dacryodes excelsa, Sloanea caribaea, Amanoa caribaea, and Licania ternatensis. Vegetative cover of the park is estimated at near 95%, with only small gaps of disturbances i.e. landslides and fallen trees on some of the slopes and valleys.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Morne Diablotin National Park. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 15/08/2022.