Walling’s Forest IBA is in south-west Antigua, in the volcanic Shekerly Mountains. The forest is on the north-west slopes of Signal Hill (Antigua’s second highest mountain). Boggy Peak (and Sage Hill) lies c.4 km to the west, beyond which is the Christian Valley IBA (AG009). The slopes of Signal Hill are traversed by contour drainage ditches so that all most run off feeds into Walling’s reservoir, created by a dam built in 1900 with a view to supplying neighbouring villages with potable water (something it no longer does). The IBA supports the largest and best remaining tract of moist evergreen forest on the island. A popular trail to the top of Signal Hill starts near the reservoir which is quite heavily used by tourists, and locals at weekends.
This IBA supports populations of nine (of the 11) Lesser Antilles EBA restricted-range birds. Within Antigua, some of these species (Bridled Quail-dove Geotrygon mystacea, Scaly-breasted Thrasher Margarops fuscus, Pearly-eyed Thrasher M. fuscatus and Antillean Euphonia Euphonia musica) are entirely confined to the Walling’s Forest and Christian Valley IBA (AG009) ecosystem. A significant population of the Near Threatened White-crowned Pigeon Patagioenas leucocephala also occurs.
Non-bird biodiversity: Seven species of bat occur including the Near Threatened insular single leaf bat Monophylus plethodon and Brazilian free-tailed bat Tadarida brasilensis.
Authors Joseph Prosper, Victor Joseph, Andrea Otto, Shanee Prosper (Environmental Awareness Group)
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wallings Forest. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/01/2023.