Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park

Country/territory: Bahamas

IBA criteria met: A4ii, B4i, B4ii (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 60,827 ha

Bahamas National Trust

Site description (baseline)
The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is the first of its kind in the world. It covers 176 square miles beginning at Wax Cay Cut in the north and stretching some 22 miles southward to Conch Cut and extending out approximately four nautical miles on either side of the cays. It is a no-take zone by both land and sea - nothing living or dead, can be removed from the park. The headquarters building and visitors centre is located on Warderick Wells and several moorings sites are situated throughout the park.

Key biodiversity
During April to August each year these isolated cays become home to many species of nesting seabirds.The eastern cliffs of Shroud Cay hosts a large colony of White-tailed Tropicbirds and Clapper rails and Yellow Warblers nest in the mangrove wetlands. The largest known colony of nesting Audubon's Shearwaters in the Exumas is found on Long Rock (also called Long Cay). These birds are nocturnal, they only come ashore as night. The birding highlight on Warderick Wells is the colony of White-tailed Tropicbirds nesting in the seaward cliffs at the north end of the island. Least Terns and Wilson's Plovers also nest here. Other resident birds you are likely to see in the ECLSP are; Bahama Mockingbird, Common Ground Dove, Zenaida Dove, Thick-billed Vireo, Black-faced Grassquit, Bananaquit, Barn Owl,White-cheek Pintail, Black-necked Stilts, Killdeer and Osprey. Gray Kingbirds and Antillean Nighthawks are common summer residents.

Non-bird biodiversity: Hutias have been introduced on Warderick Wells, in 1996 this rodent population was estimated to be about 25,000. They are nocturnal and not usually seen during the day, so you would have to go ashore after dark to look for them.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Downloaded from on 06/06/2023.