Located in the eastern side of the island, almost the entire area is also a Forest Reserve, but much has been altered from its natural state and is now used for forestry, coffee production or subsistence farming. The Grand Ridge of the Blue Mountains covers 16 km across the eastern part of Jamaica and much of the range is over 1800 m, the highest section being Blue Mountain Peak, comprising Middle Peak (2256 m), the highest point of Jamaica, and East Peak (2246 m). Lesser peaks and ridges radiate from these, while to the west of the Grand Ridge are the lower Port Royal Moun-tains. Wet slope forest occurs on the northern slopes of the Blue Mountains below 1000 m. It is characterized by large trees (c. 26 m high, 70 cm dbh. Climbers are abundant. Upper montane forest is the most extensive natural forest type of the Blue Mountains. These forests protect the watershed of Jamaica's capital city, Kingston.
This IBA is internationally important for the Endan-gered Jamaican Blackbird Nesopsar nigerri-mus (EN), also the Ring-tailed Pigeon Pata-gioenas caribaea (VU), and near-threatened Crested Quail-dove Geotrygon versicolor and Blue Mountain Vireo Vireo modestus, among the 23 of the island’s 28 endemic. The last time the endemic subspecies of Golden Swallow Tachycineta euchrysea (VU) was reported was in 1989 in the Blue Mountains.
Non-bird biodiversity: Within the forests, approximately 50% of the flower-ing plants are endemic to the island, and about 40% of these are endemic to the area. At least 10 spe-cies appear on the 2006 IUCN list as Vulnerable. Tree ferns and bromeliads are characteristic of the wetter locations. Among reptiles & amphibians in the park five are considered at risk (CR) or (EN): Eleutherodactylus alticola, E. andrewsi, E. nubi-cola, E. orcutti and Anolis reconditus , although the latter does not appear in the IUCN list, but is re-stricted to the Blue Mountains; plus E. glau-coreius (NT). Six bats have been recorded from Green Hillls, Cinchona and Hardwar Gap with Ariteus flavescens (VU) being the most en-dangered, while two are near threatened, and the classification of Eptesicus (fuscus) lynni is still in debate but not recorded by IUCN.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Blue Mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/01/2023.