KY003
Botanic Park and Salina Reserve


Country/territory: Cayman Islands (to UK)

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2 (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 276 ha


Site description
The Botanic Park, 50 ha, immediately east of the Frank Sound Road in the centre of the island, comprises dry forest fragments interspersed with shrubland, Conocarpuswetlands with a lake and horticultural areas; 25 ha are open to the public. The Salina, inland on the north-east coast, is 100% owned and protected by the National Trust. It is a large temporary, freshwater herbaceous wetland (125 ha) bounded by a mosaic of sedges, Typha sp., Conocarpus shrubland with 135 ha of dry forest on the northern boundary, where Swietenia mahagoni is dominant. The pristine site is inaccessible and lies over the northern margin of the largest freshwater lens in eastern Grand Cayman. The Botanic Park is east of IBAs KY006 and KY005; the Salina is north-east of these sites.The Salina, inland on the north-east coast, is a large temporary, freshwater herbaceous wetland (125 ha) bounded by a mosaic of sedges, Typha sp., Conocarpus shrubland with 135 ha of dry forest on the northern boundary, where Swietenia mahagoni is dominant. The pristine site is inaccessible and lies over the northern margin of the largest freshwater lens in eastern Grand Cayman. The Botanic Park is east of IBAs KY006 and KY005; the Salina is north-east of these sites.

Key biodiversity
The Botanic Park has sizeable populations of four restricted range species: the Vitelline Warbler vitellina, Thick-billed Vireo alleni, Yucatan Vireo caymanensis and Cuban Bullfinch taylori. Also breeding are more than 10 pairs each of the globally threatened West Indian Whistling-duck and the Cuban Parrot caymanensis. The Salina is a foraging site for West Indian Whistling-ducks, although breeding is reported, and an unknown number of Cuban Parrots caymanensis breed. There are 29 breeding taxa at the two sites, of which five are biome species: the Caribbean Dove collaris, West Indian Woodpecker caymanensis, Loggerhead Kingbird caymanensis, Western Spindalis salvini and the Greater Antillean Grackle caymanensis. Others are the Northern Flicker gundlachii, Caribbean Elaenia caymanensis and Bananaquit sharpei; indigenous species include Whitecrowned Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, White-winged Dove, Common Ground-dove, Mangrove Cuckoo, Smooth-billed Ani, Barn Owl, La Sagra's Flycatcher, Northern Mockingbird, Yellow Warbler and Yellow-faced Grassquit. Both sites have a few pairs of Pied-billed Grebes, Purple Gallinules, Common Moorhens and American Coots. Both are also important wintering sites for migrant landbirds including Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Grey Catbird, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo and 30species of warbler, most commonly Northern Parula, Cape May Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Palm Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Black-and-whiteWarbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird and Northern Waterthrush. The Salina, when flooded, has Green Herons, American Coots, Common Moorhens, Black-necked Stilts, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Blue-winged Teals, Northern Shovelers, Lesser Scaups, Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs, and Least Sandpipers. Migrant raptors include Osprey, Merlin and Peregrine Falcon.

Non-bird biodiversity: The park is a centre for the captive breeding programme and release site for the endangered Grand Cayman Cyclura lewisi since 1993, protected. Other reptiles endemic toGrand Cayman are Anolis conspersus conspersus, Sphaerodactylus argivus lewisi, Tropidophis caymanensis caymanensis and Alsophis cantherigerus caymanensis. Rarebats are Phyllops falcatus and Lasiurius spp. unknown. There is a plant conservation programme for Grand Cayman endemics: Pisonia margaretae and Holenbergia caymanensis, and the rare Buxus bahamensis. Plants endemic to the Cayman Islands: Cordia sebestena var. caymanensis and Allophylus cominia var. caymanensis. Plants endemic to Grand Cayman: Chionanthus caymanensis var. longipetala, Crossopetalum caymanense, Myrmecophilia thompsoniana thompsonia, Dendrophylax fawcettii and Tolumnia caymanense. Rare tree: Colubrina arborescens. Lepidoptera endemic to the Cayman Islands: Memphis echemus danielana, Dryas iulia zoe (with Cayman Brac) and Cyclargus ammon erembis. Endemic to Grand Cayman: Heraclides andraemon tailori and Brephidium exilis thompsoni.Grand Cayman endemics: Agalinis kingsii and Tadarida brasiliensis muscularus.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Botanic Park and Salina Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/01/2023.