Green spiny frog, Haiti

Haiti’s First Private Nature Reserve

In a historic move, GWC joined forces with several partners to establish the first private nature reserve in Haiti, totaling more than 1,200 acres. GWC is working with local Haitians and other partners to protect and restore the unique forest habitat of Grand Bois and provide a sanctuary for its endemic, threatened species.

Only 1% of Haiti’s original forests have survived massive clearing and slash-and-burn agriculture. Morne Grand Bois alone preserves large tracts of original forest: At least half of the original forests above 1000 meters are intact.

In 2015, the government of Haiti declared Grand Bois a national park in recognition of its unique ecosystems and value as a strategic conservation area. The local community has rallied around maintaining the natural “water tower” of the forested mountain, as they have seen nearby peaks deforested, leading to landslides and lack of controlled and clean water.

Separated from the main mountain range by a valley and a stream, access is difficult and conservationists have had to use helicopters to access much of it. This remoteness and inaccessibility are what has preserved its many threatened—and in one case feared-lost species—but now makes protecting and studying the ecosystem difficult.

Haiti National Trust is working to implement a forest management and restoration plan for Grand Bois Nature Reserve, with support from GWC and Rainforest Trust. This is the first in what will be a series of private nature reserves in Haiti–the first ever for the country.

Conservation efforts target the habitat of the critically endangered Tiburon Stream Frog, as well as the habitat of other threatened species.

(Top Photo: Spiny Green Frog, Robin Moore/GWC)

Wild Facts
Home to 19 threatened frogs found nowhere else on the planet
Four undescribed species—three frogs and a lizard—were just found here
The Tiburon Stream Frog was rediscovered after being lost for 42 years
Spiny Green Frog, Grand Bois Haiti

Critically Endangered Spiny Green Frog, Eleutherodactylus nortoni, one of 19 frog species that will be safeguarded by the new reserve on Grand Bois. © Robin Moore/GWC

Morne Grand Bois

In southwest Haiti, on the Tiburon peninsula, looms a forested mountain; the last haven of a community of unique and imperiled species. Morne Grand Bois is one of the most remote peaks in the Massif de la Hotte. It is home to more than 60 vertebrate species, including one of the highest concentration of frog species in the Caribbean, including three new to science and one thought extinct for more than four decades.

A Key Biodiversity Area, the Morne Grand Bois is a global priority for conservation to prevent species extinctions.


GWC is partnering with Haitians, the local community, and other organizations to support the protection and study of Grand Bois. Plans are being put in place to improve the monitoring of the area, and to manage the ecosystem, including removing invasive species and replanting native trees.

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Field Stations

We are building a small shelter and observation on the highest point in Grand Bois. The station will include space for research, workshops, and lodging, as well as sustainable features including rainwater collection and a solar array.

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To survey and catalog the amphibians, birds, and insect species present in the park, ten recording devices throughout the park will record species-specific sounds.

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Park Management

A manager, hired from the local community, will monitor and protect Grand Bois, oversee community relations, and mitigate any potential conflicts. The manager will team up with local community leaders and Haiti National Trust members to ensure that the park is protected both physically and politically.

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Community Engagement

Throughout the year, the park will host community meetings and workshops to keep the community informed of the park’s plans, progress, and priorities. By fostering direct local involvement, we will emphasize how the reserve is vital and beneficial to local communities, financially, economically, environmentally, and philosophically.

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Invasive Species Management

Researchers and conservationists will compile a list of invasive species that pose a threat to the park. Such species will be physically removed, without using pesticides, and sustainable, environmentally tested techniques to prevent future encroachments will be enacted.

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Forest Expansion

Local residents will be recruited to plant and maintain nurseries of native trees, shrubs, and herbs. Once viable, 60,000 seedlings will be planted in sensitive areas in need of restoration, as well as integrated in buffer zones where farmers are still cultivating cash crops.

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Grand Bois, Massif de la Hotte, Haiti (Key Biodiversity Area)

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