Perseverance Bay Lagoons

Country/territory: Virgin Islands (to USA)

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

Area: 176 ha

Site description
The site includes the sandy beach of Perseverance Bay, two inland salt ponds (lagoons), and the moist forest watershed upland from the ponds to highway #xx, an area of approximately 40 hectares. The ponds are joined by a very shallow channel and are located about 50 meters inland from the beach behind well vegetated sand dunes. Upland of the ponds is a flat moist forest zone extending about 100 meters northward and transitions into a steep slope of rocky terrain forming the watershed of these lagoons. A single ghaut about 2-3 meters wide runs down the slope and coincides with the footpath at several locations. Midway between the highway and the lagoon area are the un-restored ruins of a sugar cane estate refinery. There is a narrow footpath from the highway down to the lagoons maintained by occasional local fisherman, birders, and beach visitors. The property is privately owned and completely undeveloped at present.

Key biodiversity
The upland forest provides very good habitat for the only resident warbler (Dendroica petechia, Yellow Warbler) plus numerous migratory species of warblers including Northern Parulas, Caribbean Elaenia, Black-and-Whites, Yellow-rumped, Blackpolls, American Redstarts, Ovenbirds, and Northern Waterthrushes. The upper forest zone has Mangrove Cuckoos, Smooth-billed Anis, Pearly-eyed Thrashers, Scaley-naped Pigeons and Zenaida Doves. Antillean Crested Hummingbirds nest near the ponds and in the adjacent forest. Grey Kingbirds nest in the mangroves adjacent to the ponds. Waterbirds of the ponds include White-cheeked Pintails, Black-necked Stilts (nesting), Lesser Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpipers, Great Egrets, Common Moorhens, and American Coots.

Non-bird biodiversity: Numerous iguanas live in the littoral woodlands and are occasionally seen on the beach. The most commonly observed invertebrates in the upper forests are Hermit crabs, Golden Orb spiders, and giant millipedes. The inland vegetation is primarily moist forest secondary growth with a mixed shade tolerant understorey of wild pineapple and woody saplings. Numerous large fruiting trees have become established in this former plantation providing habitat and food for white-tailed deer, iguanas, and birds. Adjacent moist soil areas are very densely populated with small land crabs.

Jim Corven

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Perseverance Bay Lagoons. Downloaded from on 06/02/2023.