Birdwatch News Archive
Posted on: 14 Jun 2015
Five new National Parks have been established on San Salvador island in the Bahamas to protect endemic wildlife and breeding seabirds.
The new reserves are part of an expansion of the Bahamas National Protected Area System – a system that the Bahamas National Trust (BirdLife Partner) manages. The new parks encompass 8,500 ha of pristine land and seascapes, including all or part of the island’s four Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs). Two of the five new parks are recognised as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) due to the occurrence of a threatened endemic iguana species.
San Salvador island, some 400 miles south-east of Miami, is thought to be the location where Columbus first set foot in the New World; seven miles wide by 15 miles long, it has a population of fewer than a thousand people. Despite its isolation, it is a popular destination for scuba divers who come for the beautiful reefs and exceptional diving conditions. The island supports diverse plant communities, including mangrove swamps and seagrass beds, both important for local wildlife and fisheries.