Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park Is Now A World Heritage Site


The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park joins 1,030 other World Heritage sites. View the full list here.

Diagram showing elevation in the three mountain ranges (BJCMNP website image)

Some key facts:

  • The Blue and the John Crow Mountains of Jamaica are:
    • two of the Caribbean’s 290 Key Biodiversity Areas (BirdLife International, 2010)
    • two of the Caribbean’s 48 Wholly Irreplaceable Sites (BirdLife International, 2010)
    • one of the 200 globally important sites for the conservation of plant biological diversity (WWF/IUCN 1997)
    • 2 of the 78 most irreplaceable protected areas for the conservation of the world’s amphibian, bird and mammal species (Bertzky et al., 2013)
  • The area encompasses 78,212 hectares (193,292 acres) and covers 4.4 per cent of Jamaica’s land surface.
  • The cloud forests of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park are unique in Jamaica and the Caribbean as they are over 1,000m high and further, and dominated by broadleaf trees. Regional cloud forests of similar elevation (located in Hispaniola and Cuba) are coniferous. A cloud forest, also called a fog forest, is a generally tropical or subtropical, evergreen, montane, moist forest characterised by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover, usually at the canopy level.
  • Over half the flowering plants in the park are endemic to Jamaica (found naturally only in Jamaica) and about one third are endemic to the area. At least 40 per cent of the higher plants (flowering and non-flowering) are endemic to Jamaica as well.
  • The park is one of the last of two known habitats of the Giant Swallowtail Butterfly – the largest butterfly in the Western Hemisphere (the other is the Cockpit Country). It is also an important habitat for many Jamaican birds, including endemic species such as the endangered Jamaican Blackbird, and a winter habitat for many migratory birds.