Klein Curaçao, Curaçao

Country/territory: Curaçao (to Netherlands)

IBA Criteria met: A3, A4i (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 1,131 ha

Protection status:

Site description
Klein Curaçao is a small, flat, 1.7 km2 offshore reef island about 10 km to the east of Curaçao. The island was originally well-vegetated but was extensively mined for phosphate in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and overgrazed by livestock since the 1800s. As a consequence the island has been devoid of all trees and bushes for more than 100 years.Historically it was an important seabird nesting location and West Indian monk seal beach. Today it remains an important Least Tern nesting location with the potential for becoming an increasingly important tern and seabird nesting location now that feral goats and cats have been eliminated.

Key biodiversity
286 Least Terns nesting in 2002, reaching 1% regional poplation threshold. The shores are frequented by flocks of migratory shore birds among which plovers and sandpipers. Birds recently documented on the island are Bare-eyed Pigeon, Eared Dove, Tropical mockingbird, Flamingo, Osprey, Merlin, Blue-winged teal, Great Blue Heron, Great White Heron, Green Heron, Sora, Black-crowned Night heron, Yellow-crowned night heron, Blackpoll Warbler, unidentified other warblers, Common Snipe, Barn Swallow, Northern Waterthrush, Ovenbird, Yellow-billed Cuckoo. The only resident landbird is the invasive House Sparrow, present and breeding on the island since the late 1990s, and numbering 40-60 birds.

Non-bird biodiversity: Three species of endangered sea turtle (Loggerhead, Caretta caretta (Debrot, pers. obs. October 2005, Green turtle, Chelonia mydas, and Hawksbill, Eretmochelys imbricate) currently nest on the island, which constitutes the most important sea turtle nesting beach of the Curacao jurisdiction Debrot et al. 2005.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Klein Curaçao, Curaçao. Downloaded from on 10/08/2020.