The Abacos are a group of islands and barrier cays in the northern Bahamas, just east of southern Florida. They were first inhabited by the Lucayans, the native Amerindian people who settled in The Bahamas prior to Columbus’ landing. During the American Revolutionary war, Europeans who were loyal to the British crown left the United States and settled in neighboring territories of the Crown. Some of these Loyalists were the first Europeans to settle in the Abacos.
The Abaco Islands boast important natural areas, especially important coral reef areas, barrier-island terrestrial habitats and large forests of Bahamian pine, some of which still contain old-growth trees. Notable species of birds include the Bahamian subspecies of Cuban amazon, which exists only in Cuba, the Cayman Islands, the southern Bahamas and Abaco. Abaco is also known for its intact elkhorn and staghorn coral structures, and for its critically endangered breed of feral horse, the Abaco Barb.