The Botanic Gardens are the oldest in the western hemisphere and were established in 1765 as an outstation of the Kew Gardens in London. Initially, it was set aside to propagate valuable exotic plants from the East. Today, the Botanic Gardens (20 acres/8 ha) and Government House grounds (residence of the Governor General) form a total protected land area of 45 acres (Ivor Jackson and Associates, 2004). Both sites currently have historic importance, and form major tourist attractions. The Nicholls Wildlife Complex, a breeding aviary initiated in for the St. Vincent Parrot in 1988, lies within this Reserve.
The site lies as the foot of Mount St. Andrew, the island’s highest southern peak and therefore supports several species that may otherwise be found in the rainforest. For example, RRS the Purple-throated Carib, which is usually found at higher elevations on St. Vincent, is recorded here. Thirty-six (36) St. Vincent Parrots are currently housed at the Aviary, with an average of two (2) chicks being produced annually (C. Thomas, pers. comm.). The site supports several breeding Black Hawks Buteogallus anthracinus and the regionally-endemic (Ivor Jackson and Associates, 2004) Scaly-naped Pigeon is common.
Non-bird biodiversity: The endemic lizard Anolis griseus occurs here. There is also a small population of the regionally-endemic snake M. bruesi .
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Botanic Gardens Natural Landmark. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2022.