Eastern Virgin Gorda

BVITIPA006
Eastern Virgin Gorda

Country: British Virgin Islands

Administrative region: Virgin Gorda (Island)

Central co-ordinates: 18.48871 N, 64.36181 W

Area: 2.67km²

Qualifying IPA Criteria

A(i)Site contains one or more globally threatened species, B(ii)Site contains an exceptional number of species of high conservation importance, C(iii)Site contains nationally threatened or restricted habitat or vegetation types, AND/OR habitats that have severely declined in extent nationally

IPA assessment rationale

The area qualified for its importance for globally threatened plants, being botanical rich and an important site for two of the nationally threatened habitats.

Site description

This TIPA is in the North Sound area of Virgin Gorda, from Lower Dog Bay to Deep Bay north towards White Bay. Elevation in this area is lower than in Central Virgin Gorda, not surpassing 200 m.

Botanical significance

Higher areas within the TIPA are home to rare and threatened plants growing in the Seasonally deciduous forest and woodland. On the hills above Bercher’s Bluff and Biras’ Creek there are important populations of Croton fishlockii (NT) and Machaonia woodburyana (EN), both Virgin Islands endemic shrubs which only grow on St John in the USVI and in the BVI. Biras’ Hill area in the east also has a large population of Croton fishlockii. Great Hill on the western side of the TIPA is an important site for the Puerto Rican Bank endemic Maytenus cymosa (EN), which in the BVI only grows on Virgin Gorda. Four other species of high conservation importance in the BVI grow within the TIPA, the Virgin Islands endemic Galactia eggersii (NT) and the Puerto Rican Bank endemics Malpighia woodburyana (VU), Rondeletia pilosa (NT) and Psychilis macconnelliae (NT).

Habitat and geology

This TIPA is part of the second-best site nationally for the threatened Coastal shrubland habitat, found mainly along the coast and exposed southern hills, and part of fourth-best site nationally for Mangroves. The largest stretches of the threatened mangrove habitat on Virgin Gorda are in Deep Bay.

Conservation issues

Main threats to the TIPA include further urbanisation of coastal areas and hillsides causing habitat loss and fragmentation and loss of threatened plant species. The North Sound area has been identified previously as particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surges and further developments inland may become a reality.

Ecosystem services

Deep Bay area within the TIPA is considered a critically important mangrove site based on ecological and socioeconomic criteria, according to a 1998 report by the BVI Conservation and Fisheries Department. There has been reports of some die-off of the mangroves and encroachment of urban development in the area.

Site assessor(s)

BVI TIPAs National Team, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; National Parks Trust of the Virgin islands; BVI Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration

IPA criterion A species

Species Qualifying sub-criterion ≥ 1% of global population ≥ 5% of national population 1 of 5 best sites nationally Entire global population Socio-economically important Abundance at site
Machaonia woodburyana Acev.-Rodr. A(i) False True False False False
Maytenus cymosa Krug & Urb. A(i) True False False False False
Malpighia woodburyana Vivaldi A(i) False False False False False

Machaonia woodburyana Acev.-Rodr.

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
False
≥ 5% of national population:
True
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
False
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

Maytenus cymosa Krug & Urb.

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
True
≥ 5% of national population:
False
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
False
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

Malpighia woodburyana Vivaldi

Qualifying sub-criterion:
A(i)
≥ 1% of global population:
False
≥ 5% of national population:
False
1 of 5 best sites nationally:
False
Entire global population:
False
Socio-economically important:
False
Abundance at site:

IPA criterion C qualifying habitats

Habitat Qualifying sub-criterion ≥ 5% of national resource ≥ 10% of national resource 1 of 5 best sites nationally Areal coverage at site
Coastal Shrubland C(iii) False False True
Mangroves C(iii) False False True

Coastal Shrubland

Qualifying sub-criterion:
C(iii)
≥ 5% of national resource:
False
≥ 10% of national resource:
False
Areal coverage at site:

Mangroves

Qualifying sub-criterion:
C(iii)
≥ 5% of national resource:
False
≥ 10% of national resource:
False
Areal coverage at site:

Bibliography

The BVI TIPAs National Team, 2019

Identifying and Conserving Tropical Important Plant Areas in the British Virgin Islands (2016-2019): Final Technical Report

Available online

Recommended citation

BVI TIPAs National Team (2021) Tropical Important Plant Areas Explorer: Eastern Virgin Gorda (British Virgin Islands). https://tipas.kew.org/site/eastern-virgin-gorda/ (Accessed on 17/09/2021)

Acknowledgement

Map of the BVI TIPAs Network available from ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World