Seabird Research and Conservation
Ann Sutton did her Ph.D. studying nest site selection and conservation of seabirds at the Morant Cays, Jamaica. She is currently studying the seabirds of Pedro and Portland Bight Cays. She is the co-chair with Will Mackin of the Seabirds Working Group of BirdsCaribbean.
Pedro Cays, Jamaica
The Pedro Cays, lie about 60 miles south of Jamaica on the eastern edge of the Pedro Bank. They support some of the most important colonies of nesting seabirds in the Caribbean region. Ann is leading a long-term project to conserve these birds, especially the Masked Boobies.
Portland Bight Cays, Jamaica
At least three of the Portland Bight Cays support nesting seabirds. Ann is working with C-CAM to monitor and protect these cays.
Morant Cays, Jamaica
The Morant Cays were formerly one of the most important areas in Jamaica for nesting terns, especially Sooty Terns and Brown Noddies. Their eggs, locally known as "booby eggs" were a popular food, sold on the streets of Kingston. By the 1980s the numbers had declined catastrophically. A conservation programme enabled them to recover, but since the programme ended the numbers have declined again.
Port Royal Cays
The Port Royal Cays and Refuge Cay support the largest colony of nesting Brown Pelicans in the island. Bridled Terns and possibly Roseate Terns may also nest on the rocky cays, but this has not been recently confirmed.
Seabirds are among the most threatened groups of birds in the Caribbean region. The Seabirds Working Group of BirdsCaribbean is working to conserve these birds at the thousands of colonies across the region.