Southern Abaco

Year of compilation: 2006

Site description
Abaco National Park was established in May 1994, it comprises 8,296 hectares of undeveloped land in southern Abaco, set aside to protect the parrot. Included in this area is 2,024 hectares of Caribbean pine forest, the major habitat of the Bahama Parrot.

Key biodiversity
Abaco is considered to have some of the best birding of any island in the Bahamas, it is estimated that species and numbers probably doubles during the winter. In a study done by Frank Riverea of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2006 the population of Bahama Parrots was estimated to be approximately 3,200 individual birds. In addition to the parrots, Loggerhead Kingbirds, Bahama Woodstars, Cuban Emeralds, Bahama Yellowthroats, Olive-capped Warblers and Pine Warblers are numerous in the park. Zenaida Doves, Key West Quail Doves, Mangrove Cuckoos and Bahama Mockingbirds are there, but a little harder to find outside the breeding season (Mar to Jun). American Kestrels, Hairy Woodpeckers and local race of Yellowthroated warblers are also found in the park.

Non-bird biodiversity: Another rare occupant of the southern Abaco is the Atala hairstreak butterfly, (Eumaeus atala) These small dark butterflies with red abdomens are abundant in pinelands of southern Abaco.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The Bahama Parrot's habit of nesting on the ground in limestone sinkholes makes them vunerable to predation by feral cats, introduced raccoons and other predators. Hunters deliberately set fires in the pine forest to drive out the wild pigs.

Habitat and land use
This area is made up of pine forest, black land coppice and inland freshwater wetlands.The area is utilized as a National Park with adjacent unprotected land . Game and pig hunting takes place in the park and its environs.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Southern Abaco. Downloaded from on 07/05/2021.