John Crow Mountains

Country/territory: Jamaica

IBA criteria met: A1, A2, A4ii (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 14,237 ha

Site description (2007 baseline)
18004’ N; 76022 W The most easterly mountain on the island, almost the entire area is a Forest Re-serve. The John Crow Mountains comprise white limestone overlain by marine sandstones and shale. The range rises gently from the east to a maximum height of 1140 m, but ends abruptly along a steep escarpment to the west. The Rio Grande separates the John Crow Mountains from the Blue Mountains; the ranges join at Corn Puss Gap (640 m), the boundary of the parishes of Port-land and St Thomas. Unlike the sharp peaks of the Blue Mountains, the summit of the John Crow Mountains is a slightly tilted plateau, with an un-usual landscape of sinkholes and outcrops.

Key biodiversity
This IBA is internationally important for the Endan-gered Jamaican Blackbird Nesopsar nigerri-mus (EN), the Ring-tailed Pigeon Patagioe-nas caribaea (VU), and the two Amazon Par-rots Amazona agilis (VU) and A. col-laria (VU), and the near-threatened Crested Quail-dove Geotrygon versicolor and Blue Mountain Vireo Vireo modestus. Twenty-seven of the island’s 28 endemic bird species are found here (except Pseudoscops grammicus which, however, may occur at lower altitudes) and a few searches for Pterodroma caribbaea (CR) have taken place in the mountains without success. These were not comprehensive searches.

Non-bird biodiversity: Within the forests, approximately 50% of the flow-ering plants are endemic to the island, and about 40% of these are endemic to the area. At least 10 species appear on the 2006 IUCN list as Vulner-able. Tree ferns and bromeliads are characteristic of the wetter locations. Among reptiles & amphibians in the park four are considered at risk (CR) or (EN): Eleutherodacty-lus orcutti (CR), E. jamaicensis, E. andrewsi and Osteopilus wilderi (EN), also E. pentasyrin-gus (VU) and E. glaucoreius (NT). Few caves exist in the John Crow Mountains and there are no records of bats taken there, however as not all bats in Jamaica are cave-roosting, it is possible that some tree-roosting species may be present in the area. Jamaica's Giant Swallowtail Pterourus homerus (EN) occurs in the John Crow Mountains where collecting and habitat disturbance has reduced its numbers significantly.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: John Crow Mountains. Downloaded from on 22/02/2024.