Prickly Pear National Park
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Situated in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, the bird sanctuary of Prickly Pear is fringed on the northern side by the Bank Barrier Reef, with the islands of Eustatia, Mosquito and Necker nearby.
The island’s slopes are dotted with cacti, such as the turks cap (Melocactus intortus), pipe organ (Pilosocereus royenii) and the prickly pear cactus (Opuntia rubescens) for which the island is named.
Beautiful white sand beaches wrap around Vixen Point and the northern coast, where swimmers can enjoy this paradise of sea and sun. The beaches are shared with hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), which periodically use the sandy shores for nesting. The island’s salt ponds are surrounded by white (Laguncularia racemosa) and black mangroves (Avicennia germinans), with red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) nestled on the island’s southern shore. These areas provide a habitat for numerous birds, such as coots (Fulica sp.), black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), blue-winged teals (Anas discors, common moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), gulls (Larus sp.), ruddy ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis), white-cheeked pintails (Anas bahamensis), Wilson’s plovers (Charadrius wilsonia) and shorebirds.
Area: 180 acres