Tourism development is one of the main causes of habitat loss and fragmentation within the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot. On the island of St Lucia, the construction of a tourist resort within coastal dry forest directly threatened the largest known sub-population of the globally Endangered White-breasted Thrasher Ramphocinclus brachyurus. There was therefore an urgent need to quantify the potential impacts of the tourist development and identify other areas of suitable habitat for this species on St Lucia.

Aims

To model the impacts of a tourist development on the abundance and distribution of White-breasted Thrashers on St Lucia and use satellite data to produce maps of habitat suitability for the island.

Partners

Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (University of Kent), Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries (Government of Saint Lucia), Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, University of Bath.

Outputs

Published paper (see below), St Lucia habitat suitability map for White-breasted Thrashers.

Outcomes

Stakeholders with robust information upon which to make evidence-based decisions in relation to the new tourist development.

References

White, R.L., Timotheus, J.N., Baptiste, T.J., Dornelly, A. Morton, M.N., O’Connell, M.J. & Young, R.P. (2012). Population responses of the Endangered White-breasted Thrasher Ramphocinclus brachyurus to a tourist development in Saint Lucia – conservation implications from a spatial modelling approach. Bird Conservation International 1-18.

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