Joulter Cays

Country/territory: Bahamas

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4i (2012)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 16,000 ha

Bahamas National Trust
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 high not assessed low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The Joulter Cays (25o 16.00 North 78o 7.00 West) lie on the margins of the Grand Bahama Bank north of Andros Island. It is a large intertidal to shallow subtidal area of stabilized sand flats that covers approximately 160 km2 (16,000 ha). The sand flats are penetrated partly by tidal channels with grass beds. The flats area fringed on the windward eastern and northeastern boarders by mobile sands creating roosting habitats for shorebirds. On the seaward side there is a ridge of vegetated islands up to 6 m above mean sea level. The primary vegetation on the Joulter Cays is Red and Black Mangrove. Other vegetated islands are scattered among the sand flats. The sand bars are primarily made up of Ooid or Oolite sand. This unique spherical grained sand resembling Fish-roe is developed through a chemical process adding concentric layers around a central nucleus. The sands have a large surface area that promotes bacterial growth and are mainly used in the aquarium industry.

Key biodiversity

Non-bird biodiversity: Bonefish, Lemon Shark, Green Sea Turtle, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Sawfish

Compilers: Matt Jeffery, Walker Golder - National Audubon Society

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Joulter Cays. Downloaded from on 20/03/2023.