Country/territory: United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA)

IBA criteria met: A1, A4ii (2007)
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Area: 165,357 ha

IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2008 unfavourable medium low
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Site description (2008 baseline)
Navassa Island IBA is situated 53 km west of Haiti, 136 km east of Jamaica and 152 km south of Cuba. The IBA includes the 500-ha island and marine areas up to 22 km from it, thus covering 147,600 ha of open ocean. Navassa is a small, pearshaped island plateau that rises abruptly from deep water. It is surrounded by a series of submarine coralline terraces. The karst dolomite terrain slopes from the lower north-western edge towards the south-eastern side and supports upland evergreen woodland and sparse shrubby vegetation. The island is surrounded by a submerged coral reef ecosystem and open sea.

Key biodiversity
This IBA is globally significant for its breeding colony of Redfooted Booby Sula sula, a large majority of which are immature, which is concentrated along the sheltered (leeward) north-western to southern perimeter of the island. The breeding population, conservatively estimated at 175 individuals, of Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificensis is regionally important, and small numbers of Brown Booby Sula leucogaster also breed on the island. Hundreds of Near Threatened White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala occur, and the Vulnerable White-necked Crow Corvus leucognaphalus has been recorded on the island, but is probably a transient visitor.

Non-bird biodiversity: The Critically Endangered hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata occurs. Four endemic reptiles are abundant on the island, namely Navassa anole Anolis longiceps, Navassa gecko Aristelliger cochranae, Navassa dwarf gecko Sphaerodactylus becki and the Navassa galliwasp Celestus badius.

Author: Joseph Schwagerl (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and Verónica Anadón-Irizarry (BirdLife International) The authors would like to thank Susan Silander, Claudia Lombard (USFWS), Jean W. Wiener (Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine) and John Curnutt (USDA Forest Service Eastern Region) for contributing to this chapter.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Navassa. Downloaded from on 21/02/2024.