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Montserrat is a very small island in the Lesser Antillies, located between the islands of Nevis (to the north-west), Guadaloupe (to the south) and Antigua (to the north-east). Being volcanic in origin, its topography is quite rugged, and there are few beaches; therefore, it has largely been spared the effects (deleterious or otherwise) of mass tourism.
Montserrat's economy suffered greatly in a series of volcanic eruptions from 1997-2003. These necessitated the closure of large portions of the island to human habitation (for safety reasons), including the former capital, Plymouth. Many of the former inhabitants remain in exile to this day.
Montserrat is currently governed as a British Overseas Territory. The official language is English.
Montserrat is best known, from a birder's perspective, as the home of a single endemic species, the Montserrat Oriole (Icterus oberi). This bird depends entirely on the wet montane forests of Montserrat's higher hills, and its population was badly affected by the eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano. Currently, its population has recovered to the extent that there are "several hundred pairs" (citation needed) living in the Centre Hills, north of the volcano-affected areas. Nonetheless, its status remains "Critically Endangered" (Birdlife International factsheet).
Even given the small area in which the remaining birds may be found, it can still be somewhat difficult to locate this species.
Birds you can see here include:
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2024) Montserrat. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 23 February 2024 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Montserrat