The National Parks of The Bahamas

Abaco National Park

Established: 1994 
Size: 22, 500 Acres

Established on May 9, 1994, the Abaco National Park comprises 20,500 Acres in Southern Abaco. Included in this area is 5,000 Acres of pine forest, the major habitat of the Bahama Parrot.

Established: 1994 
Size: 22, 500 Acres


The Abaco National Park was a significant addition to the National Park system of The Bahamas. When it was established in 1994 it was the first major park to be created in over 20 years!

Although the Bahama Parrot had been protected by law for some years the inadequate enforcement of laws dand destruction of their habitat resulted in dwindling numbers of animals. The Abaco National Park renders the habitat of the Abaco parrot protected and conserves it in perpetuity. This 20,500 acre park is located on the southeastern portion of Abaco Island between Hole in the Wall and Crossing Rocks and includes 5,000 acres of pine forest.



The Bahamas National Trust identified the need for a National Park in Abaco to protect the northern habitat and breeding area of the endangered Bahama Parrot in an official proposal to the Bahamas Government, “The Development of a National Park System for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas”. In 1986, Dr. Rosemarie Gnam, then a doctoral candidate, conducted a census of the Bahama Parrot in Abaco. Her results indicated in population of 1,500 birds. The Bahamas National Trust realized that the Bahama Parrot had reached a point where human action would determine it ultimate survival.

The Bahama Parrot Conservation Committee, a multi-agency committee comprised of The Bahamas National Trust, Department of Land & Surveys, The Ministry of Agriculture, Friends of the Abaco Parrot, and Friends of the Environment was formed and signed a memorandum of understanding with RARE Center for Tropical Conservation, a United States of America based organization. The Committee met with the outstanding success: 8,000 Bahama Parrot Posters were distributed throughout the country, 27,750 school children were addressed, Quincy, the committee’s Bahama Parrot mascot became a recognized and loved figure and 6,000 people wore Bahama Parrot T-shirts and pledged support for the conservation effort. Outstanding community support and an unheard of level of support from the local business community all contributed to the success of the campaign.

On May 9, 1994, the Bahamas Government signed a 99 year lease with the Bahamas National Trust declaring some 20,500 acres in South Abaco inclusive of 5,000 acres of forested land where the most endangered population of Bahamas Parrot remain, a National Park. Upon signing the lease, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham commented that there was no way that he could ignore over 800 letters that had been written to the Minister of Agriculture by school children requesting that a park be established in abaco as a home for Quincy the Bahama Parrot.


Importance for Biodiversity

Bahama Parrot: One of the main reasons for the establishment of the Abaco National Park was to protect the northern habitat of this endangered species. Unique among New World Parrots, these birds are subterranean nester, nesting in naturally created limestone cavities on the ground of the pine forest.

Game Birds: The area is known as a breeding ground for the White-crowned Pigeon, the most popular game bird of the Bahamas. Conservation of this area is vital to the species and promotes the stability of its population in the northern Bahamas.

Pine Forest: The Park also protects an extensive tract of Caribbean Pine, a species of great historical value to The Bahamas. No other National Park protects such a large tract of this species and the ecosystem it supports. The Caribbean Pine is one of the most favored trees for silviculture. Seeds generated in Abaco National Park could be used to establish/re-establish pine forest in other parts of the Bahamas as well as other parts of the world.

Coppice: An extensive tract of Mixed Broadleaf Coppice is protected in the Abaco National Park. The habitat/ecosystem is important for many reasons, including its historical value to The Bahamas and the biodiversity it supports.

Importance for Ecotourism

The Abaco National Park also holds great potential for ecotourism. The Park is easily accessible and the supporting tourism infrastructure in Abaco (hotels, etc.) lends itself to the development of nature tourism activities. Abaco has the best birding of any island in The Bahamas. It is possible to see more Bahamian specialties on Abaco then on any other island. A visiting birder with a good guide can see Bahama Parrots, West Indian Woodpeckers, Bahama Swallows, Bahama Yellow throats, Loggerhead Kingbirds, Olive-capped Warblers and Bahama Mockingbird. Bahamians who are willing to learn about birds and the other flora and fauna of the Park, as well as take a tour guide training, have a great economic opportunity awaiting them in Abaco.


Look back here for images of the Abaco National Park

Black Sound Cay National Reserve
Located off Green Turtle Cay in Abaco, this miniature park comprises a thick stand of mangrove vegetation and is an important habitat for waterfowl and Other avifauna which winter in the region.
Blue Holes National Park
Andros has the highest concentration of Blue Holes in the world. Exposed to the elements over thousands of years, the island’s limestone bedrock eroded creating this vast expanse of underwater cave systems. These caves have been found to house many unusual and unique cave fish and invertebrates, some not found anywhere else in the world.
Bonefish Pond
Bonefish Pond is 1235 acres of coastal wetland area. This is a snorkeling tour where teachers and students alike can see and learn about the different marine life that call Bonefish pond home.
Conception Island National Park
An important sanctuary for migratory birds, sea birds and green turtles. It also has great historical importance being one of the islands in the Bahamas on which Christopher Columbus was known to have landed.
Crab Replenishment Reserve
Identified as the best land crab habitat in central Andros, this area was set aside to ensure a sustainable crab population for future generations.
Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park
Created in 1958 this 176 square mile park was the first of its kind in the world and is famous for its pristine beauty, outstanding anchorages and breathtaking marine environment. It is the first marine fishery reserve established in the Caribbean.
Fowl Cays National Park
The new Fowl Cays National Park is a 1,920-acre reserve that is conveniently reached from most central Abaco Cays and settlements. The park has steadily become attractive to scuba divers and is an extremely popular area for local boating and snorkeling. The reefs and three 25' to 40' dive spots in untouched water are renowned.
Inagua National Park
287 square miles of Great Inagua Island, now internationally known as the world\'s largest breeding colony(approx. 50,000) of West Indian flamingos. In 1997 the Inagua National Park was recognized as a wetland of International Importance as the Bahamas became a signatory of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Inagua's interior gives way to Lake Windsor and it is here among the cays and mangrove stands that Tri-colored Herons, Great Egrets, Roseate Spoonbi
Harrold and Wilson Ponds National Park
Located in South Central New Providence, Harrold and Wilson Ponds encompasses 250 Acres. More than 100 avian species , including the island's highest concentration of herons, egrets, ibises and cormorants have been identified there, providing confirmation that the area is indispensable habitat for bird life in New Providence. An exceptional educational and ecotourism site, a stone's throw from the nation’s capital and tourism hub, these areas are an invaluabl
Hope Great House
Located on the west coast of Crooked Island a mile northeast of Landrail Point, these two Loyalist compounds include an artillery battery and plantation house with kitchen. These well preserved historic properties were handed over to the Bahamas National Trust by Herbert A. McKinney.