Point Sables

Country/territory: St Lucia

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii, B4i, B4ii (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 3,155 ha

Site description (2007 baseline)
The area is approximately 774 hectares in size and located along the south to southeast coast. Terrestrially it comprises of a narrow coastal strip and the Moule-a-Chique peninsula. The terrain is low to undulating, with the highest point being at Moule-a-Chique (223 metres), at the southern tip of St. Lucia. The marine area is proportionately larger, consisting of long sandy beaches, the Savannes Bay and Mankòtè Mangroves, Scorpion Island, the Maria Islands, and several coral reefs and nearshore islands. The vegetation is varied with a predominance of tropical dry forest. The area also includes several historical sites, including old fort sites, a lighthouse and a World War II-vintage radar tracking station.

Key biodiversity
Several bird species have been recorded for the entire area. At least thirty-two species were observed at Savannes Bay during a study conducted by Robert L. Norton in 1989. Several residents were identified, including one endemic species, the St. Lucia Black Finch (Melanospiza richardsoni). A number of them were also recorded nesting among the mangrove and other ground vegetation. Some of those include Green-backed Heron (Green Heron) and Yellow-crowned Night Heron. Many migrants have also been recorded in the area, for example egrets, herons, kingfishers, warblers, ducks, and waders. The extreme northern end encompasses a swamp occupying an area of approximately 6 acres. This swamp is almost always flooded with water of slightly brackish nature partially fed by the ocean tides. It attracts several bird species almost throughout the year. Many species of ducks, herons, sand pipers, plovers, egrets, gallinules, rails and other shorebirds and waterfowl find a temporary place of sojourn at the pond. Many of these species are seasonal migrants. This IBA is very important for migrants and water birds as the largest wetlands in St. Lucia occur` in this area.

Non-bird biodiversity: The Pointe Sable National area serves as the habitat for five endemic species of herpetofauna, the most note-worthy of which are two species found on the Maria Islands and nowhere else in the world: the St. Lucia Racer (Llophis ornatus) and the St. Lucia Whiptail (Cnemidophorus vanzoi). Maria Major is free of rats and mongooses and supports 5 endemic reptile species, plus several non-endemics. Marine life is just as important. Juvenile fishes are very common among the mangrove and seagrass areas. This habitat particularly in the Mankote area is dominated by three mangrove types. They are, (Rhizophora mangle), (Avicennia germinans), and (Laguncularia racemosa). A fourth mangrove type, (Conocarpus erecta) also exist, but it is quite rare.

Donald Anthony, Alwin Dornelly, Lyndon John (St Lucia Forestry Department), Matthew Morton (Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust)

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Point Sables. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024.