Great Thatch Island

BVITIPA007
Great Thatch Island

Country: British Virgin Islands

Administrative region: Great Thatch (Island)

Central co-ordinates: 18.38617 N, 64.73927 W

Area: 1.14km²

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

IPA assessment rationale

The whole island has been identified as a TIPA for its botanical richness and importance for two globally threatened plants and six species of national high conservation importance.

Site description

The whole island has been identified as a TIPA. The island is uninhabited and has been proposed as a terrestrial National Park in the BVI protected areas system plan 2007-2017.

Botanical significance

The Puerto Rican Bank endemic Erythrina eggersii (EN) is mainly found within this TIPA and Hawks Nest TIPA on Tortola in the BVI, growing in small patches of less disturbed Seasonally deciduous forest and woodland habitat in higher elevations (above 100m). It is found in the central part of this TIPA above Callwood’s Point. The small number of individuals of this species and its limited distribution in the BVI makes this population nationally important. A large population of the globally important Puerto Rico Bank endemic Agave missionum (VU), which is threatened by a non-native and invasive agave snout weevil, has been recorded from the coast to higher elevations (c.150m) in the central part of Great Thatch. The island is botanically rich with presence of six plant species of high conservation importance.

Habitat and geology

Despite this TIPA not qualifying for its threatened habitats, it does contain areas of Mangroves and Dry salt flats around the salt pond at The Hollow and Coastal shrublands along the coast. The main habitat type (c.85%) in this TIPA is Seasonally deciduous forest and woodland.

Conservation issues

The island was inhabited in the 19th Century and ruins dating from the sugar plantation era remain. The major threats to this TIPA are grazing by feral animals, including goats, and invasive species of plants and animals, including mongoose. Future development near the historic sites for interpretation and tourism and potential concession development at the beaches might lead to vegetation disturbance within the TIPA. There is already one existing concession license that was granted by the Government but is not yet operational.

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
Agave missionum Trel. A(i) False False True False False
Erythrina eggersii Krukoff & Moldenke A(i) False True False False False
Malpighia woodburyana Vivaldi A(i) False False False False False

Agave missionum Trel.

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

Erythrina eggersii Krukoff & Moldenke

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:

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:

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: Great Thatch Island (British Virgin Islands). https://tipas.kew.org/site/great-thatch-island/ (Accessed on 24/07/2021)

Acknowledgement

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