Cove Pond

Country/territory: Anguilla (to UK)

IBA criteria met: A2, B4i (2013)
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Area: 43 ha

Site description (2013 baseline)

Cove Pond is one of the largest ponds on the mainland of Anguilla and forms part of a larger complex coastal lagoon system. It initially was attached to Merrywing Pond to the east and Gull Pond to the west. Its system stretches alongside Cove Bay and Maunday’s Bay and consists of a sandy bottom is irregularly shaped and very dynamic.

The pond is now split into two main basins, divided midway by a paved causeway built in 1993 that forms the main entrance to the Cap Juluca Hotel. Other developments near the pond include Modena Villa at its most eastern end and Sheriva Villa on the northern side of the causeway, leading to Cap Juluca Hotel. There are a few residential homes which are scattered along which are significantly setback from the pondline. 

The eastern basin is a wide expanse of water that had at one time, been connected Merrywing Pond by an unpaved road that has caused hydrological separation of the two ponds. The western basin which is separated from Gull Pond by an unpaved causeway is more narrow on its western end that leads to the back-of-house facilities of Cap Juluca Resort. The pond’s western shore is marl and is somewhat rocky. 

Cove Pond is lined by scrub vegetation along its northern side of its eastern basin and mangrove vegetation on its southern side. Sea grape buffers the pond outside of the Cap Juluca lobby, midway along the southern side of the pond. Cap Juluca Resort is landscaped with a number of ornamental plants that are both native and non-native. While the pond is sheltered on either side of its western basin by mangrove vegetation, its western shore is exposed. 
Hurricanes have caused significant changes around the pond, including the deposition of significant amounts of sand into the pond basin. This has led to a general decrease in catchment area although this has not translated specifically into increased flooding in the area.

Hydrological value:

Cove Pond receives water through rainfall and surface runoff. The land to the north slopes downward towards the pond. There is a sand dune to the south of the pond which protects it from strong winds from the Bay. While a channel once connected the pond to the sea, that channel is now closed. The pond remains brackish. 

The causeway which runs between the eastern and western sides has a netted culvert that allows water to pass through while capturing lost golf balls which wash down from the driving golf range which is located on the northeast side of the road, adjacent to the causeway to the main hotel. 

Currently, monitoring of salinity, phosphates, nitrates, phosphates, pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and other gasses does not occur.

Key biodiversity

Overview of bird interests:

The average annual number of wetland birds in 2007 was approximately 75 birds. In 2008, this average annual number decrease to 50 after which, it increased in 2009 and 2010. The average number observed in 2011 was the lowest throughout the period 2007 to 2011.

Overview of botanical interests:

Additional studies required.

Overview of other biodiversity interests:

Additional studies required.


Author: Clarissa Lloyd, Anguilla National Trust.

Edited by: Farah Mukhida, Anguilla National Trust.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Cove Pond. Downloaded from on 05/12/2023.