Bois Musicien is located at the southwestern tip of the Macaya Biosphere Reserve in the Massif de la Hotte on the Morne Cavalier mountain chain. It consists of karst formation border to the North and west by the upper Morne Cavalier/chaine Formond and slopes of Cavalier, to the east by the plain of Durand and to the south by the harsh karstic zone of Soulette. Nearby localities of Durand, Portal, Formond connect to Cavalier by paths used intensely especially during market days and during planting and harvest seasons. Altitudes range between 950 to 1200 meters and mean annual daytime temperature 22°C. Bi-modal annual precipitations range between 2500-3000 mm with two rainy peaks in May and October; driest months are December to February. At higher altitudes, cloud cover is common, restricting growth of certain crops that are cultivated in the karst formation area. The population is left in isolation and benefit from sporadic projects. Family size is 8. The majority of the people in these areas are very poor, live in ajoupas, plant tubers (yam, sweet potato, taro), corn, plantains, black beans, cabbage, carrots and thyme that are sold in local markets and use in the household. In addition, they raise free style cattle (sheep, goats, cows) and pigs for cash and meat. Relatively richer families, those that have family abroad (France, St. Martin, Guadeloupe) control the land (they don't own the land but they consider it their property) in Plain Durand and Plain Formond and poorer work in their fields or are shepherds.
The bird diversity of Bois Musicien is far higher than any other area surveyed in the Macaya Biosphere Reserve area. Species diversity also increases in winter months when migratory species arrive from northern latitudes and utilize the habitats. Last inventory of February 2004t included mistnetting, sight counting and banding all day from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Bird species of special concern are the Hispaniolan Highland-Tanager (White-Winged Warbler), Western, Antillean Piculet that are threatened due to habitat lost. Although local people that have participated as guides in scientific research, understand banding, they have no place to report scientific information, which is unfortunately lost. In addition, because of lack of funding, simple management of wildlife is lacking. Due to the fact that this area was managed from 1989 to 2001, Hispaniolan Highland-Tanager had been able to recover. Interestingly enough, Swainson’s Warbler was reported for the first time during the 2004 exploration.
Non-bird biodiversity: There are also a number of endemics. The most notorious are the snails and the small frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus parapelates, Eleutherodactylus amadeus, Eleutherodactylus corona, Eleutherodactylus dolomedes, etc. ), many of them described only after 1985. A number of lizards (Anolis sp.) and other reptiles are restricted to the Massif de la Hotte and the karstic formation of Bois Musicien. Land mammals include the Hutia (Plagiodontia aedium) and the relic insectivore (Solenondon paradoxus ). Bat include species restricted to the one or two islands of the Greater Antilles such as Sooty Moustached Bat (Pteronotus quadridens), Parnell's Moustached Bat (Pteronotus parnelli), Leach's Long-tongued Bat (Monophyllus redmani clinedaphus), Dominican Fig-eating Bat (Phyllops haitiensis), Haitian Flower Bat (Phyllonycteris poeyi obtuse), Hispaniolan Brown Flower Bat (Erophylla sezekorni bombifrons), Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus hispaniolae) and Haitian Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis constanzae) A number of butterflies (Calisto sp), insects and mollusks are endemic to the area as well.
Florence Sergile, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bois Musicien. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/01/2023.