Fitches Creek Bay – Parham Harbour IBA is in north-east Antigua. They represent two large bays between Barnacle Point (and the VC Bird International Airport) to the north and Old Fort Point at the elbow of Crabb’s Peninsula to the south. The bays are separated by Blackman’s Point, and support an almost unbroken stretch of mangroves. At Fitches Creek Bay a deep, mangrove lined channel extends 1.5 km inland, and mangroves fringe the coast for c.1 km. Parham Harbour supports two broad areas on either side of the town. The western section consists of Vernon's Island and Byam’s Wharf; the eastern section starts east of Parham town and follows the coast to Old Fort Point on Crabb’s Peninsula. South and west of Vernon's Island is a salina and salt pond, and in the area east of Parham town are three small mangrove creeks, a salina and salt marsh.
This IBA is significant for supporting populations of four (of Antigua’s 11) Lesser Antilles EBA restricted-range birds, but primarily this is a wetland site with good numbers of egrets, herons, and wintering shorebirds. Up to 500 Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla have been reported (a globally significant number), and the Vulnerable West Indian Whistling-duck Dendrocygna arborea is known to occur.
Non-bird biodiversity: Nothing recorded.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
This area is privately owned and is not protected. The Environmental Awareness Group has implemented education efforts in an attempt to save these wetlands. The IBA is used as a dumping site for of solid waste/ garbage by members of the public. There is a road built across the swamp to gain access to the sea. Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn caused (directly and indirectly) significant damage to the taller mangroves.
Authors Joseph Prosper, Victor Joseph, Andrea Otto, Shanee Prosper (Environmental Awareness Group)
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Fitches Creek Bay. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 21/01/2022.