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Designed by Alexander Gershenson.

Monito Island Natural Reserve


Monito is a small, relatively inaccessible, limestone island that lies about 5 km north-northwest of Mona Island.  Its total area is approximately 16 ha.  The southern and western portions are relatively flat and the highest elevations are toward the northeast, with a maximum of 63 m near the northeastern corner.  A north-south fissure extends through the lowlands on the south side.  The island is covered by a low shrubby vegetation dominated by Capparis flexuosa with some small emergent trees of Ficus citrifolia, Pithecellobium unguis-cati, and Guapira discolor.  The many sea birds nesting on the island no doubt contribute a good deal of nutrients to the plants.


The flora of Monito Island consists of 37 species, 36 genera, and 23 families; the largest families are Cactaceae, Poaceae and Malvaceae.  The low number of species, less than 9% of the number for Mona Island, is due to several factors: 1) Monito’s small size, less than 0.3% of the area of Mona; 2) its low habitat diversity, in particular the absence of beach habitat, depression or bajuras, etc.; and 3) a scarcity of  exotic species.  At the same time nesting birds, specially the brown booby, cause disturbance.  The weedy taxa found are associated with openings among the shrubs where birds are nesting.  The absence of readily dispersed species common in Mona’s plateau vegetation (orchids, for example) is notable. 


The Flora for the Monito Island with observations and new records was published by Breckon et al., in the Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 34, No. 1-2, 132-136, 1998.:


Flora of Monito Publication


To view the edited and corrected checklist Click Here.