Norman Island

BVITIPA012
Norman Island

Country: British Virgin Islands

Administrative region: Norman (Province)

Central co-ordinates: 18.31095 N, 64.61903 W

Area: 2.45km²

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 whole island has been identified as a TIPA for its botanical richness, presence of globally threatened and high national conservation importance species and having one of the best sites for the nationally threatened Coastal shrubland habitat.

Site description

The whole island has been identified as a TIPA. The island is privately owned, mostly undeveloped with a few unpaved roads and a restaurant and club at The Bight Bay.

Botanical significance

This TIPA qualified under sub-criterion A(i) for two globally threatened species found across the island, the Puerto Rican Bank endemics Bastardiopsis eggersii (EN) and Malpighia woodburyana (VU). The latter is locally known as mad dog due to the painful stinging hairs on the leaves. One can find large populations of this shrub from Norman Hill eastwards, particularly above Sabu Mathia Bay and Money Bay. A population of Agave missionum (VU), a Puerto Rican Bank endemic species, has been recorded between the Bight, Soldier Bay and Benures Bay. This succulent is highly threatened by the invasive and non-native agave snout weevil, which has been killing individuals across the BVI. This population within the TIPA is important nationally as many healthy plants have been recorded here. The rare Puerto Rican endemic Marsdenia woodburyana has also been recorded in this TIPA; however, it was not considered during the TIPAs assessment because further surveys are needed before the species can be assessed for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Habitat and geology

Norman Island has the third largest area in the BVI of Coastal shrubland (5.19%) after Anegada and Virgin Gorda, being identified as the fourth-best site in the BVI for the habitat. This habitat is found across the island, covering more than a quarter of the land and qualified the TIPA under sub-criterion C(iii) for its national importance. The nationally threatened Dry salt flats habitat is found around the salt ponds at The Bight Bay and small pockets of Mangroves habitat at Benures Bay. However, areas with these two nationally threatened habitats are small and did not qualify under sub-criterion C(iii). The rest of the island is mostly covered in Seasonally deciduous forests and woodlands.

Conservation issues

The main threat to the TIPA is future development which could degrade the habitats and cause losses of coastal vegetation and important plant species. Feral animals previously grazed the island and caused significant habitat degradation before their eradication. The vegetation has responded well to the removal of the invasive ungulates and threatened plants that were able to persist now have a better chance of long-term survival.

Ecosystem services

The island is rich in wider biodiversity and one of only two breeding sites in the territory for brown pelicans.

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
Bastardiopsis eggersii (Baker f.) Fuertes & Fryxell A(i) False False True False False
Malpighia woodburyana Vivaldi A(i) False False True False False
Agave missionum Trel. A(i) False False False False False

Bastardiopsis eggersii (Baker f.) Fuertes & Fryxell

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:

Malpighia woodburyana Vivaldi

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:

Agave missionum Trel.

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) True False True

Coastal Shrubland

Qualifying sub-criterion:
C(iii)
≥ 5% of national resource:
True
≥ 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 (2024) Tropical Important Plant Areas Explorer: Norman Island (British Virgin Islands). https://tipas.kew.org/site/norman-island/ (Accessed on 21/05/2024)

Acknowledgement

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