Christian Cove IBA is at the head of Willoughby Bay on the south-east coast of Antigua, just north of Christian Point. The IBA is south-east of Bethesda Dam IBA (AG012). The road to Bethesda forms the western boundary of the IBA. Christian Cove is a wetland basin comprising fringing mangroves (shorter mangroves to the north and taller stands on the south-east side), saltmarsh, and a small freshwater marsh. The freshwater marsh is in the north-western corner of the IBA, and is fed by a stream that is bisected by the Bethesda road. Dry woodland of manchineel Hippomane mancinella and Acacia spp. surrounds the wetland.
This IBA is globally significant for its population of 400 Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla. The wetland supports a wide diversity of shorebirds and waterbirds (including ducks, herons, egrets and terns). The Vulnerable West Indian Whistling-duck Dendrocygna arborea and Near Threatened Piping Plover Charadrius and Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis have all been recorded, although not in significant numbers.
Non-bird biodiversity: Nothing recorded.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Christian Cove is state owned but is not protected in any way, and there are currently no conservation efforts being implemented at the site. Development pressures are a constant threat to these wetlands.
Authors Joseph Prosper, Victor Joseph, Andrea Otto, Shanee Prosper (Environmental Awareness Group)
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Christian Cove. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 01/04/2023.