Magens Bay

Country/territory: Virgin Islands (to USA)

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

Area: 572 ha

Site description (2007 baseline)
Magens Bay is located on the north central coast of St. Thomas, opens northwesterly into the Atlantic, and includes an extensive sandy beach, coastal mangrove wetlands, and deciduous dry and moist forests. Within the site is Magen’s Bay Preserve, a 129 hectare preserve co-owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, the Magens Bay Authority and the V.I. Territorial Government. The Preserve, established in 2002 by The Nature Conservancy, includes a modest arboretum, public beach, and nature trail. The land area around the bay is subject to intense development and disturbance from residential areas, a golf course, and recreation. Because of the natural features of the bay area and the district’s unique archeology, the Territorial Government has further designated Magens Bay Preserve as an Area of Particular Concern (APC).

Key biodiversity
A total of 41 species have been confirmed: …Brown Pelican, Brown Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-heron, Blue-winged Teal, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Common Moorhen, Semipalmated Plover, Wilson’s Plover, Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, Royal Tern, Common Tern, Scaly-naped Pigeon, White-crowned Pigeon, Zenaida Dove, Common Ground Dove, Brown-throated Parakeet, Mangrove Cuckoo, Smooth-billed Ani, Green-throated Carib, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Caribbean Eleania, Gray Kingbird, Northern Mockingbird, Pearly-eyed Thrasher, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black and White Warbler, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, Bananaquit, Black-faced Grassquit. Two unconfirmed reports of a Black-bellied Whistling Duck occurring in summer 2006.

Non-bird biodiversity: A total of 7 reptile species and 6 amphibian species were reported in the TNC inventory. Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) and Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricate) have been seen in Magens Bay. Several endangered/threatened species are know to occupy the preserve including the Mute Frog (Eleuterodactylus lentus), found in the lower woodlands, and the plants Chrysophyllum pauciflorum, Bull’s Foot Orchid (Psychilis macconelliae), Egger’s Cockspur (Erythrina eggersii) and Bulletwood (Manilkara bidentata). Introduced terrestrial pest species include mongoose, feral cats, and rats.

Jim Corven

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Magens Bay. Downloaded from on 03/10/2023.