Morant Cays and Bank

Country/territory: Jamaica

IBA Criteria met: A4i, A4iii, B4i (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 15,223 ha

Protection status:

Site description
This is an offshore island group 51km SSE of Morant Point, Jamaica. The group consists of four small islets grouped closely together on the summit of a comparatively extensive crescent-shaped bank of coral, over 7km long, rising from 1000m, The cays are low-lying, and fronted by highly exposed reefs over which the sea constantly breaks. They have sparse vegetation and are a seabird rookery and turtle nesting area. Northeast Cay is sometimes divided into three parts, the sea washing over connecting sand spits. There is a lighthouse at Breezy Point, the easternmost point of the cay and of Jamaica.

Key biodiversity
Seabird nesting site: Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus, Brown Noddy Anous stolidus, Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus, Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus, Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens, Laughing Gull Larus atricilla, and Brown Pelican Pelcanus occidentalis. Also used as a stopover site by migratory species.

Non-bird biodiversity: Marine turtle nesting site. Plant species include: Sesuvium portulacastrum, Opuntia tuna, Sporobolus virginicus, Suriana maritime, among others.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Morant Cays and Bank. Downloaded from on 18/01/2021.