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A Directory of Neotropical Wetlands 



A DIRECTORY OF NEOTROPICAL WETLANDS 

Compiled by 

Derek A. Scott and Montserrat Carbonell 

for the 

Canadian Wildlife Service 

Ducks Unlimited, Incorporated 

International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP) 

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (lUCN) 

International Waterfowl Research Bureau (IWRB) 

United States Fish and Wildlife Service 

Wildfowl Foundation, Incorporated 

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) 



Published by 

lUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre, 

Cambridge, U.K., 1986 



Published by: 



International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (lUCN), 
Conservation Monitoring Centre, 219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CBS ODL, U.K. 



Compiled by: 



The International Waterfowl Research Bureau (IWRB), The Wildfowl Trust, 
Slimbridge, GL2 7BX, U.K. 



Prepared with the 
financial assistance 
of: 



The Canadian Wildlife Service 

Ducks Unlimited Inc 

International Council for Bird Preservation 

The International Waterfowl Research Bureau 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

The Wildfowl Foundation Inc 

World Wildlife Fund 



Copyright: 



International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, World 
Conservation Centre, Avenue du Mont-Blanc, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland. 1986 



Cover illustration: 

Cover design by: 
Printed by: 



The Limpkin (taken from Haverschmidt, F (1968): The Birds of Surinam . Oliver & 

Boyd, Edinburgh k London) 

James Butler 

Page Bros (Norwich) Limited, U.K. 



ISBN: 



2 88032 504 8 



Citation: 



Scott, Derek A. and Carbonell, Montserrat (1986): A Directory of Neotropical Wetlands . 
lUCN, Gland and Cambridge. 684pp 



Copies available 
from: 



lUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 

219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CBS ODL, U.K.; 

or 

International Waterfowl Research Bureau (IWRB) 

The Wildfowl Trust, Slimbridge GL2 7BX, U.K. 



The presentation of material in this book and the geographical designations employed do not imply the expression of any 
opinion whatsoever on the part of lUCN concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area, or concerning the 
delimitatioin of its frontiers or boundaries. 



CONTENTS 



Foreword 
Introduction 



Page 



Country Reports 

South America 

Argentina 1 

Bolivia 39 

Brazil 60 

Chile 105 

Colombia 132 

Ecuador 160 

Falkland Islands 182 

French Guiana 190 

Guyana I97 

Paraguay 200 

Peru 210 

Suriname 241 

Trinidad and Tobago 256 

Uruguay 266 

Venezuela 278 
Central America 

Belize 305 

Costa Rica 319 

El Salvador 328 

Guatemala 334 

Honduras ' 351 

Mexico 357 

Nicaragua 385 

Panama 401 
Caribbean 

Anguilla 421 

Antigua and Barbuda 428 

Bahamas 433 

Barbados 447 

Bermuda 451 

British Virgin Islands 462 

Cayman Islands 468 

Cuba 483 

Dominica 494 

Dominican Republic 498 

French Antilles 511 

Grenada 523 

Haiti 527 

Jamaica 535 

Montserrat 547 

Netherlands Antilles 550 

Puerto Rico 559 

Saint Kitts-Nevis 572 

Saint Lucia 575 

Saint Vincent 579 

Turks and Caicos Islands 582 

United States Virgin Islands 585 

Bibliography 599 

Directory of Contributors 651 

Appendix 669 
An Annotated Checklist of the Waterfowl 
of the Neotropical Realm 



Foreword 



FOREWORD 



The remaining pristine wetlands of the world lie in the tropical and southern parts of the 
globe. If they are to be saved, to serve - in the words of the preamble to the Ramsar 
Convention - as "regulators of water regimes", as "habitats supporting a characteristic flora and 
fauna", and as "a resource of economic, cultural, scientific and recreational value," their 
situation, extent and condition must first be carefully documented. Only then can national and 
international plans for conservation be realistically drawn up, priorities established and 
strategies implemented. It is the purpose of the present Directory to lay, for the Neotropical 
Realm, the necessary groundwork of identification. The first such directory was the Directory 
of Western Palearctic Wetlands, compiled by Erik Carp for lUCN and UNEP in 1980. This 
helped to stress the great losses of natural wetlands that have occurred in the developed 
countries. A Directory of African Wetlands is nearing completion and one on Asian Wetlands 
has just been begun. For North America, the wetlands of Canada and the U.S.A. are being 
mapped in ever greater detail. 

The present Directory was initiated at the IWRB meeting in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1982, 
attended by participants from many states in South and Central America. There it was agreed 
to produce a report on the current status of wetlands of the Neotropics, including the 
Caribbean, with particular emphasis on their avifauna and management. The data base thus 
established could then be continuously updated. The project was initiated in April 1983, and 
funding generously provided by both governmental and non-governmental bodies: Canadian 
Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited Inc., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildfowl Foundation 
Inc. and World Wildlife Fund; they will, we are sure, feel they got good value for their 
contributions. A considerable boost to the project was given by the IWRB meeting in La 
Rabida, Spain, in May 1983, attended by participants from thirteen countries of the 
Neotropical Realm. The final text was reviewed and improved at another IWRB meeting, this 
time in Paracas, Peru, in February 1985, with twenty-five of the region's countries directly 
represented. The report of the Paracas meeting contains a discussion of the project and a 
preliminary analysis of some of the findings. 

Although the main action has been through IWRB, close collaboration was maintained with 
colleagues in ICBP and lUCN and this has been a truly co-operative enterprise of these 
international bodies. But they could have achieved little had not so many people in so many 
countries made freely available their time and their records. It is a particular matter for 
congratulation that the co-ordinator, Derek Scott, his assistant Montse Carbonell and nearly 
three hundred collaborators have been able to bring together and analyse such a mass of 
material in just two short years. Quite apart from its intrinsic value, the preparation of the 
Directory has greatly stimulated the interest in and concern for the threatened we elands of the 
region. It has had impact at all levels from governments to individuals. 

More and more countries are adhering to the Convention on Wetlands of International 
Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat, known as the Ramsar Convention after the small 
town in Iran where it was initiated. Already thirty-eight countries are guiding the wise use of 
their wetlands under the constraints of the Convention and, in particular, have set aside for 
conservation 302 sites covering twenty million hectares of prime wetland. The Directory of 
Neotropical Wetlands has always been intended as a "shadow" list of sites eligible for 
designation under the Convention. It is greatly to be hoped that, as a result of the Directory, 
the surge in public awareness of wetlands can be maintained and that more states of South and 
Central America and the Caribbean will join the Ramsar Convention. 



Geoffrey V.T. Matthews 

Director 

International Waterfowl Research Bureau 



Introduction 



INTRODUCTION 



The Neotropical Realm is the richest and most diverse of the world's eight biogeographical 
realms. At the same time, it is one of the least disturbed by the destructive influences of 
modern man. Covering the whole of the South American continent, Central America, the 
Caribbean and a large part of Mexico, the Neotropical Realm includes almost the full spectrum 
of the world's major ecosystems and a diversity of fauna and flora unmatched anywhere else. 
Although a considerable amount of basic faunal and floral research has been conducted and 
great strides have been made to protect the natural environment, the region as a whole remains 
relatively poorly known, and is perhaps the most vulnerable to drastic modification by man in 
the coming decades. 

The Neotropical Realm includes a great diversity of wetland ecosystems from the coastal 
lagoons and mangrove swamps of the Caribbean and Central America, through the great 
riverine and floodplain systems of the humid tropics and the lacustrine systems of the high 
Andes, to the fjordland and subantarctic tundra of southern Chile and Argentina. In recent 
years, there has been a marked increase in awareness of the widespread threats to wetlands in 
the Neotropics, but to date, no serious attempt has been made to develop an overall wetland 
conservation strategy for the region. This document aims to provide the basis for such a 
strategy, by presenting a synopsis of the most important wetlands and their wildlife, and by 
summarizing the measures which have been taken to conserve them. 

The term "wetland" is here used in the same sense as defined in the text of the Convention 
on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Wateifowl Habitat (the Ramsar 
Convention). Thus, wetlands are "areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or 
artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, 
including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres". 
Coral reefs and other exclusively marine systems are however generally excluded from this 
definition, and have not been considered. 

The greater part of the Directory is made up of a series of country reports grouped into the 
three major regions under consideration: South America, Central America (including the 
Neotropical portion of Mexico), and the Caribbean. Most country reports begin with an 
introduction which summarizes the institutional base for wetland conservation and research, the 
progress made to date, and the major threats to wetlands and their wildlife. Then follows an 
inventory of those wetlands which are known or thought to be of greatest importance from the 
point of view of nature conservation. The site descriptions include basic information on size 
and location, habitat types, principal vegetation, ownership, degree of protection, land use, 
fauna, threats, research, conservation and relevant literature. 

In the discussion of fauna, special emphasis is given to the waterfowl for several reasons. 
The waterfowl of the Neotropical Realm are well known and well documented; in many other 
groups of aquatic fauna, our knowledge remains fragmentary, with many species still 
undescribed to science. Waterfowl are a popular group, conspicuous, readily identified, 
censused and studied; thus there tends to be much more information available on waterfowl 
than other wetland species. Many are long-distance migrants, dependent on wetlands in a 
number of countries during the course of their annual cycle, and thus demonstrating the need 
for international cooperation in conservation efforts. Many species are popular game birds for 
the hunter, and as such constitute a renewable natural resource of considerable economic 
value. Finally, waterfowl are particularly good indicators of the general condition of wetland 
ecosystems; they are at or near the top of most wetland food chains, and are highly susceptible 
to wetland contamination and disturbance. 

The Ramsar Convention defines "waterfowl" as "birds ecologically dependent on wetlands". 
However, for the purposes of this Directory, the term has been restricted to wetland species of 
the following families: Gaviidae, Podicipedidae, Pelecanidae, Phalacrocoracidae, Anhingidae, 
Ciconiidae, Threskiornithidae, Phoenicopteridae, Anhimidae, Anatidae, Opisthocomidae, 
Gruidae, Aramidae, Rallidae, Heliornithidae, Eurypygidae, Jacanidae, Rostratulidae, 
Haematopodidae, Charadriidae, Scolopacidae, Recurvirostridae, Phalaropodidae, Laridae and 
Rynchopidae. Species of Pelecanidae, Phalacrocoracidae and Laridae which are confined to 
marine ecosystems, and other sea-birds (Spheniscidae, Procellariiformes, Phaethontidae, 
Sulidae, Fregatidae and Stercorariidae) are excluded. 



viu 



Introduction 

Each country report includes an outline map showing the location of the sites described in 
the inventory. It was the original intention of the compilers to include detailed maps of each 
site, and indeed many of the contributors provided excellent maps of their country's wetlands. 
However, as the inventory grew in size, it became clear that this would not be possible for 
reasons of space and cost. The several hundred individual site maps which have been 
provided by contributors are on file at IWRB Headquarters in the U.K. and constitute an 
important reference source. It is to be hoped that many of these maps will be published in 
national wetland inventories. 

The bibliography includes not only the references cited in the text, but also a number of 
other important publications and reports listed by the various contributors. Emphasis has been 
given to recent works with direct relevance to conservation issues; much of the older literature 
and many publications of academic rather than conservation interest have been omitted. The 
extensive literature on Nearctic avian migrants wintering in the Neotropics has recently been 
summarized by Rappole et al (1983); their annotated bibliography should be used in 
conjunction with the present bibliography. 

Following the bibliography, there is a directory of contributors. This gives the names and 
addresses of the many individuals who have cooperated in the preparation of this work. The 
majority are listed according to the country for which they have provided information, but a 
number of individuals who have provided information for several countries or for the region as 
a whole are listed in a "General" section at the end. 

The Directory concludes with an annotated checklist of the waterfowl of the Neotropical 
Realm. This gives a brief review of the distribution and abundance of all waterfowl occurring 
in the region, with emphasis on those species known or thought to be vulnerable or endangered 
and therefore in need of special attention. The checklist incorporates a large amount of new 
information provided by contributors, either on the waterfowl occurring at individual sites, or 
as status reports on waterfowl occurring in the country concerned. A number of contributors 
provided very detailed status reports complete with distribution maps. For reasons of space, it 
has not been possible to include all this material here. Along with individual site maps, the 
species status reports are on file at IWRB Headquarters and, subject to consent being given by 
the contributors, are available upon request. 



Methodology 

The compilation of the Directory has involved the collection of data through three main 
channels: 

a) a series of national networks of contacts, each with a "national coordinator" who was 
responsible for the compilation of all data from that country, and for the preparation of a 
general introduction for the country report; 

b) direct contact with expatriate individuals or institutions with expertize on particular sites or 
species in the region; 

c) a review of the recent literature. 

In many cases, effective national networks were established and a comprehensive national 
report submitted. However, in several countries it proved impossible to coordinate the 
collection of information through a single person or institution, and material was received from 
several independent sources. In a few cases, no local contact could be established, and the 
material summarized in the Directory is based entirely on expatriate sources and the literature. 
Emphasis was given throughout to obtaining first hand and up to date information from 
individuals currently working on wetlands and their fauna, and little attention was given to the 
older literature. 



IX 



Introduction 

Site Descriptions 

Contributors were requested to submit their information on wetlands on standard data sheets of 

a type used in similar wetland inventories in the Palearctic Realm. The information has been 

reproduced in this Directory in a slightly modified form, and in many cases with additional 

information from other sources. Each site description contains the following data categories: 

Title: The name of the wetland with a reference number for the accompanying map. 

Location: The geographical coordinates (Greenwich), and general location of the site. The 

coordinates have been taken from the Operational Navigation Charts (1:1,000,000) of the 

Defense Mapping Agency, Missouri, U.S.A. 

Area: The area of the wetland habitat in hectares. In the case of some rivers and coastal zones, 

only the approximate length of the site is known. 

Altitude: The altitude of the wetland in metres above sea level. 

Province and type: The biogeographical province in which the wetland is situated, following 

Udvardy (1975) "A Classification of the Biogeographical Provinces of the World"; and a 

reference to the types of wetland habitat present, on the basis of the following numerical code: 

01: shallow sea bays and straits 

02: estuaries, deltas 

03: small offshore islands, islets 

04: rocky sea coasts, sea cliffs 

05: sea beaches (sand, pebbles) 

06: intertidal mudflats, sand flats 

07: coastal brackish and saline lagoons and marshes, salt pans 

08: mangrove swamps, mangrove forest 

09: slow-flowing rivers, streams (lower perennial) 

10: fast-flowing rivers, streams (upper perennial) 

11: riverine lakes (including oxbows), riverine marshes 

12: freshwater lakes and associated marshes (lacustrine) 

13: freshwater ponds (under 8 ha), marshes, swamps (palustrine) 

14: salt lakes, salars (inland systems) 

15: reservoirs, dams 

16: seasonally flooded grassland, savanna, palm savanna 

17: rice paddies, flooded arable land, irrigated land 

18: swamp forest, temporarily flooded forest 

19: peat bogs, wet Andean meadows (bofedales), snow melt bogs 
Although more sophisticated wetland classification systems are available, the information was 
seldom adequate to permit a more detailed breakdown, and in any case for many of the 
enormous wetlands described in the Directory, a detailed classification of habitat types would 
be extremely cumbersome. 

Site description: A general description of the site. 

Principal vegetation: A description of the principal aquatic vegetation, if known; in many 
cases, information was available only on the major terrestrial communities of the region. 
Land tenure: The status of land ownership. 

Protection: The extent, if any, to which the wetland habitat and its fauna are protected. 
Land use: A description of the principal land use activities at the wetland and in the 
surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: A brief account of the importance of the site for waterfowl. The scientific 
nomenclature and taxonomic sequence follow Blake (1977), except in the case of some Laridae. 
Other fauna: Information on other fauna dependent on the wetland habitat. In many cases, 
this includes bird species not normally regarded as waterfowl, such as birds of prey and some 
passerines. In some cases, noteworthy terrestrial species of surrounding areas are included, 
particularly when listed in the WWF Red Data Book. For mammals, the scientific 
nomenclature follows Ewer (1973) and Walker (1975). 
Threats: An account of the existing and potential threats to the wetland. 

Research and conservation: A review of major research activities, completed and ongoing; 
management plans; proposals concerning future conservation and management; and in some 
cases general comments on the importance of the area and need for further study. 
References: Published literature and unpublished reports relevant to the site. In most cases, the 
literature cited has been utilized in the compilation of the data sheet. 



Introduction 

Source: Names of individuals and institutions providing information on the site. In many 
cases, information from two or more sources has been combined. 

Criteria for inclusion: A reference to the criterion or criteria which justify the inclusion of the 
site in the Directory. The criteria used in the selection process are those developed for the 
identification of wetlands of international importance within the context of the Ramsar 
Convention, and adopted by the Conference of the Parties to that Convention at Cagliari in 
November 1980 (Atkinson-Willes et al, 1982). According to these criteria, a wetland should be 
considered internationally important if it: 

la: regularly supports either 10,000 ducks, geese and swans (Anatidae); or 10,000 coots 

(Fulica spp); or 20,000 waders (shorebirds); 

lb: regularly supports 1% of the individuals (being at least 100) in a biogeographical 

population of one species or subspecies of waterfowl; 

Ic: regularly supports 1% of the breeding pairs in a biogeographical population of one 

species or subspecies of waterfowl; 

2a: supports an appreciable number of a rare, vulnerable or endangered species or 

subspecies of plant or animal; 

2b: is of special value for maintaining the genetic and ecological diversity of a region 

because of the quality and peculiarities of its fauna and flora; 

2c: is of special value as the habitat of plants and animals at a critical stage of their 

biological cycles; 

3a: is a particularly good example of a specific type of wetland community characteristic of 

the climatic zone in which it lies; 

3b: exemplifies an extreme stage in a hydromorphological process. 
In the present inventory, the reference "123" is applied to large and important wetlands which 
qualify for inclusion on the basis of criteria in all three categories. 

For proper application of the Ramsar criteria, it is essential that a considerable body of 
information be available on the site in question. For many wetlands in the Neotropical Realm, 
the information is so scanty that no objective evaluation of the importance of the site can be 
made. If all such sites were to be ignored, the Directory would become little more than an 
inventory of wetlands which have been well studied and well documented, and would lose its 
value as a basis for the identification of priorities in future wetland surveys and research. 
Furthermore, for application of criteria lb and Ic, it is essential that some estimate be available 
for the total size of the waterfowl populations. Such estimates are available for only a handful 
of species in the Neotropical Realm. Thus, even when detailed censuses have been made at a 
site, it is seldom possible to determine if the numbers of birds present are internationally 
important on the basis of the Cagliari criteria. It has therefore been necessary to rely to a 
considerable extent on the subjective judgement of contributors in the selection of sites for 
inclusion in the Directory. Sites selected on this basis, i.e. sites which are thought to be of 
considerable importance but which clearly merit further investigation, are given the reference 
"0". 



Comprehensiveness 

The Directory includes entries for all forty-five countries in the Neotropical Realm. For all 
but two countries (Guyana and the Turks & Caicos Islands), it has been possible to provide at 
least a preliminary inventory of important wetlands on the basis of information received from 
contributors and the literature. In the case of a few countries (all of which are small Caribbean 
states), no local contacts were established, and the material presented herein is taken entirely 
from the recent literature. In one case (Costa Rica), good information was received on the 
wetlands, but no general introduction to wetland conservation in the country was provided. 

The comprehensiveness of the individual country reports varies greatly; in general, the 
smaller the country, the better the knowledge of the wetlands and thus the more comprehensive 
the inventory. In the case of some very small countries, a single individual or institution with 
an intimate knowledge of that country's wetlands has been able to provide a detailed national 
wetland inventory including all wetlands of any significance. 

In South America, most countries are large to very large, with low human population 
density, extensive areas which remain poorly known, and numerous wetlands, some of 
enormous size and many still relatively undisturbed. The wetland inventories for most of these 
countries are still at a very preliminary stage. Most if not all of the larger wetlands and other 

xi 



Introduction 

sites of great international importance are now known and have been included in this 
Directory, but there doubtless remain many smaller wetlands which will in time be found to 
possess special qualities which justify their designation as wetlands of international 
importance. At the other extreme, most Caribbean states are small to very small, with high 
human population density and rather few wetlands, most of which are now well known and 
many of which are under serious threat. The wetland inventories for most of these countries 
are thought to be very comprehensive; all sites of international importance have been included 
in this Directory, along with a number of sites which are probably of only local or national 
importance. The inclusion of these latter sites is at least partly justified by the rapid rate at 
which wetlands are disappearing throughout the Caribbean and consequent rate at which the 
remaining undisturbed wetlands are increasing in importance. The situation in Central 
America lies somewhere between these two extremes, and it is felt that for most countries in 
this region, the Directory gives a realistic assessment of the number of wetlands of 
international importance. 

One of the primary objectives of the Directory is to provide the stimulus and basis for the 
completion of detailed national wetland inventories which should include not only more 
information on the sites which meet international criteria, but also details of sites of only 
national or even local importance. One or two such national inventories have existed for some 
years (e.g. in Puerto Rico), while many of the original contributions to this Directory constitute 
very good national inventories. Only a summary of these contributions has been incorporated 
here, and they will, it is hoped, be published in full in their country of origin. Most of the 
other contributions provide excellent skeletons upon which comprehensive national inventories 
can be based. Much more field work needs to be carried out, the larger wetland areas must be 
surveyed in detail so that key sites within them can be identified, and many new sites of 
national rather than international importance should be considered. Only when detailed 
national inventories are available for all the countries of the region will it be possible to 
compile the definitive directory of wetlands of international importance for the Neotropical 
Realm. 



Derek A. Scott 
Montserrat Carbonell 
June 1985 



COUNTRY REPORTS 
South America 



ARGENTINA 



INTRODUCTION 

by Manuel Nores 

The Republic of Argentina is situated in the extreme south of the South American continent. 
It has a surface area of 2,776,656km* and a population of 30 million. 

Cabrera and Willink (1973) group the various biogeographical provinces of Argentina into four 
domains. 

The Amazonian Domain, with a predominantly hot and humid climate, dense vegetation, 
and a very rich and diverse fauna and flora. It includes the following provinces: 

a) The Yungas, on the eastern slope of the Andes in the northwest of the country; 

b) Parana, in the northeast of the country, in the Provinces of Misiones and Corrientes. 

The Chaco Domain, occupying the greater part of the country; the climate is varied, but 
predominantly of the continental type, with light to moderate rainfall, mild winters and hot 
summers. The vegetation is predominantly xerophytic, with dry deciduous forest, thickets 
and herbaceous steppes; hydrophytic formations occur only near rivers and lakes. The 
Chaco Domain includes the following provinces: 

a) Chaco, in the north of the country south to Cordoba, San Luis and Santa Fe Provinces; 

b) Espinal, from central Corrientes and northern Entre Rios through central Santa Fe and 
Cordoba to San Luis, central La Pampa and southern Buenos Aires Provinces; 

c) Prepuna, comprising the quebradas and dry Andean slopes of the northwest, from Jujuy 
to La Rioja; 

d) Monte, from Salta to northeastern Chubut; 

e) Pampas, comprising the eastern plains between 30°S and 39°S. 

The Andean-Patagonian Domain, exposed to a rigorous climate with extremely low 
temperatures and low rainfall; the vegetation is highly xerophytic, with low shrubs and 
cushion plants. This domain includes the following provinces: 

a) Altoandean, comprising the high Andes south to Tierra del Fuego; 

b) Puna, comprising the altiplano from Jujuy to La Rioja; 

c) Patagonia, extending from the central foothills of Mendoza south through western 
Neuquen, western Rio Negro, a large part of Chubut and most of Santa Cruz to 
northern Tierra del Fuego. 

The Subantarctic Domain, with a humid temperate climate; the dominant vegetation is 
deciduous and evergreen forest with meadows and extensive areas of peat bog; the fauna 
and flora are characterized by the predominance of families and genera of austral 
distribution. In Argentina, this domain includes the following province: 
a) Subantarctic, represented in western Neuquen, Rio Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz and 
Tierra del Fuego. 

Argentina possesses a wide variety of wetland systems, including rivers, lakes, lagoons, 
swamps, marshes, floodplains, glacial bogs, etc. This diversity of wetlands supports a very 
diverse aquatic avifauna; about 185 species of aquatic birds have been recorded, excluding 
marine species. 
The wetlands of Argentina can be divided as follows: 

Wetlands of the Atlantic coast, including: 

a) Wetlands important for concentrations of migratory shorebirds from the northern 
hemisphere, e.g. Punta Rasa in Buenos Aires Province. 

b) Sites of principal importance for breeding sea-birds such as Spheniscus magellanicus, 
e.g. Punta Tombo and Cabo Dos Bahias in Chubut. 



-1- 



Argentina 

Wetlands of the plains and hills, including: 

a) Patagonian lakes and marshes along the base of the Andes in western Patagonia, from 
Neuquen to Tierra del Fuego; scenically perhaps the most beautiful part of Argentina, 
and the region with the most extensive system of National Parks, but generally poor in 
waterfowl. 

b) Shallow lakes and marshes in the Patagonian steppe of Neuquen, Rio Negro, Chubut, 
Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego Provinces. 

c) Shallow lakes, swamps and marshes of the Pampas, principally in the Provinces of 
Cordoba, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires and Santiago del Estero; these include some of the 
most important wetlands for waterfowl, both in terms of diversity and abundance. 

d) Mesopotamian lakes, swamps and rivers in the northeast, including the great riverine 
systems of the Parana, Uruguay, Paraguay, Pilcomayo and Bermejo, and the lakes, 
marshes and tributaries under the influence of these rivers; a complex of wetlands of 
great importance for waterfowl. 

Wetlands of the high mountains, including lakes, lagoons and wet plains, chiefly in the 
Andes from Jujuy to Neuquen. 



Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

Buenos Aires Province 

Servicio de Parques Nacionales. 

Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia". 

Centro de Investigaciones de Biologia Marina (CIBIMA). 

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET). 

Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina. 

Asociacion Ornitologica del Plata. 

Museo de La Plata. 

Institute Nacional de Investigaciones y Desarrollo Pesquero. 

Natura. 

Direccion Nacional de Fauna Silvestre. 

Catamarca 

Direccion de Agricultura y Recursos Naturales. 

Chaco 

Direccion de Fauna y Parques. 

Chubut 

Direccion de Proteccion Ambiental. 
Institute de la Patagonia. 

Cordoba 

Centro de Zoologia Aplicada. 

Comite Cordoba de Conservacion de la Naturaleza (CONACO). 

Direccion de Nautica, Caza y Pesca. 

Corrientes 

Centro de Zoologia Aplicada del Litoral. 
Direccion de Fauna, Flora y Ecologia. 

Entre Rios 

Direccion de Recursos Naturales. 

Formosa 

Direccion de Fauna. 

Jujuy 

Direccion de Recursos Naturales Renovables. 

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La Pampa 

Direccion de Recursos Naturales. 

La Rioja 

Direccion de Recursos Naturales Renovables. 

Mendoza 

Direccion de Bosques y Parques Provinciales. 

Misiones 

Direccion de Ganaderia. 

Neuquen 

Direccion General de Recursos Faunisticos. 

Rio Negro 

Direccion de Ganaderia. 

Estacion Experin-.ental Regional Agropecuaria San Carlos de Bariloche, Instituto Nacional 

de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA). 

Salta 

Direccion de Recursos Naturales. 

San Juan 

Direccion de Asuntos Agropecuarios. 

San Luis 

Direccion de Recursos Naturales Renovables. 

Santa Cruz 

Direccion de Ganaderia. 

Santa Fe 

Direccion de Ecologia y Proteccion de la Fauna. 
Instituto Nacional de Limnologia. 
Centro de Proteccion de la Naturaleza. 
Instituto de Defensa Ecologica "Albert Schweitzer". 

Santiago del Estero 

Direccion General de Bosques, Caza y Pesca. 

Tucuman 

Direccion de Recursos Naturales Renovables. 
Instituto Miguel Lillo. 

Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

Argentina created its first National Park in 1904. At present, there are 18 National Parks, two 
Natural Monuments, nine National Reserves, and a number of Nature Reserves, Faunal 
Sanctuaries and Biosphere Reserves, in addition to many Provincial Parks, Provincial Reserves 
and the reserves of the Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina. 
A number of the protected areas in Argentina incorporate wetlands; these include the followmg: 

Monumento Nacional Laguna Pozuelos (10,000 ha), established in 1981. 

Reserva Natural Formosa (10,000 ha), established in 1968. 

Parque Nacional Rio Pilcomayo (50,000 ha), established in 1951; protecting part of Laguna 

Blanca, several smaller lakes including Laguna Trampa and Laguna Llanten, the Baracalde 

and Yaguarete Marshes, and a section of the Rio Pilcomayo. 

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Parque Nacional El Chaco (15,000 ha), established in 1954; protecting Laguna de Panza de 

Cabra and various swampy areas. 

Parque Nacional Iguazu and Reserva Nacional Iguazu (55,500 ha), partly protected since 

1909, and given its present status in 1979; the protected area includes a section of the Rio 

Iguazu and various small tributaries. 

Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca and Reserva Nacional Laguna Blanca (11,250 ha), 

established in 1940; protecting Laguna Blanca (1,700 ha). 

Parque Nacional Lanin and Reserva Nacional Lanin (379,000 ha), established in 1937; 

protecting a number of lakes including Huechulafquen, Tromen and Lolog. 

Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi and Reserva Nacional Nahuel Huapi (758,100 ha); some 

protection has been afforded to the area since 1904, and the park was established in 1934. 

The Park and Reserve protect various lakes including Nahuel Huapi, Traful and Espejo, 

along with numerous rivers and streams. 

Parque Nacional Lago Puelo (23,700 ha), established in 1971; Lago Puelo has been afforded 

some protection since 1937. 

Parque Nacional los Alerces and Reserva Nacional los Alerces (263,000 ha), established in 

1937; protecting various lakes including Futalaufquen, Menendez and Rivadavia. 

Parque Nacional Perito Francisco P. Moreno and Reserva Nacional Perito Francisco P. 

Moreno (115,000 ha), established in 1937; protecting various lakes including Belgrano, 

Burmeister and Nansen. 

Parque Nacional Los Glaciares and Reserva Nacional Los Glaciares (600,000 ha), 

established in 1937; protecting Lago Argentina and Lago Viedma. 

Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego (63,000 ha), established in 1960; protecting Lago 

Fagnano and a small part of Lago Roca. 

A list of Provincial Reserves prepared by the Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina includes the 
following reserves which contain significant wetland areas: 

Laguna Salada Grande, Isla Botija, Isla Martin Garcia, Isla Laguna Alsina and 

Samborombon, in Buenos Aires Province. 

Laguna Blanca, in Catamarca. 

Isla del Cerrito, in Chaco. 

Golfo San Jose, Punta Tombo, Cabo Dos Bahias, Isla los Pajaros, Punta Norte, Punta 

Delgada and Punta Piramides, in Chubut. 

Mar Chiquita, in Cordoba. 

Pilaga and Laguna Hu, in Formosa. 

Yala, in Jujuy. 

Laguna Brava, in La Rioja. 

Los Alamos and Laguna Llancanelo, in Mendoza. 

Islas Malvinas and Isla Itacua, in Misiones. 

San Guillermo, in San Juan. 

Cabo Blanco and Estuario del Rio Deseado, in Santa Cruz. 

Laguna La Loca, Campo Rico and Vira-Pita, in Santa Fe. 

The Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina has also established two reserves which include 
wetlands: Campos del Tuyu in Buenos Aires Province and Los Escarchados in Santa Cruz. 

While there are various organizations and research institutions in Argentina which include 
waterfowl in their research programmes, there are no programmes devoted specifically to the 
study of wetlands and waterfowl. Some of the research projects which involve or have 
involved wetlands and waterfowl include the following: 

a) A bird banding programme in Argentina, carried out by the Instituto Miguel Lillo in 
Tucuman under the direction of Claes Olrog, from 1960 to the present time. Most of the 
banding has been carried out in the Baiiados de Figueroa, but there have also been banding 
projects in Patagonia, on the Atlantic coast, and at wetlands in the centre of the country. 
The Comision Avutarda, led by Mauricio Rumboll, was developed as a part of this 
programme for the study and banding of species of the genus Chloephaga; some 5,000 
individuals have now been banded and marked with neck-collars. 

b) A project on the freshwater fauna of Argentina, conducted by the Consejo Nacional de 
Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas, under the direction of Raul Ringuelet. Work 

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Argentina 

conducted on Anseriformes by Jorge Navas has already been published. 

c) A study of the waterfowl and wetlands of Cordoba Province, carried out under the 
direction of Manuel Nores of the Subsecretaria de Estado de Agricultura y Ganaderia in 
Cordoba. The work was conducted between 1973 and 1980, and the results have been 
published in Nores and Yzurieta (1980). 

d) A survey of the continental wetlands of Argentina, carried out by the Institute Nacional de 
Investigaciones y Desarrollo Pesquero (Quiros et al, 1983). 

Major Threats to Wetlands and Waterfowl 

In general, wetlands are the least modified of the natural environments in Argentina, and there 
still exist large numbers of water bodies of various types both in the lowlands and in the 
Andes. 

Of the various threats which have been recognized, the most serious are those arising from 
the construction of dikes which, by diverting water supplies, have in many cases resulted in the 
drying out of swamps and marshes, e.g. at the Banados de Figueroa in Santiago del Estero, and 
at the Banados de la Amarga in Cordoba. In other cases, the construction of dikes has affected 
the equilibrium of the aquatic systems, resulting in the drying out of wetlands in periods of 
low rainfall and extensive flooding during periods of heavy rainfall. The most notable example 
of this has been at Laguna Mar Chiquita and the Banados del Rio Dulce, in Cordoba. 

On the other hand, dikes can also favour waterfowl, since they create new water bodies, 
sometimes with characteristics similar to those of natural wetlands. This has been the case at 
Dique Cruz del Eje in Cordoba, at Dique de la Cienaga in Tafi del Valle, Tucuman, and at 
Lago Pellegrini in Rio Negro. 

The Esteros del Ibera, one of the most important wetlands in the country, are threatened by 
a project to prevent flooding from the Rio Parana. Excess water in the Parana would be 
channelled by means of a canal to the Esteros, creating a single large body of open water, and 
eliminating the majority of wetland habitats in the Esteros. At the same time, there exists a 
project for the establishment of a National Park in this region. 

The diversion of small rivers and streams for irrigation and other purposes has had a similar 
effect to that of the dikes, with wetlands drying out as a result of a reduction in their water 
supply. This has been the case at the Banados del Soto and other wetlands in the highlands of 
Cordoba Province. 

Another problem at some wetlands is the disturbance caused by boat traffic. There are 
some lakes which now hold very few waterfowl because of intensive use by motor boats for 
fishing and other sporting activities. The problem is often aggravated by the elimination of 
aquatic plants with herbicides to facilitate the movement of boats. 

While in some other countries, pollution and drainage pose serious threats to wetlands, in 
Argentina they are of only minimal importance, at least for the moment. 



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ARGENTINA 



'Buenos Aires 




500 
Km 



1000 

I 



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WETLANDS 



The site descriptions are based on data sheets prepared by Manuel Nores of the Centre de 
Zoologia Aplicada de Cordoba, and Sergio A. Salvador, with contributions from Dario 
Yzurieta, Samuel Narosky, Pablo Canevari, Claes Olrog, Rosendo M. Fraga, Rodolfo Miatello, 
Roberto Straneck, J. Rodriguez Mata and Juan F. Klimaitis. Data sheets were also provided by 
Jon Fjeldsa, Mauricio Rumboll, Mariano A. Gelain, Laura S. Rozenberg and Ricardo Banchs, 
and additional information was received from Hugo Castello, Claudio E. Chehebar, the 
Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina (Juan C. Chebez and Andrew Johnson), Brian A. 
Harrington and J. Peterson Myers. 

Using satellite imagery and maps of the Military Geographical Institute, Manuel Nores has 
prepared a list of 254 wetlands additional to those described below. These include lakes, 
lagoons, swamps and dams, and are distributed as follows: Jujuy 21; Salta 16; Tucuman 3; 
Catamarca 25; Santiago del Estero 3; Formosa 11; Chaco 15; Corrientes 5; Entre Rios 5; Santa 
Fe 10; Cordoba 6; La Rioja 6; San Juan 4; Mendoza 18; San Luis 2; Buenos Aires 15; La Pampa 
10; Neuquen 15; Rio Negro 11; Chubut 27; Santa Cruz 20 and Tierra del Fuego 6. No further 
information is available on these wetlands at the present time. 

Laguna Pozuelos (1) 

Location: 22°20'S, 66°00'W; 50 km southwest of La Quiaca, Jujuy Province. 

Area: 10,000 ha. 

Altitude: 3,500m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: A large permanent oligosaline Andean lake with little aquatic vegetation; and 

nearby fresh to slightly saline marshes and bogs. The water level in the lake is much reduced 

during the dry season, exposing extensive mudflats. 

Principal vegetation: Aquatic vegetation is principally Myriophyllum sp. The lake is in the 

puna zone, with semi-arid steppe of Festuca, Stipa, Fabiana and Baccharis spp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Protected within the Laguna Pozuelos National Monument (28,000 ha) established 

in 1981. 

Land use: Formerly intensive grazing by domestic animals, but this is reportedly being 

stopped. The area was however still being heavily grazed in January 1984. There is some 

mining in the area. 

Waterfowl: Probably the most important wetland for waterfowl in the northern Andes of 

Argentina, with large numbers of breeding birds and migrants from elsewhere in the Andes 

and from the Nearctic Region. All three Andean species of flamingos occur in large numbers 

with up to 26,000 birds present at one time. Phoenicopterus chilensis appears to be the most 

numerous species, and this is known to breed (e.g. in autumn 1983), but both Phoenicoparrus 

andinus and P. jamesi occur regularly in hundreds if not thousands. The lake is particularly 

important as a regular haunt of Fulica cornuta, which is fairly common and known to breed in 

the area. Pozuelos is also one of the few localities in Argentina for Fulica gigantea. Some of 

the commoner Andean waterfowl occur in very large numbers; e.g. in February 1982, at the 

south end of the lake there were 300 Podiceps occipitalis, 2,000 Chloephaga melanoptera, 

2,000 Lophonetta specularioides, 1,000 Anas georgica and 500 A. flavirostris. The rather scarce 

and local Recurvirostra andina is common (over 100 in February 1982), as are Himantopus 

himantopus, Vanellus resplendens and Charadrius alticola. Several species of Nearctic 

shorebirds occur in large numbers in the austral summer; recent incomplete counts have 

included 300 Tringa flavipes, 1,000 Calidris bairdii, over 1,000 C. melanotos, over 

10,000 Steganopus tricolor, and smaller numbers of Tringa melanoleuca, Limosa haemastica, 

and Micropalama himantopus. 

Other fauna: The Puna Rhea Pterocnemia pennata tarapacensis and the Vicuna Vicugna vicugna 

occur on the surrounding puna. 

Threats: Heavy grazing by domestic animals is still causing problems in the reserve, and severe 

soil erosion resulting from overgrazing in the past has increased siltation rates. 



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Research and conservation: The National Monument is still being developed, with the 

long-term objective being a major park surrounded by a multiple use area for the farming 

activities of the Colla Indians. 

References: Contino (1965); Hurlbert (1978); Erize et al (1981); lUCN (1982); Canevari 

(undated). 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa, Manuel Nores, Pablo Canevari and Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna Vilama (2) 

Location: 22''35'S, 66°55'W; 120 km west of Abra Pampa, Jujuy Province. 

Area: 8,000 ha. 

Altitude: 4,400m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 14. 

Site description: A large permanent oligosaline Andean lake, subject to wide fluctuations in 

water level and freezing in winter. 

Principal vegetation: Large beds of Myriophyllum. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: None known. 

Waterfowl: Similar to Laguna Pozuelos. Up to 1,500 Phoenicoparrus jamesi have been 

recorded, and the species has nested. P. andinus has also been reported but in much smaller 

numbers. The area is important for Fulica spp. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: A proposal has been made for the establishment of a reserve. 

References: Hurlbert (1978); Hurlbert & Keith (1979). 

Source: Manuel Nores and Roberto Straneck. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb. 



Laguna Runtuyoc (3) 

Location: 22°39'S, 65°4rW; near Abra Pampa, Jujuy Province. 

Area: 600 ha. 

Altitude: 3,400m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12. 

Site description: A permanent shallow freshwater Andean lake and marshes, subject to wide 

fluctuations in water level, and freezing in winter. 

Principal vegetation: Beds of Scirpus and Myriophyllum spp. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: A little cattle ranching. 

Waterfowl: A variety of Andean waterfowl in small numbers, including Pelgadis ridgwayi, 

Phoenicopterus chilensis, Anas puna and A. platalea. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Some collection of eggs by local inhabitants. 

Research and conservation: A proposal has been made for the establishment of a reserve. 

Source: Manuel Nores and Claes Olrog. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna Guayatayoc (4) 

Location: 23°10'S, 65°33'W; 60 km south of Abra Pampa, Jujuy Province. 
Area: 100,000 ha salar with small areas of open water. 

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Altitude: 3,660m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 14. 

Site description: A vast salar (salt basin) with fringing oligosaline to hypersaline lakes. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important area for flamingos; up to 4,000 have been observed including over 

2,000 Phoenicoparrus jamesi and smaller numbers of P. andinus and Phoenicopterus chilensis. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Hurlbert (1978). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb. 



Laguna Volcan and the Yala Lakes (5) 

Location: Laguna Volcan 23°56'S, 65°28'W; Yala Lakes 24°07'S, 65''28'W; 25-35 km northwest 

of Jujuy, Jujuy Province. 

Area: Laguna Volcan 50 ha; Yala Lakes c.lOO ha. 

Altitude: 1, 600-2, lOOm. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 10 & 12. 

Site description: Four small permanent freshwater mountain lakes and the nearby Rio Yala, a 

fast-flowing mountain river. Laguna Volcan has abundant aquatic vegetation. 

Principal vegetation: Beds of Scirpus and Typha. 

Land tenure: Laguna Volcan is privately owned. 

Protection: The Yala Lakes are within a Provincial Reserve; Laguna Volcan is unprotected. 

Land use: Recreation, particularly sport fishing. 

Waterfowl: A variety of breeding waterfowl, including Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea, 

Gallinula chloropus garmani and three species of coot, Fulica americana, F. armillata and F. 

rufifrons. Merganetta armata and the very local Rufous-throated Dipper Cinclus schultzi are 

fairly common along the Rio Yala. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: A proposal has been made for the establishment of a reserve at 

Laguna Volcan. 

Source: Manuel Nores and Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Wetlands in Laguna Blanca Provincial Nature Reserve (6) 

Location: 26°30'-27''00'S, 66°30'-67''30'W; in the Department of Helen, Catamarca Province. 

Area: 1,100 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 3,800m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 10, 14 & 19. 

Site description: A shallow saline Andean lake (Laguna Blanca), fast-flowing mountain rivers 

and streams, and Andean bogs fed by snow melt. 

Principal vegetation: In the high Andean puna zone, with very open low shrub communities 

and grassland. 

Land tenure: A small part is state owned; the remainder is private. 

Protection: Included within the Laguna Blanca Provincial Nature Reserve (770,000 ha) 

established in 1979 and designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1982. 

Land use: Grazing of domestic livestock including cattle, sheep, llamas and donkeys. 

Waterfowl: An important area for species of Anatidae and flamingos. 

Other fauna: There is a good population of Vicuna Vicugna vicugna in the reserve, and the 

Puna Rhea Pterocnemia pennata tarapacensis occurs. 

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Argentina 

Threats: Overgrazing by domestic livestock causes problems in the reserve. 
References: lUCN (1982). 
Source: See references. 
Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna Los Nacimientos (7) 

Location: 27°27'S, 67°38'W; 15 km north of Fiambala, Catamarca Province. 

Area: 60 ha. 

Altitude: 1,700m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 12 & 16. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake, several metres deep, at medium elevation in the 

Andes, with abundant aquatic vegetation and surrounding wet meadows. 

Principal vegetation: Beds of Typha sp. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Negligible. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of waterfowl occur, including both highland and lowland species. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Manuel Nores and Rodolfo Miatello. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Banados de Figueroa (8) 

Location: 27°25'S, 63°40'W; 75 km ENE of Santiago del Estero, Santiago del Estero Province. 

Area: 60,000 ha. 

Altitude: 160m. 

Province and type: 8.25.7; 13 & 16. 

Site description: A large area of shallow freshwater ponds and marshes, small seasonal lakes, 

seasonally flooded grassland and saline flats along the Rio Salado. Flooding occurs in January 

and February, and the water level then declines gradually through the dry season. The wetland 

area was greatly reduced in extent following the construction of the Figueroa Dam, but this 

was destroyed in the floods of 1982, and the entire area of marshes became reflooded. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with species of Scirpus and halophytic Chenopodiaceae; in a 

region of dry chaco woodland. 

Land tenure: Partly private and partly state owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle ranching and hunting on a small scale. 

Waterfowl: Very important for a wide variety of waterfowl, both as a breeding area for 

resident species, and as a wintering area for waterfowl breeding in the pampas and Patagonia. 

Recent counts have included 500-600 Rollandia rolland, 3,000-5,000 Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 

1,000-1,500 Egretta thula, 2,000-3,000 Plegadis chihi, 1,000-1,500 Phoenicoptems chilensis, 

1,500-2,000 Dendrocygna bicolor, 800-1,000 Anas leucophrys, 500-600 Netta peposaca, 

200-300 Porphyriops melanops, 25,000-30,000 Fulica leucoptera and 400-500 Himantopus 

himantopus. Seven species of Nearctic shorebird have been recorded in small numbers. 

Other fauna: The Coypu Myocastor coypus occurs. 

Threats: There is a project to rebuild the Figueroa Dam, destroyed by floods in February 

1982. If this is completed, a large part of the marshes will again be destroyed. 

Research and conservation: A management plan has been drawn up to alleviate ecological 

damage should the Figueroa Dam be rebuilt. A number of bird surveys and banding 

programmes have been conducted in the area. 

References: Olrog (1953 & 1965). 

Source: Manuel Nores, Dario Yzurieta and Sergio A. Salvador. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 

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Wetlands in Formosa Nature Reserve (9) 

Location: 24°10'S, 62''00'W; in western Formosa Province, on the border with Chaco Province. 

Area: Several thousand ha. 

Altitude: 50-70m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4; 09, 11 & 16. 

Site description: Slow-flowing rivers and streams, riverine marshes, seasonal lakes and marshes, 

and extensive areas of seasonally flooded grassland and woodland between the Teuco and 

Teuquito rivers; part of a much larger area of chaco subject to seasonal inundation. 

Principal vegetation: In the dry chaco, with xerophytic woodlands dominated by Schinopsis 

quebrachocolorado, Aspidosperma quebrachoblanco and Prosopis spp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Formosa Nature Reserve (10,000 ha) established in 1968. 

Land use: Some wood-cutting, grazing of domestic livestock and burning by local settlers. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of chaco/pantanal species including Jabiru mycteria, Harpiprion 

caerulescens and Cairina moschata. 

Other fauna: The Maned Wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus occurs in the Reserve. 

Threats: Overgrazing, wood-cutting, burning and illegal hunting. A dam has been constructed 

within the Reserve. 

Research and conservation: Basic floral and faunal investigations have been carried out. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Rio Pilcomayo and Laguna Blanca (10) 

Location: 25°00'-25°15'S, 57°55'-58°10'W; near the confluence of the Pilcomayo and Paraguay 

Rivers, Formosa Province. 

Area: 60,000 ha. 

Altitude: 60m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4; 09, 11, 12, 13 & 16. 

Site description: A vast complex of slow-flowing rivers and streams, riverine marshes, 

permanent and seasonal freshwater lakes and marshes, swamps, and seasonally flooded 

grassland, palm savanna and forest along the Rio Pilcomayo. 

Principal vegetation: In the transition zone between the eastern chaco and the humid 

subtropical forests of southeastern Paraguay, with gallery forest along the water courses, palm 

savannas dominated by Copemicia australis and chaco woodland in the drier areas. The 

aquatic vegetation includes Eichhornia, Pistia and Typha spp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Partly included within the Rio Pilcomayo National Park (50,000 ha) established in 

1951. 

Land use: Cattle ranching. The Park has not been developed and there are few visitors, 

although the numbers are increasing. 

Waterfowl: The rich and diverse bird fauna is typical of the eastern chaco/pantanal wetlands, 

and includes all three storks Ciconiidae, five common species of Threskiornithidae, Chauna 

torquata, all three Dendrocygna spp, Sarkidiornis melanotos and Cairina moschata. 

Other fauna: A rich mammalian fauna includes the Maned Wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus. La 

Plata Otter Lutra platensis, Coypu Myocastor coypus and Crab-eating Fox Cerdocyon thous. 

The Swamp Deer Blastocerus dichotomus has apparently been exterminated by poachers. 

Both Caiman crocodilus and C. latirostris occur. 

Threats: Part of the Laguna Blanca area has recently been excluded from the Park, and there is 

still a considerable amount of illegal grazing, burning and hunting in the Park. 

Research and conservation: Better enforcement of the Park regulations is called for, and the 

whole of Laguna Blanca should be reincorporated in the Park. 

References: Erize et a/ (1981); lUCN (1982); Canevari (undated). 

Source: Manuel Nores and Pablo Canevari. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



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Wetlands in Chaco National Park (11) 

Location: 26°50'S, 59°40'W; 90 km northwest of Resistencia, Chaco Province. 

Area: Several thousand ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 70m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4; 09, II, 12, 13 & 16. 

Site description: Slow-flowing rivers, riverine marshes, shallow freshwater lakes, swamps and 

seasonal marshes, and extensive areas of seasonally flooded grassland and palm savanna. 

Laguna Panza de Cabra in the southeast of the Park is a large permanent lake with rich aquatic 

vegetation. Most of the other lakes and marshes dry out in the dry season. 

Principal vegetation: In the humid eastern chaco zone with palm savannas dominated 

by Copernicia australis and quebracho woodland with Schinopsis balansae. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Chaco National Park (15,000 ha), first established in 1934 and upgraded 

in 1954. 

Land use: Some grazing of livestock and susbsistence cultivation by settlers in the Park. 

Waterfowl: A rich and diverse chaco/pantanal fauna, with good numbers of most waterfowl 

typical of the region; particularly important during the rainy season. Some of the commoner 

species include Ardea cocoi, Syrigma sibilatrix, Jabiru mycteria, Mycteria americana, Euxenura 

maguari. Plegadis chihi, Chauna torquata. Anas leucophrys, Amazonetta brasiliensis 

and Aramides ypecaha. 

Other fauna: The Maned Wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus has been recorded. 

Threats: Settlers in the Park have caused some ecological disturbance, and there have been 

problems with illegal wood-cutting and poaching, but the Park has recently been fenced and 

the problems now seem to be under control. 

References: Erize et a/ (1 98 1); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Isla del Cerrito (12) 

Location: 27°2rS, 58°4rW; at the confluence of the Parana and Paraguay Rivers, north of 

Corrientes, Chaco Province. 

Area: 400 ha. 

Altitude: 60m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4; 09, II & 18. 

Site description: A low-lying island with a very diverse range of habitats including riverine 

marshes, oxbow lakes, gallery forest and humid chaco woodland, at the confluence of two great 

rivers. Large areas of marsh and forest are flooded during the rainy season. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: The island was declared a Provincial Reserve in the 1970s. 

Land use: An important area for sport fishing; there is some cattle grazing and cultivation on a 

small scale. 

Waterfowl: A good selection of chaco/pantanal species. 

Other fauna: Mammals include the rare Swamp Deer Blastocerus dichotomus, Maned 

Wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus and Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris. The principal sport fish 

is Salminus maxillosus. 

Threats: Considerable ecological damage has occurred as a result of forest clearance, shifting 

agriculture and overgrazing. There is a considerable amount of illegal hunting, and this is 

likely to increase with the contruction of roads on the island. 

Research and conservation: A proposal has been made for the establishment of a biological 

research station on the island. An improvement in the integrity of the reserve is called for on 

both biological and touristic grounds. 

References: Hancock & Perrins (1983). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



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Bajos Submeridionales (13) 

Location: 27°30'-29°30'S, 59°15'-6r00'W; southeast of Resistencia, in the Provinces of Chaco 

and Santa Fe. 

Area: c. 1,000,000 ha. 

Altitude: 50-60m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4; 9, 11, 12, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A vast area of slow-flowing rivers, riverine marshes, oxbow lakes, permanent 

and seasonal freshwater lakes and marshes, swamp forest, and seasonally inundated grassland, 

palm savanna and riverine forest. Two of the larger permanent lakes are Laguna del Toro and 

Laguna La Loca. Most of the wetlands are shallow, not exceeding 1.5m in depth. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with species of Scirpus, Typha and Myriophyllum. In a region of 

humid eastern chaco woodland and palm savanna. 

Land tenure: A mixture of private and state ownership. 

Protection: There are some small Provincial Reserves, e.g. the Laguna La Loca Provincial 

Reserve, but most of the area is unprotected. 

Land use: Cattle ranching, with some agriculture, hunting and fishing. 

Waterfowl: One of the most important waterfowl areas in northern Argentina, with lerge 

concentrations of breeding birds and winter visitors from the pampas. Particularly important 

for Ardeidae (seven abundant species), Ciconiidae, Plegadis chihi, Chauna torquata, Anatidae 

and Rallidae. Recent censuses have revealed 80-100 Syrigma sibilatrix, 400-600 Egretta alba, 

200-250 Ardea cocoi, 800-1,000 Mycteria americana, 250-300 Euxenura maguari, 

800-1,000 Plegadis chihi, 300-400 Ajaia ajaja, 1,000-1,500 Chauna torquata, 80-100 Anas 

leucophrys, 80-100 Oxyura dominica, 80-100 Aramus guarauna, 80-100 Porphyrula martinica 

and 300-400 Jacana jacana. The area is also very important for Nearctic shorebirds, 

particularly Tringa melanoleuca, T. flavipes, T. solitaria and Calidris melanotos. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None at present, but a proposal has been made to drain parts of the area. 

Source: Manuel Nores, Dario Yzurieta, Sergio A. Salvador, Samuel Narosky, Rosendo Fraga 

and J. Peterson Myers. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Rio Iguazu and tributaries (14) 

Location: 25°40'S, 54''25'W; near Puerto Iguazu, Misiones Province. 

Area: Several thousand ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 100-300m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 10 (also some 12 & 15). 

Site description: Fast-flowing rivers and streams, with rapids and waterfalls, in huniid 

subtropical forest, and some small freshwater ponds, dams and marshes. Water levels rise 

considerably during the rainy season. "Tunnel" streams flowing north through heavy forest into 

the Rio Iguazu are mostly clear with a fairly regular flow. However, streams with headwaters 

outside the National Park become very turbid after rains because of erosion of the lateritic 

soils. The Rio Iguazu itself has changed radically in the last twenty years, as a result of 

extensive forest clearance and subsequent soil erosion in its watershed. A hydroelectric dam 

has been built at Dique Ossorio, 300 km up river in Brazil, and this influences the flow in the 

river; the hydroelectric turbines are shut down at the weekends and this results in a drop in 

water level at Iguazu on Mondays and a rise again at midday on Tuesdays. Road-building in 

the National Park has altered drainage patterns and created several small ponds and marshes 

near Iguazu Falls. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of humid subtropical forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Partly within the Iguazu National Park (49,200 ha) first initiated in 1909 and 

brought up to its present status in 1972; partly within the Iguazu National Reserve (6,300 ha) 

established in 1979; and partly unprotected. 



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Argentina 

Land use: Tourism in the National Park. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of waterfowl occur in small numbers. Species typical of the 

riverine habitats and forested streams include Anhinga anhinga, Mesembrinibis cayennensis. 

Cairina moschata and Heliornis fulica. The endangered Brazilian 

Merganser Mergus octosetaceus still occurs in very small numbers, and the even rarer nominate 

race of the Fasciated Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma fasciatum fasciatum may occur. 

Other fauna: The two rare otters Lutra platensis and Pteronura brasiliensisand the Brazilian 

Spectacled Caiman Caiman latirostris occur in the Park. Amphibians include Bufo marinus 

paraenemis, and the fishes include Pimelodus maculatus and P. clarias. 

Threats: The principal threat is the increasing turbidity of the Rio Iguazu and tributaries 

arising outside the Park as a result of watershed degradation. There is some illegal hunting and 

cutting of palms Euterpe edulis. 

Research and conservation: Detailed studies of the avifauna have been carried out by various 

workers. 

References: lUCN (1982); Parques Nacionales (1983). 

Source: Manuel Nores and Mauricio Rumboll. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Rio Uruguai (15) 

Location: 25°55'S, 53°50'-54°35'W; 60 km northeast of El Dorado, Misiones Province. 

Area: c.lOO km of river. 

Altitude: 200m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 10. 

Site description: A small fast-flowing river and tributary streams draining a relatively 

undisturbed area of humid subtropical forest; clear-running, with many rapids and deep pools. 

The least spoiled of the rivers in Misiones. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of humid subtropical forest. 

Land tenure: Owned by the Local Government. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: None at present, except for some hunting. 

Waterfowl: Because of its undisturbed nature, the river has good populations of several species 

which are rare elsewhere in Misiones. The endangered Brazilian Merganser Mergus 

octosetaceus was found to be fairly common in the 1950s; five birds were observed by Andrew 

Johnson of FVSA in June 1984, and the species is still believed to breed in the area. 

Other fauna: The La Plata Otter Lutra platensis occurs. The rare parrot Amazona pretrei has 

recently been recorded (the only known site in Argentina). 

Threats: Plans exist to dam the river for hydroelectricity, apparently more for political than 

economic reasons. The resultant lake would flood 80 km of the valley. 

Research and conservation: A survey of 100 km of river by canoe in December 1983 amply 

demonstrated the significance of the Rio Uruguai as one of the last unspoiled rivers in the 

subtropical forests of northeastern Argentina. Every effort should be made to ensure that this 

area is protected in its pristine state, rather than destroyed with the construction of a dam of 

dubious economic viability. 

References: Partridge (1954). 

Source: Mauricio Rumboll. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Esteros del Ibera (16) 

Location: 27°30'-29°00'S, 56°30'-59''00'W; between the Parana and Uruguay Rivers, central 

Corrientes Province. 

Area: 1,100,000 ha. 

Altitude: 60m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 09, 11, 12, 13 & 16. 



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Site description: A vast complex of permanent shallow freshwater lakes up to 5m deep; swamps 

with slow-moving water and extensive floating vegetation; slow-flowing rivers and streams 

with riverine forest; seasonal marshes; and seasonally inundated grassland. The principal lakes 

are Laguna Tigre, L. de Luna, L. Galarza, L. Parana, L. Ibera and L. Fernandez. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of gently undulating grassland with scattered Prosopis 

algarrobilla and Acacia caven; managed for cattle ranching. The lakes and swamps have 

extensive areas of Eichhomia sp and a rich growth of submergent vegetation. The dominant 

vegetation in the marshes includes Scirpus, Typha and Phragmites spp. 

Land tenure: Mainly privately owned, in large estancias of 20,000-60,000 ha and many small 

holdings; some areas are state owned (fiscal). 

Protection: None at present. 

Land use: Cattle ranching, hunting and fishing; there is a big hunting industry for fur-bearing 

mammals. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for chaco/pantanal waterfowl, with large breeding 

populations of Ardeidae, Ciconiidae, Threskiornithidae, and Rallidae. Chauna torquata and the 

tree ducks Dendrocygna spp are common, and Jacana jacana is abundant. 

Other fauna: Despite heavy hunting pressure, there are still significant populations of the 

Swamp Deer Blastocerus dichotomus (the most important population left in Argentina), Luira 

platensis, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, and Myocastor coypus. Caiman crocodilus and C. 

latirostris are both common. 

Threats: Excessive hunting has already exterminated the big cats, and is now threatening the 

deer and otter populations. A variety of drainage schemes have been proposed, notably a 

proposal in 1972 to drain over one million ha for ranching and agriculture. This scheme was 

abandoned because of the fragile soils which are highly suceptible to overgrazing and drought. 

There have also been proposals to build dams for hydroelectricity and irrigation along the 

Parana River, and there is currently a proposal to divert the waters of the Parana to reduce the 

extent of flooding in the rainy season. 

Research and conservation: The area has great potential for nature-oriented tourism on some of 

the larger estancias, and this has already started to be developed. There has been a proposal 

for the creation of a National Park of upto 500,000 ha since 1939, but no action has been taken 

to date. 

References: Erize et al (1981); Hancock & Perrins (1983). 

Source: Manuel Nores and Dario Yzurieta. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Marshes of the lower Rio Parana (17) 

Location: 31°40'S, 60°40'W to 34°20'S, 58°30'W; between Parana town and the Rio de la Plata, 

Entre Rios and Buenos Aires Provinces. 

Area: c. 1,500,000 ha of wetlands along 370 km of river. 

Altitude: 0-30m. 

Province and type: 8.31.11; 09, 11 & 16. 

Site description: The vast riverine marshes and flood plain of the lower Rio Parana, with 

numerous permanent and seasonal freshwater lakes and marshes, slow-flowing river channels, 

low-lying islands, and extensive areas of seasonally flooded grassland. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with species of Scirpus, Eichhornia and Typha. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: Very largely unprotected; there are several small Provincial Reserves in Buenos 

Aires Province in the south (Isla Botija, Isla Martin Garcia and Isla Laguna Alsina). 

Land use: Forestry and tourism. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for waterfowl notably Ardeidae, Ciconiidae, 

Threskiornithidae, Rallidae and shorebirds. Plegadis chihi and Chauna torquata are particularly 

abundant. Rallidae include Aramides spp, Laterallus melanophaius and L. leucopyrrhus, and 

the most abundant shorebirds are Tringa melanoleuca, T. flavipes and Calidris melanotos. 

Other fauna: The area is one of the last strongholds of the rare La Plata Otter Lutra platensis, 

and the Swamp Deer Blastocerus dichotomus still occurs. 

Threats: No information. 

References: WWF Red Data Book. 

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Argentina 

Source: Manuel Nores and Derek A. Scott. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna Melincue and nearby lalces (18) 

Location: 33°42'S, 61°28'W; 110 km southwest of Rosario, Santa Fe Province. 

Area: 12,000 ha. 

Altitude: 90m. 

Province and type: 8.31.11; 12 & 14. 

Site description: A large permanent shallow oligosaline and sulphurous lake with little aquatic 

vegetation (Laguna Melincue), and several small freshwater lakes and marshes nearby. Laguna 

Melincue is currently increasing in size. 

Principal vegetation: The freshwater lakes support a rich growth of aquatic vegetation 

dominated by Scirpus sp. 

Land tenure: A mixture of private and state (fiscal) ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: None. 

Waterfowl: Laguna Melincue was formerly an important breeding site for Phoenicopterus 

chilensis and Larus cirrocephalus which nested on islands now submerged by the rising water 

levels (1,000-1,500 P. chilensis and 4,000-5,000 L. cirrocephalus). A wide variety of other 

species occur in smaller numbers, and "thousands" of Steganopus tricolor have been recorded. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None at present. 

Research and conservation: A proposal has recently been made for the establishment of a 

Provincial Reserve. 

Source: Manuel Nores, Dario Yzurieta, Samuel Narosky and Sergio A. Salvador. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3a. 



Rio Dulce Marshes (19) 

Location: 29°40'-30''30'S, 62°12'-63''20'W; north of Mar Chiquita, Cordoba Province. 

Area: 500,000 ha. 

Altitude: 70m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4/8.25.7; 09, 11, 12, 14 & 16. 

Site description: A vast system of riverine marshes, permanent and seasonal shallow fresh to 

brackish lakes and marshes, and seasonally flooded grassland along the lower Rio Dulce. The 

principal lakes are Laguna de los Patos, L. Palma, L. de las Tortugas and L. Mistoles. 

Extensive areas are flooded to a depth of 0.5m during the wet season; during the dry season, 

salinities increase and bare salt flats are exposed. 

Principal vegetation: Both freshwater and brackish marsh vegetation, with small patches of 

forest on higher ground. 

Land tenure: Mainly privately owned. 

Protection: A small part of the marshes is included within the Mar Chiquita Provincial 

Reserve; the remainder is unprotected. 

Land use: A little cattle ranching, hunting and fishing. 

Waterfowl: A very important breeding area for a wide variety of species, and an important 

passage and "wintering" area for Nearctic shorebirds. Peak counts of breeding birds in recent 

years have included 2,000-3,000 Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 700-800 Egretta alba, 

300,000-400,000 Egretta thula, 800-1,000 Euxenura maguari, 300,000-400,000 Plegadis chihi, 

1,500-2,000 Phoenicopterus chilensis, 300-500 Anas georgica, 1,000-1,500 A. platalea, 

800-1,000 Netta peposaca, 2,000-3,000 Fulica armillata, 6,000-8,000 F. leucoptera, 

100-150 Nycticryphes semicollaris, 6,000-8,000 Himantopus himantopus and 



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Argentina 

200,000-300,000 Larus maculipennis. The area is rich in Rallidae, including Porzana 

flaviventer, Laterallus spilopterus and Coturnicops notata. Eleven species of Nearctic shorebirds 

have been recorded including 400-500 Tringa melanoleuca, 600-800 Calidris fuscicollis, 

200-300 C. bairdii, 800-1,000 Micropalama himantopus, 200-250 Limosa haemaslica and 

8,000-10,000 Steganopus tricolor. Up to 100 Coscoroba coscoroba and a small number 

of Cygnus melancoryphus occur as winter visitors from the south. 

Other fauna: The Coypu Myocastor coypus is common. 

Threats: A dam on the Rio Hondo accelerates dessication of the marshes during the dry season 

and probably influences flooding during the rainy season. 

Research and conservation: A number of ornithological surveys have been conducted since 

1973 by Nores and Yzurieta. 

References: Nores & Yzurieta (1980a). 

Source: Manuel Nores and Dario Yzurieta. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna Mar Chiquita (20) 

Location: 30°45'S, 62°30'W; 150 km ENE of Cordoba, Cordoba Province. 

Area: 200,000 ha. 

Altitude: 70m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4/8.25.7; 14. 

Site description: A very large permanent highly saline lake, up to 4m deep, with some small 

islands, and brackish marshes at the mouths of rivers entering the lake. The delta marshes of 

the Rio Segundo are particularly extensive. In normal years, the level of the lake drops about 

50 cm during the dry season. During a period of exceptional flooding starting in 1977, the lake 

level rose considerably; islands important for nesting birds were inundated and the salinity 

decreased. This produced a marked decline in the abundance and diversity of species. 

Principal vegetation: Most of the lake is devoid of vegetation, but there are marshes of Typha 

and Scirpus spp, and riverine thickets of Tamarix galica, at river mouths. In a region of 

halophytic steppe and xerophytic woodland. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Mar Chiquita Provincial Reserve. 

Land use: A little boat traffic. 

Waterfowl: The lake itself is rather poor for birds, but the delta marshes, particularly of the 

Rio Segundo, are extremely important for waterfowl of a wide variety of species, especially 

Nearctic migrants. Peak counts of breeding birds in recent years have included 

400-500 Rollandia rolland, 2,000-3,000 Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 3,000-4,000 Bubulcus ibis, 

2,000-3,000 Plegadis chihi, 5,000-6,000 Phoenicopterus chilensis, 250-300 Anasbahamensis, 

700-1,000 A. cyanoptera, 4,000-5,000 A. platalea, 250-300 Netta peposaca, 800-1,000 Fulica 

armillata, 2,000-3,000 F. leucoptera, 2,500-3,000 Himantopus himantopus, 400-500 Larus 

cirrocephalus, 200,000-300,000 L. maculipennis, 150-200 Gelochelidon nilotica and 

80-100 Sterna trudeaui. Sixteen species of Nearctic shorebird have been recorded including up 

to 100 Pluvialis dominica, 15,000 Tringa flavipes, 15,000 Calidris fuscicollis, 200 Micropalama 

himantopus, 600 C. melanotos and 500,000 Steganopus tricolor. The lake is of considerable 

interest for the number of typically coastal species which occur in small numbers at this inland 

sea on migration, e.g. Arenaria interpres, Calidris canutus, C. alba, C. pusilla and Sterna 

hirundo. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Myocastor coypus. 

Threats: None, other than occasional exceptional flooding. 

Research and conservation: Regular ornithological surveys have been conducted since 1973 by 

Nores and Yzurieta. 

References: Nores & Yzurieta (1975, 1979, 1980a & 1983a). 



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Argentina 

Source: Manuel Nores and Dario Yzurieta. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Canada de los Tres Arboles and Los Morteros (21) 

Location: 30°50'S, 62''00'W; between Seeber and Morteros, Cordoba Province. 

Area: 15,000 ha. 

Altitude: 80- 100m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4; 13 & 16. 

Site description: Temporary shallow freshwater ponds and marshes, and extensive areas of 

seasonally flooded grassland and arable land, to the southeast of Mar Chiquita. The area dries 

out completely during the dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Mainly flooded grassland, with some Scirpus marshes. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Agriculture and hunting. 

Waterfowl: Very important as a feeding area for large numbers of waterfowl during the wet 

season (the non-breeding season), and an important breeding area for several species. 

Maximum counts include 500-600 Bubulcus ibis, 300,000-400,000 Plegadis chihi, 

800-1,000 Dendrocygna bicolor, 800-1,000 D. viduata, 400-500 Anas bahamensis, 

250,000-300,000 A. georgica, 150,000-200,000 Netta peposaca, 8,000-10,000 Fulica ieucoptera, 

and smaller numbers of Phoenicopterus chilensis, Sarkidiornis melnnotos, Heteronetta atricapilla 

and six species of Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: The Coypu Myocastor coypus occurs. 

Threats: None at present. 

Source: Manuel Nores, Dario Yzurieta and Sergio A. Salvador. 

Criteria for inclusion: la. 



Laguna Luduefia (22) 

Location: 3ri5'S, 63°32'W; 60 km east of Cordoba, Cordoba Province. 

Area: 30 ha. 

Altitude: 150m. 

Province and type: 8.25.7; 12. 

Site description: A permanent shallow freshwater lake and associated marshes in the valley of 

the Rio Primero, subject to considerable fluctuations in water level. 

Principal vegetation: The aquatic vegetation is dominated by Scirpus sp and Pistia sp. The 

lake is in an area of rolling semi-arid shrubland. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: No hunting is allowed in the area. 

Land use: A little cattle ranching and fishing. 

Waterfowl: An interesting area because of the wide diversity of waterfowl which occur; fifty 

species of waterfowl have been recorded. Breeding species include Ixobrychus involucris, 

Oxyura vittata. O. dominica, Heteronetta atricapilla, Rallus maculatus, Porphyrula martinica, 

three species of Fulica, Nycticryphes semicollaris and Himantopus himantopus. 

Other fauna: Myocastor coypus occurs. 

Threats: None. 

Research and conservation: The avifauna has been studied by Nores and Yzurieta since 1977. 

Source: Manuel Nores and Dario Yzurieta. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



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Laguna de Pocho (23) 

Location: 3r25'S, 65°irW; 90 km west of Cordoba, Cordoba Province. 

Area: 50 ha. 

Altitude: 900m. 

Province and type: 8.25.7; 12. 

Site description: A semi-permanent shallow freshwater lake, up to 2m deep, and associated 

marshes, subject to wide fluctuations in water level and drying out in exceptionally dry years. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes of Scirpus sp. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: None. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for waterfowl, including Rollandia rolland, nine 

species of Anatidae, three species of Fulica, Nycticryphes semicollaris, and Himantopus 

himantopus. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None at present. 

Research and conservation: Studies of the avifauna have been carried out by Nores and 

Yzurieta since 1974. 

References: Nores & Yzurieta (1980a). 

Source: Manuel Nores and Dario Yzurieta. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Lagunas de Etruria (24) 

Location: 32°53'S, 63°13'W; 50 km south of Villa Maria, Cordoba Province. 

Area: 250 ha. 

Altitude: 160m. 

Province and type: 8.25.7/8.31.11; 12 & 16. 

Site description: A complex of small permanent shallow freshwater lakes and marshes, and 

seasonally flooded grassland, along the Arroyo Chazon. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Scirpus and Typha spp. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle ranching, hunting and sport fishing. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding and passage area for waterfowl. Peak counts in recent years 

have included 1,500-2,000 Bubulcus ibis, 120-150 Euxenura maguari, 3,000-5,000 Plegadis 

chihi, 400-500 Phoenicopterus chilensis, 800-1,000 Dendrocygna bicolor, 800-1,000 D. viduata, 

80-100 Coscoroba coscoroba, 80-100 Cygnus melancoryphus, 3,000-5,000 Anas georgica, 

800-1,000 Netta peposaca, 80-100 Heteronetta atricapilla, and up to 10,000 Fulica of three 

species. Eight species of Nearctic shorebirds have been recorded, including up to 

2,000 Pluvialis dominica. 

Other fauna: The Coypu Myocastor coypus occurs. 

Threats: None at present. 

Research and conservation: Sergio Salvador has conducted studies in the area since 1978. 

References: Salvador (1983). 

Source: Manuel Nores and Sergio A. Salvador. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Canada Santa Lucia (25) 

Location: 33°08'S, 6r57'W; 140 km ESE of Villa Maria, Cordoba Province. 

Area: 3,300 ha. 

Altitude: 80m. 

Province and type: 8.31.11; 14. 



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Argentina 

Site description: Two permanent shallow saline lakes, up to 2.5m deep, with some associated 

brackish marshes. There is little fluctuation in water level. 

Principal vegetation: Brackish marshes with Distichlis scoparia. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Sport fishing. 

Waterfowl: In March 1976, 32 species of waterfowl were present, including 

3,000-4,000 Plegadis chihi, 250-300 Calidris fuscicollis and 4,000-5,000 Larus maculipennis. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None. 

Source: Manuel Nores and Dario Yzurieta. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Rio Saladillo Marshes (26) 

Location: 33°25'S, 62°55'W; 110 km SSE of Villa Maria, Cordoba Province. 

Area: 15,000 ha. 

Altitude: 100m. 

Province and type: 8.31.11; 12, 13 & 16. 

Site description: A complex of about twenty shallow freshwater lakes, up to 3m deep, seasonal 

fresh to brackish marshes, and large areas of seasonally flooded grassland along the Rio 

Saladillo. Most of the lakes retain water throughout the dry season, but the marshes dry out 

completely. 

Principal vegetation: Scirpus spp, Typha sp, Distichlis scoparia, various Chenopodiaceae in 

brackish areas, and small clumps of Geoff roea decorticans and Tamarix galica. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None at present, but the owners do not generally allow hunting. 

Land use: A little cattle ranching, hunting and fishing. 

Waterfowl: Probably the most important breeding area for waterfowl in Cordoba Province, and 

an important "wintering" area for Nearctic shorebirds. Censuses of breeding birds have 

included up to 1,000 Rollandia rolland, 5,000 Bubulcus ibis, 40 Euxenura maguari, 

20,000 Plegadis chihi, 200 Coscoroba coscoroba, 250 Cygnus melancoryphus, 500 Heteronetta 

atricapilla, 200 Himantopus himantopus, 8,000 Fulica of three species, 700 Netta peposaca, and 

20,000 Larus maculipennis, 1,500 Anas georgica, 500 Anas versicolor, and 500 Anas platalea. 

Counts of Nearctic shorebirds have included 100 Tringa melanoleuca, 150 Tringa flavipes, 

600 Micropalama himantopus A, 000 Calidris fuscicollis, 500 Calidris bairdii, and 300 Calidris 

melanotos. 

Other fauna: The Coypu Myocastor coypus occurs. 

Threats: There is a proposal to build a dam on the Rio Saladillo which would drastically reduce 

the extent of the marshes. 

Research and conservation: There is a proposal to create a Provincial Nature Reserve or 

National Park in the area. Nores, Yzurieta and Miatello have conducted a number of 

ornithological surveys in the area, particularly in 1973 and 1974. 

References: Nores & Yzurieta (1980a). 

Source: Manuel Nores, Dario Yzurieta and Rodolfo Miatello. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna La Margarita (27) 

Location: 34°25'S, 64°00'W; 140 km SSE of Rio Cuarto, Cordoba Province. 

Area: 500 ha. 

Altitude: 150m. 

Province and type: 8.25.7/8.31.11; 12. 

Site description: A permanent shallow freshwater lake, up to 3m deep, with abundant aquatic 

vegetation, and subject to some fluctuation in water level. 

Principal vegetation: Scirpus and Myriophyllum spp. 

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Argentina 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but hunting is prohibited. 

Land use: Sport fishing. 

Waterfowl: A very important breeding area for some waterfowl. Counts conducted in 1974 and 

1977 included up to 5,000 Rollandia rolland, 2,000 Podiceps occipitalis, 50 Theristicus 

(caudatus) melanopis (non-breeding visitor), 1,500 Plegadis chihi, 3,000 Anas georgica, 

40 Oxyura vittata, 5,000 Fulica of three species and 10,000 Larus maculipennis. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Destruction of aquatic vegetation by fishermen. 

Source: Manuel Nores, Dario Yzurieta and Rodolfo Miatello. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b. 



Lakes in Southwestern Cordoba Province (28) 

Location: 34°45'S, 64°45'W; 180 km SSW of Rio Cuarto, Cordoba Province. 

Area: 4,500 ha. 

Altitude: 200m. 

Province and type: 8.25.7; 14. 

Site description: A complex of permanent shallow saline lakes, up to 2.5m deep, with little 

fluctuation in water level and little aquatic vegetation. 

Principal vegetation: Some Myriophyllum sp; in a region of semi-arid woodland and scrub. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Sport fishing. 

Waterfowl: An important wintering area, particularly for grebes Podicipedidae and coots Fulica 

spp. Counts made in the mid 1970s included up to 5,000 Rollandia rolland, 1,500 Podiceps 

occipitalis, 300 Phoenicopterus chilensis, 1,000 ducks, 25,000 Fulica armillata and 25,000 F. 

leucoptera. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

References: Nores & Yzurieta (1980a). 

Source: Manuel Nores and Dario Yzurieta. 

Criteria for inclusion: la and 3a. 



Laguna del Viboron (29) 

Location: 32°53'S, 68"'36'W; 20 km east of Mendoza, Mendoza Province. 

Area: 38 ha. 

Altitude: 650m. 

Province and type: 8.25.7; 12. 

Site description: A small permanent freshwater lake, up to 1.5m deep, with wide fluctuations 

in water level and abundant aquatic vegetation. One of the few significant wetlands in 

Mendoza Province. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes dominated by Scirpus spp; in a region of halophytic steppe with 

Chenopodiaceae. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Sport fishing. 

Waterfowl: Little quantitative information is available; thirty-six species of waterfowl have 

been recorded. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The waters of the Arroyo Leyes, the main river feeding the lake, are utilized for 

irrigation. 

References: Contreras & Fernandez (1980). 

Source: Manuel Nores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 

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Berisso Marshes (30) 

Location: 34°50'S, 57''52'W; northeast of La Plata, Buenos Aires Province. 

Area: 1,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.31.11; 07, 13 & 17. 

Site description: A complex of small permanent artificial ponds, up to Im deep, with natural 

characteristics; freshwater marshes; and estuarine marshes along the shore of the adjacent Rio 

de la Plata. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Typha and Eichhornia spp. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: None. 

Waterfowl: The area supports a very diverse avifauna, and is especially rich in Rallidae (11 

species including Laterallus melanophaius and L. leucopyrrhus), shorebirds, and 

Laridae. Phoenicopterus chilensis is common, and up to 100 Cygnus melancoryphus have been 

recorded. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

References: Klimaitis (undated). 

Source: Manuel Nores, Juan F. Klimaitis and Samuel Narosky. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b. 



Laguna de Lobos (31) 

Location: 35°16'S, 59°06'W; 90 km SSW of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Province. 

Area: 200 ha. 

Altitude: 30m. 

Province and type: 8.31.11; 12 & 13. 

Site description: Permanent shallow freshwater lake, up to 3m deep, and seasonal marshes, with 

abundant aquatic vegetation. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Scirpus and Typha spp; in the pampas. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Little human activity. 

Waterfowl: An important area for breeding waterfowl, particularly Ardeidae, Anatidae and 

Rallidae. Coscoroba coscoroba and Cygnus melancoryphus are common winter visitors, and 

several species of Nearctic shorebirds occur in significant numbers in the austral summer. 

Other fauna: The Coypu Myocastor coypus occurs. 

Threats: None known. 

References: Fraga (undated). 

Source: Manuel Nores and Rosendo Fraga. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Laguna Las Perdices and Laguna del Monte (32) 

Location: 35°28'S, 58''49'W; 90 km south of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Province. 

Area: Laguna Las Perdices 832 ha; L. del Monte 400 ha. 

Altitude: 20-25m. 

Province and type: 8.31.11; 12. 

Site description: Two permanent shallow lakes, 2-3m deep, and associated marshes. Las 

Perdices is brackish; del Monte is fresh. The two lakes are connected by a canal, the flow from 

del Monte to Las Perdices being controlled by a sluice. Water from Las Perdices then drains 



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via a series of smaller lakes into the Rio Salado. Water levels in the lakes fluctuate slightly 

according to local rainfall. 

Principal vegetation: There are extensive marshes of Scirpus califomicus at both lakes. Other 

aquatic plants at Las Perdices include Ceratophyllum demersum, Azolla spp, Lemna 

sp, Ricciocarpus sp and Myriophyllum brasiliensis. 

Land tenure: Las Perdices is largely privately owned (20% state owned); del Monte is privately 

owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: A considerable amount of sport fishing, principally for Hoplias malabaricus; some 

hunting of waterfowl and Coypus; water sports; and reed-cutting for basket-weaving. 

Waterfowl: An important area for breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl of a wide variety; 

over 75 species have been recorded, including 14 species of Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: The Coypu Myocastor coypus occurs. The fishes, amphibians and reptiles have 

been well documented, and are listed by Rozenberg. 

Threats: The principal threat to the area is eutrophication and increased sedimentation 

resulting from the inflow of domestic sewage. There is also some industrial pollution, 

considerable disturbance from sport fishing and water sports, and collection of birds' eggs for 

human consumption. 

Research and conservation: A project proposal has recently been prepared by the Municipal 

Authorities and the Camara de Diputados de Buenos Aires, on the basis of a recommendation 

made by local conservationists, to create an educational nature reserve (Reserva Natural 

Integral de Acceso Restringido). 

References: Rozenberg (undated). 

Source: Laura S. Rozenberg, Jorge Rodriguez Mata, Manuel Nores, Ricardo Banchs and Samuel 

Narosky. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Samborombon Bay, Punta Rasa and Campos del Tuyu (33) 

Location: 35°30'-36''22'S, 56°45'-57°23'W; northwest of San Clemente del Tuyu, Buenos Aires 

Province. 

Area: c. 100,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-4m. 

Province and type: 8.31.11; 02, 06, 07, 13 & 16. 

Site description: Samborombon Bay is a large bay along the south shore of the Rio de la Plata 

estuary with extensive intertidal mudflats, tidal salt marshes and network of tidal creeks. The 

bay is backed by a belt of coastal sand dunes and broad strip of seasonally flooded marshes and 

low-lying grassland, dissected by numerous slow-flowing streams. The area has remained 

relatively isolated and undisturbed. 

Principal vegetation: Salicornia sp, Spartina sp, Zizaniopsis brasiliensis, Juncus acutus, 

Distichlis sp, with some Scirpus califomicus and Typha angustifolia. 

Land tenure: Mainly privately owned; the Military own the Punta Rasa area. 

Protection: Unprotected except for a private reserve in the southern part of the Campos del 

Tuyu (3,500 ha, with a 4,000 ha buffer zone; established in 1979 to protect a population of the 

Pampas Deer, and administered by FVSA), and a small Provincial Reserve in the north. FVSA 

has maintained a warden (agente de conservacion) at Punta Rasa since the end of 1984. 

Land use: Cattle ranching on the grasslands; fishing, water sports and other recreation along the 

coast. 

Waterfowl: A very important passage and wintering area for migratory shorebirds, including 

Patagonian species in the austral winter and Nearctic species in the austral summer. The 



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largest concentrations occur at the south end of the bay, in the Punta Rasa area. The 

freshwater marshes and wet meadows are also important for wintering Theristicus (c) 

melanopis, Plegadis chihi, Chauna torquata, Phoenicopterus chilensis, both species of swans, 

ducks and coots Fulica spp. The shorebirds of the area have been well documented by Myers 

& Myers (1979). The principal species include Pluvialis squatarola, P. dominica 

(abundant), Charadrius falklandicus. C. modestus, Eudromias ruficollis, Tringa melanoleuca, T. 

flavipes. Calidris alba, C. canutus (flocks of up to 100), C fuscicollis (abundant), C. melanotos. 

Micropalama himantopus, Tryngites subruficollis, Limosa haemastica (up to 3,000 during 

migration), Steganopus tricolor and the seedsnipe Thinocorus rumicivorus. A variety of Laridae 

occur, including up to 3,000 wintering Sterna hirundo at Punta Rasa, and Rynchops niger is 

common. 

Other fauna: The Pampas Deer Ozotoceros bezoarticus celer population is one of the last in 

Buenos Aires Province. The Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris is common. 

Threats: A general increase in human activities is rapidly changing this relatively unspoiled 

area. There is a project to construct a deepwater harbour, and there are plans to drain 

important portions of the marshes. 

Research and conservation: A proposal has been made to establish a Provincial Reserve and 

perhaps eventually a Natural Monument at Punta Rasa, along with a Biological Station. The 

station could make use of the old naval buildings at Punta Rasa, and would be administered 

jointly by the FVSA and National Parks Service. 

References: Olrog (1967); Myers & Myers (1979). 

Source: Manuel Nores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Chascomus Lakes (34) 

Location: 35°35'S, 58°01'W; 100 km SSW of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Province. 

Area: 150,000 ha. 

Altitude: 20m. 

Province and type: 8.31.11; 12. 

Site description: A vast complex of permanent shallow freshwater lakes, up to 4m deep, and 

associated marshes, in the pampas. The numerous lakes, some of up to several thousand ha in 

extent, include Laguna Chascomus, L. Vitel, L. Manantiales and L. de la Tablilla. Most of the 

lakes have abundant aquatic vegetation, and relatively stable water levels. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes of Scirpus and Typha spp. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: A lot of sport fishing in the lakes; cattle ranching in the surrounding pampas. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for breeding and wintering waterfowl, but few census data 

available. Up to 5,000 Cygnus melancoryphus have been recorded at Laguna Chascomus. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None at present. 

Source: Manuel Nores and Sergio A. Salvador. 

Criteria for inclusion: la, 2b & 3a. 



Albufera Mar Chiquita (35) 

Location: 37°38'S, 57°24'W; 40 km NNW of Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires Province. 

Area: 5,500 ha. 

Altitude: 0-3m. 

Province and type: 8.31.11; 07. 

Site description: A permanent shallow coastal saline lagoon with a connection to the sea and 

little vegetation. 

Principal vegetation: Brackish marshes with Distichlis sp around the edges of the lagoon;some 

stands of Typha sp and Scirpus sp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

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Protection: None at present. 

Land use: A considerable amount of fishing. 

Waterfowl: An important wintering area for Anatidae and shorebirds; up to 500 Coscoroba 

coscoroba, 3,000 Cygnus melancoryphus and 2,000 Rynchops niger have been recorded. Also an 

important staging area in April for over 10,000 Calidris fuscicollis, and in October and 

November for Limosa haemastica, Micropalama himantopus and Steganopus tricolor. 

600 Phoenicopterus chilensis were present in January 1982. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: There is a project for the establishment of a Provincial Reserve. 

References: Morrison et al (1985). 

Source: Manuel Nores, Sergio A. Salvador and J. Peterson Myers. 

Criteria for inclusion: la & 3a. 



Bahia Blanca (36) 

Location: 38°48'-39°25'S, 61°50'-62°25'W; south of Bahia Blanca town, Buenos Aires Province. 

Area: 200,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.31.11; 02, 03, 05, 06 & 07. 

Site description: A vast estuarine system of several small rivers, with extensive intertidal 

mudflats, numerous low islands, sandy beaches, coastal sand dunes, and some brackish marshes. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Known to be a breeding area for Phoenicopterus chilensis, and thought to be an 

important migration stopover and "wintering area" for Nearctic shorebirds. In an aerial survey 

in January/February 1982, substantial numbers of Calidris fuscicollis were observed. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Morrison (1983a). 

Source: Brian A. Harrington. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Bahia Union, Bahia Anegada and the Rio Colorado Estuary (37) 

Location: 39°45'-40°40'S, 62°00'-62°28'W; 150 km south of Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires 

Province. 

Area: 240,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.31.1 1/8.25.7; 02, 03, 05, 06 & 07. 

Site description: A vast shallow sea bay at the estuary of the Rio Colorado, with extensive 

intertidal mudflats and salt marshes, several small low islands, sandy beaches and some coastal 

sand dunes. The area includes Bahia San Bias at the south end of Bahia Anegada. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important migration stopover and "wintering" area for Nearctic shorebirds; 

1,140 Limosa haemastica and large numbers of Calidris fuscicollis were recorded during an 

aerial survey in January/February 1982. There are also breeding colonies of Ardea cocoi. 

Phoenicopterus chilensis (2,275 birds including 300-400 breeding pairs in January 1982), Larus 

dominicanus and L. belcheri. 

Other fauna: No information. 

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Threats: No information. 

References: Morrison (1983a); Morrison et al (1985). 
Source: Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina. 
Criteria for inclusion: lb. 



Laguna Blanca (38) 

Location: 39''02'S, 70°2rW; 30 1cm southwest of Zapala, Neuquen Province. 

Area: 1 ,700 ha. 

Altitude: 1,276m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 12. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake, up to 6m deep, fed by small streams and with 

little aquatic vegetation. There is little fluctuation in water level, and the lake partially freezes 

over in winter. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Scirpus sp; in a region of Patagonian steppe, with 

xerophytic vegetation of grasses Stipa, Poa and Festuca spp, and dwarf shrubs. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Laguna Blanca National Park (8,250 ha), and the Laguna Blanca 

National Reserve (3,000 ha). The Park was established in 1940, primarily to protect the large 

population of Cygnus melancoryphus. 

Land use: There is some cattle ranching in the area, and a public road through the Park passes 

along the lake shore. 

Waterfowl: An important area for breeding waterfowl. A census in January/February 1982 

included 300 Rollandia rolland, 1,500 Podiceps occipitalis, 2,000-2,500 Cygnusmelancoryphus, 

300 Chloephaga picta, 500 Anas sibilatrix, 1,000 Anas platalea, 800 Fulica armillata, 

80 Oxyura vittata, and smaller numbers of five other species of ducks and several species of 

shorebirds. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Cattle grazing around the lake have destroyed some of the aquatic vegetation. 

Research and conservation: A number of general studies have been conducted on the limnology 

of the lake, and the fauna and flora of the Park. 

References: Santos Gollan (1951); Erize et a/ (1981); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Manuel Nores and Dario Yzurieta. 

Criteria for inclusion: Ic, 2b & 3a. 



Lago Huechulafquen and other wetlands 
in Lanin National Park and Reserve (39) 

Location: 39°07'-40°22'S, 7riO'-71°40'W; in Andes of western Neuquen Province, on Chilean 

border. 

Area: 30,500 ha of wetlands including Lago Huechulafquen (12,000 ha). 

Altitude: 850- 1,200m. 

Province and type: 8.10.2/8.37.12; 10, 12 & 19. 

Site description: Lago Huechulafquen is a large very deep freshwater lake with a little aquatic 

vegetation. There are also some twenty smaller freshwater lakes including Lago Quillen 

(2,800 ha), L. Tromen (2,700 ha), L. Lolog (3,800 ha) and L. Lacar (4,500 ha); a number of 

fast-flowing mountain rivers and streams; and areas of Andean bog. 

Principal vegetation: The Park and Reserve span the transition zone between the Nothofagus 

and Araucaria forests of the Andes and the Patagonian steppe to the east. 

Land tenure: The Park is state-owned; the Reserve is partly state owned and partly private. 

Protection: Within the Lanin National Park (194,600 ha) and Lanin National Reserve 

(184,400 ha) established in 1937. 



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Land use: Tourism and sport fishing. 

Waterfowl: Like all oligotrophic lakes of this type in the Argentinian and Chilean Andes, the 

lakes are of relatively little importance for waterfowl. Characteristic species include Podiceps 

major navasi, Theristicus (c) melanopis, Chloephaga poliocephala, Tachyeres patachonicus 

and Anas specularis. 

Other fauna: Mammals include the Southern River Otter Lutra provocax and Coypu Myocastor 

coypus; amphibians include Rhinoderma darwini; and fishes include Galaxias andHaplochiton 

spp. 

Threats: There are a number of introduced mammals in the area, and there is a considerable 

amount of disturbance from sport fishing and hunting. The Southern River Otter has almost 

been exterminated by hunting in the past. 

Research and conserYation: Basic faunal and floral inventories have been conducted in the Park. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: Manuel Nores and Sergio A. Salvador. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a and 3a. 



Wetlands in Nahuel Huapi National Park and Reserve (40) 

Location: 40°20'-4r35'S, 7riO'-7r75'W; in Andes near San Carlos de Bariloche, Neuquen 

and Rio Negro Provinces. 

Area: 84,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 720- 1,000m. 

Province and type: 8.10.2/8.37.12; 10, 12 & 19. 

Site description: Lago Nahuel Huapi is a freshwater lake, 56,000 ha in area and up to 454m 

deep, with fringing marshes in sheltered bays. Other large lakes in the area include Lago 

Traful (7,200 ha), L. Espejo (3,800 ha) and L. Mascardi (3,600 ha). There are over 35 smaller 

freshwater lakes, numerous fast-flowing mountain rivers and streams, and areas of bog within 

the Park and Reserve. 

Principal vegetation: In the transition zone between the temperate rain forests of the Andes 

(principally Nothofagus spp) and the xerophytic steppe of Patagonia to the east, with 

Valdiviano Forest around Puerto Blest. 

Land tenure: The Park is state owned; the Reserve is partly state owned and partly private. 

Protection: Within the Nahuel Huapi National Park (330,000 ha) and National Reserve 

(428,100 ha) established in 1934 (although some protection was afforded to the area as early as 

1904). 

Land use: Tourism and fishing. There is a considerable amount of boat traffic on L. Nahuel 

Huapi. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of waterfowl occur in rather small numbers, including typical 

Andean species such as Podiceps major navasi, Chloephaga poliocephala, Anas specularis 

and Merganetta armata. L. Nahuel Huapi supports one of the few freshwater colonies 

of Phalacrocorax atriceps. 

Other fauna: The population of the Southern River Otter Lutra provocax occurring in this 

region is probably the only important self-sustaining population of this species left in the 

Argentinian lake district between 39°S and 43°S. 

Threats: Uncontrolled forest fires, introduced mammals including the Mink Mustela vison, and 

grazing by domestic livestock are causing some problems. Lage Nahuel Huapi is being polluted 

by effluents from the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, and oil and garbage from boat traffic. 

Research and conservation: A complete inventory of the fauna has been conducted in the Park 

(Plan Inventario, directed by M. Christie). 

References: Contreras et al (1980); Erize et a/ (1981); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Manuel Nores, Dario Yzurieta and Roberto Straneck. 

Criteria for Inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



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Rio Nirihuau (41) 

Location: 41 "OS'S, 7r09'W; 10 km east of San Carlos de Bariloche, Rio Negro Province. 

Area: 1000 ha. 

Altitude: 764m. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 10, 11 & 12. 

Site description: Riverine marshes along the lower Rio Nirihuau, from its mouth in Lago 

Nahuel Huapi 5 km upstream. The marshes flood in June/July creating a shallow lake which 

remains until February. 

Principal vegetation: In the ecotone between grassy steppe with Stipa speciosa and bushy 

steppe with Rosa moschata. Fabiana imbricata and Berberis buxifolia. 

Land tenure: A mixture of private and municipal ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Formerly cattle grazing, but the land has been heavily overgrazed and eroded, and 

will now support few animals. There are brick factories further upstream. 

Waterfowl: The area is interesting for the variety of species of waterfowl which have been 

recorded, particularly during the migration seasons. These include Andean species, Patagonian 

species and Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Urban expansion, industrial development, road construction and pollution from the 

brick factories all pose threats to the area. 

Research and conservation: The avifauna of the area has been studied by Mariano A. Gelain 

(1978-1983). 

Source: Mariano A. Gelain. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Wetlands in Los Alerces National Park and Reserve (42) 

Location: 42°33'-43''10'S, 71''35'-72°05'W; in Andes west of Esquel, Chubut Province. 

Area: 25,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 400-2,280m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 10, 12, 15 & 19. 

Site description: Several large permanent freshwater lakes, up to 700m deep, and a 

hydroelectric dam which linked four former lakes and flooded over 1,000 ha of surrounding 

forest. Also numerous fast-flowing mountain rivers and streams, and Andean bogs. The 

principal lakes are Lago Futalaufquen (5,300 ha), L. Menendez (6,200 ha), L. Rivadavia 

(2,900 ha), and Futaleufu Dam (8,200 ha). 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Andean-Patagonian forest with large stands of Fitzroya 

cupressoides and Nothofagus spp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Los Alerces National Park (187,500 ha) and National Reserve 

(75,500 ha), established in 1937. 

Land use: Tourism in the National Park; generation of hydroelectricity. 

Waterfowl: A variety of southern Andean waterfowl occur, including Theristicus (c) melanopis 

and Anas specularis. 

Other fauna: There is a tiny population of the Southern River Otter Lutra provocax in the 

area. Amphibians include Bufo spinulosus, B. variegatus and Rhinoderma darwini; and fishes 

include Galaxias. Haplochiton, Patagonina and Percichthys spp. 

Threats: Forest fires, and a number of introduced mammals including the Mink Mustela vison 

have caused problems in the Park. 

Research and conservation: Basic faunal and floral surveys, and studies of the impact 

of Mustela vison on the native fauna, have been conducted. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



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Argentina 

Lakes in Western Chubut (43) 

Location: 43°10'S, 70°25'W; near Esquel, Chubut Province. 

Area: 6,000 ha. 

Altitude: 750m. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 14. 

Site description: Numerous saline lakes, freshwater springs and streams in a desertic region in 

the foothills of the Andes. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of sparse semi-desertic steppe vegetation. 

Land tenure: Privately owned in large estancias. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Sheep grazing. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding site for Phoenicopterus chilensis; the colony held 3,000pairs 

in 1971/72, and 5,000 pairs in 1972/73. Also an important breeding area for a variety of 

Anatidae, including Cygnus melancoryphus. 

Other fauna: Guanaco Lama guanacoi occur in the area. 

Threats: None known in the mid 1970s, but no recent information. 

References: Muiioz & Muiioz (1975). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: Ic. 



Wetlands in Perito Francisco P. Moreno National Park and Reserve (44) 

Location: 47°53'S, 72°10'W; in the Andes in northwestern Santa Cruz Province, on the Chilean 

border. 

Area: 17,500 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 900-2,770m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 10, 12 & 19. 

Site description: A series of deep freshwater lakes, fast flowing rivers and streams, and bogs in 

a mountainous area with glaciated land forms. The principal lakes are Lago Belgrano, L. 

Burmeister and L. Nansen. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Andean-Patagonian forest dominated by Nothofagus spp, 

and Patagonian steppe. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Perito Francisco P. Moreno National Park (84,500 ha) and National 

Reserve (30,500 ha), established in 1937. 

Land use: A remote and little disturbed area; there is some grazing by domestic livestock in the 

east. 

Waterfowl: Little information; a variety of waterfowl characteristic of the southern Andes have 

been recorded. 

Other fauna: The local seedsnipe Attagis malouinus occurs. A variety of mammals occur inthe 

region including the South Andean Huemul Hippocamelus bisulcus. Fishes include Geotha, 

Patagonina, Galaxia and Percichthys spp. 

Threats: Some illegal hunting has been reported in the Park. 

References: Erize et a/ (1981); lUCN (1982). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for Inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna Quiroga (45) 

Location: 48"'25'S, 71°35'W; 220 km NNE of Calafate, Santa Cruz Province. 

Area: 5,000 ha. 

Altitude: 1,300m. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 12. 

Site description: A large permanent freshwater caldera lake, said to be ice-free in winter. 

Principal vegetation: Probably only submergent vegetation. 

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Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Some sheep grazing. 

Waterfowl: No information available, but a potential wintering area for the Hooded 

Grebe Podiceps gallardoi. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: The lake has not as yet been surveyed, but the Fundacion Vida 

Silvestre Argentina plans to do so in the near future. 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Meseta de Strobel (46) 

Location: 48°40'S, 7r20'W; 200 km NNE of Calafate, Santa Cruz Province. 

Area: 100,000 ha. 

Altitude: 800- 1,200m. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 12 & 14. 

Site description: A basaltic plateau area with some 540 small lakes, mostly maars and calderas, 

with some volanic rift lakes. The lakes vary considerably in their limnological characteristics; 

ranging in salinity from fresh to hypersaline and alkaline, and in depth from very shallow to 

10m. Water levels are rather stable, and most lakes freeze over in winter. The largest lake is 

Laguna del Islote (or L. del Medio), a freshwater caldera lake of 900 ha at the western edge of 

the plateau; this apparently does not freeze over in winter. 

Principal vegetation: About 60% of the lakes are almost covered with beds of Myriophyllum 

elatinioides; some have dense submergent Zanichellia and Potamogeton; and many have no 

vegetation other than phytoplankton. There are no emergent sedges. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Sheep grazing. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important breeding and moulting area for waterfowl, particularly 

Podicipedidae, Anatidae and shorebirds; and much the most important area for Podiceps 

gallardoi hitherto discovered. In February 1984, over 1,250 P. gallardoi were observed, and 

the total population of the plateau was estimated at over 3,100 birds. The largest concentration 

was 729 birds, mainly failed breeders, at Laguna del Islote, which may well be an important 

wintering area for the species. Population estimates made on the basis of counts at Islote and 

118 smaller lakes in February 1984 included 2,600 Podiceps occipitalis, 1,160 Phoenicopterus 

chilensis, 350 Cygnus melancoryphus, 3,700 Chloephaga picta, 2,500 Tachyeres patachonicus, 

3,350 Lophonetta specularioides, 225 Charadrius falklandicus, 115 Charadrius modestus 

18,900 Anas sibilatrix, 11,600 Anas georgica, 17,700 Anas platalea, and260 Pluvianellus 

socialis. Nearctic shorebirds included 250 Calidris fuscicollis, 980 Calidris bairdii and 

430 Steganopus tricolor. It would appear that this region is the main late summer staging and 

moulting area for dabbling ducks in Santa Cruz Province. The large breeding population 

of Pluvianellus is also particularly noteworthy. 

Other fauna: Laguna de Islote is rich in amphipods Hyalella and most have snails Lymnaea 

diaphana. 

Threats: Overgrazing by sheep causes erosion of terrestrial habitats and prevents the formation 

of emergent vegetation along the lake margins. The diatomite deposits in some lakes might be 

subject to exploitation, but the area is still very remote and seldom visited. 

Research and conservation: The Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina is carrying out a 

programme of research in the region. In February 1984, the area was surveyed ornithologically 

by Jon Fjeldsa, Niels Krabbe, P. Brehmer and S. Brehmer, who investigated 119 lakes. 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



-30- 



Argentina 



Lago Argentine, Lago Viedma and 
Los Glaciares National Park and Reserve (47) 



Location: 49°20'-50°40'S, 72°45'-73°30'W; in southwestern Santa Cruz Province, on Chilean 

border. 

Area: 250,000 ha. 

Altitude: mainly 215 - 300m, Park extends up to 3,500m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 10, 12, 16 & 19. 

Site description: Lago Argentine (141,700 ha) and Lago Viedma (106,000 ha) are deep 

freshwater lakes in the Andean foothills, fed by numerous fast-flowing rivers and streams. 

There are several smaller lakes (500-1,000 ha), wet meadows and marshes in the area, and 

extensive glaciers, snow fields and bogs at higher elevations. 

Principal vegetation: Some of the smaller lakes have Scirpus beds and abundant submergent 

vegetation. In a region of Andean-Patagonian forests dominated by Nothofagus spp, with 

Patagonian steppe to the east. 

Land tenure: The Park is state owned; most of the National Reserve is state owned but there 

are some private holdings. 

Protection: The western quarter of Lago Viedma, the western arms of Lago Argentine, and all 

the smaller lakes are included within Los Glaciares National Park (445,900 ha) and Reserve 

(154,100 ha), established in 1937. The National Park was designated as a World Heritage Site 

in 1981. 

Land use: Tourism in the National Park. There are still several small settlements in the 

Reserve, with some cultivation and livestock. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for waterfowl, particularly Podicipedidae and 

Anatidae. The main concentrations are at the smaller lakes, marshes and wet meadows 

adjacent to Lago Argentine. The common breeding species include Chloephaga picta, Cygnus 

melancoryphus. Anas georgica, A. flavirostris, A. sihilatrix, A. platalea and Fulica armillata. 

Other noteworthy species include Podiceps major navasi, Theristicus (caudatus) melanopis, 

Chloephaga poliocephala, Anas specularis, Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea and O. vittata. The 

area is the southernmost breeding locality of the blackbird Agelaius thilius. 

Other fauna: The Coypu Myocastor coypus occurs. 

Threats: Uncontrolled forest fires have caused problems in the Park; there is some illegal 

hunting and locally overgrazing problems. 

Research and conservation: Basic studies on the fauna and flora of the Park have been 

conducted by the Direccion General de Parques Nacionales. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Meseta del Tobiano (48) 

Location: 49°32'S, 72°10'W; 90 km north of Calafate, Santa Cruz Province. 

Area: Area of plateau (aquatic and terrestrial systems) 12,500 ha. 

Altitude: 850m. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 12, 13 & 14. 

Site description: A group of about 40 small fresh and brackish lakes on a high plateau near 

Lago Viedma. The larger deeper lakes are permanent, but the smaller lakes dry out in 

summer. 

Principal vegetation: The freshwater lakes have an abundant growth of Myriophyllum 

elatinoides. In a region of treeless Patagonian steppe. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: None. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for waterfowl, particularly Podicipedidae, Anatidae 

and coots Fulica spp. There is a population of about 150 pairs of Podiceps gallardoi confined 

to eight of the lakes, with most on Laguna Las Toscas (73 pairs), L. Encantada (28 pairs) and 

L. Ansiedad (21 pairs). P/ioemcopferu5 cli/7eM5f5 is a common non-breeding visitor, and several 

species of Nearctic shorebirds occur, notably Calidris fuscicollis and C. bairdii. 

-31- 



Argentina 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None. 

Research and conservation: The Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina has carried out avifaunal 

surveys and a programme for the protection of the P. gallardoi population which has included 

predator control, cross-fostering and captive rearing. In view of the recent discovery of a 

large and healthy population of P. gallardoi on the Meseta de Strobel, the necessity of such an 

intensive grebe management programme at the Meseta del Tobiano population is questionable. 

References: Erize (1983); Johnson (1983); Nuechterlein & Buitron (1983). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a. 



Laguna Los Escarchados (49) 

Location: 50°25'S, 7r33'W; 50 km east of Calafate, Santa Cruz Province. 

Area: 150 ha. 

Altitude: 700m. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 12. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake; the water level drops considerably during 

summer, and the lake freezes in winter. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive beds of Myriophyllum elatinoides. In a region of xerophytic 

steppe and scrub. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: The Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina established a Wildlife Reserve in 

agreement with the owners in 1979. 

Land use: Sheep and cattle grazing. 

Waterfowl: The type locality of the recently described Hooded Grebe Podiceps gallardoi and 

for some years thought to be the only breeding site for the species. The population was 

estimated at 140-150 birds in 1979, but numbers fluctuate widely, and there were only 28 birds 

(including 11 breeding pairs) in February 1984. A wide variety of other waterfowl breed or 

occur as non-breeding visitors. A census by Fjeldsa in February 1984 included 700 Anas 

georgica, 200 Anas platalea, 8 pairs of Pluvianellus socialis, 44 Podiceps occipitalis, 

1 1 Coscoroba coscoroba, and many Charadrius falklandicus, Charadrius modestus, Calidris 

fuscicollis and Calidris bairdii. 

Other fauna: The Least Seedsnipe Thinocorus rumicivorus is common; 700 were recorded in 

February 1984. 

Threats: The Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus is reported to be a serious predator on Hooded 

Grebe chicks. In years of high water level, there is little growth of Myriophyllum and the 

small snail which constitutes the principal diet of Hooded Grebe chicks disappears. 

Research and conservation: Since the discovery of the Hooded Grebe in the early 1970s, the 

lake has been visited by a large number of ornithologists and bird-watchers. The grebe has 

been studied in considerable detail and various measures for its conservation have been 

proposed, including control of predators, cross-fostering and captive rearing. It now seems 

that the stronghold of the grebe lies 200 km to the north, on the Meseta de Strobel, and that 

the small Escarchados population is a marginal population which is not self sustaining. 

References: Rumboll (1974); Erize (1978, 1982 & 1983); Erize et at (1981); King (1981); 

Nuechterlein & Johnson (1981); Storer (1981a); Nuechterlein (1982); Bremer & Bremer (1983); 

Nuechterlein & Buitron (1983). 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa and Manuel Nores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a. 



Wetlands between Los Escarchados and Calafate (50) 

Location: 50°18'-50''20'S, 71°3r-71°55'W; 40 km east of Calafate, Santa Cruz Province. 
Area: 70 ha. 
Altitude: 700m. 



-32- 



Argentina 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 12. 

Site description: Six small shallow fresh to slightly saline lakes, up to 5m deep, in arid eroded 

grassland. The lakes are as follows: Laguna Nevada (30 ha; fresh); three claypans near Laguna 

Nevada (total 10 ha; slightly saline); Laguna Blanquillo (10 ha; fresh); and Laguna Perdida (20 

ha; fresh). The water levels fluctuate considerably according to local snowfall, and the 

claypans occasionally dry out. All freeze over in winter. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive beds of Myriophyllum elatinoides in the three lakes, and 

some Zanichellia in the claypans. In a region of arid Patagonian steppe. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Sheep grazing. 

Waterfowl: Similar to Laguna Los Escarchados, with a variety of breeding waterfowl, and some 

Nearctic shorebirds. The commoner breeding species include Chloephaga picta. Anas georgica, 

A. platalea. Tachyeres patachonicus and Fulica armillata. Small numbers of Podiceps gallardoi 

breed at Laguna Nevada (up to 40 birds) and Laguna Blanquillo (up to 27 birds), and 

non-breeding individuals occur on the claypans. 

Other fauna: Brine shrimps Anemia sp occur in the claypans. 

Threats: None. 

Research and conservation: A number of ornithological surveys have been conducted by the 

Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina which is studying the area as part of its Hooded Grebe 

Project. 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a. 



Lago Sarmiento and wetlands on the Meseta de Las Vizcachas (51) 

Location: 50°25'-50''30'S, 7r50'-71°59'W; 30 km ESE of Calafate, Santa Cruz Province. 

Area: c.550 ha. 

Altitude: 750- 1,200m. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 12 & 14. 

Site description: Lago Sarmiento is a permanent shallow salt lake of 350 ha, with shores of 

gravel and boulders. The water level fluctuates widely, and the lake freezes over in winter. It 

lies on a basaltic plateau with six small freshwater volcanic lakes, totalling 200 ha, which also 

freeze over in winter, and have mainly rocky shores. 

Principal vegetation: Some of the small lakes have beds of Myriophyllum elatinoides; the others 

lack aquatic vegetation. In a region of Patagonian steppe. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Sheep grazing and some horse rearing. 

Waterfowl: Similar to Laguna Escarchados and other lakes in the region, but Podiceps gallardoi 

has not been recorded. Probably an important moulting area for Anatidae. The commoner 

species include Chloephaga picta, Lophonetta specularioides, Anas georgica and A. 

platalea. Phoenicopterus chilensis occurs at Lago Sarmiento, and up to 200 Calidris fuscicollis 

have been observed. 

Other fauna: Brine Shrimps Artemia sp occur in Lago Sarmiento. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: Avifaunal surveys have been conducted by Fjeldsa. 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



El Tero Marshes (52) 

Location: 50°35'S, 71°15'W; 75 km ESE of Calafate, Santa Cruz Province. 
Area: 500 ha. 
Altitude: 200m. 

-33- 



Argentina 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 09, 11, 12 & 13. 

Site description: A complex of riverine marshes, shallow freshwater lakes, ponds and marshes, 

and rushy pastures; one of the few riverine marsh systems in Santa Cruz Province which has 

not been destroyed by sheep grazing. 

Principal vegetation: Ponds and creeks with species of Hydrocotyle, Hippuris, Caltha 

and Myriophyllum; marshes with Scirpus calif amicus. In the Patagonian steppe. 

Land tenure: Privately owned (Hacienda El Tero). 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Some grazing, mainly by horses. 

Waterfowl: A variety of species typical of the region occur, including "hundreds" 

of Chloephaga picta and Cygnus melancoryphus. A pair of Podiceps gallardoi has nested on a 

nearby lake. The wet pastures are probably important for migrant shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Passerines and presumably other fauna characteristic of tall grassland still occur 

at El Tero. This fauna has been exterminated over much of Patagonia as a result of 

overgrazing. 

Threats: Overgrazing by sheep, leading to soil erosion, increased turbidity of rivers and 

streams, and the siltation of lake basins, may result in the degradation of this area in the same 

way that it has destroyed most other riverine marsh systems in the Province. 

Research and conservation: The Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina is discussing with the 

owners the possibility of conserving the area. Research into the management needs of this 

threatened habitat type is urgently required. 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Valdes Peninsula (53) 

Location: 42°30'S, 64''00'W; coastal Chubut Province. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown; 300 km of coastline on two major bays. 

Altitude: 0-lOOm. 

Province and type: 8.25.7; 01, 04, 05, 06 & 07. 

Site description: The Valdes Peninsula is a hilly peninsula protruding 100 km out into the 

Atlantic Ocean. The principal wetland areas are Golfo San Jose on the north side of the 

peninsula, Golfo Nuevo on the south side, and a series of brackish lagoons on the east coast. 

G. San Jose and G. Nuevo are shallow sea bays with extensive intertidal mudflats and sandy 

beaches. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of dry thorn scrub and steppe. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: The Golfo San Jose is a Provincial Reserve (Parque Marino Provincial) established 

in 1974. The Reserve includes a 100m strip of land surrounding the Gulf. There are also 

Provincial Reserves at Punta Norte in the north, Punta Piramides on Golfo Nuevo, Punta 

Delgada in the southwest, and Islas de los Pajaros. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: The intertidal mudflats and coastal lagoons comprise an important migration staging 

area and "wintering" area for Nearctic shorebirds. Up to 20,000 Calidris canutus have been 

recorded in April, and up to 10,000 Calidris fuscicollis and hundreds of Limosa haemastica 

have been observed in March/April and October/November. 

Other fauna: The bays around the peninsula are important calving and mating areas for the 

Right Whale Balaena glacialis. Orcinus orca, Otaria flavescens, Arctocephalus australis 

and Mirounga leonina also occur, along with large breeding colonies of sea-birds. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Erize et a/ (1981); lUCN (1982); Morrison (1983a). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: la, lb & 2b. 



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Argentina 

Punta Tombo (54) 

Location: 44°03'S, eS'lI'W; 90 km south of Trelew, Chubut. 

Area: 50 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.25.7; 01, 04 & 05. 

Site description: A peninsula of red volcanic rock with sand dunes, rocky shores and sand and 

pebble beaches, extending 3 km out into the Atlantic. 

Principal vegetation: Some semi-arid grassland with scattered shrubs. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Punta Tombo Provincial Faunal Reserve. 

Land use: A considerable amount of tourism. 

Waterfowl: Of prime importance for its enormous colony of sea-birds (see below). Breeding 

waterfowl include Podiceps major, Egretta alba, Tachyeres pteneres, Lophonetta specularioides, 

Haematopus palliatus, H. ater and Charadrius falklandicus. A variety of Nearctic shorebirds 

including Arenaria interpres, Calidris canutus, C. alba, C. fuscicollis and C. bairdii occur on 

passage. 

Other fauna: The peninsula supports the largest sea-bird colony on the Patagonian coast, with 

2-3 million Magellanic Penguins Spheniscus magellanicus, large numbers of Phalacrocorax 

magellanicus, P. bougainvillii, P. albiventer and Larus dominicanus, and small numbers 

of Catharacta skua, Leucophaeus scoresbii and Sterna hirundinacea. There is also a large colony 

of the South American Sea-lion Otaria flavescens. 

Threats: There is some disturbance from tourism, and a potential threat from oil pollution. A 

proposal has been made for the commercial exploitation of the large penguin colony, but this 

has been rejected, at least for the time being. 

Research and conservation: A considerable amount of research has been conducted at the 

sea-bird colony, and the Animal Research and Conservation Center of the New York 

Zoological Society is involved in a wildlife conservation project at the site. An application has 

been made for the upgrading of the Reserve to a National Natural Monument. 

References: Korschenewski (1969); Boswall & Pryterch (1972); Boswall (1973); Erize et al 

(1981);Scolaroe/a/(1981). 

Source: Manuel Nores, Sergio A. Salvador and Samuel Narosky. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2c & 3a. 



Bahia Bustamente (55) 

Location: 45°05'S, 66°20'W; 120 km NNE of Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut Province. 

Area: 35,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 01, 04, 05 & 06. 

Site description: A shallow sea bay with extensive intertidal mudflats, sandy beaches and some 

rocky shores. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for Nearctic shorebirds; particularly Limosa haemastica, 

Calidris canutus (up to 6,900), and C. fuscicollis. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. Research and conservation: Aerial censuses of shorebirds have been 

conducted. 

References: Harrington & Morrison (1980a & 1980b); Morrison (1983a). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: la & lb. 



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Argentina 

Golfo San Jorge from Caleta Oliyia to Cabo Blanco (56) 

Location: 46''47'S, 67°32'W to 47°13'S, 65°45'W; south of Comodoro Rivadavia, Santa Cruz 

Province. 

Area: 160 km of coastline. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 01, 05 & 06. 

Site description: A large sea bay with sandy beaches and an extensive intertidal zone of hard 

packed mud with a densely pitted surface, formed from dust blown off the Patagonian plains, 

and with a wealth of marine life including dense beds of mussels and rich algal growth. 

Principal vegetation: Marine algae. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: There is a Provincial Reserve at Cabo Blanco in the extreme south; otherwise 

unprotected. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for Nearctic shorebirds, particularly Limosa haemastica (up 

to 550), Calidris canutus (up to 1,300), and C. fuscicollis (up to 7,500). Also an important 

wintering area for Patagonian shorebirds such as Haematopus leucopodus and Charadrius 

modestus, and for Lophonetta specularioides. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The development of an oil industry in this area may cause problems in the future. 

Research and conservation: Aerial censuses of shorebirds have been carried out. 

References: Harrington & Morrison (1980a & 1980b); Morrison (1983a). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb. 



The Rio Deseado Estuary (57) 

Location: 47°45'S, 65°52'W; at Puerto Deseado, Santa Cruz Province. 

Area: 9,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 02, 03, 04 & 06. 

Site description: The estuarine system of the Rio Deseado, with several small islands, intertidal 

mud shores, and a rocky headland with sea-cliffs to the south. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of arid Patagonian shrubland and steppe. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: The area was declared a Provincial Reserve in 1977, but the Reserve has never been 

properly instrumented. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important estuary for Nearctic shorebirds; 520 Limosa haemastica and 

550 Calidris canutus were recorded during an aerial survey in January/February 1982. The 

area is also important for Tachyeres spp, Lophonetta specularioides and Haematopus spp. 

Other fauna: There are large breeding colonies of sea-birds on the headland to the south of the 

estuary (Punta Norte), including the largest colony of Phalacrocorax gaimardi in Argentina. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Erize et a/ (1981); Morrison (1983a). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb. 



Bahia San Sebastian and Cabo Domingo (58) 

Location: 53°00'-53°25'S, 68°03'-68°33'W; 80 km NNW of Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego. 

Area: 37,500 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 01, 05 & 06. 

-36- 



Argentina 

Site description: A large shallow sea bay with extensive intertidal mudflats, hard mud shore 

and coastal sand dunes. The muddy shore continues southeast along the coast to the region of 

Cabo Domingo. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important "wintering" area for Nearctic shorebirds, principally Limosa 

haemastica (6,000-8,000), Calidris canutus (up to 1,000) and C. fuscicollis. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Research and conservation: Several aerial and ground censuses of shorebirds have been 

conducted. 

References: Harrington & Morrison (1980a & 1980b); Williams & Pringle (1982); Morrison 

(1983a). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: la & lb. 



The Rio Grande Estuary and nearby coasts (59) 

Location: 53°48'S, 67°4rW; southeast from Rio Grande, on the Atlantic coast of Tierra del 

Fuego. 

Area: 4,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 02, 05 & 06. 

Site description: The estuary of the Rio Grande with extensive intertidal mudflats, and the 

intertidal muddy shores and pebble beaches to the northwest and southeast, including the Punta 

Maria area, 35 km southeast of Rio Grande. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important "wintering" area for Nearctic shorebirds, including over 

5,000 Calidris canutus, several thousand Calidris fuscicollis, and smaller numbers of Limosa 

haemastica and Calidris alba. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Research and conservation: There have been several aerial and ground censuses of the 

shorebirds. 

References: Harrington & Morrison (1980a & 1980b); Williams & Pringle (1982); Morrison 

(1983a). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb. 



Lago Fagnano and wetlands in Tierra del Fuego National Park (60) 

Location: 54°50'S, 68°30'W; near Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. 

Area: Over 60,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-1, 000m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 01, 04, 10, 12 & 19. 

Site description: Lago Fagnano (at 150m) is a freshwater lake of about 60,000 ha fed by 

numerous fast-flowing streams. There are several much smaller lakes, peat bogs and extensive 

areas of bog in the surrounding hills. The nearby Beagle Channel coast is rocky. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of humid Nothofagus forest with abundant mosses. 

Land tenure: Land within the National Park is state owned. 



-37- 



Argentina 

Protection: 7,200 ha of Lake Fagnano, a portion of the Beagle Channel coast, and a number of 

small lakes, streams and bogs are included within the Tierra del Fuego National Park 

(63,000 ha), established in 1960. 

Land use: Tourism and sport fishing in the National Park. 

Waterfowl: A variety of breeding Anatidae including Chloephaga hybrida, C. picta, C. 

poliocephala, Tachyeres pteneres, T. patachonicus and Anas specularis. 

Other fauna: The Southern River Otter Lutra provocax occurs in the Park, and there are large 

populations of Guanaco Lama guanacoi and sea-lions Otaria flavescens. 

Threats: Introduced beavers Castor canadensis and rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus are causing a 

problem in the Park. 

References: Erize et a/ (1981); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Manuel Nores and Roberto Straneck. 

Criteria for Inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



-38- 



BOLIVIA 
INTRODUCTION 

by Eliana Flores 

Bolivia is situated in the central part of the South American continent. It has an area of 
1,098, 58 Ikm^ and a population of some six million, of which about 55% live in rural areas. 

Bolivia may be divided into three large regions: 

a) The highlands of the Andes. The Andes split into two branches in northern Bolivia; the 
western branch (Ramal Occidental or Cordillera Volcanica) with an average height of 
4,800m, and the eastern branch (Ramal Oriental) with an average height of over 5,000m. 
The Andean plateau between the two branches has an average height of 3,800m, and 
constitutes an enormous, almost level, inland drainage system with a number of large lakes 
and salt basins, notably Lake Titicaca, Lake Poopo and the salars of Uyuni and Coipasa. 
The region is characterized by its cold and dry climate, with rainfall concentrated in ,he 
summer months and varying in intensity from north to south. 

b) The east slope of the Andes and sub-Andean ridges east of the Cordillera Oriental, at 
altitudes between 500 and 2,500m. The climate is mainly dry and temperate year round, or 
with dry winters and extremely hot summers, but in some valleys the climate is hot and 
humid. 

c) The lowlands, including the humid plains of the Beni in the north, the plains of the Chaco 
in the south and the Brazilian Shield in the east, at altitudes between 180 and 500m. The 
northern lowlands are characterized by their high temperatures and ten to twelve months of 
rain, while the Chaco areas in the south have a hot climate with dry winters. 

Bolivia includes parts of three of South America's great hydrographic basins. The Amazon 
basin accounts for 60% of the country, and includes the Madre de Dios, Beni, Mamore and 
Itenez rivers which flow into the Amazon via the Rio Madeira. The basin of the Plata occupies 
the southern and southeastern parts of the country, and includes the Paraguay, Pilcomayo and 
Bermejo rivers. The third basin is the closed system of the altiplano which includes Lake 
Titicaca and Lake Poopo, the Rio Desaguadero linking the two lakes together, Salar de Uyuni 
and Salar de Coipasa. 

The wetlands of Bolivia include the following: 

a) Wetlands in the high Andes, including 6,326 sq. km of lakes, 1,354 sq. km of lagoons, and 
184 sq. km of rivers, reservoirs and other artificial water bodies. 

b) Wetlands at intermediate elevations, limited to 21 sq. km of small lakes and reservoirs. 

c) Wetlands in the lowlands, including over 4,711 sq. km of lakes, and rivers and streams of 
1,101 sq. km. 

The country has 12,179 sq. km of wetlands which are permanently flooded, and a further 
12,012 sq. km of land which is flooded during the rainy season. 



Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

Governmental 

In the Ministerio de Asuntos Campesinos y Agropecuarios: 

Centra de Desarrollo Forestall responsible for protected areas such as Refuges, Reserves 

and National Parks. 

Instituto Nacional de Fomento Lanero; since 1981, responsible for National Parks and 

National Reserves in the Altoandina Region. 
In the Ministerio de Planeamiento y Coordinacion: 

Direccion de Ciencia y Tecnologia; responsible for the coordination of research projects. 



-39- 



Bolivia 

Non-governmental 

In the Universidad Mayor de San Andres: 

Instiluto de Geodinamica y Limnologia, created in 1971. 

Instiluto de Ecologia, created in 1978 by an agreement between the Universidad Mayor 
de San Andres and the University of Gottingen, Federal Republic of Germany. One of 
its principal objectives is to support activities and initiatives directed towards the 
conservation of nature and the study of the ecology of the Beni Savanna. 

In the Academia Nacional de Ciencias: 

Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, created in 1980; its main objectives are to produce 
an inventory of the fauna and flora of Bolivia and to prepare scientific collections. 
Estacion Biologica Beni, created in 1982; its objectives are to study the fauna and flora 
of the savanna and forest ecosystems. 

Others 

Organizacion Pro Defensa de la Naturaleza (PRODENA). 
Sociedad Boliviana de Ecologia. 
Instituto Geografico Militar. 
Zoologico de Santa Cruz. 



Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

The Reserva Natural Lagunas de Beni y Pando was established in October 1981 for the 
protection of wetlands in the Departments of Beni and Pando, bat the wetlands have never 
been afforded adequate protection. In the same way, the National Parks of Bellavista 
(established in 1946) and Isiboro-Secure (established in 1965) were created to protect drainage 
basins, but were never given adequate protection and have subsequently been partly deforested 
as a result of colonization and exploitation of timber. The Reserva Nacional Eduardo Avaroa 
was created in 1973 for the protection of James' Flamingo Phoenicoparrus jamesi, but it lacks 
efficient protection, and hunting and egg-collecting continue. The Reserva Nacional 
Ulla-Ulla, created in 1972 and designated a Biosphere Reserve in 1977, comes under the 
administration of the Instituto Nacional de Fomento Lanero, and benefits from a resident staff 
and adequate infrastructure. The Refugio de Vida Silvestre de Huancaroma, created in 1975, 
gives some protection to the Short-winged Grebe Rollandia micropterum. The Reserva 
Nacional Manuripi Heath, created in 1975, lacks protection; however, because of the 
inaccessibility of the area, the wildlife is in effect protected. 

On 1 May 1984, the Centro de DesarroUo Forestal imposed a complete ban on the hunting 
of wild animals for one year, with a view to conducting population censuses of wildlife, setting 
guidelines for the management of wildlife resources and drawing up appropriate hunting 
regulations. 

Few of the research programmes conducted in Bolivia have involved wetlands or 
waterfowl. Those which have include the following: 

a) An inventory of the high Andean avifauna initiated by E. Flores at the Museo Nacional de 
Historia Natural in 1981. 

b) Studies on the avifauna of the Reserva Nacional Ulla-Ulla by J. Cabot and P. Serrano at 
the Instituto Nacional de Fomento Lanero, under an agreement between the Ministerio de 
Asuntos Exteriores and the Servicio de Cooperacion de Espana. Various expeditions have 
also been organized to the Reserva Nacional de Fauna Altoandina Eduardo Avaroa. 

c) A study of Ciconiidae at Espiritu, Department of Beni, by W. Hanagarth and M. O. Ribera. 

d) A study of the limnology of Lake Titicaca and Lake Poopo, and a study of the geology of 
the salars, by the Instituto de Geodinamica y Limnologia and the French Office de la 
Recherche Scientifique et Technique Outre Mer (ORSTOM). 

Major Threats to Wetlands and Waterfowl 

The principal threats to wetlands and waterfowl in Bolivia are the lack of adequate protection, 
uncontrolled hunting and, in the case of flamingos, the collection of eggs. 



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Bolivia 



BOLIVIA 








200 



400 

I 



Km 



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Bolivia 



WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on data sheets prepared by Eliana Flores of the Museo Nacional de 
Historia Natural, and contributions from Percy Baptista, Jose Cabot, H. E. M. Dott, Jon 
Fjeldsa, Werner Hanagarth, Raul Lara, Marco O. Ribera, Pilar Serrano and the Estacion 
Biologica de Donana (Javier Castroviejo). 

Lake Titicaca (1) 

Location: 16''20'S, 68°45'W; on Peruvian border. La Paz Department. 

Area: 830,000 ha in total; 369,000 ha in Bolivia. 

Altitude: 3,810m. 

Province and type: 8.47.14; 12 & 16. 

Site description: A large permanent freshwater lake, up to 272m deep, on a high Andean 

plateau; formed in the centre of a tectonic basin. There are extensive areas of emergent 

aquatic vegetation in shallow bays, and adjacent areas of seasonally inundated puna grassland, 

but much of the shoreline is steep and rocky. The water level fluctuates by about one metre. 

Principal vegetation: The dominant emergent around the shores and in water up to 3m deep 

is Schoenoplectus tatora. The lake is in the puna zone, with semi-arid steppe vegetation and 

sparsely vegetated rocky hillsides. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Hunting and fishing; cutting of reeds for boat-building and handicrafts; trout 

farming; local and international boat traffic; and grazing of domestic livestock in surrounding 

areas. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for Andean waterfowl and Nearctic shorebirds. The 

commoner resident species include the very local Short-winged Grebe Rollandia micropterum, 

R. rolland, Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Nycticorax nycticorax, Plegadis ridgwayi, Phoenicopterus 

chilensis (a non-breeding visitor), Chloephaga melanoptera. Anas flavirostris, A. georgica, A. 

puna, A. cyanoptera. Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea, Gallinula chloropus, Fulica americana, 

Vanellus resplendens, Charadrius alticola, Himantopus himantopus and Larus serranus. The 

commonest Nearctic shorebirds are Pluvialis dominica, which has been observed in huge 

numbers on migration, Tringa melanoleuca, T. flavipes, Calidris bairdii, C. melanotos 

and Steganopus tricolor. 

Other fauna: The lake has a rich and diverse endemic fish fauna, with fourteen species 

of Orestias. 

Threats: Pollution from domestic sewage is causing eutrophication in some bays; and nearby 

zinc, lead and magnesium mines could create a serious pollution problem in the future. 

Excessive fishing and the introduction of exotic fish species into the lake have caused a drastic 

decline in populations of the endemic fish species. 

Research and conservation: A number of limnological studies and fisheries investigations have 

been carried out, particularly by UMSA-ORSTOM since 1974. 

References: Niethammer (1953); Allen (1976); Hughes (1977); Carmouze et al (1977a, 1977b & 

1981). 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Wetlands in the Ulla-UIla National Reserve . 
and Biological Reserve (2) 

Location: 14"'45'-15''25'S, 69''00'-69°20'W; 200 km NNW of La Paz, La Paz Department. 
Area: c. 1,1 20 ha of lakes and marshes. 
Altitude: 4,200-4,700m. 



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Bolivia 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 10, 12, 17 & 19. 

Site description: A wide diversity of interrelated wetland ecosystems in the high Andean puna 

zone; including edges of glaciers, small morraine lakes, larger freshwater lakes with abundant 

aquatic vegetation, peat bogs and bofedales with muddy areas, permanent and seasonal 

fast-flowing streams, and the Rio Suches, a relatively slow-flowing river. The principal lakes 

are Sorakocha (1 ha), Chojnakota (7 ha), Yokariakota (10 ha), Cololo (100 ha), and the Kello 

and Puyu-Puyu complex (300-600 ha). There are extensive muddy peat bog and bofedal 

systems between Laguna Kello and L. Puyu-Puyu, along the Rio Suches, and near the village 

of Ulla-Ulla. The latter are mostly artificial, being maintained by a system of low dykes. This 

irrigation system, which dates back to Inca times, is still being used. Water levels in the lakes 

and marshes fluctuate widely, and large areas dry out in winter (the dry season). The lakes are 

fed primarily by melting glaciers. 

Principal vegetation: Lakes and marshes with species of Elodea, Myriophyllum 

and Hydrocotyle, various algae and Cyperaceae; bofedales with abundant Distichia sp. In the 

high Andean puna zone. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Ulla-Ulla National Reserve (137,800 ha) established in 1972, and 

Ulla-Ulla Biological Reserve (200,000 ha) established in 1977. The Biological Reserve iz a 

Biosphere Reserve. 

Land use: Llama and alpaca grazing; and trout fishing. 

Waterfowl: Almost the full range of high Andean waterfowl occur in the various wetland 

habitats present. The commoner breeding species include Podiceps occipitalis, Phalacrocorax 

olivaceus, Nycticorax nycticorax, Plegadis ridgwayi, Chloephaga melanoptera 

(abundant), Lophonetta specularioides, Anas flavirostris. A. georgica, Fulica americana. F. 

gigantea (abundant), Vanellus resplendens, Charadhus alticola, Eudromias ruficollis, three 

species of Thinocoridae, and Larus serranus. Other interesting breeding species 

include Theristicus (c) branickii. Merganetta armata, Phegornis mitchellii and Recurvirostra 

andina. Five species of Nearctic shorebird are common visitors, Pluvialis dominica, Tringa 

melanoleuca. T. flavipes. Calidris bairdii and C. melanotos. 

Other fauna: The Vicuna Vicugna vicugna and Hippocamelus antisensis occur in the area. 

Threats: Alterations in the drainage systems, and future drainage schemes pose threats at some 

lakes; the bofedales of Ulla-Ulla are polluted by domestic sewage from the village; overgrazing 

by domestic livestock is a problem throughout the area; and there is some illegal hunting. 

Research and conservation: A considerable amount of research has been conducted in the 

Reserve in recent years, particularly on the Vicuna and waterfowl. 

References: Cabot & Serrano (1982 & in press); Ribera & Hanagarth (1982); Serrano & Cabot 

(1982); lUCN (1982); Cabot (in press); Serrano (in press). 

Source: Marco O. Ribera. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Rio Charazani (3) 

Location: 15°10'S, 68°50'W; 160 km NNW of La Paz, La Paz Department. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 3,200-4,000m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 10. 

Site description: A fast-flowing relatively clear mountain river on the humid east slope of the 

Andes, rising in the Ulla-Ulla National Reserve. Water levels reach their highest durmg the 

wet summer months. 

Principal vegetation: Mainly herbaceous and shrubby vegetation along the river banks, with 

some patches of dense riverine forest at lower elevations. 

Land tenure: State owned. 



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Bolivia 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Trout farming and fishing. 

Waterfowl: An important river for the Torrent Duck Merganetta armata which, because of its 

dependence on clear mountain rivers and streams, has disappeared from the many turbid and 

polluted rivers in the region. 

Other fauna: Passerines characteristic of fast-flowing rivers including Cinclodes fuscus, C. 

atacamensis and Cinclus leucocephalus. 

Threats: Deforestation and overgrazing in the watershed resulting in soil erosion and increasing 

turbidity of rivers and streams is now threatening this drainage system. There is also some 

pollution from nearby mines, and uncontrolled hunting and fishing. 

Research and conservation: The need for better management of watersheds throughout the 

region is apparent. 

Source: Marco O. Ribera. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Wetlands in the Tuni Condoriri National Park (4) 

Location: 16°10'S, 68°15'W; 45 km NNW of La Paz, La Paz Department. 

Area: Several hundred ha. 

Altitude: 4,000-4,300m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 10, 12, 17 & 19. 

Site description: A group of small glacial lakes including Hichukhota and Khara Khota, 

fast-flowing mountain streams, and bofedales in the high Andes. Hichukhota (60-80 cm deep) 

is the only lake with aquatic vegetation. Water levels fluctuate seasonally, and the lakes freeze 

around their edges in winter. Some of the lakes have been modified by dams. 

Principal vegetation: In the puna zone, with Stipa, Festuca and Werneria spp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Tuni Condoriri National Park (14,828 ha) established in 1942. 

Land use: Grazing of domestic livestock; recreation including winter sports. Some of the lakes 

are used for domestic water supply to La Paz, and there are tin mines in the area. 

Waterfowl: A variety of breeding waterfowl including Chloephaga melanoptera, Lophonetta 

specularioides, Anas puna and Fulica gigantea. Several species of Nearctic shorebirds occur on 

migration. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: There is a potential threat of pollution from nearby mines; and hunting is uncontrolled. 

Research and conservation: Better enforcement of the Park regulations is called for. 

References: Jungius & Pujol (1970); lUCN (1982); Montes (1982). 

Source: Percy Baptista and Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Rio Desaguadero (5) 

Location: 17°28'S, 68°30'W; between Lake Titicaca and Lake Uru-Uru, La Paz and Gruro 

Departments. 

Area: 370 km of river. 

Altitude: 3,775m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 10 & 11. 

Site description: A large relatively fast-flowing river with muddy banks and some riverine 

marshes; the only river flowing out of Lake Titicaca. Formerly the river flowed into Lake 

Poopo, but in recent years it has changed its course and now flows into Lake Uru-Uru. There 

is relatively little fluctuation in water level, and the shores freeze at night. 

Principal vegetation: Parastrephia sp is dominant along the river banks. In the puna zone, with 

grassland of Festuca sp and Stipa sp, and cultivated Chenopodium quinoa. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 



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Bolivia 

Land use: Livestock grazing; agriculture; hunting and fishing. 

Waterfowl: A variety of puna waterfowl including the local Short-winged Grebe Rollandia 

micropterum. Phoenicopterus chilensis, Phoenicoparrus andinus and Recurvirostra andina. 

Other fauna: Several native species of fishes and the introduced Basilichthys bonariensis 

(introduced in the 1950s). 

Threats: Excessive hunting. 

References: Carmouze et al (1977b). 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Lake Uru-Uru (6) 

Location: 18°05'S, 67''06'W; south of Oruro, Oruro Department. 

Area: 28,000 ha. 

Altitude: 3,693m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 14. 

Site description: A large permanent shallow brackish lake in the high Andean puna zone, fed 

by the Rio Desaguadero, and with extensive emergent aquatic vegetation. There are wide 

fluctuations in water level, and at low levels, extensive areas of mud are exposed. The salinity 

varies from almost fresh to up to 16 p.p.t., and the waters are generally turbid. The lake dried 

out almost completely during the severe drought of 1983, but was flooded again by heavy rains 

in early 1984. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive beds of emergent Schoenoplectus tatora; the lake is surrounded 

by heavily grazed puna grassland with species of Stipa, Festuca and Werneria. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Subsistence fishing and some subsistence hunting. An indigenous ethnic group, the 

Urus, live on islands built of reeds. 

Waterfowl: A very important lake for breeding waterfowl, particularly Anatidae and Fulica 

americana, non-breeding flamingos, and Nearctic shorebirds. The commoner breeding species 

include Rollandia rolland, Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Nycticorax nycticorax. Plegadis ridgwayi. 

Anas puna, A. cyanoptera, Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea, Fulica americana, Himantopus 

himantopus, Recurvirostra andina and Larus serranus. Rollandia micropterum was a common 

breeding bird, but apparently disappeared during the drought in 1983. The population of 

avocets is particularly important; up to 200 have been recorded, an unusually large 

concentration for this rather scarce and local species. Tens of thousands of flamingos occur as 

non-breeding visitors, including all three Andean species; 40,000 were present after recent 

flooding in 1984. Phoenicopterus chilensis appears to be the commonest, and up to 11,000 have 

been identified at one time, but 18,000 Phoenicoparrus andinus were recorded in December 

1972, and up to 3,000 P. jamesi have been observed. Very large numbers of Nearctic 

shorebirds "winter" around the lake; in February 1981, there were thousands of Tringa 

melanoleuca and T. flavipes, and hundreds of Calidris bairdii, C. melanotos and Micropalama 

himantopus in one small bay at the north end of the lake. Steganopus tricolor is common at 

times, and Limosa haemastica has been recorded. 

Other fauna: Fishes include the native Pygidium barbouri and the introduced Basilichthys 

bonariensis. 

Threats: There is some pollution from domestic sewage from the town of Oruro to the north of 

the lake, but otherwise the lake does not appear to be under any serious threat at the moment. 

References: Kahl (1975); Pearson (1975a); Hurlbert (1978 & 1981). 

Source: Eliana Flores, Robert S. Ridgely and Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



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Bolivia 

Lake Poopo (7) 

Location: 18°50'S, 67°00'W; 60 km south of Oruro, Oruro Department. 

Area: 133,700 ha. 

Altitude: 3,685m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 14. 

Site description: A very large shallow saline lake, up to 3m deep, with turbid waters and 

extensive areas of exposed mud. The water level fluctuates seasonally, but the lake is in the 

process of drying out. The salinity is not uniform; it is highest (up to 26 p.p.t.) in the 

southwest, and lowest at the mouth of the river bringing fresh to brackish water from Lake 

Uru-Uru. 

Principal vegetation: Beds of Schoenoplectus tatora, Chara poopoensis and Ruppia sp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Subsistence fishing and hunting. 

Waterfowl: Presumably similar to Lake Uru-Uru. The Short-winged Grebe Rollandia 

micropterum is common, and the lake is particularly important for flamingos. 

100,000 Phoenicopterus chilensis were present in January 1972, and 75,000 in February 1973. 

Up to 2,060 Phoenicoparrus andinus and 8,000 P. jamesi have been recorded, and P. jamesi is 

reported to have nested at the south end of the lake in the 1960s. 

Other fauna: The native fish Pygidium barbouri and the introduced Basilichthys bonariensis. 

Threats: A shift in the course of the Rio Desaguadero and the severe drought of 1983 have 

resulted in a significant drop in the lake level. There is some hunting of flamingos for food. 

Research and conservation: Some limnological studies and floral surveys have been conducted, 

but the avifauna remains poorly known, and detailed surveys are clearly called for. 

References: Allen (1921); Carmouze et al (1977b); Vargas (?); Kahl (1975); Hurlbert (1978); 

Hurlbert & Keith (1979); Collot (1982). 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna Corani (8) 

Location: 17°05'S, 65°50'W; 50 km northeast of Cochabamba, Cochabamba Department. 

Area: Several hundred ha. 

Altitude: 3,200m. 

Province and type: 8.35.12; 15. 

Site description: A freshwater hydroelectric dam with clear waters, steep shores, wide 

fluctuations in water level, and little aquatic vegetation. 

Principal vegetation: In a montane grassland zone. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: No information. 

Land use: Production of electricity; sport fishing. 

Waterfowl: In January 1984, there were 1,000 Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 300 Anas flavirostris 

and 500 Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea on the dam. Presumably an important area for 

wintering waterfowl, but unsuitable for breeding because of the wide fluctuations in water 

levels. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Eliana Flores and Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Laguna Alalay (9) 

Location: 17°25'S, 66°07'W; at Cochabamba, Cochabamba Department. 
Area: 50 ha. 
Altitude: 2,558m. 

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Bolivia 

Province and type: 8.35.12; 12. 

Site description: A shallow freshwater lake with turbid waters, and surrounding muddy areas 

and wet grassland; on the outskirts of Cochabamba city. The water level fluctuates seasonally. 

Principal vegetation: In a semi-arid Andean valley, with heavily overgrazed grassland around 

the lake. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Grazing of domestic livestock around the lake. 

Waterfowl: A very wide variety of waterfowl of both high Andean and lowland species have 

been recorded, mainly as non-breeding visitors. Breeding species include Rollandia rolland, 

Podiceps occipitalis (up to 400 birds present), Charadrius collaris and Himantopus himantopus 

(up to 120). Common non-breeding visitors include Plegadis ridgwayi (up to 105), Anas punc 

(up to 200), Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea (up to 2,550), Fulica americana (up to 800), 

and Larus serranus (up to 250). Seven species of Nearctic shorebirds have been recorded, 

including up to 180 Calidris melanotos and up to 10,000 Steganopus tricolor. Unusual lowland 

species which have been observed include Dendrocygna autumnalis, Sarkidiornis melanotos 

and Rynchops niger. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The lake is polluted with domestic . sewage from Cochabamba city, and there is a 

considerable amount of human disturbance. 

Research and conservation: Detailed avifaunal surveys were conducted by Dott between 1969 

and 1974. The lake has considerable potential for conservation education and recreation. 

References: Dott (in press). 

Source: Jose Cabot and H. E. M. Dott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Rio Sajama, Rio Tomaravi (Taramani) and Rio Lauca (10) 

Location: 18°00'-18°35'S, 68°45'-69°05'W; south of Sajama, Oruro Department. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 3,900-4,000m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 10, 14 & 19. 

Site description: Three fast-flowing high Andean rivers and their tributary streams; extensive 

areas of Andean bogs (bofedales); and some salt flats. The Rio Sajama rises on the Cerro de 

Sajama; Rio Tomaravi rises in Lake Huana Khota; and Rio Lauca rises in the Lauca National 

Park in northern Chile. During the severe drought of 1983, the rivers fell to unusually low 

levels, but the heavy rains of 1984 have restored normal flow. 

Principal vegetation: Bofedales with Oxychloe andina, Calamagrostis ouata and C. jamesii; salt 

flats with Salicornia sp; and marshy areas with Festuca and Parastrephia spp. In the puna 

grassland zone. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None; the Rio Sajama is fed by waters from snow melt in the Cerro de Sajama 

National Park (29,940 ha) established in 1945. 

Land use: Livestock grazing on the bofedales. 

Waterfowl: The area is rich in the typical high Andean waterfowl, including Plegadis ridgwayi 

and Chloephaga melanoptera. 

Other fauna: The rare Puna Rhea Pterocnemia pennata tarapacensis occurs in the area. 

Threats: The Rio Lauca has been diverted for irrigation near its source in Chile, and there has 

been a considerable reduction in the flow of this river into Bolivia. This is contributing to the 

dessication of the Salar de Coipasa. 

Research and conservation: Some studies have been carried out on the plant communities of the 

region by the Instituto de Ecologia, UMSA. 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



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Bolivia 

Salar de Coipasa (11) 

Location: 19°15'S, 68°10'W; 180 km southwest of Oruro, Oruro Department. 

Area: 221,800 ha. 

Altitude: 3,692m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 14. 

Site description: A vast salar (salt basin) and shallow hypersaline lake; a relict of a large 

Pleistocene lake (Minchin). The lake receives water from the Rio Lauca, and a number of 

smaller rivers and streams. The lake is in the process of drying out. The salts include NaCl, 

and carbonates of sodium and borium. 

Principal vegetation: Salicornia sp in some areas. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Grazing of domestic livestock in surrounding areas by the Chipaya Indians. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of high Andean species have been recorded, including all three 

species of Phoenicopteridae, Charadhus alticola, Phegornis mitchellii, Recurvirostra andina, 

three species of Thinocoridae, and six species of Nearctic shorebirds, but no census data are 

available. 

Other fauna: The Puna Rhea Pterocnemia pennata tarapacensis and Vicuna Vicugna vicugna 

occur in the area. 

Threats: A project proposal exists for the exploitation of lithium, potassium and borium from 

the salar, and reduced flow in the Rio Lauca is contributing to the dessication of the salar (see 

site 10). 

Research and conservation: There is an urgent need for detailed faunal and floral investigations 

of this important salar. 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Salar de Uyuni (12) 

Location: 20''10'S, 67"'30'W; west of Uyuni, Potosi Department. 

Area: 1,058,200 ha. 

Altitude: 3,665m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: A vast salar with very deep salt deposits; a salt crust averaging 22 cm thick 

covers a bed of rock salt. The lake is a relict of a large Pleistocene lake (Minchin), and is fed 

by the Rio Grande de Lipez. There are many small hypersaline lakes around the perimeter of 

the salar, and adjacent freshwater Andean bogs (bofedales). 

Principal vegetation: The salar itself has very little vegetation, but there are some areas 

of Salicornia sp. The bofedales are dominated by Oxychloe andina and species 

of Calamagrostis and Festuca. 

Land tenure: State owned, but concessions have been made to private companies for the 

exploitation of salt. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Exploitation of salt (NaCl). 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of high Andean waterfowl occur around the small areas of open 

water and on the bofedales, but the area is primarily important for flamingos. 

3,000-4,000 Phoenicopterus chilensis were found breeding in 1973, and Phoenicoparrus jamesi 

is reported to have nested along the northeast shore. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: A project proposal exists for the exploitation of lithium, potassium and borium. 

References: Kahl (1975); Hurlbert & Keith (1979). 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3a. 



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Bolivia 

Lagunas de Pastos Grandes (13) 

Location: 2r30'-21°56'S, 67''35'-68''05'W; 160 km southwest of Uyuni, Potosi Department. 

Area: 15,000 ha. 

Altitude: 4,100-4,510m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: A group of nine small permanent saline lakes in the altiplano, with 

surrounding salt flats and bofedales. The lakes are fed by underground sources, and the waters 

have a high sulphur content. The lakes are: Salar de Pastos Grandes (12,500 ha, 4.432m); 

Laguna Ramaditas (100 ha, 4,117m); Laguna Hedionda (300 ha, 4,121m); Laguna Canapa 

(40 ha, 4,140m); Laguna Cachi (140 ha, 4,490m); Laguna Khara (1,200 ha, 4,509m); Laguna 

Chulluncani (80 ha, 4,450m); and Laguna Khar Khota (200 ha, 4,1 12m). 

Principal vegetation: In the puna zone with semi-desertic steppe and dwarf scrub. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: A very remote area with little human habitation; some grazing of llamas and alpacas 

around Laguna Canapa. 

Waterfowl: A variety of high Andean waterfowl occur, and the area is particularly important 

for flamingos. All three Andean species have been recorded at all nine lakes, but the largest 

concentrations occur on Salar de Pastos Grandes (up to 2,250), Laguna Hedionda (up to 4,600), 

L. Cachi (up to 2,870), L. Khara (up to 990) and L. Chulluncani (up to 1,300). The bulk of the 

birds are Phoenicopterus chilensis and Phoenicoparrus jamesi, and over 4,000 of each have been 

observed at L. Hedionda. P. andinus is much less common, with peak counts of 650 at L. 

Cachi, 455 at Salar de Pastos Grandes, and 400 at L. Hedionda. Flamingos breed in the area, 

but the species involved is unknown. 

Other fauna: The Puna Rhea Pterocnemia pennata tarapacensis and Vicuna Vicugna vicugna 

occur in the area. 

Threats: Hunting and collection of flamingo eggs for human consumption. 

References: Hurlbert (1978 & 1981); Hurlbert & Chang (1984). 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb. 



Wetlands in Eduardo Avaroa National Faunal Reserve (14) 

Location: 22''00'-22°53'S, 66°56'-68°02'W; 240 km SSW of Uyuni, Potosi Department. 

Area: 23,450 ha of wetlands including Salar de Chalviri. 

Altitude: 4,250-5,780m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 10, 12, 14 & 19. 

Site description: A large number of small, mainly saline, lakes; the Salar de Chalviri; a number 

of fast-flowing acidic rivers and streams; and surrounding springs and bofedales. The 

principal lakes are Laguna Colorada (5,240 ha), L. Verde (2,110 ha), L. Kalina (1,600 ha), L. 

Catalcito (250 ha), L. Guayaques (130 ha), L. Loromayu (900 ha) and L. Honda (50 ha). L. 

Colorada and the Salar de Chalviri (11,500 ha) are described separately below. All the lakes 

except Laguna Totoral are saline, and several have permanent ice islands. L. Totoral is a small 

shallow freshwater lake with surrounding bofedales. The principal rivers are Rio Quetena and 

Rio Silala. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive bofedales with Oxychloe andina and Calamagrostis spp; and 

dry puna steppe with dwarf shrubs of Parastrephia sp. In the temperate subalpine desert and 

dry alpine temperate tundra zones. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Eduardo Avaroa National Faunal Reserve, established in 1973 

(400,000 ha) and increased in size to 714,745 ha in 1981. 

Land use: There are several small settlements in the reserve, dependent on the rearing of llamas 

and alpacas, a little cultivation, and illegal hunting. The waters of the Rio Quetena supply 

Quetena Chico village, and there is a sulphur mine and military border post near Laguna 

Verde. Flamingo eggs are collected for human consumption. 



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Bolivia 

Waterfowl: A very rich area for high Andean waterfowl, particularly flamingos and the 
rare Fulica cornuta. The main concentrations of flamingos occur at L. Colorada and Salar de 
Chalviri (see below), and at L. Kalina (up to 12,900), L. Guayaques (up to 8,000) and L. 
Loromayu (up to 4,000). Although the region is best known for its large breeding colony 
of Phoenicoparrus jamesi at L. Colorada, all three Andean species are common. Phoenicopterus 
chilensis has bred at Loromayu (up to 2,000 birds) and occurs in large numbers at Kalina (up 
to 3,300); P. andinus occurs in large numbers as a non-breeding visitor, chiefly at Chalviri (up 
to 5,200), Kalina (up to 1,675) and Verde (up to 585); and P. jamesi has occurred in large 
numbers on Guayaques (up to 8,000) and Kalina (up to 4,200). The Horned Coot F. cornuta 
may be commoner here than anywhere else in its range. Small numbers have been recorded on 
L. Catalcito and L. Totoral, but a concentration of 2,800 has been observed on Laguna Pelada, 
one of the smaller lakes in the Reserve. Other interesting species in the Reserve 
include Recurvirostra andina, Attagis gayi, Calidris bairdii and Steganopus tricolor. Up to 
670 C. bairdii have been observed on a single lake. 

Other fauna: The Puna Rhea Pterocnemia pennata tarapacensis and Vicuna Vicugna vicugna 
occur in the Reserve. 

Threats: The collection of flamingo eggs for human consumption continues to disturb the 
breeding colonies, and there are some problems with illegal hunting in the Reserve. There is 
some pollution in Laguna Verde from effluents from the nearby sulphur mine. 
Research and conservation: A variety of faunal and floral studies have been conducted in the 
Reserve, and the breeding colony of P. jamesi at Laguna Colorada has received a considerable 
amount of attention. Limnological studies have been conducted at Salar de Chalviri by 
Hurlbert and Chang. The Laguna Verde area is of special palaeontological and archeological 
interest. 

References: Jungius & Pujol (1970); Morrison (1975); Hurlbert (1978 & 1981); INFOL (1980); 
Alzerreca (1982); lUCN (1982); Hurlbert & Chang (1983 & 1984). 
Source: Eliana Flores. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna Colorada (14a) 

Location: 22°10'S, 67°45'W; 210 km SSW of Uyuni, Potosi Department. 

Area: 5,240 ha. 

Altitude: 4,300m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: A hypersaline lake of glacial origin receiving its water from a number of small 

streams and thermal springs; and surrounding bofedales. The salinity of the lake varies from 

50 to 250 p.p.t., there are 100 ha of "ancient" ice islands, and the shores freeze at night. The 

water has a bright orange colour due to the presence of a dense population of the 

flagellate Dunaliella salina. 

Principal vegetation: Bofedales with Oxychloe andina and species of Calamagrostis 

and Festuca. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Eduardo Avaroa National Faunal Reserve. 

Land use: Livestock grazing (llamas and alpacas); and some tourism. 

Waterfowl: The main breeding area hitherto known of the James' Flamingo Phoenicoparrus 

jamesi. Up to 26,000 individuals have been observed during the breeding season. Much 

smaller numbers of P. andinus (up to 1,000) and Phoenicopterus chilensis (up to 4,000) have 

been recorded, and both have nested. Other waterfowl include up to 250 Charadrius alticola 

and up to 107 Recurvirostra andina. 

For other information, see (14). 



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Salar de Chalviri (14b) 

Location: 22°30'S, 67°33'W; 240 km SSW of Uyuni, Potosi Department. 

Area: 1 1 ,500 ha. 

Altitude: 4,388m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: An old salt lake (salar) in the process of drying out, with about a dozen saline 

lakes around its perimeter, separated from one another by salt flats, and fed by small streams 

and thermal springs. There are wet grassy areas at the northwest corner of the lake, and 

bofedales near the southeast shore. The salinity of the lakes varies from 8 to 100 p.p.t., there 

are some "ancient" ice islands, and the shores freeze at night. 

Principal vegetation: Wet grassy areas with Festuca and Anthobrium spp; bofedales 

with Oxychloe andina etc. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Eduardo Avaroa National Faunal Reserve. 

Land use: Some tourism, and illegal hunting of Vicunas. 

Waterfowl: An important salar for all three Andean flamingos. Up to 1,700 Phoenicopterus 

chilensis, 5,240 Phoenicoparrus andinus, and 3,760 P. jamesi have been recorded; P. chilensis 

has bred in large numbers, and 25 pairs of P. Jamesi attempted to breed in 1975. Recurvirostra 

andina also occurs. 

For other information, see (14). 



Lagunas de San Ildefonso (15) 

Location: 19°40'S, 65°40'W; ESE of Potosi, Potosi Department. 

Area: c.2,000 ha. 

Altitude: 4,000-4,500m. 

Province and type: 8.35.12; 12. 

Site description: A group of over fifteen permanent shallow freshwater glacial lakes in the high 

Andes near Potosi. The lakes dried out for the first time in recorded history during the severe 

drought of 1983. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: The water is used for human consumption in Potosi. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

References: Montes (1982). 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Rio Pilcomayo (16) 

Location: 21°15'S, 63°30'W; Villa Montes, Tarija Department. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown; river basin 9,810,000 ha. 

Altitude: 265-5,200m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4/8.35.12; 09, 10 & 16. 

Site description: A fast-flowing river rising in the eastern Andes and crossing the dry chaco 

woodland of southeastern Bolivia. The river floods in the summer months, inundating adjacent 

areas of grassland. 

Principal vegetation: Dry evergreen woodland with Aspidosperma quebracho in the lower 

reaches. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 



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Land use: Fishing; some agriculture in the upper reaches and some forest exploitation in the 

lower reaches. 

Waterfowl: Similar to Rio Bermejo (site 17). 

Other fauna: The fish fauna includes Prohilodus nigricans, Mylossoma duriventre and Surubim 

lima. 

Threats: Uncontrolled hunting, fishing and exploitation of wildlife for the animal trade. 

References: Terrazas (1970); Alaharce & Lucero (1977); Montes (1982). 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Rio Bermejo (17) 

Location: 22°45'S, 64°18'W; SSE of Tarija, Tarija Department. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown; river basin 1,231,000 ha. 

Altitude: 420- 1,000m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4; 10 & 16. 

Site description: A fast-flowing river, rising in the eastern Andes, flowing through dry chaco 

woodland and, during the summer floods, inundating extensive areas of grassland and arable 

land. 

Principal vegetation: Dry chaco woodland along the lower course of the river. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Livestock grazing; agriculture, particularly sugar cane production; and wood-cutting. 

Waterfowl: A variety of waterfowl characteristic of the chaco occur, including Syrigma 

sibilatrix, Ixobrychus involucris, Neochen jubata. Anas versicolor, A. leucophrys, Porphyriops 

melanops and Larus cirrocephalus. The Horned Screamer Anhima cornuta has also been 

recorded. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Overgrazing and soil erosion in the watershed. 

References: Montes (1982). 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Baiiados del Izozog and Rio Parapet! (18) 

Location: I7'"50'S, 6r20'W to 19'"30'S, 62'30'W; 140 km southeast of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz 

Department. 

Area: 500,000 ha. 

Altitude: 300m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4; 9 & 12. 

Site description: A large area of seasonal shallow freshwater lakes and marshes comprising the 

inland delta of the Rio Parapeti, which flows for only three months of the year, in the austral 

summer. In the dry season, the water table drops to 15m below ground level, the river and 

marshes dry out almost completely, and some saline flats are exposed. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of dry deciduous chaco woodland. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle ranching; wood-cutting for charcoal production. 

Waterfowl: No information, but the avifauna is presumably similar to that of other wetland 

areas in the chaco. 

Other fauna: The Spectacled Caiman Caiman crocodilus yacare is known to occur. 

Threats: There is a considerable amount of hunting for the animal trade; and the forests are 

rapidly being destroyed. 

References: Montes (1982). 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 

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Banados de Otuquis (19) 

Location: 19°55'S, 58°05'W; 350 km southeast of San Jose de Chiquitos, Santa Cruz Department. 

Area: 185,000 ha. 

Altitude: 140m. 

Province and type: 8.30.10; 09 & 12. 

Site description: Seasonal shallow freshwater lakes and marshes on the flood plain of a small 

tributary of the Rio Paraguay, near its confluence with that river; at the western edge of the 

Pantanal Matogrossense. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of dry chaco woodland. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Hunting for the animal trade, and boat traffic on the nearby Rio Paraguay. There 

are iron ore deposits in the region but these have not as yet been exploited. 

Waterfowl: No information, but presumably similar to other chaco wetlands. 

Other fauna: The Giant River Otter Pteronura brasiliensis and Spectacled Caiman Caiman 

crocodilus yacare are known to occur. 

Threats: Excessive exploitation of wildlife for the animal trade. 

References: Montes (1982). 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a. 



Banados de Petas and Baiiados de San Matias (20) 

Location: 16°18'-17°20'S, 58°20'-60°00'W; 200 km northwest of San Jose de Chiquitos, Santa 

Cruz Department. 

Area: 1 ,000,000 ha. 

Altitude: 130m. 

Province and type: 8.30.10; 09, 11, 13 & 16. 

Site description: A slow-flowing river with extensive riverine marshes, and a vast area of 

seasonal freshwater marshes, seasonally flooded palm savanna and seasonally flooded forest; the 

western portion of the Pantanal Matogrossense, the greater part of which lies in Brazil (see 

Brazil site 23). 

Principal vegetation: Beni savanna. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: Caiman crocodilus yacare is known to occur. 

Threats: No information. 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Banados de San Ignacio (21) 

Location: 16°20'S, 61°00'W; 160 km north of San Jose de Chiquitos, Santa Cruz Department. 

Area: 200,000 ha. 

Altitude: 405m. 

Province and type: 8.30.10; 09, 11, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: Slow-flowing rivers and streams with riverine marshes and riverine forest; and 

large areas of seasonal freshwater marshes, and seasonally flooded forest and palm savanna; at 

the headwaters of the Rio Paragua and Rio Paraiso. 

Principal vegetation: Beni savanna. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle ranching. 

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Bolivia 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: Caiman crocodilus yacare is known to occur. 

Threats: No information. 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteeria for inclusion: 0. 



Banado San Diego and Baiiado £1 Marfil (22) 

Location: 15°30'-16°20'S, 60°15'W; 200 km NNE of San Jose de Chiquitos, Santa Cruz 

Department. 

Area: 150,000 ha. 

Altitude: 1 80m. 

Province and type: 8.30.10; 09, 11, 12 & 16. 

Site description: Riverine marshes, seasonal shallow freshwater lakes and marshes, and large 

areas of seasonally flooded savanna along the upper Rio Paragua on the Brazilian border. 

Principal vegetation: Humid Beni savanna. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Rio Itenez (Guapore) (23) 

Location: 13°3rS, 60°25'-6r50'W; between Puerto Villazon and Catamarca, Santa Cruz 

Department. 

Area: Over 200 km of river. 

Altitude: 225m. 

Province and type: 8.30.10/8.6.1; 09, 11, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A large deep meandering river with riverine marshes, seasonally flooded 

gallery forest, and extensive areas of seasonally flooded palm savanna, along the Brazilian 

border. 

Principal vegetation: Humid savanna with scattered palms and "islands" of forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: There is very little human activity on the Bolivian side of the river, but some 

agriculture on the Brazilian side. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Rio Baures and Rio Zapecos (24) 

Location: 12''30'-16°20'S, 63°30'W; Bella Vista, Beni Department. 

Area: 500 km of river. 

Altitude: 180-500m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1/8.30.10; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 



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Site description: Large deep slow-flowing turbid rivers with riverine marshes, gallery forest 

and swamp forest; numerous permanent and seasonal freshwater lakes and marshes; and 

extensive areas of seasonally flooded savanna in the basin of the Rio Baures and its tributaries. 

Principal vegetation: Gallery forest with species of Cecropia, Ocroma and Inga; humid 

savannas with species of Paspalum, Cisaquirium and Panicum; lakes and marshes with species 

of Rinchelitrium and Killingea. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle ranching, hunting, fishing and wood-cutting. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of waterfowl typical of riverine marshes and flood plains was 

observed during a brief survey in November 1983, including Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Anhinga 

anhinga, Tigrisoma lineatum, Pilherodius pileatus, Cochlearius cochlearius, Ardea cocoi, 

Mycteria americana, Jabiru mycteria, Theristicus caudatus. Mesembrinibis cayennensis. Ajaia 

ajaja, Dendrocygna viduata, Sarkidiornis melanotos, Opisthocomus hoazin, Aramides cajanea, 

Heliornis fulica, Eurypyga helias and Jacana jacana. 

Other fauna: The Giant River Otter Pteronura brasiliensis. Spectacled Caiman Caiman 

crocodilus yacare and freshwater turtles Podocnemis spp occur. Fishes include Serrasalmus 

spilopleura, Colossoma brachipomum and Metynnis roosevelti. 

Threats: Uncontrolled hunting and fishing, and particularly the capturing of wildlife for the 

animal trade. 

Source: Eliana Flores and Raul Lara. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a. 



Rio Itonamas and Rio San Pablo (25) 

Location: 12°35'-15°42'S, 63°10'-64°20'W; Magdalena and San Pablo, Beni and Santa Cruz 

Departments. 

Area: Over 400 km of river. 

Altitude: 230-500m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A complex of slow-flowing rivers with associated riverine marshes, gallery 

forest and swamp forest; numerous permanent and seasonal freshwater lakes and marshes; and 

large areas of seasonally inundated palm savanna. The region includes the San Luis, Cueva, 

San Alberto, San Ramon and Concepcion lake systems. 

Principal vegetation: Dense riverine thickets with species of Cecropia, Ochroma and Salix; 

humid tropical forest along the rivers; and palm savanna. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle ranching and exploitation of timber. 

Waterfowl: No information is available specifically for this area, but the region is known to be 

very rich in waterfowl, and most if not all of the species listed by West for the lowlands of 

eastern Bolivia might be expected to occur. 

Other fauna: Apparently similar to the Rio Baures (site 24). 

Threats: Uncontrolled hunting and fishing, and particularly the capture of wildlife for the 

animal trade. 

References: West (1979). 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Rio Mamore (26) 

Location: 13°00'-16°00'S, 64°25'-65°00'W; Trinidad, Beni Department. 

Area: 400 km of river. 

Altitude: 140-155m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 



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Bolivia 

Site description: The Rio Mamore and its flood plain from the confluence of the Rio Ichilo and 

Rio Grande to Puerto Abaroa. A large meandering turbid river, up to 12m deep, with 

associated oxbow lakes and riverine marshes, gallery forest and swamp forest; many permanent 

and seasonal freshwater lakes and marshes; and extensive areas of seasonally inundated 

grassland and palm savanna. The rainy season is from November to February. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Beni savanna with some humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: The river and its flood plain are unprotected, but nearby permanent lakes are 

included within the Lagunas de Beni y Pando National Reserve (see site 30). 

Land use: Navigation along the Mamore between Puerto Villaroel and Guayaramerin; hunting 

and fishing. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for waterfowl, with most if not all of the species 

typical of the eastern lowlands of Bolivia occurring. Some of the commoner species 

include Anhinga anhinga, Ardea cocoi, Mycteria americana. Euxenura maguari, Jabiru mycteria, 

Mesembrinibis cayennensis, Chauna torquata, Dendrocygna viduata, Cairina moschata, 

Opisthocomus hoazin, Aramus guarauna, Porphyrula flavirostris, Jacana jacana, Hoploxypterus 

cayanus, Charadrius collaris, Phaetusa simplex and Sterna superciliaris. 

Other fauna: The area is rich in birds of prey, and Cathartes burrovianus, Rostrhamus hamatus. 

Circus buffoni and Busarellus nigricollis are common. The Giant River Otter Pteronura 

brasiliensis, the dolphin Inia geoffrensis and the Spectacled Caiman Caiman crocodilus yacare 

occur. Fishes include Salminus maxillosus, Myleus setiger and Cichla ocellaris. 

Threats: Uncontrolled hunting and fishing. 

Research and conservation: There is a great need for a more integrated approach to 

conservation of wildlife resources in the region. The riverine systems such as that of the 

Mamore should be considered along with the Beni and Pando lakes in an overall conservation 

plan for the area. 

References: Macias & Sejas (1974); Monje (1977); Montes (1982). 

Source: Eliana Flores and Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Wetlands in the Isiboro-Secure National Park (27) 

Location: IS'SS'-ieMS'S, 65°09'-66°55'W; Chipiriri and Puerto Totora, Cochabamba 

Department. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown; the basin of the Rio Isiboro is 952,700 ha and that of the 

Rio Secure 46,670 ha. 

Altitude: 160-3,000m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1/8.35.12; 09, 10, 11, 12 & 16. 

Site description: Two rivers, the Rio Isiboro and the Rio Secure, and tributaries, from their 

sources in the yungas of the eastern Andes to their confluence in the Beni lowlands. The 

Isiboro is a clear water river; the Secure is turbid. Along their lower courses, the rivers 

meander across alluvial plains with riverine forest, shallow freshwater lakes and marshes, and 

seasonally inundated savanna. 

Principal vegetation: Humid subtropical montane forest in the yungas; humid tropical forest 

along the rivers and humid savanna in the lowlands. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Isiboro-Secure National Park (1,233,000 ha) established in 1965. The 

aim of the Park is to protect the river basins in their entirity, but none of the Park regulations 

have ever been enforced. 

Land use: Colonization is occurring in the area and the forest is being cleared for agriculture 

and cattle ranching. 

Waterfowl: Little information is available, but it seems that the avifauna is similar to that of 

the Rio Mamore. 

Other fauna: A wide variety of mammals have been recorded including the Giant River 

Otter Pteronura brasiliensis and the dolphin Inia geoffrensis boliviensis. 

Threats: There is no control of hunting and fishing in the Park, and poaching for the fur trade 

is widespread. Colonists are establishing new settlements and clearing forest in the southern 



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Bolivia 

and northern parts of the Park. There is some disturbance from oil exploration, and there is a 

proposal to build a road across the Park, but this has been held up because of lack of finance. 

Research and conservation: The region is of particular interest as a Pleistocene refuge with a 

high degree of endemism in the flora and fauna. The University of Cochabamba and the 

Centro de Desarrollo Forestal have carried out studies on the natural resources of the Park, and 

the University of Wisconsin made a scientific expedition to the area in 1979. The need for 

proper enforcement of the Park regulations before the area has been irreparably damaged is 

apparent. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Wetlands in the Beni Biological Station (28) 

Location: 14°35'S, 66°20'W; northeast of San Borja, between Maniqui and Curiraba rivers, Beni 

Department. 

Area: c. 130,000 ha. 

Altitude: 330m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1; 09, 11, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A large tract of seasonally flooded savanna flooding for five to seven months 

of the year, with gallery forest along the main water courses, scattered "islands" of forest and 

patches of low subhumid forest. 

Principal vegetation: Humid forest and savanna. 

Land tenure: State owned; administered by the Academia Nacional de Ciencias. 

Protection: A Biological Station, established in 1982. 

Land use: Extensive cattle ranching and scientific research. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for waterfowl typical of the Beni savanna, notably Ardeidae, 

Ciconiidae, Threskiornithidae and Rallidae. Species recorded include Anhinga anhinga, 

Tigrisoma lineatum, Pilherodius pileatus, Syrigma sibilatrix, Ardea cocoi, all three 

Ciconiidae, Harpiprion caerulescens, Theristicus caudatus, Phimosus infuscatus, Ajaia ajaja, 

Chauna torquata Dendrocygna autumnalis, D. viduata, Neochen jubata, Amazonetta brasiliensis, 

Cairina moschata, O pisthocomus hoazin, Aramus guarauna, Aramides cajanea, Eurypyga helias, 

Jacana jacana, Vanellus chilensis, Hoploxypterus cayanus, Sterna superciliaris and Rynchops 

niger. A variety of Nearctic shorebirds occur on passage including Bartramia longicauda. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Pteronura brasiliensis. Lutra 

enudris, Tapirus terrestris and Blastocerus dichotomus; reptiles include Caiman crocodilus 

yacare and Eunectes murinus. 

Threats: The principal threat is increasing human settlement and the associated cutting of 

forests and burning to increase pasture land. There is also a considerable amount of illegal 

hunting. 

Research and conservation: Five researchers with Spanish funding are currently studying the 

waterfowl, primates and fishes of the Biological Station as part of a broader study of the 

savanna and forest ecosystems. Better scientific facilities are required and proper wardening 

should be provided to enforce the laws, particularly with respect to human settlement. 

References: Cabot et al (undated). 

Source: Estacion Biologica de Doiiana. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Rio Yacuma (29) 

Location: 14°12'S, 66°22'W; Ballivian and Espiritu, Beni Department. 

Area: 250 km of river. 

Altitude: 230m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1; 09, 11 & 16. 



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Site description: A slow-flowing river, up to 2.5m deep, with clear water during the dry 

season; riverine marshes; gallery forest; and extensive areas of seasonally inundated savanna 

with forested "islands". Flooding occurs from November to April. 

Principal vegetation: Humid tropical forest along the rivers and on higher ground, and humid 

savanna. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: Part of the area is protected in the Estancias Eisner Wildlife Refuge, established in 

1978. 

Land use: Cattle ranching. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for waterfowl. The commoner species include Mycteria 

americana, Jabiru mycteria, Harpiprion caerulescens, Theristicus caudatus. Phimosus infuscatus. 

Dendrocygna viduata. D. autumnalis, Neochen jubata, Cairina moschata. Aramus guarauna, 

Jacana jacana and Vanellus chilensis. Other species recorded include Cochlearius cochlearius, 

Agamia agami, Euxenura maguari. Ajaia ajaja, Chauna torquata and Amazonetta brasiliensis. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and Inia geoffrensis; and reptiles 

include Caiman crocodilus, Melanosuchus niger and Eunectes murinus. 

Threats: Excessive hunting throughout the region, and poaching in the reserve. 

Research and conservation: The Instituto de Ecologia has been conducting an inventory of the 

fauna and flora since 1980. In 1982, a study was initiated on the potential of the fauna to 

adapt to man's alterations to the savanna ecosystem. 

References: Beck (1983). 

Source: Werner Hanagarth. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Bent and Pando Lakes (30) 

Location: 11°00'-14°30'S, 65''10'-67°20'W; in the Departments of Beni and Pando. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown; scattered throughout a region of 3,500,000 ha. 

Altitude: 135-200m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1; 09, 11, 12, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A vast complex of freshwater lakes, swamps, marshes and seasonally flooded 

grassland and forest in an area of some 3,500,000 ha between the Rio Beni and the lower Rio 

Mamore. The Rio Yata rises amongst a group of small permanent and seasonal lakes in the 

middle of the region. The Rio Beni and Rio Mamore are deep slow-flowing rivers with 

extensive sand banks, gallery forest, and numerous associated oxbow lakes and marshes. The 

principal lakes include Laguna Rogagua (35,000 ha), L. Huatunas (36,000 ha), L. Rogaguado 

(32,400 ha), Laguna Las Abras, L. Yusala, L. Carreras, and the lakes at the source of the Rio 

Yata. Most are deep permanent lakes with turbid waters, much floating vegetation, and 

extensive surrounding marshes. The best known lake ornithologically is Lago Tumi Chucua 

(500 ha), an old oxbow lake of the Rio Beni 20 km south of Riberalta. During the eight 

months rainy season, the riverine forest and vast areas of the adjacent Beni savanna are 

inundated. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive beds of floating aquatic vegetation, marshes of Cyperaceae and 

Juncacae, humid tropical forest, and high grassland with scattered shrubs (Beni savanna). 

Land tenure: The lakes are state owned; much of the intervening land is privately owned in 

large estancias. 

Protection: The lakes and their marshes constitute the Lagunas de Beni y Pando National 

Reserve established in 1961, but the size of the reserve has never been stipulated, and no 

effective protection measures exist. The intervening land, and presumably therefore most if 

not all of the seasonally inundated savanna, is unprotected. 

Land use: Hunting and fishing; navigation along the major rivers; cattle ranching; and some 

sugar cane cultivation in the north. The grasslands are periodically burned to improve the 

grazing. Large tracts remain difficult of access and little disturbed. 



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Bolivia 

Waterfowl: An extremely important region for waterfowl, with spectacular and almost totally 

undisturbed concentrations of birds in many areas. The Orinoco Goose Neochen jubata is 

common, and flocks of up to 250 can still be observed. Some of the other more interesting 

species in the area include Zebrilus undulatus (recorded at L. Tumi Chucua), Pilherodius 

pileatus, Cochlearius cochlearius, Agamia agami, all three Ciconiidae, Harpiprion caerulescens, 

Theristicus caudatus, Phimosus infuscatus, Ajaia ajaja, Anhima comma, Chauna torquata. 

Cairina moschata, Opisthocomus hoazin, Aramus guarauna, Porphyrula flavirostris, Heliornis 

fulica, Eurypyga helias and Hoploxypterus cayanus. A variety of Nearctic shorebirds have 

been observed on migration including Pluvialis dominica, Bartramia longicauda and Tryngites 

subruficollis. 

Other fauna: All five South American kingfishers Alcedinidae occur. Reptiles include Caiman 

crocodilus yacare and Podocnemis spp; fishes include Megalamphodus rogoaguae and Rivulus 

rogoaguae in the lakes, and Myleus setiger, Prohilodus nigricans and Pyrrhulina beni in the Rio 

Beni. 

Threats: Uncontrolled hunting and fishing is causing a problem in some areas. 

Research and conservation: The birds of Lago Tumi Chucua have been described by Pearson, 

the Alcedinidae have been studied by Van Remsen, and some basic faunal and floral 

investigations have been carried out, but much of the region remains very poorly known. 

Because the National Reserve is comprised of many separate entities, effective control is very 

difficult. The Reserve should be more clearly defined, and if possible consolidated with the 

inclusion of tracts of land separating some of the various lagoons. 

References: Gyldenstolpe (1947); Niethammer (1953); Macias & Sejas (1974); Pearson (1975a & 

1975b); Monje (1977); Montes (1982); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Eliana Flores and J. Van Remsen. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Rio Madre de Dios (31) 

Location: irOO'S, 66''10'W to ir30'S, 67°30'W; WSW of Riberalta, Pando Department. 

Area: Over 200 km of river. 

Altitude: 135m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 9 & 11. 

Site description: A large slow-flowing river meandering through humid tropical forest, with 

numerous oxbow lakes, some up to 2,000 ha in extent, and associated marshes. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Navigation along the river; hunting and fishing; exploitation of rubber Hebea 

brasilensis and Brazil nuts Bertholetia excelsa. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: Caiman crocodilus yacare is known to occur. 

Threats: Excessive hunting and fishing. 

Source: Eliana Flores. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



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BRAZIL 



INTRODUCTION 

by Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas, Flavio Silva, Maria Alice dos Santos Alves and Susana de 
Moura Lara-Resende 

Brazil, with an area of 8,511,965 sq. km, is the fifth largest country in the world. It comprises 
almost half of the South American continent, and borders on all the countries in the continent 
except Chile and Ecuador. The population of about 125 million is over half that of all South 
America. 

The climate and topography vary greatly, but the country may be divided into five regions 
which, although based on political boundaries, roughly represent the major biogeographical 
zones. These are: 

a) Northern Region: the states and territories of Amazonas, Acre, Rondonia, Roraima, Amapa, 
Para and Maranhao. 

b) Northeast Region: the states of Piaui, Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, 
Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia. 

c) Southeast Region: the states of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. 

d) Southern Region: the states of Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. 

e) West-central Region: the Distrito Federal and the states of Goias, Mato Grosso and Mato 
Grosso do Sul. 

The Northern Region includes the greater part of the Amazon Basin, the Amazon delta and 
adjacent coasts, the southern edge of the Guiana highlands in the extreme north, and the 
ecotone between the Amazon forests and the open areas of northeastern Brazil. Most of the 
Amazon basin has an elevation of less than 250m and is hot and humid, with an annual rainfall 
of between 1,500 and 3,000 mm. The greater part of the region remains under primeval humid 
tropical forest, although there are scattered patches of wet and dry savanna and extensive flood 
plain and lacustrine systems along the major rivers. The human density is extremely low, and 
although man has cleared large areas of forest along the navigable rivers and near the coast, 
enormous tracts remain almost uninhabited and unexplored. 

The wetlands of the region are very poorly known, except in some of the more densely 
populated areas near the delta and in central Amazonia. The Amapa coast and delta region 
have been fairly well surveyed and are known to be very important for the manatee Trichechus 
manatus and such notable waterfowl as Eudocimm ruber and Phoenicopterus ruber, although the 
latter no longer breeds. Work in central Amazonia has focussed largely on aquatic mammals, 
turtles and fishes. 

The Northeastern Region extends east from the mouth of the Rio Parnaiba, and includes 
the semi-arid hinterlands of northeastern Brazil with an average annual rainfall of only 600 
mm, and a more humid eastern coastal strip with an average annual rainfall of 1,800 mm. The 
dominant vegetation type in the interior is "caatinga", which is characterized by deciduous, 
thorny scrubland with many cacti and other succulents, and more or less bare ground. Humid 
tropical forest formerly covered the coastal strip in the east, but most of this has now been 
cleared. There are two large perennial rivers in the region, the Sao Francisco and the Parnaiba, 
and many smaller rivers in the east. The extensive shoreline is comprised mainly of sandy 
beaches and coastal sand dunes, with mangroves in the estuaries and sea bays. In the semi-arid 
interior, numerous small dams have been constructed over the past one hundred years to 
maintain water supplies for livestock through the dry season, and these now constitute an 
important wetland habitat for wildlife, particularly Anatidae. In addition, there are two large 
dams on the Sao Francisco and one on the Parnaiba. 

The wildlife of the coastal zone is relatively well known, but little work has been carried 
out at the wetlands in the interior, and the importance of the large dams for waterfowl is 
unknown. Four species of sea turtle occur along the coast, and there are some small 
populations of Trichechus manatus in the larger estuaries. Phoenicopterus ruber formerly 
occurred but is now extinct in the region, and Eudocimus ruber is much reduced in numbers. 



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Brazil 

However, Netta erythrophthalma erythrophthalma, which is listed as "Indeterminate" in the 
WWF Red Data Book, occurs widely at coastal lagoons and dams in Ceara, Rio Grande do 
Norte, Alagoas and Bahia. 

The Southeastern Region is the most densely populated and industrialized part of the 
country. The climate is humid tropical to subtropical, with a well defined rainy season from 
December to March. The coastal plain and Atlantic slopes of the coastal mountain ranges were 
formerly forested, but extensive forest clearance for agriculture and settlement has left very 
little forest below 1,500m above sea level. In the interior, most of the original grassland and 
cerrado vegetation has been converted to pastureland for cattle or arable land. All of the large 
rivers have been dammed, some in many places, for hydroelectricity, irrigation and water 
supplies to urban areas. Along the coast, many of the coastal marshes and mangrove swamps 
have been reclaimed for agriculture, particularly around the main urban areas, and most of the 
remainder are under threat. 

The wildlife of the region is well documented. The massive changes brought about in the 
environment by man over the past two hundred years have resulted in the extinction or near 
extinction of many species in the region, including waterfowl such as Tigrisoma fasciatum, 
Eudocimus ruber and Mergus octosetaceus. Other species have however adapted well, and a 
variety of waterfowl including Dendrocygna viduata, Amazonetta brasiliensis and various 
Ardeidae have been able to take advantage of the large man-made wetlands and expand their 
ranges in the region. 

The Southern Region extends south from the Tropic of Capricorn to the border with 
Uruguay, and has a subtropical to temperate climate with warm summers and mild wet 
winters. The coastal mountain ranges of southeastern Brazil extend south to the region of Porto 
Alegre; thereafter the land is rolling with hills not exceeding 600m. The forested regions of 
the north give way to open pampas in Rio Grande do Sul and a landscape similar to that of 
Uruguay and Argentinian Pampas. The region is densely populated, and the standard of living 
is high. 

This region has some of the most extensive lacustrine systems in Brazil, and the greatest 
diversity of waterfowl of any region; Anatidae are particularly abundant, and several species 
occur here at the extreme northern edge of their range. Mangroves extend south along the 
coast to 28°30'S; from there to the Uruguayan border the shoreline is a sandy beach backed by 
sand dunes and a chain of some sixty lagoons. Lagoa dos Patos, which stretches for 250 km 
between Porto Alegre and Rio Grande, is the largest lake in Brazil, and together with Lagoa 
Mangueira, Lagoa Mirim, and associated lagoons, comprises a vast wetland system with close 
affinities to the Rio de la Plata wetlands. Some of the more interesting waterfowl include the 
two swans Cygnus melancoryphus and Coscoroba coscoroba, wintering Phoenicopterus chilensis, 
and a small population of Mergus octosetaceus on rivers in the west. 

The West-central Region is the only region to lack a coastline. The climate is continental, 
with an average annual rainfall of over 1,600 mm falling mainly between December and 
March, and a long dry season from April or May to September. The region is dominated by 
the central Brazilian tableland, with cerrado vegetation characterized by fairly open woodland 
with semideciduous, gnarled, low trees and coarse grassland. In the north, the region includes 
the ecotone between the humid tropical forests of the Amazon basin and the campos and 
cerrado of the highlands, with fingers of tropical forest extending south along the major river 
valleys to about 10° to ITS. Human population density is low, and the predominant form of 
land use is cattle ranching on large estates. 

The region includes the headwaters of several great rivers, including the Paraguay, 
Guapore, Tapajos, Xingu, Tocantins and Araguaia. Heavy rainfall during the summer months 
and impeded drainage result in extensive seasonal flooding along the main rivers, creating some 
of South America's largest wetlands; the Pantanal in the headwaters of the Rio Paraguay 
(150,000 sq. km) and the fluvial system of the middle Rio Araguaia (40,000 sq. km) are 
particularly impressive. Many of the wetland areas remain almost uninhabited and difficult of 
access, and wildlife populations are almost undisturbed. Waterfowl are particularly abundant, 
and several species which are becoming scarce or local in other parts of South America, still 
occur in large numbers. 



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Brazil 

Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

There are numerous organizations and institutions, both governmental and non-governmental, 
in Brazil which are concerned in some way with the environment and the conservation of 
natural resources. In 1982, the Ministry of the Interior published a 470 page book cataloguing 
over 300 bodies concerned with the environment (SEMA/SAP, 1982). At national level, the 
principal bodies are as follows: 

Instituto Brasileiro de Desenvolvimento Florestal (IBDF): within the Ministry of 

Agriculture, and with headquarters in Brasilia. Established in 1967; the principal 

governmental organization responsible for nature conservation and research. IBDF includes 

the National Parks Service, and is responsible for enforcing the Game Laws and 

Regulations. The Centro de Estudos de Migracoes de Aves (CEMAVE) in the National 

Park Service conducts ornithological research and coordinates bird banding throughout 

Brazil. IBDF publishes the results of its research in its technical and scientific journal 

"Brasil Florestal". 

Secretaria Especial do Meio Ambiente (SEMA): within the Ministry of the Interior, and 

with headquarters in Brasilia. Created in 1973 to set up and conduct research in Ecological 

Stations, and to conduct research on environmental pollution. 

Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq): with headquarters 

in Brasilia. Created in 1974 to promote scientific and technological research in Brazil. 

Fundacao Brasileira para Conservacao da Natureza (FBCN): the largest private conservation 

organization in Brazil, with headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. Established in 1958 to promote 

the conservation of nature. 

Associacao de Preservacao da Flora e Fauna (APREFFA): a private society with 

headquarters in Curitiba. Created in 1975 to promote nature protection and to campaign 

against over exploitation of wildlife and environmental pollution. 

Departamento Nacional de Aguas e Energia Electrica (DNAEE): within the Ministry of 

Mines and Energy, with headquarters in Brasilia. Established in 1965 to study the water 

resources of Brazil, to evaluate their potential for hydroelectricity, and to control water 

pollution. 

Associacao Brasileira de Engenharia Sanitaria e Ambiental (ABES): a private society with 

headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. Established in 1966 to campaign for improved control of 

environmental pollution and better basic sanitation. 

At regional or state level, the principal organizations are as follows: 

Northern Region 

Conselho Estadual do Meio Ambiente (CEMA): based in Manaus; active in Amazonas. 

Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia (INPA): based in Manaus; active in Legal 

Amazonia. 

Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi: based in Belem; active in the Amazon Basin. 

Secretaria de Economia, Agricultura e Colonizacao - Departamento de Recursos Naturals: 

based in Porto Velho; active in Rondonia. 
Northeastern Region 

Coordenadoria de Recursos Naturals (SENARY): based in Sao Luis; active in Maranhao. 

Fundacao Instituto de Tecnologia e Meio Ambiente (SENARY - lYEMA): based in Sao 

Luis; active in Maranhao. 

Laboratorio de Ciencias do Mar (UFCe - ABOMAR): based in Meireles-Fortaleza; active 

on the northeast coast. 

Superintendencia do Desenvolvimento do Estado do Ceara (SUDEC): based in Fortaleza; 

active in Ceara. 

Sociedade Norte Riograndense de Protecao do Meio Ambiente: based in Natal; active in 

Rio Grande do Norte. 

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN): based in Natal; active in Rio 

Grande do Norte. 

Estacao Ecologica do Yapacura - Universidade Federal do Pernambuco: based in Sao 

Lourenco; active throughout the northeast. 

Companhia Pernambucana de Controle da Poluicao Ambiental e Administracao de 

Recursos Hidricos (CPRH): based in Recife; active in Pernambuco. 

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Brazil 

Conselho Estadual de Protecao Ambiental (CEPRAM): based in Maceio; active in 

Alagoas. 

Administracao Estadual do Meio Ambiente ( ADEMA): based in Aracaju; active in 

Sergipe. 

Secretaria Executiva de Control de Poluicao: based in Aracaju; active in Sergipe. 

Institute de Biologia da Universidade Federal da Bahia (IB-UFBA): based in Salvador; 

active in Bahia. 

Centro de Pesquisas e Desenvolvimento (CEPED): based in Estrada de Camacari; active 

in Bahia. 
Southeastern Region 

Instituto Estadual de Florestas (lEF): based in Vitoria; active in Espirito Santo. 

Comissao de Politica Ambiental (COP AM): based in Belo Horizonte; active in Minas 

Gerais. 

Instituto Estadual de Florestas (lEF): based in Belo Horizonte; active in Minas Gerais. 

Secretaria de Estado de Ciencia e Tecnologia: based in Belo Horizonte; active in Minas 

Gerais. 

Comissao de Controle da Poluicao da Baia de Guanabara: based in Rio de Janeiro; acti /e 

in Rio de Janeiro State. 

Comissao Estadual de Controle Ambiental (CECA): based in Rio de Janeiro; active in 

Rio de Janeiro State. 

Fundacao Estadual de Engenharia do Meio Ambiente (FEEMA): based in Rio de Janeiro; 

active in Rio de Janeiro State. 

Instituto Florestal (Secretaria da Agricultura): based in Sao Paulo; active in Sao Paulo 

State. 
Southern Region 

Associacao de Defesa e Educacao Ambiental: based in Curitiba; active in Parana. 

Superintendencia dos Recursos Hidricos e Meio Ambiente (SUREHMA): based in 

Curitiba; active in Parana. 

Fundacao de Amparo a Tecnologia e Meio Ambiente (FATMA): based in Florianopolis; 

active in Santa Catarina. 

Coordenadoria de Controle do Equilibrio Ecologico, Superintendencia do Desenvolvimento 

da Regiao Sul (Ministry of the Interior): based in Porto Alegre; active in Rio Grande do 

Sul. 

Fundacao Zoobotanica do Rio Grande do Sul (FZB): based in Porto Alegre; active in 

Rio Grande do Sul. 

Secretaria de Saude e Meio Ambiente: based in Porto Alegre; active in Rio Grande do 

Sul. 

Unidade de Preservacao e Controle de Recursos Naturals Renovaveis (Secretaria da 

Agricultura): based in Porto Alegre; active in Rio Grande do Sul. 

Associacao Gaucha de Protecao ao Ambiente Natural (AGAPAN): based in Porto Alegre; 

active mainly in Rio Grande do Sul. 
West-central Region 

Companhia de Agua e Esgoto de Brasilia (CAESB): based in Brasilia; active in the 

Federal District. 

Departamento de Botanica - ICBI: based in Goiana; active in Goias. 

Superintendencia Estadual do Meio Ambiente (SEMAGO): based in Goiana; active in 

Goias. 

Instituto de Preservacao e Controle Ambiental de Mato Grosso do Sul (INAMB): based in 

Campo Grande; active in Mato Grosso do Sul. 

Associacao para Defesa da Flora e Fauna do Pantanal: based in Corumba; active in the 

Pantanal Matogrossense. 

Progress in Wetland Conservation 

Legislation concerning the natural environment has been in effect in Brazil since 1934. The 
first law specifically related to wetlands was the Codigo de Aguas (1934), which regulated the 
use of rivers, lakes and lagoons. Since that time, a very large number of laws concerning the 
environment has been adopted. In general, however, the enforcement of the laws is poor. In 



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Brazil 

an attempt to educate lawyers and law enforcement personnel in environmental legislation, the 
Fundacao Brasileira para Conservacao da Natureza and Cia. Energetica de Sao Paulo have 
recently published a 510 page book summarizing all the nation's environmental legislation 
(Camara, Strang & Moretzsohn Rocha, 1983). 

Commercial hunting has been banned throughout Brazil since 1967, and sport hunting 
permitted only in those states which are able to demonstrate on a scientific basis that an open 
season can be justified. Since 1980, the only state able to do this, and therefore the only state 
in which hunting has been permitted, is Rio Grande do Sul. 

Some of the main laws relating to wetlands and their wildlife are as follows: 

a) The Codigo de Aguas in 1934. 

b) A decree in 1948 approving the Convention for the Protection of Fauna, Flora and Scenic 
Natural Beauty in the Americas. 

c) A decree in 1961 regulating the pollution of inland and marine waters. 

d) A law in 1962 creating the Superintendencia de Desenvolvimento da Pesca, the agency 
responsible for fisheries in Brazil. 

e) A law in 1967 banning the commercial hunting of wildlife in Brazil, and establishing 
hunting seasons. All wildlife became the property of the Federation, and could only be 
hunted under permit. 

f) A law in 1967 creating the Instituto Brasileiro de Desenvolvimento Florestal (IBDF), the 
agency responsible for nature conservation throughout the country, and for managing 
National Parks and Biological Reserves. 

g) A decree in 1973 creating the Secretaria Especial do Meio Ambiente (SEMA), the agency 
responsible for Ecological Stations, and for research on environmental pollution. Ecological 
Stations have some similarities with Biological Reserves, and there is thus some overlap 
between SEMA and IBDF. 

h) A decree in 1975 approving Brazil's adherence to the Convention on International Trade in 

Endangered Species, 
i) Two decrees in 1975 relating to industrial pollution, 
j) A decree in 1979 approving Brazil's adherence to the International Convention on Oil 

Pollution. 

Considerable progress has been made in the establishment of protected areas, and by 1983, over 
12 million hectares were under Federal protection in a network of National Parks, Biological 
Reserves and Ecological Stations. The National Parks Service in IBDF is responsible for 
National Parks and Biological Reserves, and can create National Forest Reserves in which 
forest exploitation can occur. By the end of 1983, there were 25 National Parks, 14 Federal 
Biological Stations, and 14 National Forest Reserves. SEMA is responsible for Ecological 
Stations, which are established to preserve good examples of all Brazilian ecosystems and to 
serve as study areas for baseline research. SEMA can also designate Environmental Protection 
Areas and legislate over private property in regions of special interest. By October 1983, 23 
Ecological Stations had been established, and a further seven were at the planning stage. 
Eighteen of these areas contain important wetland habitat. At state level, some state 
governmental entities create and preserve State Parks and Ecological Stations. The Codigo 
Florestal (Law No. 4771) allows for the establishment of permanent private reserves in which 
land use activities are restricted. In return, the owners are exempt from Federal land taxes. 
Private reserves can similarly be established through the regulations of IBDF, under the name 
of Refugios de Fauna (Faunal Refuges). 

The protected areas which include significant wetland habitat are as follows: 

Northern Region 

Cabo Orange National Park, on the north coast of Amapa: 619,000 ha; established 1980. 

Lencois Maranhenses National Park, on the east coast of Maranhao: 155,000 ha; 

established 1981. 

Lago Piratuba Biological Reserve, on the central Amapa coast: 395,000 ha; established 

1980. 

Trombetas Biological Reserve, on the Rio Trombetas in Para: 385,000 ha; established 

1979. 

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Brazil 

Abufari Biological Reserve, in Amazonas: 288,000 ha; established 1982. 

Guapore Biological Reserve, on the Rio Guapore in Rondonia: 600,000 ha; established 

1982. 

Maraca-Roraima Ecological Station, in Roraima: 92,000 ha. 

Maraca-Amapa Ecological Station, on the Amapa coast: 70,000 ha. 

Anavilhanas Ecological Station, on the lower Rio Negro in Amazonas: 350,000 ha. 

Cunia Ecological Station, in Rondonia: 100,000 ha. 

Juami-Japura Ecological Station, on the lower Rio Japura in Amazonas: 273,238 ha. 
Northeastern Region 

Praia do Peba Ecological Station, on the coast of Alagoas: 3,000 ha. 
Southeastern Region 

Serra da Canastra National Park, in the highlands of Minas Gerais: 71,525 ha; 

established 1972. 

Parapitinga Ecological Station, in Minas Gerais: 10,000 ha. 

Pirai Ecological Station, in Rio de Janeiro State: 4,000 ha. 

Jureia Ecological Station, in Sao Paulo State: 30,000 ha. 
Southern Region 

Iguacu National Park, on the Rio Iguacu in Parana: 170,000 ha; established 1939. 

Taim Ecological Station, on the south coast of Rio Grande do Sul: 32,000 ha. 

Guaraquecaba Ecological Station, in Parana: 73,640 ha. 

Carijos Ecological Station, in Santa Catarina: area unknown. 

Babitonga Ecological Station, in Santa Catarina: area unknown. 
West-Central Region 

Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, in Goias: 60,000 ha; established 1972. 

Araguaia National Park, at Ilha do Bananal on the Rio Araguaia, Goias: 562,312 ha; 

established 1959. 

Pantanal Matogrossense National Park, in the Pantanal, Mato Grosso: 135,000 ha; 

established 1981. 

Taiama Ecological Station, in the Pantanal, Mato Grosso: 12,000 ha. 

Cocos-Javaes Ecological Station, in Goias: 37,000 ha. 

Alto Guapore Ecological Station, on the upper Rio Guapore, Mato Grosso: area unknown. 



Progress in Research on Wetlands and Waterfowl 

A considerable amount of research has been conducted on the natural resources of Brazil, and 
the flora and fauna of the country are now relatively well documented. However, very little 
work has been done on wetland ecosystems and their wildlife except locally in Amazonas, 
Amapa, Para, Sao Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul. In Amazonia, the Institute Nacional de 
Pesquisas da Amazonia (INPA) has been particularly active in wetlands research, with major 
projects on fisheries resources, crocodilians, freshwater turtles and aquatic mammals. The 
Aquatic Mammal Project at INPA has in the past concentrated on Trichechus inunguis, but in 
recent years has expanded the scope of its activities to include the Cetaceans and 
otters Pteronura and Lutra. Some limnological work has been conducted on the flood plain 
systems near Manaus and on the lower Rio Tapajos, and attempts have been made to interpret 
the aquatic resources of central Amazonia using Landsat imagery. IBDF biologists, the Goeldi 
Museum in Belem, and the Museu Costa Lima in Macapa have carried out investigations 
on Trichechus manatus, sea turtles and waterfowl in the delta area and along the Para and 
Amapa coasts. 

In the south, J. G. Tundisi and colleagues of the Federal University of Sao Carlos have 
conducted limnological studies at man-made lakes in Sao Paulo and lacustrine systems in Rio 
de Janeiro (Henry & Tundisi, 1983; Matsumura-Tundisi & Tundisi, 1976; Rocha et al, 1982; 
Tundisi, 1981 & 1983a; Tundisi et al, 1978); and limnologists at the Federal University of Rio 
Grande do Sul have investigated the coastal lagoons of that state (Chomenko, 1981; 
Schwarzbold, 1982). 

As regards research on waterfowl, very little work has been done in Amazonia, and indeed 
rather few researchers have specialized in this group anywhere in Brazil. Recent investigations 
of note include aerial surveys of the entire Brazilian coastline for wintering shorebird 



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Brazil 

populations by Canadian Wildlife Service and IBDF biologists (Morrison, 1983a & 1983b); a 
survey of Phoenicopterus ruber and Eudocimus ruber populations on the Amapa coast by 
Teixeira and Best (1981); a study of game species and colonial waterbirds in the Pantanal by 
IBDF biologists (initiated in 1983); studies on game bird management and sport hunting in Rio 
Grande do Sul by biologists at the Fundacao Zoobotanica; experiments with the management 
of Amazonetta brasiliensis as a game species in Sao Paulo by a private timber company; and a 
detailed avifaunal survey of Rio Grande do Sul by Belton (1984). A study of the importance 
of Lagoa do Peixe, Rio Grande do Sul, for waterfowl, particularly wintering Nearctic 
shorebirds, will be initiated by S. Lara-Resende in 1985. 

Brazil does however have a very active bird banding programme coordinated by CEMAVE, 
and this has included a number of projects involving waterfowl. Recent banding projects have 
included the following: 

a) Colonially nesting Ardeidae, mainly Egretta alba and Ardea cocoi, in Amapa, by Antonio 
Carlos Farias of the Museu Costa Lima. 

b) Shorebirds and Laridae, particularly Sterna hirundo, on the northeast coast, by biologists 
from CEMAVE, the Canadian Wildlife Service, the Goeldi Museum and several local 
universities. 

c) Sterna spp in the Atol das Rocas Biological Reserve, by IBDF biologists. 

d) Sterna hirundinacea in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, by Norma Crud Maciel and Dante 
Teixeira. 

e) Nearctic shorebirds in Rio de Janeiro, by Pedro Ernesto Correa Ventura and Elias Pacheco 
Coelho. 

f) Anatidae, particularly Dendrocygna viduata, in Sao Paulo, by the Sao Paulo Zoo, the Cia. 
Energetica de Sao Paulo, and a private timber company. 

g) Colonially nesting Ardeidae and Anhinga anhinga in Minas Gerais by Marco Antonio 
Andrade. 

h) Anatidae and sea-birds in Santa Catarina, by Lenir Alda do Rosario and colleagues. 

i) Anatidae and colonially nesting Ciconiiformes in Rio Grande do Sul, by Flavio Silva and 

colleagues, 
j) Shorebirds on the southern coast, by Martin Sander of the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos 

Sinos. 
k) Colonially nesting Ciconiiformes in the Pantanal, by the Instituto de Preservacao e Controle 

Ambiental in Mato Grosso do Sul. 



Major Threats to Wetlands and Waterfowl 

The wetlands of Brazil are under heavy human pressure. Most of Brazil's population is 
concentrated in the southeastern and southern regions, where the nation's largest cities and 
advanced industrial development pose particularly serious threats to wetland ecosystems. In 
other parts of the country, agricultural development, especially the cultivation of rice, is the 
principal threat, while in coastal zones development for recreation and the destruction of 
mangrove forests for timber and fuel add to the pressures on wetlands. Despite the fact that 
hunting has been prohibited in all states except Rio Grande do Sul since 1980, the commercial 
exploitation of wildlife and subsistence hunting continue everywhere at a high level and 
threaten many populations of preferred species with local extinction. 

Northern Region 

The population density remains very low almost throughout the northern region and the 
destruction of wetland habitat for agricultural land has had a serious impact only at a very 
local level; e.g. in the Sao Luis area where wetlands have been reclaimed for rice culture and 
pastureland. However, one habitat type, namely the floodplains of white water rivers, has 
come under considerable pressure because of the fertility of the soils, and this habitat has now 
largely disappeared from the major navigable white water rivers of central and lower 
Amazonia. Elsewhere in the region, illegal commercial and subsistence hunting pose the most 



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Brazil 

serious threat to wetland fauna. Species under particular pressure include the crocodilians 
(notably Melanosuchus niger), the freshwater turtles (notably Podocnemis expansa and P. 
unifilis), the manatees Trichechus inunguis and T. manatus, and a variety of waterfowl 
including Eudocimus ruber, Neochen jubata, Dendrocygna spp and Porphyrula martinica. The 
flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber has become extinct as a breeding species in Brazil because of 
intensive persecution in the past. Pollution from pesticide runoff is beginning to affect some 
riverine systems, and the construction of a number of enormous dams in the coming decades 
will have a major impact on most of the large rivers of the region. 

Northeastern Region 

Most of the wetlands are situated on the densely populated coastal plain, where the large 
industrial centres of Salvador and Recife and many smaller cities create serious pollution 
problems. Almost all of the mangrove swamps are being affected by cutting and drainage, and 
coastal development for recreation is a problem in some areas. Illegal hunting is widespread; 
sea turtles, principally Eretmochelys imbricata, and Anatidae, principally Dendrocygna viduata, 
are particularly under pressure. 

Southeastern Region 

The long history of colonization, very dense human population and extensive industrial 
development have resulted in major changes to natural ecosystems throughout the southeast. 
Wetlands have been seriously affected by reclamation for agriculture and urban development, 
domestic and industrial pollution, contamination with pesticides and, along the coast, 
development for recreation and tourism. Large tracts of wetland habitat have been destroyed, 
and few areas remain in anything like pristine condition. Hunting, although now illegal 
throughout the region, continues to take a heavy toll, and several species of waterfowl have 
been exterminated locally or reduced to very low levels. In recent years, attempts have been 
made to control Dendrocygna viduata as a pest on rice crops, and Aldrin has been used illegally 
in at least one region in Sao Paulo. 

Southern Region 

Wetlands in the southern region have been subjected to all the same pressures as those in the 
southeast, but have not to date suffered as badly. The principal threat in most areas is the 
reclamation of land for rice growing which continues at an accelerating pace. Overgrazing by 
domestic livestock is a problem in some of the ranching areas in the south. In Rio Grande do 
Sul, there is an open season for sport hunting of Anatidae from 15 May to the end of August 
(15 June to the end of September for Netta peposaca), and some 12,000 hunters are licensed 
each year. However, despite poor law enforcement and a lack of management, waterfowl 
populations remain high. 

West-central Region 

Population pressures remain low throughout much of the west-central region, and although 
wetlands have been reclaimed for agriculture and ranching, the total area affected to date is 
relatively small. However, a large expansion in agriculture is planned in the region, and areas 
such as the Pantanal and middle Araguaia are increasingly coming under pressure. 
Deforestation of watersheds has affected flooding cycles and sedimentation rates in the 
floodplains of the major rivers, and the widespread use of pesticides on agricultural land is also 
beginning to affect the riverine systems. Illegal hunting is a serious problem, particularly the 
commercial exploitation of Caiman crocodilus yacare in the Pantanal. The skins are smuggled 
across the border into neighbouring Bolivia to enter the international trade. Subsistence 
hunting of waterfowl is widespread, but it is doubtful if this is having any detrimental effect 
on populations. However, there are indications that avicides are being used to kill ducks, 
mainly Dendrocygna spp, in rice growing areas in the Araguaia Valley (Rio Formosa). 



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Brazil 



BRAZIL 





L_ 



1000 

I 



Brasilia 

19« * I 




2000 

I 



Km 



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WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on information and data sheets provided by Maria Alice dos Santos 

Alves, Marco Antonio de Andrade, Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas, Joao Henrique Auler Junior, 

Marlise Becker, Lenir Alda do Rosario Bege, Robin C. Best, James M. Dietz, Selma Mattos 

Diniz, Jean-Luc Dujardin, Antonio Carlos da Silva Farias, Luiz A. Pedreira Gonzaga, Susana 

de Moura Lara-Resende, Norma Crud Maciel, Pedro Scherer Neto, Marcos da Silva Noffs, 

Fernando C. Novaes, David Oren, Benedito Vitor Rabelo, Paul Roth, Helmut Sick, Flavio 
Silva, Dante Luiz Martins Teixeira, Walter A. Voss and Carlos Yamashita. 



The Amazon Basin (1) 

Location: 5°00'N to ITOO'S, 48°00'W to 73°00'W; the Amazon Basin from the Delta near Belem 

and Macapa to the borders of the Guianas, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, and the 

highlands of central Brazil. 

Area: The entire catchment is about 7,000,000 sq. km, of which nearly three-quarters 

(4,975,000 sq. km) lie in Brazil. No reliable estimate of the total area of wetland habitat is 

available. However, it has been estimated that in Brazil alone there are between 70,000 and 

100,000 sq. km of floodplain habitat, and over 100,000 sq. km of lakes and swamps. There are 

40,000 km of navigable stretches of river, and probably an even greater extent of wetland in 

the form of creeks and streams. Thus the total area of wetland in the Brazilian Amazon almost 

certainly exceeds 300,000 sq. km (30 million ha), and may be much more. 

Altitude: 0-300m; the major wetlands of central and lower Amazonia lie below 100m above sea 

level. 

Province and type: 8.4.1/8.5.1/8.6.1, with some 8.28.10 in the extreme north; 09, 10, 11, 12, 15, 

16 & 18. 

Site description: The Amazon River and its tributaries comprise the greatest riverine system on 

earth, discharging one sixth of the fresh water entering the world's oceans. The Brazilian 

portion of the Amazon Basin constitutes 58% of that country and over a quarter of the South 

American continent. The annual rainfall over much of the basin is between 2,000 and 3,000 

mm; it exceeds 3,000 mm in the delta region in the east and in the Andean foothills in the 

west, and is as low as 1,600 mm in some north-central areas. Rain falls year round, with a 

peak between January and May and a low between July and November in the central and 

eastern areas. 

Three major divisions of aquatic system are widely recognized: 

a) Black water systems, arising on bleached sands and podzols of the central Amazon 
lowlands. The water is rich in dissolved humic substances, dark brownish in coloration, 
and transparent, with a low concentration of dissolved minerals and an extremely low pH 
(about 4). Black waters are amongst the most nutrient poor waters on earth and have a low 
productivity. 

b) White water systems, arising mainly in the Andes and foothills. The water is rich in 
inorganic particles in suspension and turbid, with a relatively high concentration of 
dissolved minerals and a pH of about 7. White waters have a fairly high nutrient content, 
and high productivity. 

c) Clear water systems, arising in the crystalline Precambrian shield of central Brazil in the 
south and the Guianas in the north. The water is greenish in coloration and transparent, 
with a very low to relatively high concentration of dissolved minerals, a pH ranging from 
very acid to neutral, and low to medium productivity. The two main clear water rivers are 
the Xingu and Tapajos. 

Junk (1983) recognizes eight main wetland habitats in the Amazon Basin: 

a) Rivers: all are influenced by wide fluctuations in water level. Rivers flowing south from 
the northern parts of the basin reach flood peaks between June and August; those flowing 
north into the Amazon, between February and June. The Amazon itself reaches its 
maximum normally at the end of June. The magnitude of the fluctuations decreases from 
west to east, with fluctuations of 16-20m in the Andean foothills, 8- 15m at Manaus in 
central Amazonia, and 4-6m near the delta. 

b) Creeks: the Amazon basin has the greatest density of creeks on earth. They show a great 
diversity in water chemistry, extent of solar irradiation, rate of flow, and permanence, and 

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Brazil 

thus constitute a very complex system of different habitats with a huge diversity of aquatic 
organisms. (In one study, 40 species of fishes were found in a 300m stretch of forest creek 
l-2m wide.) 

c) Deep closed lakes: deep lakes with more or less closed basins are rare in Amazonia. 
Probably the only real deep closed lake basins in the Brazilian portion are the Morro de 6 
Lagos, a group of six small lakes in the highlands of the upper Rio Negro. The area is 
difficult of access, and the lakes have never been studied. 

d) Closed shallow lakes: these are very common in the savanna areas of Roraima. Some are 
perennial, others temporary; they are mainly oligotrophic, but some are eutrophic and these 
may have extensive swamps with a great diversity of wildlife. 

e) Open shallow lakes or floodplain lakes: these are shallow lakes which are connected with 
rivers for at least a part of the year, allowing an exchange of nutrients, energy and 
biological material on an annual basis. They include oxbow lakes, lateral levee lakes, lakes 
in abandoned channels, and lakes in depressions formed by uneven aggregations of 
sediments during floods. Most are subject to wide fluctuations in water level. 

f) Floodplains: these are areas which for parts of the year have aspects of terrestrial habitats, 
but for the remainder are flooded and united with the shallow floodplain lakes. Nutrient 
cycles are extremely complex, and the organisms living in these transitional systems show a 
wide range of special morphological, physiological and ethological adaptations. Extensive 
flooding occurs along white water rivers, forming enormous shallow lakes up to 40 km 
wide and 100 km long. Along the Solimoes-Amazon alone, there are over 6,400,000 ha of 
this "varzea" habitat in a strip 20 to 100 km wide. The higher ground is covered with 
forest; the low-lying areas are primarily overgrown with bushes and grasses during the dry 
period. Flooding occurs to a lesser extent along black water rivers, and here the flooded 
regions are covered by "igapo", a characteristic type of forest which can survive flooding 
for several months of the year. 

g) Swamps: these occur mostly along creeks and small rivers, and in long abandoned river 
channels where the groundwater table reaches the surface during most of the year. 
Although there are over 10,000,000 ha of swamps in central Amazonia, they have been 
little studied and their ecology remains poorly understood. 

h) Man-made lakes: these include large hydro-electric dams, fish ponds and areas of rice 
cultivation. Only three large dams have been completed in Amazonia to date, but many 
more are under construction or in the planning stages. There are only small areas of fish 
ponds and rice cultivation at present, but these too are likely to be extended enormously in 
the coming decades. 
Some of the most important wetland areas in the Amazon basin and the delta region are 
described separately below (site la - li, and site 2). 

Principal vegetation: Humid tropical forest covers 68% of the Amazon basin. Non-forested 
terrestrial formations include dry savannas and areas of low vegetation on white sand known as 
Campinas. Wetland habitat includes seasonally flooded forest along white water rivers (varzea); 
seasonally flooded forest along black water rivers (igapo); swamps with emergent macrophytes 
and stands of Mauritia flexuosa; and eutrophic lakes with fringing marshes of Cyperaceae and 
beds of Eichhornia sp, Pistia sp and the floating stages of Paspalum repens. 
Land tenure: A mixture of Federal, State and private ownership. 

Protection: Very little of the wetland habitat is under protection. Although a number of large 
National Parks, Biological Reserves and Ecological Stations have been established in wider 
Amazonia, and give some measure of protection to over eight million hectares, the emphasis 
has been very largely on preserving terra firma forests. Very little white water floodplain 
forest (varzea) has been protected, and no significant tracts of black water swamp forest 
(igapo) occur in any of the reserves. The commercial exploitation of wildlife was banned 
throughout the region in 1967, and full legal protection given to the manatee Trichechus 
inunguis and otters Pteronura brasiliensis and Lutra enudris in 1973, but enforcement of the 
regulations is almost non-existent outside the reserves. 

The following protected areas have been established in the Amazon proper; all include some 
wetland habitat, but only the Rio Trombetas Biological Reserve, and Anavilhanas, 
Maraca-Roraima and Juami-Japura Ecological Stations include large tracts of important 
wetland habitat: 

Jau National Park: 2,272,000 ha; established 1980. Along a western tributary of the Rio 
Negro. 



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Amazonia (Tapajos) National Park: 1,258,000 ha; established 1974. On the middle Rio 

Tapajos in southern Para and southeastern Amazonas. 

Pico da Neblina National Park: 2,200,000 ha; established 1979. On the upper Rio Negro on 

the Venezuelan border. 

Rio Trombetas Biological Reserve: 385,000 ha; established 1979. On the lower Rio 

Trombetas and Rio Maquera. 

Abufari Biological Reserve: 288,000 ha; established in 1982. Between the Rio Purus and the 

Rio Coari. 

Anavilhanas Ecological Station: 350,000 ha; established 1981. On the lower Rio Negro, and 

including a large archipelago in that river. 

Maraca-Roraima Ecological Station: 92,000 ha; established 1976. An island in the Rio 

Uraricuera, a tributary of the Rio Negro, in the extreme north. 

Rio Acre Ecological Station: 77,500 ha; established 1981. On the Rio Acre, a tributary of 

the Rio Purus, on the Peruvian border. 

Apiacas Ecological Station: 500,000 ha; date of establishment unknown. On the middle Rio 

Tapajos, in the transition zone between humid tropical forest and cerrado. 

Cunia Ecological Station: 100,000 ha; date of establishment unknown. On the upper Rio 

Madeira in northern Rondonia. 

Juami-Japura Ecological Station: 273,238 ha; date of establishment unknown. On the lower 

Rio Japura near its confluence with the Solimoes-Amazon. 
Land use: The human population of the Amazon Basin is extremely low, with an estimated 
total of only six million inhabitants in the entire basin of 7,000,000 sq. km. However, almost 
the entire population is concentrated along the main water courses and is very largely 
dependent on the rivers for transportation, and the floodplains for cultivation. There is a very 
important subsistence and commercial fishery; it has been estimated that the potential of the 
Amazon could exceed 600,000 metric tons of fish per year, but only a small fraction of this is 
currently being harvested. Fish farming in fish ponds is being attempted in some areas, and 
this activity is likely to increase enormously in the future. Agriculture is generally at a very 
primitive subsistence level except around the main centres of habitation where maize, rice and 
jute are the principal crops. Rice production is however increasing rapidly and is likely to take 
over large areas of floodplain in the future. There is also some cattle ranching in open areas. 

Hunting for food and for skins has long been an important activity in much of the Amazon 
and has focussed on the readily accessible wildlife of the rivers and riverbanks. There was a 
massive trade in skins of crocodilians, Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and otters in the 
1950s and 1960s, but with the virtual extermination of some species over much of their ranges 
and the introduction in 1967 of legislation prohibiting commercial hunting, the level of harvest 
has dropped off considerably. Freshwater turtles continue to be harvested for food on a large 
scale, although the preferred species Podocnemis expansa is becoming increasingly rare. 
Waterfowl: The waterfowl of Amazonia have received remarkably little attention from 
ornithologists or ecologists, perhaps because they show none of the interesting speciation 
phenomena associated with Pleistocene forest refugia which have captivated so many biologists 
working in the Amazon in recent decades. In fact, the aquatic avifauna of the Amazon is 
extremely homogeneous; of the 30 species typical of rivers, creeks, oxbow lakes and wet forest, 
all but two occur throughout the Amazon Basin. Thus even those species which occur at very 
low densities, such as Zebrilus undulatus and Agamia agami, must, in terms of total population 
size, be relatively common birds. 

Characteristic species include Phalacrocorax olivaceus. Anhinga anhinga. Tigrisoma 
lineatum, Zebrilus undulatus, Pilherodius pileatus, Egretta alba. Ardea cocoi. Agamia agami, 
Mesembrinibis cayennensis, Anhima cornuta, Neochen jubata, Cairina moschata, Opisthocomus 
hoazin, Aramides cajanea, Laterallus exilis, L. melanophaius, Porphyrula martinica, Heliornis 
fulica, Eurypyga helias, Jacana jacana, Hoploxypterus cayanus, Charadrius collaris, Phaetusa 
simplex. Sterna superciliaris and Rynchops niger. The two humid forest species with restricted 
ranges in western Amazonia are Aramides calopterus and Laterallus fasciatus. 

A variety of species typical of large open wetlands such as the llanos of Venezuela or 
Pantanal of central Brazil have a rather patchy distribution in Amazonia, dependent on the 
presence of open lacustrine and floodplain systems or wet savannas. These include several 
Ardeidae, the three storks Ciconiidae, Theristicus caudatus. Ajaia ajrja. Dendrocygna viduata, 
D. autumnalis, Amazonetta brasiliensis, Sarkidiornis melanotos, Oxyura dominica, Aramus 
guarauna, Vanellus chilensis and Himantopus himantopus. 

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Brazil 

Several species of Nearctic shorebirds cross Amazonia on a broad front on their way to and 
from wintering areas further to the south. Although few areas hold large numbers of birds at 
any one time, every wide river, floodplain lake and swamp provides some habitat for 
shorebirds during the migration seasons, and the basin as a whole must constitute a vital 
refuelling area for large sections of the entire population of some species. The principal 
species involved are Pluvialis dominica. Bartramia longicauda, Tringa melanoleuca, T. flavipes. 
Calidris fuscicollis, C. melanotos, Micropalama himantopus and Tryngites subruficoUis. Two 
species Tringa solitaria and Actitis macularia remain in the Amazon throughout the northern 
winter, this constituting an important wintering area for these species. 

Because of the extent and relatively undisturbed nature of the wetland habitats, and the low 
human population density, none of the species typical of the Amazon are in any forseeable 
danger of extinction except for the Orinoco Goose Neochen jubata. As an inhabitant of wide 
rivers and riverbanks, this popular game species and surprisingly confiding bird has been 
particularly susceptible to hunting pressure, and has now disappeared from most of the 
navigable rivers of Amazonian Brazil. 

Other fauna: The manatee Trichechus inunguis occurs widely in the Amazon Basin, but in 
much reduced numbers as a result of excessive hunting in the 1950s and 1960s. It has recently 
been introduced into the Curua-una Dam near Santarem to control the spread of aquatic 
vegetation. The two Cetaceans Solatia fluviatilis and Inia geoffrensis are still common and 
widespread. The two otters, Pteronura brasiliensis and Lutra enudris, are much reduced in 
numbers as a result of intensive hunting in the past; the former is now confined to the remotest 
areas, and is thought to be the most endangered mammal in Amazonia. Despite heavy hunting 
pressure, the Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris is thriving, as forest clearance for 
agriculture and ranching provides increased foraging. 

The two larger crocodilians Caiman crocodilus and Melanosuchus niger are still widespread 
and C. crocodilus remains fairly common despite heavy hunting pressure, particularly in the 
1950s and 1960s. M. niger is rare in all accessible unprotected areas, but some populations are 
beginning to recover under protection. Freshwater turtles include Podocnemis expansa, P. 
unifilis, P. dumeriliana, P. erythrocephala. P. sextuberculata. Chelus fimbriatus and Platemys 
platycephala. The larger Podocnemis have been subjected to heavy hunting pressure; P. 
expansa is now rare in many areas, and P. unifilis is declining, but the other commonly 
persecuted species, P. dumeriliana, remains common on black water and clear water streams in 
the Rio Negro basin. 

Some 1,500 species of fishes have been described, and it is supposed that about 2,000 occur. 
Some of the economically more important species include Astronotus ocellatus, Colossoma 
macropomum, Apapaima gigas and Cichla spp. Piranhas Serrasalmus spp are ubiquitous. The 
aquatic invertebrates are very poorly known; recent studies have indicated that in some 
families, up to 80% of the species remain undescribed. 

Threats: Traditional land use activities in the Amazon basin, such as slash and burn 
agriculture, timber extraction, rubber collection and hunting have concentrated on the riverine 
forests and floodplains which have always been readily accessible by way of the extensive 
network of navigable rivers. White water varzeas with their fertile soils have been the most 
seriously affected by human colonization and have almost completely disappeared from large 
areas in eastern Amazonia. However the black water floodplains are also increasingly coming 
under pressure, and as they have very little potential for agriculture or animal husbandry, their 
utilization is creating great ecological damage without providing any long term benefits. The 
threats to floodplain ecosystems are likely to increase greatly in the coming decades as these 
regions have been declared areas for intensive colonization and utilization for agriculture and 
ranching. Experiments with rice culture in the varzea have yielded positive results and there is 
likely to be a great increase in this form of cultivation in the near future. 

The other serious threat at present is the massive programme of dam building for 
hydroelectric power. As many as 40 dam projects have been put forward, affecting every 
major river in the basin. Three large dams have already been completed; the Curua-una Dam 
near Santarem in Para (10,000 ha), the Paredao Dam on the Araguari River in Amapa 
(10,000 ha), and the Tucurui Dam on the Tocantins River in Para (246,000 ha). Dams already 
under construction or in an advanced planning stage include the Balbina Dam on the Uatuma 
River (210,000 ha); the Samuel Dam on the Jamari (64,500 ha); the Porteira Dam on the 
Trombetas (140,000 ha); and the Babaquara Dam (610,000 ha) and Cararo Dam (120,000 ha) 
on the Xingu. These enormous dams will have a profound effect on the ecology not only of 
the rivers themselves but also of large tracts of surrounding land. Insufficient information is 

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Brazil 

available to predict the full consequences of these projects, but it is clear that flood cycles 
downstream of the dams will be reduced or eliminated, and the water chemistry, sediment load 
and discharge of the rivers will be altered. Many fish species make long spawning migrations 
which will be disturbed or completely interrupted by dam construction on some rivers. The 
Curua-una dam has been studied for several years, and the negative effects already observed 
include changes in fish fauna, mass development of aquatic macrophytes, and deterioration in 
water quality, principally in the form of a high oxygen deficit. Intensive studies were 
conducted in the Tucurui area prior to the construction work, and thus some baseline material 
is available to permit a better assessment of the impact of that dam. 

Other threats include deforestation in the catchment areas causing changes in the amount of 
discharge, sediments and dissolved substances in the rivers, and pollution from industrial 
wastes and pesticides from agricultural land. Pollution is a particularly serious problem on 
floodplains because contaminants deposited during periods of high water are likely to enter 
terrestrial food chains when the water recedes. Defoliant sprays have been used to clear forest 
at dam construction sites, and the effects of this have been felt far downstream. 

A great expansion in fish culture creates a potential threat to the native fauna, with the 
possible spread of diseases and parasites, and the introduction of exotic species. Tilapias have 
already escaped into the wild in parts of Amazonia. 

Excessive hunting, although illegal, continues to threaten some species, particularly the 
crocodilians, larger freshwater turtles and otters. The Cetaceans have never been seriously 
persecuted in the past, but they could be affected by the new fishing methods being introduced 
into the region, and an FAO report in 1961 went so far as to suggest that they be controlled as 
predators on fish stocks. 

Research and conservation: A considerable amount of research has been conducted by the 
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia (INPA) based in Manaus. Attention has focussed 
on the fisheries resources, crocodilians, freshwater turtles and aquatic mammals, and relatively 
little work has been done on wetland ecosystems as such or wetland ecology. The Aquatic 
Mammal Project initiated at INPA in 1974 has been particularly active in studies on the status, 
biology, management and conservation of the manatee Trichechus inunguis. Cetaceans and 
otters, and plans to expand this work in the future. One aspect of the work has been the 
identification of critical areas for these species with a view to the establishment of appropriate 
wetland reserves. 

The limnology of the floodplain lakes around Manaus is relatively well known, and a 
detailed study of the limnology of the lakes on the lower Rio Tapajos has been made, but 
generally the limnology of Amazonian wetlands is very poorly studied. Goulding (1980) looked 
at the importance of floodplains for fish populations, and concluded that about 75% of the 
commercial fish catch in the Amazon depends on food chains originating in the flooded 
forests. Junk (1975 & 1983) has discussed the fisheries resources and wetland habitats of 
Amazonia, and Bayley and Moreiras (1978) made preliminary interpretations of the aquatic 
resources of the central Amazon Basin using Landsat imagery. 

Despite the volume of research which has already been carried out in the Amazon, there 
remains an urgent need for a large scale project on the overall importance of the floodplain 
ecosystems for wildlife, fisheries production and agriculture. 

The general problems for conservation in the wider Amazon Basin have recently been 
reviewed by Barrett (1980). Wetterberg et al (1976) made recommendations concerning priority 
areas for conservation, and identified thirty sites totalling 17,500,000 ha. In 1979, this proposal 
was incorporated in a proposed system for conservation units in Brazil adopted by the Federal 
Government. However, the emphasis was on forest refugia and terrestrial wildlife. It has 
often been assumed that the protection of the terrestrial ecosystems in Amazonia will 
automatically include an adequate protection of wetland habitats, but there is no reason to 
suppose that the theory of forest refugia should apply to aquatic communities; indeed, this 
seems unlikely to be the case in a contiguous riverine system. 

As Junk (1983) points out, the protection of riverine systems poses several special problems: 

rivers and floodplains are densely colonized and utilized for agriculture, animal husbandry 

and timber extraction; 

the rivers themselves are used for transportation and fisheries, and will in many cases in the 

future be used for the generation of hydroelectricity; 

pollution or changes in the discharge and sediment load in unprotected areas may have 

dramatic effects in distant protected areas; 



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Brazil 

rivers and creeks are open systems, transporting organisms by drift, or allowing active 

migration over long distances. 
For adequate conservation of the system as a whole, it is essential that well defined aquatic 
habitats including entire watersheds, lake systems and archipelagos be protected in different 
sections of the main rivers. In addition, large reserves should be created in the floodplains so 
that adequate tracts of varzea and igapo are preserved to maintain commercially important 
fisheries and turtle populations. 

References: A very extensive literature exists on the Amazon Basin, and much of this has been 
listed by Junk (1975 & 1983) and Barrett (1980). Sources utilized in the present account 
include: Antas (1983); Barrett (1980); Bayley & Moreiras (1978); Best (1984); Costa (1983); 
Domning (1982); Goulding (1980); Hueck (1978); lUCN (1982); Junk (1975 & 1983); Kempf 
(1984); Marigo (1979); MINTER & SEMA (1977); Rebelo & Magnusson (1983); Rylands & 
Mittermeier (1983); Smith (1979 & 1980-1981); and Wetterberg et al (1976). Other publications 
relevant to the wetlands include Sioli (1964 & 1965); Marlier (1967); Schmidt (1973); Fittkau et 
al (1975); Rai (1978 & 1979); Rai & Hill (1981); Zaret et al (1981); Fittkau (1983); and 
Leopoldo (1983). 
Source: See references. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



The middle Rio Purus (la) 

Location: 5°45'S, 64''25'W to 9°00'S, 68°35'W; the middle course of the Rio Purus from Sena 

Madureira downstream for 750 km to the Rio Tapaua, Amazonas. 

Area: Approximately 50,000 ha of lakes along 750 km of river. 

Altitude: 60- 130m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 11 & 18. 

Site description: A slow flowing white water river with adjacent seasonally flooded varzea 

forest, in humid tropical lowlands. The river is remarkable for its extremely meandering 

course and the high number of associated oxbow lakes and abandoned river channels. There 

are at least 150 lakes in excess of 200 ha, and several between 1,000 and 2,000 ha. Maximum 

flooding occurs in February. 

Principal vegetation: Humid tropical forest and varzea forest. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None; the middle Purus was identified as a priority area for conservation by 

Wetterberg et al (1976). 

For other information see (1). 



Lakes on the lower Rio Japura (lb) 

Location: r25'-2°55'S, 65°02'-67°25'W; near the confluence of the Rio Japura and Rio 

Solimoes, Amazonas. 

Area: c.67,000 ha of lakes. 

Altitude: 70m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 11, 12 & 18. 

Site description: A group of about 65 large freshwater lakes along the lower Rio Japura and 

between it and the Rio Solimoes, near the confluence of the two rivers. The Rio Auati Parana 

linking the Japura and the Solimoes cuts across the middle of the area. The principal lakes are: 

Lago de Maracai (3,800 ha); Lago Marimari (1,400 ha); Lago Parica (6,400 ha); Lago Panaua 

(2,200 ha); Lago Angaiara (2,900 ha); Lago de Guedes (3,400 ha); and Lago Jauato (1,800 ha). 

The Solimoes is a white water river with numerous islands and sand banks, and extensive areas 

of seasonally flooded varzea forest; the Japura is a black water river with igapo forest. 

Principal vegetation: Humid tropical forest and varzea forest. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: Largely included within the recently established Juami-Japura Ecological Station 

(273,238 ha). This area was listed as a priority area for conservation by Wetterberg et al (1976). 

Land use: No information. 

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Waterfowl: Known to be a very important breeding area for resident waterfowl and staging 

area for migrant Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: The entire wild population of the monkey Cacajao calvus calvus occurs in the 

forests of this region, and Melanosuchus niger is still relatively common. 

For other information see (1). 



The lower Rio Solimoes and lower Rio Purus (Ic) 

Location: 2°30'-4°30'S, 60°00'-65°00'W; the Solimoes-Amazon from the Rio Japura to the Rio 

Negro, and the lower Rio Purus, Amazonas. 

Area: c. 2, 500,000 ha of wetlands including 350,000 ha of large lakes. 

Altitude: 25-70m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A vast complex of broad river channels, islands and seasonally inundated 

varzea forest with hundreds of permanent and seasonal floodplain lakes, along 650 km of the 

Rio Solimoes from its confluence with the Japura to its confluence with the Negro, and along 

the lower 150 km of the Rio Purus. Maximum flooding occurs between February and May, 

and water levels are lowest between July and December. The principal lakes are: Lago Amana 

(19,100 ha); Lago Urini (4,100 ha); Lago de Tefe (16,100 ha); Lago Caiambe (4,100 ha); Lago 

de Coari (75,000 ha); Lago Mamia (24,700 ha); Lago Piorini (36,000 ha); Lago Badajos 

(24,000 ha); Lago Aiapu (20,000 ha); Lago Paricatuba (2,700 ha); and Lago Grande de 

Manacapuru (31,500 ha). 

Principal vegetation: Humid tropical forest, varzea forest and some seasonally flooded grassland. 

Land tenure: A mixture of federal and private ownership. 

Protection: None; the Abufari Biological Reserve (288,000 ha), established in 1982, lies to the 

south, between the Rio Purus and Rio Coari. 

Land use: Subsistence hunting and fishing, and agriculture on a small scale. 

Waterfowl: Little information is available: some of the most important areas for waterfowl 

appear to be Lago Manacapuru, Lago Badajos and Lago Piorini. Large concentrations 

of Dendrocygna spp and Rynchops niger have been recorded at Manacapuru, and Neochen 

jubata still occurs in the Badajos area. 

Other fauna: An important area for Trichechus inunguis. The Abufari Biological Reserve is 

particularly important for Podocnemis expansa. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas, Robin C. Best and Susana de Moura Lara-Resende. 

For other information see (1). 



The lower Rio Negro (Id) 

Location: 0°10'-3''00'S, 60°20'-65°00'W; the lower Rio Negro from Tapuruquaru to its 

confluence with the Solimoes-Amazon at Manaus, Amazonas and Roraima. 

Area: c. 1,640,000 ha, including 1,240,000 ha of rivers and islands, and 400,000 ha of lakes and 

swamps. 

Altitude: 25-70m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The lower 650 km of the Rio Negro, a black water river up to 20 km wide, 

with countless large and small islands, numerous channels, sandy beaches, and an extensive 

floodplain system with permanent and seasonal lakes and swamps, igapo forest and seasonally 

flooded grassland. There are hundreds of oxbow lakes and associated swamps along the lower 

courses of the Rio Branco, Rio Araca and Rio Unini, which enter the Negro in this area. The 

Anavilhanas Archipelago, a group of large and small islands in the Rio Negro, lies 100 km 

northwest of Manaus, and is about 90 km long and 15 km wide. 

Principal vegetation: Humid tropical forest, igapo swamp forest, seasonally inundated 

"campinarana" grassland, and swamps. 

Land tenure: The Anavilhanas Archipelago is owned by SEMA. 



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Protection: The Anavilhanas Archipelago and a large area of adjacent terra firma forest are 

included in the Anavilhanas Ecological Station (350,000 ha) established in 1981; part of the 

western bank of the Rio Negro is included in the Jau National Park (2,272,000 ha) established 

in 1980. 

Land use: All land use activities are prohibited in the Ecological Station. 

Waterfowl: One of the richest areas for waterfowl in the Amazon, with a wide variety of 

resident species and large numbers of Nearctic shorebirds during the migration seasons. 

Other fauna: The rich mammalian fauna includes Pteronura brasiliensis, Trichechus inunguis 

and Hydrochoerus hydrochearis. Melanosuchus niger and Caiman latirostris are relatively 

common. 

Source: Joao Henrique Auler Junior, Susana de Moura Lara-Resende and David Oren. 

For other information see (1). 



Ilha Maraca (le) 

Location: S'lS'-S'SS'N, 6r22'-6r58'W; 120 km WNW of Boa Vista, Roraima Federal 

Territory. 

Area: 92,000 ha. 

Altitude: 150m. 

Province and type: 8.28.10; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: An island between the Santa Rosa and Maraca channels of the Rio Uraricoera, 

in a transition zone between savannas and humid tropical forest, with numerous water courses, 

freshwater lakes, swamps, palm groves, swamp forest (igarape), and seasonally inundated 

grassland. 

Principal vegetation: Humid tropical forest, wet savanna, dense formations of Mauritia 

vinifera, and swamps with abundant aquatic vegetation. 

Land tenure: Owned by SEMA. 

Protection: Comprises the Maraca- Roraima Ecological Station (92,000 ha) established in 1976. 

Land use: An ecological research station, only slightly modified by man. 

Waterfowl: An important area for waterfowl of both swamp forest and wet savanna. 

Significant numbers of Nearctic shorebirds occur on migration. 

Other fauna: The area has a very diverse avifauna. Mammals include Pteronura brasiliensis 

and Tapirus terrestris. 

Source: Joao Henrique Auler Junior and David Oren. 

For other information see (1). 



The central Amazon and lower Rio Madeira (If) 

Location: ri5'-4''15'S, 55°40'-59°55'W; the Amazon from near Manaus to Obidos, and the 

lower Rio Madeira from the Borba region, Amazonas and Para. 

Area: Over 3,000,000 ha. 

Altitude: 10-70m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1/8.5.1/8.6.1; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A vast complex of broad river channels, sandy beaches, large and small 

islands, shallow freshwater lakes, swamps, varzea forest and seasonally flooded grassland in a 

belt 30-80 km wide along the Amazon River from its confluence with the Rio Negro 550 km 

downstream to the region of Obidos; and similar habitat along the lower 100 km of the Rio 

Madeira and lower stretches of the Rio Preto da Eva, Rio Urubu, Rio Uatuma, Rio Nhamunda, 

Rio Trombetas, Rio Maues Acu, Rio Canuma and Rio Madeirinha. There are several large 

lakes, including Lago de Erepecu (15,000 ha) and Lago Batata (8,500 ha) on the lower Rio 

Trombetas, and hundreds of smaller lakes throughout the region. 

Principal vegetation: Humid tropical forest, varzea forest, seasonally flooded grassland, and 

lakes and swamps with abundant aquatic vegetation. 

Land tenure: The Rio Trombetas Biological Reserve is largely owned by IBDF; important 

wetland areas between Nhamunda and Juruti are in an area under dispute between the states of 

Amazonas and Para. 

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Protection: The lower Rio Trombetas, lower Rio Maquera and Lagoa Jacare are included in the 

Rio Trombetas Biological Reserve (385,000 ha) established in 1979; the remainder of the area 

is unprotected. 

Land use: Subsistence hunting, fishing and agriculture. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for a wide variety of resident and migratory waterfowl. Ilha 

Tupinambarana, a large island with lakes, varzea forest and seasonally inundated grassland in 

the Rio Solimoes, is particularly important for Nearctic shorebirds, and is thought to be one of 

the most important wetland areas for waterfowl in the Amazon. Numenius borealis was 

collected there at the end of the 19th century. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Pteronura brasiliensis. Lutra enudris, Trichechus inunguis 

and Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris; reptiles include Caiman crocodilus and Melanosuchus niger. 

There are important nesting beaches for Podocnemis expansa in the Rio Trombetas Biological 

Reserve. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas and Robin C. Best. 

For other information see (1). 



The lower Rio Tapajos and adjacent Amazon (Ig) 

Location: r45'-4°50'S; 53°30'-55''50'W; the Rio Tapajos from its mouth upstream for 350 km, 

and the Rio Amazon between Obidos and Prainha, Para. 

Area: c.1,325,000 ha (350,000 ha along Tapajos, 975,000 ha along Amazon). 

Altitude: 10-60m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The lower stretches of the Rio Tapajos, with extensive tracts of seasonally 

flooded igapo forest; and a vast complex of sand banks, islands, freshwater lakes, marshes and 

varzea forest along the Amazon between Obidos and Prainha. The principal lakes are Lago 

Grande do Curuai (40,000 ha), Lago Itandena (30,000 ha), Lago Piracacira (8,500 ha) and 

Lago Grande (25,000 ha). Water levels in the Rio Tapajos are highest between February and 

May, and lowest between July and December. 

Principal vegetation: Varzea and igapo forest rich in Euterpe oleracea and Mauritia flexuosa, 

with adjacent humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: Unprotected except for the southernmost 90 kms of the Rio Tapajos which are 

included in the Amazonia (Tapajos) National Park (1,258,000 ha) established in 1974. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Very little information available, but known to be an important area for passage 

Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Wildlife recorded in the National Park includes Pteronura brasiliensis, Sotalia 

fluviatilis, Inia geoffrensis, Trichechus inunguis, Tapirus terrestris, Melanosuchus niger. Caiman 

crocodilus, Podocnemis expansa and P. unifilis. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas. 

For other information see (1). 



The lower Rio Xingu (Ih) 

Location: l''30'-3°00'S, 51°55-53°05'W; the lower Rio Xingu from Belo Monte 180 km to the 

Rio Amazon, Para. 

Area: c.420,000 ha (150,000 ha of river, 270,000 ha of marshes and swamp forest). 

Altitude: 10-60m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The broad lower stretches of the Xingu, over 10 km wide, with numerous 

sandy beaches and small islands, and an extensive area of marshes and seasonally flooded 

grassland to the west of its confluence with the Amazon. The river reaches its highest levels in 

February. 

Principal vegetation: In humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: No information. 

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Protection: Turtle nesting beaches north of Altamira are protected during the breeding season; 

otherwise the area is unprotected. 

Land use: Fishing and some agriculture. 

Waterfowl: Little information available, but known to be important for passage Nearctic 

shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Inia geoffrensis, Trichechus inunguis and Caiman crocodilm are known to occur. 

The beaches at Volta Grande do Rio Xingu north of Altamira are particularly important for 

nesting Podocnemis expansa. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas. 

For other information see (1). 



The lower Rio Tocantins (li) 

Location: r50'-3°25'S, 49*'10'-49''45'W; the lower Rio Tocantins from Ilha Grande de Jutai to 

its mouth in the Rio Para, Para. 

Area: 205,000 ha of river and islands. 

Altitude: 0-30m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The broad lower stretches of the Rio Tocantins, up to 15 km wide, with 

hundreds of small islands and sand banks. This stretch of river lies below the recently 

completed Tucurui Dam, and will be greatly affected by the dam. 

Principal vegetation: In humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Little information available, but known to be important for passage Nearctic 

shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Trichechus inunguis is reported to occur. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas. 

For other information see (1). 



The Amazon Delta (2) 

Location: 1°10'N-1°35'S, 49°20'-5r55'W; the main channels of the Amazon west of Ilha 

Marajo, Para. 

Area: 3,500,000 ha of river and islands. 

Altitude: 0-1 5m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1; 02, 03, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A vast complex of broad river channels, large and small low-lying islands, 

mangrove swamps, intertidal mudflats, brackish lagoons and marshes, palm swamps and 

seasonally flooded grassland and swamp forest. The region extends from the southwest tip of 

Ilha Grande de Gurupa 350 km northeast to Ilha do Brique, Ilha Janauco, Ilha Caviana, Ilha 

Mexiana and western Ilha Marajo. The maximum tidal variation is about 8m. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive mangrove swamps, brackish grassy marshes, and palm swamps 

with Euterpe oleracea, Raphia taedigera. Manicaria saccifera and Mauritia flexuosa. 

Land tenure: Mainly privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing; livestock rearing in some areas; and hunting. 

Waterfowl: Known to be rich in waterfowl, but no detailed surveys have been made. 

7,500 Eudocimus ruber, 2,000 Dendrocygna autumnalis and several thousand Nearctic shorebirds 

were observed in the Ilha Caviana and Ilha Mexiana area in January 1982. Phoenicopterus 

ruber occurs as a non-breeding visitor in small numbers. 

Other fauna: There is still a significant population of Trichechus inunguis in the area, and this 

continues to be hunted, (at least 17 killed in 1977). T. manatus may also occur. The 

turtle Kinosternon scorpioides is common and locally important as a source of food. 

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Brazil 

Threats: No information. 

Research and conservation: Despite the obvious importance of the vast mangrove systems, the 

area remains very poorly studied. 

References: Smith (1979); Domning (1981); Morrison (1983a); Morrison et al (1985). 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas and Dante Luiz Martins Teixeira. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Cabo Orange and Rio Cassipore Marshes (3) 

Location: 2°30'-4°24'N, 50°50'-51°38'W; on the north Amapa coast, south from the French 

Guiana border to the region of Calcoene, Amapa Territory. 

Area: c.580,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 06, 07, 08, 09, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The estuarine systems of the Rio Oiapoque (Oyapock), Rio Cassipore and Rio 

Uaca, with extensive intertidal mudflats and mangrove swamps; and a vast area of fresh to 

brackish lagoons, including Lago Maruani, and seasonally flooded savannas with palm groves, 

swamp forest and islands of humid tropical forest. The tidal rise and fall is up to 9m; the rainy 

season is from February to June. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans 

and Laguncularia racemosa; swamps with Montrichardia arborescens and Mauritia flexuosa; 

palm savannas with Euterpe oleracea. Chrysobalanus icaco and species of Echinoa, Panicum, 

Paspalum and Oryza. In the transition zone between humid tropical forest and open campos. 

Land tenure: The National Park is owned by Amapa Territory; adjacent areas are within the 

Oiapoque Indian Reservation. 

Protection: Cabo Orange National Park (619,000 ha), established in 1980, includes the greater 

part of the area and 120,000 ha of adjacent marine habitats. The remainder is within the 

Oiapoque Indian Reservation. 

Land use: Access to the National Park is difficult, and the area is little disturbed. There is 

some cattle ranching and agriculture in adjacent areas. 

Waterfowl: A very rich area for waterfowl, with large resident populations of Phalacrocorax 

olivaceus, Anhinga anhinga, many Ardeidae, all three Ciconiidae, Theristicus caudatus, 

Mesembrinibis cayennensis, Eudocimus ruber, Ajaia ajaja, Dendrocygna autumnalis. Cairina 

moschata, Opisthocomus hoazin, Aramus guarauna, various Rallidae, Heliornis fulica, Jacana 

jacana, Vanellus chilensis and Rynchops niger. A breeding colony of 1,000 pairs of E. ruber 

was located in 1971, and a total of 1,276 birds were observed at this site and at site 4 during an 

aerial survey in January 1982. Phoenicopterus ruber occurs regularly in small numbers, but 

there has been no evidence of breeding since 1971. Anhima cornuta was observed in 1983 near 

the French Guianan border. 

The area is very important for passage and wintering Nearctic shorebirds: in an aerial survey in 

January 1982, over 28,000 shorebirds were observed along the Amapa coast, mainly 

small Calidris species but also significant numbers of Pluvialis squatarola, Numenius phaeopus 

and Tringa spp. 

Other fauna: Trichechus manatus, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Chelonia mydas and Dermochelys 

coriacea occur in the National Park. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: Several avifaunal surveys have been conducted but otherwise the 

region remains poorly known. 

References: Spaans (1975a); Teixeira & Best (1981); lUCN (1982); Antas (1983); Morrison 

(1983a); Dujardin (1984); Morrison et al (1985). 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas, Jean-Luc Dujardin, Antonio Carlos da Silva Farias, 

Benedito Vitor Rabelo and Dante Luiz Martins Teixeira. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



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Brazil 

Ilha de Maraca, Piratuba lakes and Campos do Macacoary (4) 

Location: 0°30'-2°30'N, 49°53'-5r00'W; between Calcoene and Macapa, coastal Amapa 

Territory. 

Area: c. 1,200,000 ha including 850,000 ha of lakes and marshes and 150,000 ha of campos. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 03, 06, 07, 08, 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: Two large low-lying offshore islands, Ilha de Maraca and Ilha Tipioca, with 

with extensive mangrove swamps, brackish marshes, seasonally flooded savannas and small 

"islands" of scrubby forest; 300 km of the Amapa coast with extensive intertidal mudflats and 

mangrove swamps; a vast complex of some 75 fresh to brackish lakes and marshes north of the 

Rio Araguari, including Lago Piratuba (6,500 ha), Lago Novo (15,000 ha), Lago dos Gansos 

(2,700 ha) and Lago dos Bagres (2,200 ha); the estuarine system of the Rio Araguari; and the 

Campos do Macacoary, some 150,000 ha of seasonally flooded grassland and varzea forest. The 

main period of flooding is from February to June. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa 

and Rhizophora mangle; lakes and marshes with Nymphaea rudgeana, Cabomba aquatica, 

Sahinia auriculata, Azolla sp, Nymphoides indica, Habenaria sp, Eichhornia crassipes. E. 

azurea, Pistia stratiotes, Ceratopteris pteroides, Echinodorus paniculatus, Utricularia foliosus, 

Typha domingensis, Neptunia oleracea, Montrichardia arborescens and species of Gramineae 

and Cyperaceae; palm savannas with species of Echinoa, Panicum, Paspalum and Oryza, and the 

palm Mauritia flexuosa. 

Land tenure: Partly state owned and partly privately owned in large ranches; Piratuba 

Biological Reserve is owned by Amapa Territory, and Maraca-Tipioca Ecological Station is 

owned by SEMA. 

Protection: Ilha de Maraca and Ilha Tipioca are included within the Maraca-Tipioca Ecological 

Station (70,000 ha) established in 1981; part of the lake system and coastal areas north of the 

Rio Araguari are included within the Lago Piratuba Biological Reserve (395,000 ha) established 

in 1980. The Campos do Macacoary are unprotected. 

Land use: There is very little human activity in the Biological Reserve and Ecological Station, 

and the areas are difficult of access. In unprotected areas there is intensive fishing, cattle 

ranching and hunting, particularly for Dendrocygna spp. 

Waterfowl: A very rich area for waterfowl, with a similar avifauna to that of the Cabo Orange 

area (site 3). Phoenicopterus ruber is a regular non-breeding visitor; over 100 were observed on 

Ilha Maraca in 1978. Huge numbers of Dendrocygna viduata and D. autumnalis occur, and 

there are large passage and wintering populations of Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Pteronura brasiliensis, Leo onca, Trichechus inunguis, 

Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Tapirus terrestris and possibly Trichechus manatus; reptiles 

include Melanosuchus niger. Caiman crocodilus, Chelonia mydas, Eunectes murinus and 

possibly Dermochelys coriacea. There is a very rich fish fauna in the lake system. 

Threats: Wardening in the reserves is reported to be poor, and there is some poaching. The 

principal threat in unprotected areas is the expansion of ranching activities, with large projects 

currently being implemented or in the planning stages. There is excessive hunting in some 

areas, and wholescale slaughter of moulting Dendrocygna spp has been reported. 

Research and conservation: Preliminary faunal and floral surveys have been conducted in the 

reserves, and aerial surveys have been made by Teixeira and Best (1981) and Morrison (1983a). 

Antonio Carlos da Silva Farias is currently carrying out ecological studies on Phalacrocorax 

olivaceus, Anhinga anhinga and Ardeidae. 

References: Novaes (1974 & 1978); Spaans (1975a); MINTER & SEMA (1977); Teixeira & Best 

(1981); lUCN (1982); Antas (1983); Morrison (1983a). 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas, Antonio Carlos da Silva Farias, David Oren, Benedito 

Vitor Rabelo and Dante Luiz Martins Teixeira. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Eastern Ilha Marajo and Baia de Marajo (S) 

Location: 0°10'-r35'S, 48°22'-49°50'W; the eastern half of Ilha Marajo and adacent bay, 
Amazon delta. Para. 

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Brazil 

Area: 1,500,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1; 01, 06, 07, 08, 12 & 16. 

Site description: A large sea bay with extensive intertidal mudflats and mangrove fringe; and 

tidal creeks, mangrove swamps, fresh to brackish lakes, marshes and seasonally flooded 

grassland on the eastern half of Ilha Marajo. The largest lake is Lago Arari (16,500 ha). 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps dominated by Rhizophora mangle; seasonally flooded 

grassland (campos). 

Land tenure: Ilha Marajo is mainly privately owned in large ranches. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Extensive cattle ranching on Ilha Marajo. 

Waterfowl: Little information is available, but the area is known to be very rich in waterfowl, 

with a large resident population of Eudocimus ruber. Phoenicopterus ruber is an occasional 

non-breeding visitor. The area is very important for passage and wintering Nearctic 

shorebirds, particularly Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, Calidris alba and C. fuscicollis; Larus 

atricilla and Sterna hirundo winter in large numbers in the bay. 

Other fauna: Trichechus inunguis occurs; the turtle Kinosternon scorpioidesis common, anO 

locally important as a source of food. 

Threats: Pollution from the city and port of Belem affects the bay, and there is 

overexploitation of the coastal mangroves. 

Research and conservation: Some ornithological surveys have been conducted, but the area 

remains poorly known. 

References: Teixeira & Best (1981). 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



The Para and west Maranhao coast (6) 

Location: 0''32'-2°25'S, 44°30'-48°00'W; from Muraja on Baia de Marajo east for 450 km to 

Guimaraes and Baia do Cuma, Para and Maranhao. 

Area: c. 1,000,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.6.1/8.29.10; 01, 02, 03, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 & 11. 

Site description: An extremely indented coastline with over 35 major inlets and estuaries 

fringed with mangrove swamps and separated by headlands with white sand beaches and 

coastal sand dunes. The larger bays include Baia de Maracana, Baia de Gurupi, Baia de 

Turiacu and Baia do Cuma. There are numerous low-lying offshore islands, including the 

large islands of Maiau and Mangunca in the east; inland there are fresh to brackish lagoons and 

marshes, riverine marshes, areas of seasonally flooded grassland, palm groves and patches of 

forest. Tidal variation is up to 8m. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps dominated by Avicennia germinans and Rhizophora 

mangle; sandy areas with Chrysobalanus icaco, Bulbostylis capillaris and Ipomoea pescaprae. 

Land tenure: Mainly privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing, a little agriculture, and cutting of mangroves; recreation in the few readily 

accessible areas. Much of the coast is remote and almost undisturbed. 

Waterfowl: An important area for breeding waterfowl including Phalacrocorax olivaceus, many 

Ardeidae, Eudocimus ruber, Aramides mangle, Eurypyga helias and Rynchops niger; and a very 

important area for passage and wintering Nearctic shorebirds. During an aerial survey of the 

western part in January 1982, over 27,000 shorebirds were counted, including 15,500 

small Calidris sandpipers and significant numbers of Numenius phaeopus, Tringa 

spp, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, and Calidris alba. Other common species include Pluvialis 

squatarola, Charadrius semipalmatus, C. wilsonius, Actitis macularia, Arenaria interpres 

and Limnodromus griseus. Larus atricilla and Sterna hirundo are also common winter visitors. 

Other fauna: Trichechus manatus formerly occurred throughout the region, but is now probably 

extinct in most areas. Many of the beaches are important for nesting sea turtles, and the 



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Brazil 

estuaries are a very important nursery ground for commercially important shrimp and fish 

populations. 

Threats: Mangroves are being destroyed in some areas, and there is considerable disturbance 

from tourist development in the Salgado region, between Marapanim and Salinopolis. 

Research and conservation: F. C. Novaes and colleagues of the Goeldi Museum in Belem have 

conducted ornithological surveys and banded waterfowl on the Para coast, and Morrison 

(1983a) carried out an aerial census of shorebirds in 1982. 

References: Novaes (1981); Antas (1983); Morrison (1983a). 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas, Fernando C. Novaes and Paul Roth. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Baia de Sao Marcos and the Rio Mearim Estuary (7) 

Location: 2°22'-4°17'S, 44°10'-45°28'W; west and south of Sao Luis to the region of Bacabal, 

Maranhao. 

Area: Over 1,000,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-1 5m. 

Province and type: 8.29.10; 02, 06, 07, 08, 09, 11, 12, 16 & 17. 

Site description: The vast estuarine system of the Rio Mearim, Rio Pindare, Rio Grajau and 

many smaller rivers, with several large islands, very extensive seasonally inundated fresh to 

brackish marshes, and about 80 freshwater lakes of several hundred to 6,000 ha in extent and 

up to 10m deep, draining into Baia de Sao Marcos. There are extensive mangrove swamps and 

intertidal mudflats around the bay. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps; coastal marshes with species of Fimbristylis, Cyperus, 

Dichromena, Panicum and various grasses and sedges covered at the highest tides; freshwater 

marshes; and gallery forest along the rivers. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle ranching, agriculture and illegal commercial hunting of waterfowl; there are 

important fish and shrimp industries in the bay. 

Waterfowl: A very rich area for both breeding waterfowl and passage and wintering Nearctic 

shorebirds. Resident species include Tigrisoma lineatum, Egretta caerulea, E. thula, E. alba, 

Ardea cocoi. Mycteria americana, Jacana jacana, Porphyrula martinica, Vanellus chilensis, 

Charadrius collaris, Larus cirrocephalus, Phaetusa simplex and Sterna superciliaris. The 

commoner Nearctic shorebirds include Pluvialis squatarola, Charadrius semi pal matus, C. 

wilsonius, Numenius phaeopus, three species of Tringa, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, Actitis 

macularia, Arenaria interpres, Limnodromus griseus, Calidris alba and C. pusilla. Sarkidiornis 

melanotos and Gelochelidon nilotica have been recorded. 

Other fauna: There is thought to be a sizeable population of Trichechus manatus in the estuary, 

and the area is of great importance as a nursery ground for commercially important fishes and 

shrimps. 

Threats: Wetlands are being drained for pastureland and rice cultivation; there is considerable 

pollution in the bay from the city of Sao Luis; and despite a ban on hunting in 1978, 

commercial hunting of waterfowl, particularly Porphyrula martinica, continues, possibly at a 

higher level than ever before. 

Research and conservation: Domning (1981) has proposed the establishment of a manatee 

reserve. 

References: Aguirre (1962); Domning (1981); Antas (1983). 

Source: Paul Roth and references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Baia do Tubarao (8) 

Location: 2°15'-2''37'S, 43°20'-43°55'W; 70 km east of Sao Luis, Maranhao. 
Area: 130,000 ha. 
Altitude: 0-5m. 

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Province and type: 8.29.10; 01, 03, 05, 06, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A large sea bay fed by several small rivers, and with numerous large 

low-lying islands including Ilha de Santana, Ilha Carrapatal and Ilha Mucunambiba. Wetland 

habitats include intertidal mudflats, sandy beaches and mangrove swamps; the tidal rise and fall 

is up to 8m. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps dominated by Rhizophora mangle. 

Land tenure: The part within the National Park is owned by the Navy and Federal 

Government; the ownership of the remainder is unknown. 

Protection: The eastern part of the area is included within the Lencois Maranhenses National 

Park (155,000 ha) established in 1981. 

Land use: Fishing and recreation. 

Waterfowl: Eudocimus ruber formerly nested in the mangroves. The area is very important for 

passage and wintering shorebirds and Laridae, particularly Pluvialis squatarola, Numenius 

phaeopus, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, Arenaria interpres, Calidris canutus, C. alba, C. pusilla, 

C. minutilla, Larus cirrocephalus and Sterna spp. 

Other fauna: Sea turtles occur along the coast. 

Threats: Pollution from the city of Sao Luis; destruction of mangroves for fuel and timber; aad 

development for recreation. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: Paul Roth. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Rio Parnaiba Delta (9) 

Location: 2°45'S, 4r45'W; between Tutoia and Parnaiba, Maranhao and Piaui. 

Area: 145,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.29.10; 02, 03, 05, 06, 07, 08 & 12. 

Site description: The estuarine and delta system of the Rio Parnaiba, with extensive fresh to 

brackish lakes and marshes, sandy beaches, coastal sand dunes, mangrove swamps, intertidal 

mudflats and numerous low-lying islands. The tidal rise and fall is up to 8m. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps dominated by Rhizophora mangle. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing and recreation; ranching and agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: Eudocimus ruber occurs as a non-breeding visitor at the eastern limit of its present 

distribution in Brazil. The area is very important for passage and wintering Nearctic 

shorebirds, and for wintering Sterna spp. 

Other fauna: Trichechus manatus and Caiman latirostris are known to occur. 

Threats: Drainage of the marshes for agriculture, and destruction of mangroves for fuel and 

timber. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas and Paul Roth. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Rio Jaguaribe lakes and marshes (10) 

Location: 4°15'-5°30'S, 37°45'-38°30'W; 130 km southeast of Fortaleza, Ceara. 

Area: 80,000 ha, including 60,000 ha of riverine and coastal marshes and 20,000 ha of lakes. 

Altitude: 0-lOOm. 

Province and type: 8.20.4; 02, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 11, 12, 16 & 17. 

Site description: The estuarine system and lower 160 km of the Rio Jaguaribe, with extensive 

riverine marshes, over 80 small lakes and dams on the surrounding plains, large areas of 

seasonally inundated grassland and arable land, a chain of small brackish coastal lagoons and 

marshes, coastal sand dunes, sandy beaches, mangrove swamps and intertidal mudflats. There is 

also a complex of salt pans near the coast. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

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Land tenure: Mainly private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing; agriculture; cattle ranching; and illegal hunting. 

Waterfowl: Little information is available, but the area is known to be important for passage 

and wintering shorebirds and Laridae. Dendrocygna viduata is common, and Netta 

erythrophthalma erythrophthalma has been observed on the coastal lagoons. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Illegal commercial hunting of waterfowl, mainly Dendrocygna viduata; pollution from 

the town of Aracati; drainage of the marshes for agriculture; and development for recreation. 

Research and conservation: Biologists from IBDF, two local universities and the Canadian 

Wildlife Service have banded shorebirds in the estuary. 

Source: Susana de Moura Lara-Resende and Dante Luiz Martins Teixeira. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Areia Branca and Macau coastal marshes and salt pans (11) 

Location: 4°55'-5°15'S, Se'lO'-STnS'W; on the coast between Areia Branca and Sao Bento do 

Norte, Rio Grande do Norte. 

Area: 70,000 ha (Areia Branca 27,500 ha, Macau and Sao Bento do Norte 42,500 ha). 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.20.4; 02, 05, 06, 07 & 08. 

Site description: 115 km of sea coast and several small estuaries, with sandy beaches, intertidal 

mudflats, mangrove swamps, sand dunes, brackish coastal lagoons and marshes, and large areas 

of salt pans, particularly around Areia Branca and Macau. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Salt extraction. 

Waterfowl: Little information available, but known to be important for passage and wintering 

shorebirds and Laridae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Source: Susana de Moura Lara-Resende and Dante Luiz Martins Teixeira. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Coastal marshes near Natal (12) 

Location: 5°15'-6°22'S, 35°00'-35°30'W; the coast between Touros and Canguaretama, north 

and south of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. 

Area: 43,500 ha, including 33,500 ha of estuaries and marshes, and 10,000 ha of lakes. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.20.4; 02, 05, 06, 07, 08 & 12. 

Site description: 140 km of sea coast, several small estuaries, and a chain of some 40 small 

lakes on the coastal plain at the extreme northeastern tip of Brazil; with sand beaches, intertidal 

mudflats, mangrove swamps, and fresh to brackish lakes and marshes. There is a belt of coral 

reefs about 2 km offshore. 

Principal vegetation: Mangroves dominated by Rhizophora mangle. 

Land tenure: Mainly private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing; agriculture; cultivation of coconuts; and recreation along the coast. 

Waterfowl: Little information available, but known to be important for passage and wintering 

Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: An important area for Trichechus manatus. 



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Threats: Excessive exploitation of mangroves; overfishing; pollution from Natal city; tourist 

development; and drainage for agriculture. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas and Dante Luiz Martins Teixeira. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



The Mamanguape Estuary (13) 

Location: 6°46'S, 34°57'W; 40 km north of Joao Pessoa, Paraiba. 

Area: 3,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.20.4; 02, 05, 06, 07 & 08. 

Site description: The estuary of the Rio Mamanguape, with fringing mangrove swamps, sandy 

beaches, intertidal mudflats, and some brackish marshes. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the recently established Mamanguape Ecological Station (3,000 ha). 

Land use: Fishing and recreation. 

Waterfowl: Little information available but known to be important for migratory shorebirds. 

Other fauna: An important area for Trichechus manatus. 

Threats: Disturbance from recreation activities; the Ecological Station has no wardens. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Ilha de Itamaraca and the Rio Goiana Estuary (14) 

Location: 7°30'-7''50'S, 34°48'-34°55'W; 30-70 km north of Recife, Pernambuco. 

Area: 25,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.20.4/8.7.1; 02, 03, 05, 06 & 08. 

Site description: A large low-lying island with extensive mangrove swamps and ocean beaches; 

and the estuary of the Rio Goiana with mangrove swamps and intertidal mudflats. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: Private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing; exploitation of mangroves; recreation; and farming on Ilha de Itamaraca. 

Waterfowl: Little information available, but the area is known to be important for migratory 

shorebirds, and Egretta caerulea occurs. 

Other fauna: An important area for Trichechus manatus. 

Threats: Destruction of mangroves; the use of chemicals to eliminate snails in a programme of 

disease control; and pesticide runoff from adjacent sugar cane plantations. The island suffers 

heavy disturbance from tourist recreation. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Maceio Lagoons and Praia do Peba (15) 

Location: 9''35'-10°10'S, 35°45'-36°15'W; from Maceio southwest along the coast for 70 km, 

Alagoas. 

Area: 19,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-1 5m. 

Province and type: 8.7.1; 02, 05, 06, 07, 08 & 12. 

Site description: 110 km of sea coast with long sandy beaches, intertidal sandflats, sand dunes 

and offshore reefs; several small estuaries with mangrove swamps; and a chain of brackish 

coastal lagoons and marshes. 

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Brazil 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: Mainly private ownership; the Ecological Station is state owned. 

Protection: 3,000 ha of sandy beach and sand dunes in the south are included within the Praia 

do Peba Ecological Station, established to protect turtle nesting beaches. 

Land use: Fishing. 

Waterfowl: Little information available, but known to be important for migratory shorebirds, 

and Netta erythrophthalma erythrophthalma has been recorded on the lagoons. 

Other fauna: Praia do Peba is an important nesting beach for the sea turtles Chelonia mydas 

and Caretta caretta; Lepidochelys olivacea may nest. 

Threats: There is some threat of oil pollution along the sea beaches. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



The Sergipe coast (16) 

Location: lOMS'-lTSS'S, 37°00'-37°38'W; from the Aracaju area SSW along the coast to the 

Conde area, Sergipe and extreme northeastern Bahia. 

Area: 95,500 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.7.1; 02, 05, 06, 07 & 08. 

Site description: 140 km of coastline with ocean beaches, and coastal sand dunes; and four 

large estuarine systems with extensive brackish lagoons and marshes, intertidal mudflats and 

mangrove swamps. The principal rivers are the Rio Sergipe, Rio Vaza-Barris, Rio Piaui, Rio 

Real and Rio Itapicuru. The area includes the very extensive Barra de Estancia marshes, and 

the Praia de Pirambu (beach). 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps and brackish marshes. 

Land tenure: Private ownership. 

Protection: No habitat protection; Praia de Pirambu is protected during the turtle nesting season. 

Land use: Fishing; exploitation of mangroves; and tourist recreation. 

Waterfowl: Little information is available, but the area is known to be important for migratory 

shorebirds. 

Other fauna: The estuaries are important for Trichechus manatus; and Praia de Pirambu is an 

important nesting beach for Chelonia mydas. Caretta caretta and Lepidochelys olivacea. 

Threats: Destruction of mangroves; excessive disturbance from tourist recreation; pollution 

from pesticide runoff; and oil exploration at Barra de Estancia. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Baia de Todos os Santos and central Bahia coast (17) 

Location: 12°35'-14°10'S, 38°25'-39°10'W; from the Salvador area south to the Camamu area, 

Bahia. 

Area: 180,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-1 5m. 

Province and type: 8.7.1; 01, 02, 03, 05, 06, 07 & 08. 

Site description: Baia de Todos os Santos is a large sea bay containing the estuary of the Rio 

Paraguacu, and with a narrow connection to the sea; there are extensive tidal mudflats and 

fringing mangrove swamps. To the south there is a chain of small estuaries and large low-lying 

islands, with tidal mudflats, mangrove swamps, brackish coastal lagoons and marshes, and 

ocean beaches, extending 150 km to the region of Camamu. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps dominated by Rhizophora mangle. 

Land tenure: Mainly private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: The city of Salvador with its large industrial centre lies on Baia de Todos os Santos; 

elsewhere there is fishing, exploitation of mangroves, tourist recreation, and oil exploration. 



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Waterfowl: Little information is available. A variety of Ardeidae has been recorded, and the 

coastal mudflats constitute a major wintering area for Nearctic shorebirds, 

particularly Pluvialis squatarola, Numenius phaeopus, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, Calidris 

pusilla and C. minutilla. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: There is a considerable amount of pollution from the city of Salvador and oil 

exploration activities. 

References: Antas (1983). 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



The Rio Pardo and Rio Jequitinhonha Estuaries (18) 

Location: ISMO'-IS'SO'S, W ST -19" 00'"^ \ near Canavieiras and Belmonte, Bahia. 

Area: 6,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.7.1; 02, 05, 06, 07, 08 & 12. 

Site description: The estuarine systems of the Rio Pardo and Rio Jequitinhonha, with extensive 

mangrove swamps, intertidal mudflats, brackish coastal lagoons and marshes, and adjacent 

sandy beaches; there are some freshwater lakes and marshes inland. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: Private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing and exploitation of mangroves. 

Waterfowl: Little information is available. The area is known to be important for passage and 

wintering shorebirds and Laridae, particularly Numenius phaeopus and Sterna hirundo, 

and Netta erythrophthalma erythrophthalma has been recorded on the lagoons behind the beach. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Wetlands in Brasilia National Park (19) 

Location: 15°40'S, 47°50'W; 10 km west of Brasilia, Distrito Federal. 

Area: c. 1,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 1,350m. 

Province and type: 8.30.10; 10, 13 & 15. 

Site description: The Santa Maria Dam, a dam of 625 ha constructed in 1970, with a widely 

fluctuating water level, muddy margins, and aquatic vegetation restricted to the mouths of 

streams entering the dam; and numerous springs, streams and associated freshwater marshes on 

an undulating plateau. There is a well marked rainy season from October to April. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of upland savanna and cerrado, with stands of Mauritia 

flexuosa and gallery forest along the water courses. 

Land tenure: Owned by IBDF. 

Protection: Included within Brasilia National Park (28,000 ha) established in 1961. 

Land use: Scientific research and tourism in the National Park; the Santa Maria Dam is a water 

supply for the nearby city of Brasilia. 

Waterfowl: Over 40 species of waterfowl have been recorded, but most occur only in small 

numbers, and many only as occasional visitors. Breeding species include Podilymbus podiceps, 

Amazonetta brasiliensis and a variety of Rallidae including the rare Laterallus xenopterus 

and Micropygia schomburgkii. Common visitors include Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Dendrocygna 

viduata and D. autumnalis. In recent years, Netta erythrophthalma erythrophthalma has become 



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Brazil 

a regular visitor; 100-150 were observed in August and September 1980, and smaller numbers 

again in 1981 and 1983. 

Other fauna: The Park is one of the few known localities of the Brasilia Tapaculo Scytalopus 

novacapitalis which occurs in dense riverine thickets and gallery forest. Mammals in the Park 

include Chrysocyon brachyurus and Ozotoceros bezoarticus. 

Threats: None; the National Park is well protected. 

Research and conservation: A considerable amount of research has been conducted on the 

fauna and flora of the National Park. 

References: lUCN (1982); Antas & Lara-Resende (1983a); Negret & Teixeira (1984). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



The floodplain of the Rio Araguaia and Ilha do Bananal (20) 

Location: 9°15'-15''30'S, 49''35'-5r55'W; the middle Rio Araguaia, from Araguaia in the south 

750 km downstream to Barreira do Campo, Goias and Mato Grosso. 

Area: c.3,800,000 ha of wetlands in a total area of 5,435,000 ha. 

Altitude: 180-240m. 

Province and type: 8.30.10; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The vast floodplain and lacustrine system of the middle Rio Araguaia, Rio 

Formosa and Rio das Mortes, including Ilha do Bananal between the Rio Araguaia and Rio 

Formosa. Ilha do Bananal, with an area of about 2,000,000 ha, is the largest fluvial island in 

the world. The whole system stretches for 750 km and is up to 100 km wide. During the 

period of flooding, from December to mid June, large areas of grassland, palm savanna and 

forest are inundated in vast shallow lakes; during the dry season, extensive sand banks and 

muddy areas are exposed. There are many permanent lakes with surrounding marshes, the 

largest of which is about 4,500 ha. 

Principal vegetation: In the transition zone between the humid tropical forest of the Amazon 

Basin and woody savannas (cerrados) of central Brazil, with gallery forest along the main water 

courses. 

Land tenure: Ilha do Bananal is owned by the Federal Government; the remainder is privately 

owned. 

Protection: The northern part of Ilha do Bananal is included within the Araguaia National Park 

(562,312 ha) established in 1959; the northeastern portion of the floodplain is included within 

the Coco-Javaes Ecological Station (37,000 ha); and the southern part of Ilha do Bananal is in 

an Indian Reservation. 

Land use: Extensive cattle ranching; fishing; and illegal hunting. 

Waterfowl: An extremely rich area for waterfowl, with a wide variety of resident breeding 

species, and many Nearctic shorebirds occurring on migration. Resident species 

include Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Anhinga anhinga, Ixobrychus exilis, Tigrisoma lineatum, 

Nycticorax nycticorax, Nyctanassa violacea, Pilherodius pileatus, Cochlearius cochlearius, all 

three Ciconiidae, Theristicus caudatus. Ajaia ajaja, Anhima cornuta, all three Dendrocygna 

spp, Amazonetta brasiliensis, Sarkidiornis melanotos. Cairina moschata, Opisthocomus hoazin, 

Porphyrula martinica, Eurypyga helias, Jacana jacana and Vanellus chilensis. There are large 

breeding colonies of Ardeidae, Ajaia ajaja and Mycteria americana. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Chrysocyon brachyurus, Pteronura brasiliensis, Lutra enudris, 

Leo onca, Tapirus terrestris, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Blastocerus dichotomus, Ozotoceros 

bezoarticus and Inia geoffrensis. Reptiles include Melanosuchus niger. Caiman crocodilus, 

Podocnemis expansa and Eunectes murinus. Fishes include Arapaima gigas, Cichla 

spp, Salminus hilarii, Serrasalmus spp, Electrophorus eletricus, various Pimelodidae, and many 

others. 

Threats: Wardening in the National Park is reported to be poor; a major highway is being 

constructed through the Park; illegal grazing of domestic livestock and poaching occur; and 

there is some illegal settlement. Outside the protected areas there is overgrazing by domestic 

livestock, drainage of wetlands for rice cultivation, modifications in the water courses for 

irrigation purposes, and pollution from pesticide runoff. There are reports of the use of 

pesticides to kill Dendrocygna spp along the Rio Formosa, to reduce the numbers feeding in 

rice fields. 

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Brazil 

Research and conservation: Preliminary faunal and floral S"rveys have been conducted in the 

National Park and Ecological Station, and a detailed management plan has been prepared for 

the Park. 

References: IBDF & FBCN (1981b); lUCN (1982); Antas (1983). 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas and Susana de Moura Lara-Resende. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



The upper Rio Xingu (21) 

Location: 10"'05'-12*'55'S, 5r55'-54°15'W; in northeastern Mato Grosso. 

Area: 850,000 ha. 

Altitude: 250-275m. 

Province and type: 8.30.10; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: Extensive tracts of riverine marshes, associated lakes, seasonally indundated 

grassland and swamp forest along the upper Rio Xingu and its tributaries including the Rio 

Suia-Micu, Rio Culuene, Rio Ronuro and Rio Steinen. Flooding occurs between October and 

April. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: An Indian Reservation, owned by the Federal Government. 

Protection: The area is afforded some protection by the local Indians. 

Land use: Traditional activities of the local Indians. 

Waterfowl: Very little information available; known to be an important area for both resident 

waterfowl and migratory shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Blastocerus dichotomus, Trichechus inunguis, Melanosuchus niger and Podocnemis 

expansa are known to occur. 

Threats: There is an increase in ranching and agriculture in the surrounding areas, and the 

Indians themselves are adopting modern farming practices. 

Research and conservation: One of the most important and least disturbed wetland areas in 

central Brazil; identified as a priority area for conservation by Wetterberg et al (1976). 

References: Wetterberg et al (1976). 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas and Susana de Moura Lara-Resende. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



The Rio Guapore and Rio Cautario marshes (22) 

Location: 12"'00'S, 64°50'W to 15°10'S, 59°30'W; along the Bolivian border from Mato Grosso 

to the region of Principe da Beira, Mato Grosso and Rondonia. 

Area: 1,400,000 ha. 

Altitude: 150-230m. 

Province and type: 8.6.1/8.30.10; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: Extensive freshwater marshes and swamps along the Rio Guapore from its 

headwaters near the town of Mato Grosso 700 km downstream along the Bolivian border to 

near its confluence with the Rio Mamore; and swamps and riverine marshes along the lower 

Rio Cautario to its confluence with the Guapore. There are large tracts of seasonally flooded 

gallery forest and humid palm savanna with "islands" of forest. The dry season is from May to 

September. This wetland is contiguous with the Bolivian site 23. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: Mainly private ownership; the Biological Reserve is owned by the Federal 

Government. 

Protection: The western part is included in the Alto Guapore Biological Reserve (600,000 ha) 

established in 1982; the southeastern part is included in the recently established Alto Guapore 

Ecological Station. 

Land use: Some hunting, fishing, cattle ranching and agriculture, but much of the area remains 

almost undisturbed. 



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Brazil 

Waterfowl: Very little information available, but known to be very rich in breeding waterfowl, 

and important for Nearctic shorebirds on migration. Species recorded include Pluvialis 

dominica, Limosa haemastica, Calidris melanotos, Micropalama himantopus and Steganopus 

tricolor. 

Other fauna: Blastocerus dichotomus, Melanosuchus niger. Caiman crocodilus and Podocnemis 

expansa are known to occur. 

Threats: Ranching activities are being expanded in the area, and there is a considerable amount 

of illegal hunting, particularly of crocodilians. There are some small farms in the Biological 

Reserve. 

References: Antas (1983). 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Pantanal do Mato Grosso (23) 

Location: 15°30'-2r30'S, 55°00'-59''00'W; northwestern Mato Grosso do Sul and southern 

Mato Grosso, on the Bolivian and Paraguayan borders. 

Area: 11,000,000 ha of wetlands in a total region of 15,000,000 ha. 

Altitude: 80- 150m; (isolated peaks southeast of Corumba to 1,065m). 

Province and type: 8.30.10; 09, 11, 12, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A vast region of seasonally flooded savannas in the upper drainage of the Rio 

Paraguay and tributaries; with many slow-flowing, meandering rivers and streams, numerous 

small permanent freshwater lakes and marshes, areas of higher dry savannna, and belts and 

islands of xerophytic scrub (matorral) and humid deciduous forest. The region is bounded by 

the Serra dos Coroados ou S. Lourenco to the north, the Planalto de Mato Grosso to the east, 

and the Serra da Bodoquena and Serra de Maracaju to the south. The wetlands drain west, 

through a gap 50 km wide between the Corumba and Ladario hills and the Serra da 

Bodoquena. The natural drainage is very slow, rivers falling by as little as 3 cm per km, and 

the soils are poor and badly aerated. The annual rainfall is 1,200-1,400 mm, 80% of which 

falls between December and March. The main flooding occurs from the end of December to 

mid June. There are great seasonal fluctuations in the extent of flooding. The largest 

permanent wetlands, including lakes up to 10,000 ha in extent, are in the northwest on the 

Bolivian border. Although the greater part of the Pantanal lies in Brazil, 1,235,000 ha along 

the western edge lie in Bolivia, and 400,000 ha in the south lie in northern Paraguay (see 

Bolivia sites 19 and 20, and Paraguay site 1). 

Principal vegetation: Vast tracts of seasonally inundated savanna with scattered 

palms Copernica australis; patches of humid deciduous forest and gallery forest with species 

of Jacaranda, Caryocar, Vochysia and Tecoma; and marshes with species of Eichhornia, Azolla, 

Pistia and Cyperaceae. 

Land tenure: Mainly privately owned in large ranches. The Ecological Station is owned by 

SEMA. 

Protection: 137,000 ha are protected in the Pantanal Matogrossense National Park, established 

in 1981, and 12,000 ha in Taiama Ecological Station, also established in 1981. The remainder 

of the area is unprotected. 

Land use: The principal activity throughout the region is cattle ranching, which was introduced 

at the end of the 19th century. The region supports an important fishery, and there is a 

considerable amount of illegal hunting of crocodilians and fur-bearers for their hides, and live 

animals for the zoo and pet trade. There is a little agriculture, industry and mining, and in 

recent years some nature tourism. 



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Brazil 

Waterfowl: Probably the most important wetland area in South America in terms of waterfowl 
populations, with huge resident breeding populations of a wide variety of species typical of 
open freshwater marshes and wet savanna. Characteristic species 

include Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Anhinga anhinga, Tigrisoma lineatum, Pilherodius pileatus, 
Syrigma sibilatrix, Bubulcus ibis, Butorides striatus, Egretta thula, E. alba, Ardea cocoi, 
Mycteria americana, Euxenura maguari, Jabiru mycteria, Harpiprion caerulescens, Theristicus 
caudatus, Phimosus infuscatus, Ajaia ajaja, Chauna torquata, Dendrocygna viduata, D. 
autumnalis, Amazonetta brasiliensis, Sarkidiornis melanotos, Cairina moschata, Aramus 
guarauna, a wide variety of Rallidae, Jacana jacana, Vanellus chilensis, Himantopus 
himantopus, Phaetusa simplex and Sterna superciliaris. The Pantanal is also very important for 
Nearctic shorebirds, particularly on passage to and from wintering areas further south. The 
commoner species are Pluvialis dominica, Bartramia longicauda, Tringa spp, Calidris 
fuscicollis, C. melanotos and Tryngites subruficollis. 

Other fauna: The region is rich in birds of prey including Cathartes burrovianus, Rostrhamus 
sociabilis. Circus buffoni, Buteogallus urubitinga, Busarellus nigricollis and Polyborus plancus. 
Mammals include Pteronura brasiliensis, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and Blastocerus 
dichotomus. Reptiles include Caiman crocodilus yacare and C latirostris. 

Threats: Large tracts of the Pantanal remain remote and only slightly modified by man. 
However, there has recently been a great acceleration in development, and in many areas 
wetlands are threatened. The principal threats are: watershed deforestation resulting in 
increased turbidity and increased siltation rates; modifications to water courses and 
construction of dams and canals for irrigation projects; construction of hydroelectric dams; 
expansion of agriculture; introduction of domestic buffalo; pollution of rivers from industries, 
mines and pesticide runoff; increase in mining activities; overfishing; and extensive illegal 
hunting, particularly of Caiman crocodilus and Anatidae. The alcohol industry is being 
developed along the Rio Cuiaba, and is likely to cause serious pollution in that river in the 
future. 

Research and conservation: In recent years, a considerable amount of attention has been 
focused on the Pantanal, and a variety of faunal and floral investigations and bird banding 
programmes have been conducted or are in progress. The Instituto de Preservacao e Controle 
Ambiental in Mato Grosso do Sul has been particularly active in this regard. The region has 
tremendous potential for nature tourism, recreation and sport hunting, and there is a great need 
to establish a rational and integrated management plan for the entire area. It is essential that 
additional areas be protected; attempts are being made to enlarge the National Park to over 
200,000 ha, but ideally a protected area should cover a complete watershed as a corridor, in 
order to ensure the survival of the complete spectrum of natural processes, ecosystems and 
species. 

References: Hueck (1978); Dourojeanni (1980); Mercedes-Benz do Brasil S.A. (1980); lUCN 
(1982). 

Source: Marlise Becker, Carlos Yamashita and references. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Floodplain of the Rio Parana (24) 

Location: 2r00'S, SIMS'W to 24°10'S, 54°25'W; between Tres Lagoas and the Paraguayan 

border, Sao Paulo, Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul. 

Area: Formerly c.625,000 ha. 

Altitude: 240-265m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 09, 11, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The extensive floodplain of the 440 km stretch of the Rio Parana downstream 

from Tres Lagoas, formerly 10-20 km wide, but now much reduced following the construction 

of huge hydroelectric dams on the Paranaiba (upper Parana) above Tres Lagoas. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

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Brazil 

Threats: The Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam 60 km downstream on the Rio Parana, on the 
Brazil/Paraguay border, has flooded 146,000 ha of the valley and extends back to the lower 
portion of the present site. 
Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Wetlands in Serra da Canastra National Parii (25) 

Location: 20°15'S, 46M0'W; 50 km north of Passes, Minas Gerais. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown; National Park 73,000 ha. 

Altitude: 900- 1,400m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 10 & 13. 

Site description: Cold clear highland springs, streams and associated bogs at the headwaters of 

several large rivers including the Rio Sao Francisco; on a high plateau of rolling grassland with 

steep escarpments. There are numerous waterfalls, rapids and pools up to 2m deep; water 

levels remain fairly constant throughout the year except during occasional flash floods in 

December and January. The annual rainfall is 1,300-1,700 mm. 

Principal vegetation: Sphagnum bogs; rolling grassland (campos limpios); open woodland 

(cerrado); and riparian forest. 

Land tenure: Owned by IBDF. 

Protection: Within the Serra da Canastra National Park (73,000 ha) established in 1972; the 

protection is excellent. 

Land use: Formerly a single large ranch with low density cattle grazing; now undisturbed 

except for some nature tourism and research activities. 

Waterfowl: The larger streams and bogs support small populations of Podiceps dominicus, 

Theristicus caudatus, Gallinago (g) paraguaiae and G. undulata. The area is of major 

importance for its resident population of the extremely rare Mergus octosetaceus. J. M. Dietz 

estimated the population in the Park and surrounding areas at about 50 birds in 1980. This 

species is dependent on clear, fast-flowing rivers and streams which have now become 

extremely rare outside protected areas as a result of watershed degradation and extensive soil 

erosion. 

Other fauna: The Brasilia Tapaculo Scytalopus novacapitalis was discovered in riverine thickets 

in the Park in October 1983; this species was previously thought to occur only in the vicinity of 

Brasilia. The Park has large populations of a variety of birds typical of tall grassland, a habitat 

becoming very rare in central Brazil. Mammals include Chrysocyon brachyurus and Ozotoceros 

bezoarticus. 

Threats: None, other than fires which destroy large areas of grassland each year. 

Research and conservation: Dietz (1980) conducted a study on Chrysocyon brachyurus, and 

IBDF has prepared a management plan for the Park. The Park contains one of the few 

remaining upland grassland areas with clear rivers and streams in central Brazil. 

References: Dietz (1980); lUCN (1982). 

Source: James M. Dietz, Helmut Sick and Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Ninhal do Barreiro (26) 

Location: 20°05'S, 45°38'W; 45 km NNW of Formiga, Minas Gerais. 

Area: 1,000 ha. 

Altitude: 650m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 09, 12, 16, 17 & 18. 

Site description: A complex of slow-flowing rivers, marshes, freshwater lakes, and seasonally 

flooded grassland, arable land and patches of forest; in the upper basin of the Rio Sao 

Francisco. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of campos and cerrado. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: No legal protection, but the owners afford the area some protection and restrict 

hunting. 

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Brazil 

Land use: Cattle ranching, and some illegal hunting. 

Waterfowl: A very important breeding area for waterfowl of the upper Rio Sao Francisco, with 

large colonies of Egretta alba, Ardea cocoi and AJaia ajaja. Other resident species 

include Nycticorax nycticorax, Bubulcus ibis. Egretta thula and Jabiru mycteria. Many other 

species of waterfowl occur on migration. 

Other fauna: Chrysocyon brachyurus and Caiman latirostris occur. 

Threats: Illegal hunting poses the only threat at present. 

Research and conservation: M. A. de Andrade is currently conducting a study of the avifauna, 

and banding nesting birds. 

Source: Marco Antonio de Andrade. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2c & 3a. 



The Rio Doce Estuary, Juparana lakes and Linhares marshes (27) 

Location: 18°35'-19°45'S, 39°41'-40°25'W; between Linhares and Sao Mateus, Espirito Santo. 

Area: 191,500 ha (180,000 ha of coastal marshes; 11,500 ha of inland lakes). 

Altitude: 0-30m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 02, 05, 07, 08, 09, 12 & 18. 

Site description: The estuarine system of the Rio Doce and 140 1cm of coastal marshes from 

Conceicao da Barra in the north to 30 km south of the Rio Doce in the south; with mangrove 

swamps, ocean beaches, fresh to brackish lakes and marshes, and areas of swamp forest; also 

inland a series of eight freshwater lakes with some fringing marshes in rolling hill country, the 

largest being Lagoa Juparana (5,500 ha). 

Principal vegetation: In the humid tropical forest zone, although most of the forest has now 

been cleared for ranching and agriculture. The 44,000 ha of Atlantic forest protected in 

Sooretama Biological Reserve and Reserva Florestal de Linhares (contiguous reserves) represent 

almost 50% of the primary forest remaining in the State of Espirito Santo. 

Land tenure: Mainly privately owned; Sooretama Biological Reserve is owned by IBDF, the 

Reserva Florestal de Linhares is owned by Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, and the beaches at 

the mouth of the Rio Doce are owned by Espirito Santo State. 

Protection: Some freshwater lakes, swamps and swamp forest are included in the Sooretama 

Biological Reserve (24,000 ha) established in 1943, and in Reserva Florestal de Linhares 

(20,000 ha); the beaches at the mouth of the Rio Doce (Comboios) are protected by IBDF 

during the turtle nesting season. The remainder is unprotected. 

Land use: Fishing and recreation along the coast; extensive cattle ranching and agriculture in 

surrounding areas; illegal hunting. 

Waterfowl: Resident species include Podilymbus podiceps, Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Ixobrychus 

exilis, Tigrisoma lineatum, Nycticorax nycticorax, Pilherodius pileatus, Butorides striatus, 

Egretta alba, Amazonetta brasiliensis, Cairina moschata, Aramus guarauna, Aramides cajanea, 

Porphyrula martinica, Jacana jacana and Vanellus chilensis. A number of migrant Nearctic 

shorebirds occur along the coast, and Sterna hirundinacea occurs at the limit of its 

non-breeding range during the austral winter. 

Other fauna: The beaches at the mouth of the Rio Doce are the only known regular nesting site 

of Dermochelys coriacea in Brazil. 

Threats: Beach development for recreation and exploration for oil along the coast; and illegal 

hunting. 

Research and conservation: Tundisi (1983a) has conducted limnological studies in the 

freshwater lakes of the Rio Doce valley. Research at Sooretama Biological Reserve has 

concentrated on the endangered forest fauna and flora. 

References: lUCN (1982); Tundisi (1983a). 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas and Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for Inclusion: 2c & 3a. 



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Brazil 



Lagoa Feia and the Paraiba do Sul marshes (28) 



Location: 2r25'-22°10'S, 41°00'-4r35'W; south and east of Campos, Rio de Janeiro. 

Area: 68,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 02, 05, 07, 08, 09 & 12. 

Site description: The estuarine/delta system of the Rio Paraiba do Sul, with extensive 

mangrove swamps; sandy beaches along the coast; a complex of relatively shallow freshwater 

lakes and marshes in the delta area; and a chain of small brackish lagoons stretching along the 

coast to the south. Lagoa Feia in the southern part of the delta is much the largest lake; 

drainage schemes had reduced its area from 30,000 ha in 1933 to 17,000 in 1978, and 

eliminated many smaller lakes nearby. The water level in the lake is now controlled and there 

are only slight seasonal fluctuations. 

Principal vegetation: The aquatic vegetation includes Cyperaceae and species of Eichhornia, 

Pistia, Eleocharis, Chara, Elodea, Cabomba, Potamogeton, Lemna. Salvinia, Typha, 

Schoenoplectus and Echinochloa. 

Land tenure: Mainly private, with some state ownership. 

Protection: No legal protection, but some landowners prohibit hunting. 

Land use: Fishing; cattle ranching; cultivation of sugar cane for the alcohol industry; and 

exploration for oil. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for both resident and migratory waterfowl. Resident species 

include Podilymbus podiceps. Podiceps dominicus, Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Bubulcus ibis, 

Butorides striatus, Egretta caerulea, E. thula, E. alba, Ardea cocoi, Dendrocygna bicolor, D. 

viduata, D. autumnalis. Anas bahamensis, Amazonetta brasiliensis, Oxyura dominica, Aramus 

guarauna, Rallus nigricans, Porzana flaviventer, Laterallus melanophaius, Porphyriops 

melanops, Gallinula chloropus, Porphyrula martinica, Jacana jacana, Charadrius collaris 

and Sterna superciliaris. Netta erythrophthalma erythrophthalma occurs in significant 

numbers; Ixobrychus involucris and Rallus sanguinolentus occur at the northern limit of their 

range in southeastern Brazil; and Nycticryphes semicollaris has been recorded as a winter 

visitor. Common Nearctic migrants include Charadrius semipalmatus, Tringa melanoleuca, T. 

flavipes, T. solitaria and Actitis macularia, and Anas discors has occurred as a vagrant. 

Other fauna: Lutra sp, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and Caiman latirostris occur. Sick (1967) 

describes an interesting case of local speciation in the seed-eater Sporophila bouvreuil, which 

demonstrates the zoogeographic isolation of this wetland. The subspecies confined to the Lagoa 

Feia swamps differs from other forms of the species in lacking a distinctive male plumage. 

Threats: The wetland is under serious threat from continuing drainage for agriculture, 

particularly the cultivation of sugar cane; land reclamation for urban and industrial 

development; pollution; disturbance from recreation; intensive illegal hunting; and the 

deliberate burning of marsh vegetation. 

Research and conservation: A variety of faunal and floral investigations have been carried out 

by the Museu Nacional and Fundacao Estadual de Engenharia do Meio Ambiente (FEEMA). 

References: Sick (1962, 1967 & 1968); Schneider & Sick (1962); Coimbra-Filho (1969a); Maciel 

& Araujo (1979); FEEMA (1980). 

Source: Luiz A. Pedreira Gonzaga, Norma Crud Maciel, Helmut Sick and Dante Luiz Martins 

Teixeira. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Rio de Janeiro lagoons (29) 

Location: 22''50'-23'00'S, 42°00'-43°25'W; between Rio de Janeiro and Cabo Frio, Rio de 

Janeiro. 

Area: 26,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lm. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 05, 07, 08 & 12. 

Site description: A chain of eleven large fresh to brackish coastal lagoons behind a sea beach 

from Lagoa Jacarepagua (1,400 ha) in the west to Lagoa de Araruama (15,000 ha) in the east; 

and a complex of salt pans, shallow saline lagoons and marshes south of Cabo Frio. Several of 



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Brazil 

the brackish lagoons have fringing mangroves and are influenced by the tides. Jacarepagua, 

Marapendi, Itaipu and Piratininga are in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro and Niteroi. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa, 

Conocarpus erectus and Avicennia sp; marshes with Cyperaceae, Paspalum vaginatum, Typha sp 

and Acrostichum sp. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state, municipal and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing; conch fishing; extraction of salt; recreation; and some illegal hunting. In a 

region of extensive urban and suburban development, with the large cities of Rio de Janeiro 

and Niteroi in the west. 

Waterfowl: Surprisingly rich in waterfowl in view of the proximity of the wetlands to large 

urban centres. Common residents include Podilymbus podiceps, Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 

Nycticorax nycticorax, Butohdes striatus, Egretta thula, E. alba, Ardea cocoi, Dendrocygna 

viduata. Anas bahamensis, Amazonetta brasiliensis, Gallinula chloropus, Jacana jacana 

and Charadrius collaris. Other species recorded include Botaurus pinnatus, Ixobrychus 

involucris, Cochlearius cochlearius. Oxyura dominica and Porphyriops melanops. Netta 

erythrophthalma erythrophthalma is fairly common and known to breed; flocks of up to 80 h.we 

been recorded on Jacarepagua, Marapendi, Itaipu and Piratininga in recent years. A variety of 

Nearctic shorebirds occur on migration and in the austral summer, particularly on the salt pans 

and coastal lagoons near Cabo Frio. The commoner species include Charadrius semipalmatus, 

Tringa melanoleuca, T. flavipes, Calidris alba, C. pusilla and C. fuscicollis. Nycticryphes 

semicollaris has occurred as a winter visitor from the south. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The wetlands are under considerable pressure from urban expansion, the reclamation 

of land for industry and residential areas, and development for water sports and beach 

recreation. There is also a serious pollution problem from domestic and industrial waste, and 

some illegal hunting. 

Research and conservation: Various faunal and floral studies, including bird banding projects, 

have been carried out by the Museu Nacional and local universities. 

References: Sick & Pabst (1968); Sick & Teixeira (1979); Teixeira & Nacinovic (1981). 

Source: Susana de Moura Lara-Resende, Norma Crud Maciel and Dante Luiz Martins Teixeira. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Guanabara Bay (30) 

Location: 22°40'-22''55'S, 42''58'-43'"16'W; northeast of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de 

Janeiro. 

Area: 45,000 ha including 5,000 ha of mangroves. 

Altitude: 0-2m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 01, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A large sea bay with narrow entrance to the sea between the cities of Rio de 

Janeiro and Niteroi; there are extensive mangrove swamps at Reconcavo in the northeast, and 

fringing fresh to brackish marshes and wet arable land. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa 

and Avicennia sp; salt marshes with Spartina alterniflora; and marshes with Typha domingensis. 

Hibiscus pernambucensis and Acrostichum aureum. 

Land tenure: The bay is under Federal ownership (Marine Territory); the surrounding areas are 

mainly private. 

Protection: An Environmental Protection Area has recently been established to protect 

5,000 ha of mangroves at Reconcavo. The remainder of the area is unprotected. 

Land use: Fishing; harvesting of crabs; exploitation of mangroves; and recreation. The city and 

port of Rio de Janeiro lie along the west shore of the Bay; other neighbouring areas are under 

cultivation. 



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Brazil 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of resident and migratory waterfowl occur, although in much 

smaller numbers than in former times. Common residents include Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 

Anhinga anhinga, Egretta caerulea, E. thula, E. alba, Dendrocygna viduata, Amazonetta 

brasiliensis, Aramides cajanea, Gallinula chloropus, Porphyrula martinica, Jacana jacana 

and Charadrius collaris. 

Other fauna: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Caiman latirostris and Paleosuchus niger occur. 

Threats: The shore of the bay is under intense pressure from urban and agricultural expansion, 

and only the large tracts of mangroves and swamp in the northeast remain relatively 

undisturbed. Here the principal threats are the destruction of mangroves for fuel and timber, 

drainage for agriculture, and pollution from pesticide runoff. 

Research and conservation: Faunal and floral studies have been carried out by the Museu 

Nacional, and FEEMA has conducted a study of the mangroves at Reconcavo. 

References: Araujo & Maciel (1979). 

Source: Norma Crud Maciel. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Guaratiba Bay (31) 

Location: IVOl'S, 43°37'W; west of Rio de Janeiro city, Rio de Janeiro. 

Area: 1,413 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 02, 06, 07 & 08. 

Site description: An area of mangrove swamps, brackish marshes and intertidal mudflats at the 

eastern end of a large sea bay. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa 

and Avicennia sp; marshes with Paspalum vaginatum. 

Land tenure: A mixture of federal and state ownership. 

Protection: Within the Guaratiba Biological and Archeological Reserve, a state reserve. 

Land use: Fishing and recreation. 

Waterfowl: A variety of resident waterfowl and migrant Nearctic shorebirds occur, the 

residents including Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Anhinga anhinga, Egretta caerulea, E. thula, E. 

alba, Ardea cocoi, Ajaia ajaja, Jacana jacana and Charadrius collaris. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Pollution, and encroachment of residential areas; the reserve is not clearly defined. 

References: Maia & Penna (1982). 

Source: Norma Crud Maciel. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



The lower Rio Ribeira, Iguape and Lagunas de Cananeia (32) 

Location: 24"'25'-25°15'S, 47°15'-48°05'W; near Registro and Iguape, Sao Paulo. 

Area: 120,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.7.1; 02, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 11 & 12. 

Site description: The extensive riverine marshes of the lower Rio Ribeira and tributaries; a 

complex of narrow coastal inlets, fresh to brackish lagoons, mangrove swamps and intertidal 

mudflats around Ilha Comprida and Ilha do Cardoso; and 100 km of ocean beach with coastal 

dunes. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans 

and Laguncularia racemosa; sandy areas and marshes with Ipomoea pescaprae, Spartina ciliata, 

Philoxerus portulacoides. Canavalia obtusifolia, Remirea maritima and Hydrocotyle umbellata. 

In a region of humid tropical forest (Atlantic forest). 

Land tenure: The Ecological Station is owned by SEMA; Ilha do Cardoso is owned by the state; 

other areas are mainly private. 



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Brazil 

Protection: The northeastern portion is included within the Jureia Ecological Station 

(30,000 ha); Ilha do Cardoso State Park includes 1,100 ha of Atlantic beach and 1,800 ha of 

mangroves; other areas are unprotected. 

Land use: Subsistence agriculture, and commercial fishing on a small scale. 

Waterfowl: An important area for both breeding and migrant waterfowl. Resident species 

include Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Egretla caerulea, E. thula, E. alba, Ardea cocoi, Dendrocygna 

spp, Amazonetta brasiliensis, Aramides cajanea and Vanellus chilensis. Passage migrants 

include Charadrius semipalmatus, Thnga spp, Calidhs fuscicollis and Laridae. 

Other fauna: Procyon cancrivorus, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and Tapirus terrestris occur. 

Threats: Destruction of mangroves, and excessive disturbance from recreation at weekends. 

Research and conservation: A management plan has been prepared for Ilha do Cardoso State 

Park; and the Lagunas de Cananeia-Iguape area is under study for the creation of a protected 

area. 

References: Negreiros et al (1974); Noffs & Baptista-Noffs (1982). 

Source: Susana de Moura Lara-Resende and Marcos da Silva Noffs. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Baia de Laranjeiras and Baia de Paranagua (33) 

Location: 25°15'-25°35'S, 48°10'-48°45'W; between Paranagua and Guaraquecaba, Parana. 

Area: 76,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.7.1; 01, 02, 03, 07, 08 & 10. 

Site description: A large sea bay complex with deeply indented shoreline, numerous small 

islands, and the estuaries of several small fast-flowing rivers; there are some estuarine marshes 

and mangrove swamps. The bay is up to 10m deep, and has a tidal rise and fall of about Im. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of humid tropical forest (Atlantic forest). 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: The northeastern portion is included within the recently established Guaraquecaba 

Ecological Station (73,640 ha); the rem.ainder is unprotected. 

Land use: Fishing. The area is little disturbed. 

Waterfowl: Little information is available, but the area is known to be rich in Ardeidae and 

Rallidae. 

Other fauna: There is a large breeding colony of Sula leucogaster and Fregata magnificens on 

an island in Paranagua Bay. The area is particularly important for its population of the 

endangered parrot Amazona brasiliensis. 

Threats: The surrounding forests are being destroyed, and there is some trapping of birds for 

the pet trade. 

Source: Pedro Scherer Neto. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Rio Iguacu and Iguacu Falls (34) 

Location: 25°05'-25°41'S, 53°40'-54°38'W; 20 km southeast of Foz do Iguacu, on the 

Argentinian border, Parana. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 150-275m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 10. 

Site description: Approximately 170 km of the Rio Iguacu, a large, relatively fast-flowing 

river with spectacular falls which drop 80m over a distance of 2,700m. The flow in the river 

has recently been affected by the construction of a large hydroelectric dam 300 km upstream 

at Osorio. Contiguous with Argentina site 14. 

Principal vegetation: In relatively undisturbed humid subtropical forest with some Araucaria 

angusti folia and the palms Euterpe edulis and Cocos romanzoffiana. 

Land tenure: The greater part of the National Park is owned by IBDF. 



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Brazil 

Protection: Included within the Iguacu National Park (170,086 ha), established in 1939 and 

modified in 1944. 

Land use: Tourism in the National Park. 

Waterfowl: A variety of waterfowl breed in the Park, including Anhinga anhinga, 

Mesembrinibis cayennesis. Cairina moschata, Heliornis fulica and Charadrius collaris. The 

rare Mergus octosetaceus was recorded as an occasional visitor until at least the 1970s, and the 

endangered nominate race of Tigrisoma fasciatum may still occur. 

Other fauna: There is a large roost of the rather local swift Cypseloides senex at the falls, and 

the endangered piping-guan Pipile jacutinga occurs in the surrounding forests. Mammals 

include Pteronura brasiliensis, Lutra platensis, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and Tapirus 

terresths; reptiles include Caiman latirostris and Paleosuchus palpebrosus. 

Threats: Increasing turbidity of the Rio Iguacu and its tributaries as a result of watershed 

degradation outside the park, and alterations in flow caused by the hydroelectric dam at Osorio 

are the main problems. There is some encroachment by settlers, forest clearance and hunting 

in the Park, and tourists cause a considerable amount of disturbance, particularly in low-flying 

helicopters. 

Research and conservation: A variety of faunal and floral investigations have been conducted 

in the Park. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 3a & 3b. 



Tubarao Lagoons (35) 

Location: 28°02'-28°40'S, 48°40'-49°03'W; east of Tubarao, Santa Catarina. 

Area: 50,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 02, 07 & 08. 

Site description: Lagoa do Mirim (18,000 ha), Lagoa Garopaba (3,500 ha), and about ten 

smaller brackish coastal lagoons with extensive marshes between Garopaba in the north and 

Jaguaruna in the south. There are some mangrove swamps, here at the extreme southern limit 

of their occurrence on the Atlantic coast. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Lagoa do Sombrio (36) 

Location: 29°10'S, 49°40'W; 60 km southwest of Criciuma, Santa Catarina. 

Area: 5,060 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 07. 

Site description: A large brackish coastal lagoon, up to 3m deep, and several small lagoons 

nearby, with brackish marshes and surrounding sandy areas. Water levels fluctuate with the 

local rainfall. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Cyperaceae and Typha sp; in a region of open grasslandand 

scrub. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and municipal ownership. 

Protection: None. 



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Brazil 

Land use: Cattle ranching in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: Resident breeding species include Podilymbus podiceps. Gallinula chloropus, Fulica 

armillata and F. rufifrons. The wetland is of chief importance as a wintering area for 

waterfowl breeding further south; these include Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Egretta alba, Ardea 

cocoi, Dendrocygna bicolor, D. viduata, Cygnus melancoryphus and Netta peposaca. 

Other fauna: The area is rich in passerines associated with wetland habitats. 

Threats: Drainage canals have been dug to reclaim land for cattle grazing. 

Research and conservation: Preliminary avifaunal surveys have been conducted in the area. 

Source: Lenir Alda do Rosario Bege and Selma Mattos Diniz. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Tramandai Lagoons (37) 

Location: 29°22'S, 49°48'W to 30°23'S, 50°20'W; from Torres south along the coast to 50 km 

south of Tramandai, Rio Grande do Sul. 

Area: 42,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 07 & 12. 

Site description: A chain of lakes and lagoons with associated marshes stretching for 125 km 

along the coast of northern Rio Grande do Sul, separated from the sea by a belt of sand dunes 

3-5 km wide. The great majority are fresh, but four lagoons near Tramandai (Tramandai, 

Armazem, Custodia and Gentil) are brackish with salinities ranging up to 30 p.p.t. The largest 

lakes are Itapeva (9,516 ha), dos Quadros (11,900 ha), Malvas (1,500 ha), Palmital (1,172 ha), 

Pinguela (2,908 ha), Tramandai (1,286 ha), Fortaleza (1,854 ha) and Porteira (1,868 ha). The 

maximum depth varies from about 1.5m to 3.5m, and the levels fluctuate seasonally by 50 cm 

to Im. 

Principal vegetation: Freshwater lakes and marshes with Scirpus californicus, S. giganteus, 

Paspalidium paludivagum, Eichhornia crassipes, E. azurea, Pistia stratiotes, Potamogeton 

sp, Sahinia sp, Elodea densa, Fuerena robusta, Nymphoides indica and Cabomba australis; 

brackish lagoons with Scirpus californicus, S. olneyi, Ruppia marilima, Trapa sp, Potamogeton 

pectinatus, Ceratophyllum demersum and Chara sp. Surrounding areas with dune vegetation, 

pastureland and rice cultivation. 

Land tenure: Mainly private ownership; some lakes are partly owned by the state or local 

municipalities. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle ranching, traditional fishing and recreation. There is commercial fishing at 

some lakes, and pisciculture at Lagoa dos Quadros. The waters of Lagoa Rincao das Eguas and 

Lagoa Porteira are used to irrigate rice cultivation. 

Waterfowl: An important area for a wide variety of breeding waterfowl and migrants from 

both the north and the south. Belton records over 65 species including Rollandia rolland, 

Podiceps major, Botaurus pinnatus, Ixobrychus involucris, Mycteria americana, Euxenura 

maguari, Chauna torquata. Anas georgica, A. versicolor, Netta peposaca (mainly a winter 

visitor), Cairina moschata, Oxyura dominica, Rallus sanguinolentus, R. nigricans, R. maculatus, 

Aramides saracura, Fulica armillata, F. leucoptera, Gallinago (g.) paraguaiae and Larus 

maculipennis. Migrant shorebirds include Charadrius falklqndicus, C. modestus and Eudromias 

ruficollis from southern South America, and 13 regular visitors from the Nearctic. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: There is some pollution from domestic sewage at Lagoa Marcelino, Laguna Tramandai 

and Lagoa Armazem. 

Research and conservation: Limnological studies have been conducted at all the lakes by 

Chomenko (1981) and Schwarzbold (1982), and the avifauna has been studied by Belton 

(1984). Priority areas for protection include Lagoa Malvas, Lagoa Rincao I, Lagoa Rincao II 

and Lagoa Pombas. 

References: Chomenko (1981); Schwarzbold (1982); Belton (1984). 

Source: Walter A. Voss. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



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Brazil 

Lagoa do Peixe and nearby lakes (38) 

Location: 30°24'S, 50°20'W to 31°55'S, 5r54'W; along the coast east of Lagoa dos Patos, Rio 

Grande do Sul. 

Area: 1 1 ,300 ha of lakes and lagoons. 

Altitude: 0-4m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 05, 07 & 12. 

Site description: A chain of 23 small freshwater lakes and marshes, and the large shallow 

brackish to saline Lagoa do Peixe (4,370 ha), stretching for 240 km along the inland side of 

the coastal sand dunes between Lagoa dos Patos and the Atlantic; the seaward side of the dunes 

is a continuous ocean beach. Lagoa do Peixe varies in depth from 10-80 cm, and the salinity 

ranges from 1-40 p.p.t.; the lagoon is connected to the sea by a channel during the rainy season 

(winter and spring). The shores are muddy and sandy, and there is little aquatic vegetation. 

Most of the freshwater lakes are under 500 ha in area, but Lagoa Quintao, Lagoa dos Barros 

and Lagoa Figueira in the north exceed 700 ha, and the southernmost lake, Lagoa Tuneira, is 

1,760 ha. The maximum depths range from under Im to 11m, and levels fluctuate seasonally 

by about 50 cm. Lagoa Moleques and Lagoa Figueira are exceptional in being oligotrophic. 

Principal vegetation: Some sparse halophytic vegetation and Paspalum vaginatum at Lagoa do 

Peixe; freshwater lakes and marshes with Scirpus californicm. S. giganteus, Paspalidium 

paludivagum, Potamogeton illinoensis, Eichhornia azurea, Zizaniopsis bonariensis, Pontederia 

lanceolata. Echinodorus grandiflorus, Nymphoides indica, Ceratophyllum demersum and Chara 

sp. Sand dune vegetation to the east and grassland to the west, with some plantations of Pinus 

and Eucalyptus spp in northern areas, and native coastal scrub in the south. 

Land tenure: Private and public (Navy) ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle ranching throughout; some recreation at lakes in the north; a little traditional 

fishing; commercial shrimp fishing at Lagoa do Peixe; sport hunting; and rice cultivation and 

forestry in surrounding areas. The waters of several lakes are used for irrigation in rice 

cultivation, particularly in the north. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for a wide variety of waterfowl. Lagoa do Peixe is 

particularly important as a staging area and wintering area for migrant waterfowl breeding 

further south and for Nearctic shorebirds. The southern migrants include Phoenicopterus 

chilensis (up to 200), Coscoroba coscoroba, Cygnus melancoryphus, Anas flavirostris, A. 

sibilatrix, A. georgica, Netta peposaca, Charadrius falklandicus (over 5,000), C. modestus (over 

1,000) and Larus maculipennis. Nearctic migrants include Pluvialis dominica, Limosa 

haemaslica (up to 1,000 on passage in April/May and October), Tringa melanoleuca. T. 

flavipes, Calidris canutus (up to 20,000 on passage in April and May), C. alba. C. fuscicollis 

(many thousands), C. melanotos and Sterna hirundo (up to 8,000 in April and May). Common 

resident shorebirds include Haematopus palliatus, Vanellus chilensis and Himantopus 

himantopus. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Drainage of marshes at Lagoa do Fundo and Lagoa Pai Joao for forestry; fish farming 

with exotic species ai Lagoa do Peixe; and destruction of coastal habitat for tourist recreation, 

particularly in the north. Forestry projects are affecting wind patterns and hence the 

movement of sand dunes, which has had a detrimental effect on some lakes. Proposals have 

been made to alter water levels in Lagoa do Peixe to improve fishing. 

Research and conservation: Some shorebird censuses and banding programmes have been 

carried out by CEMAVE, the Fundacao Zoobotanica do Rio Grande do Sul, and the University 

of Porto Alegre. Chomenko (1981) and Schwarzbold (1982) have conducted limnological 

studies at all the lakes; and a research project on the importance of Lagoa do Peixe for 

waterfowl has recently been initiated by Susana de Moura Lara-Resende. Areas particularly 

worthy of protection include Lagoa do Peixe and surrounding areas; Lagoa Tuneira in the 

south; Lagoa Rebeca, Lagoa Cinza, Lagoa Papagaio I and II, and Lagoa Ponche in the north; 

and the oligotrophic lakes Moleques and Figueira. 

References: Chomenko (1981); Schwarzbold (1982); Morrison (1983a); Belton (1984). 

Source: Paulo de Tarso Zuquim Antas, Susana de Moura Lara-Resende, Flavio Silva and Walter 

A. Voss. 

Criteria for Inclusion: 123. 



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Brazil 

Lagoa dos Patos (39) 

Location: 29°55'-32°00'S, 50°20'-52°15'W; south of Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. 

Area: 1,567,000 ha (Lagoa dos Patos 985,000 ha; other lakes and marshes 582,000 ha). 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 09, 12, 13, 16 & 17. 

Site description: Lagoa dos Patos, the largest lake in Brazil, is a deep freshwater lake 250 km 

long by 50 km wide with a wide connection with the sea at Rio Grande in the south which 

enables shipping to enter the lake and service a large port at Porto Alegre in the extreme 

north. In the surrounding low-lying areas there are some 135 freshwater lakes of 100 to 

2,000 ha in extent, extensive marshes, and large areas of seasonally flooded grassland and rice 

cultivation. Two of the most important areas for wildlife are the Lagoa do Capivari marshes 

(500 ha) and Pontal dos Gateados complex of lakes, marshes and wet grassland (5,000 ha) to 

the northeast of the main lake. 

Principal vegetation: Freshwater marshes with Scirpus spp, Zizaniopsis sp, Eichhornia 

crassipes, E. azurea and Sahinia sp; and woodland and shrubbery with Salix sp. Mimosa 

bimocronata, Cephalanthum glabratus and Erythrina cri stag alii. Pastureland and r.^ce 

cultivation in surrounding areas. 

Land tenure: Mainly private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing, cattle and horse ranching, rice cultivation and sport hunting. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for waterfowl, with large breeding populations of 

Ardeidae, Threskiornithidae and Anatidae, particularly in the the extensive marshes to the 

northeast of Lagoa dos Patos. There are several large mixed breeding colonies in the Lagoa do 

Capivari and Pontal dos Gateados areas, the largest with some 15,000 pairs. The principal 

species are Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Nycticorax nycticorax, Bubulcus ibis, Butorides striatus, 

Egretta thula, E. alba, Ardea cocoi, Euxenura maguari, Phimosus infuscatus, Plegadis chihi 

and Ajaia ajaja. Other breeding species include Botaurus pinnatus, Harpiprion caerulescens, 

Chauna torquata. Dendrocygna bicolor, D. viduata. Anas versicolor, Amazonetta brasiliensis, 

Aramus guarauna, Rallus sanguinolentus, Gallinula chloropus, Porphyrula martinica, three 

species of Fulica, Jacana jacana, Vanellus chilensis. Himantopus himantopus and Larus 

maculipennis. Coscoroba coscoroba breeds at Pontal dos Gateados at the northern limit of its 

range in Brazil. The area is also important for wintering Anatidae from southern South 

America, and Nearctic shorebirds, particularly Pluvialis dominica, Tringa spp, Calidris 

melanotos and Tryngites subruficollis. 

Other fauna: The marshes support a very large breeding population of Rostrhamus sociabilis. 

Mammals include Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and Myocastor coypus; and reptiles 

include Caiman latirostris and Platemys spixii. The whole system supports an extremely 

important fishery. 

Threats: There is a considerable amount of pollution in Lagoa dos Patos from the city, port and 

industrial areas of Porto Alegre in the north and Rio Grande in the south. Petrochemical 

installations and a cellulose factory near Porto Alegre are particularly harmful. In the 

surrounding wetlands, the principal threat is drainage for pastureland and rice cultivation. 

Hunting is inadequately controlled, and the breeding colonies of Ciconiiformes are heavily 

persecuted by egg collectors. 

Research and conservation: The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul has conducted 

limnological studies, and biologists from IBDF and the Fundacao Zoobotanica do Rio Grande 

do Sul have banded waterfowl, particularly Ardeidae and Threskiornithidae. 

References: Belton (1984). 

Source: Flavio Silva. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Lagoa Mirim, Lagoa Mangueira and the Taim marshes (40) 

Location: 32°10'-33°40'S, 52°30'-53°30'W; near the Uruguayan border in extreme southeastern 

Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul. 

Area: 850,000 ha (Lagoa Mirim 230,000 ha; Lagoa Mangueria 80,200 ha). 

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Brazil 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 05, 07, 12, 13, 16 & 17. 

Site description: Lagoa Mirim is a brackish lake with a hard sand and mud shoreline, and 

relatively little aquatic vegetation; its total area is approximately 330,000 ha, of which 230,000 

lie in Brazil and the remainder in Uruguay (see Uruguay site 9). Lagoa Mangueira (80,200 ha) 

is a long narrow freshwater lake, up to 4m deep, paralleling the coast to the east of Lagoa 

Mirim. The rest of the area is a vast complex of some 120 shallow freshwater lakes and 

marshes, seasonally flooded grassland, rice cultivation, and higher areas of dry savanna and 

native woodland, with a broad strip of coastal sand dunes and ocean beach in the east. The 

larger lakes include Lagoa Caiuba (1,750 ha), Lagoa da Flores (1,130 ha), Lagoa Nicola 

(258 ha) and Lagoa Jacare (145 ha). 

Principal vegetation: Freshwater lakes and marshes with Scirpus californicus. Zizaniopsis 

bonariensis, Paspalidium paludivagum, Myriophyllum brasiliensis. Ceratophyllum demersum, 

Cabomba australis, Eichhornia crassipes, E. azurea, Pisfia stratiotes, Echinodorus grandiflorus 

and Salvinia sp; scattered shrubs of Cephalatum, Mimosa and Salix; patches of native woodland 

with Ficus enormis, Erythrina cristagalli and bromeliads; and sand dune vegetation in the east. 

Also plantations of Finns and Eucalyptus. 

Land tenure: Mainly under private ownership in large ranches; the Ecological Station is owned 

by SEMA. 

Protection: 32,038 ha of lakes, marshes and wet grassland, including Lagoa Nicola, Lagoa 

Jacare and the northern end of Lagoa Mangueira, are protected in the Taim Ecological Station. 

The remainder of the area is unprotected. 

Land use: Cattle, sheep and horse ranching; cultivation of rice and soya beans; fishing; sport 

hunting; and some forestry. Water is taken from some of the lakes for rice cultivation, and 

there is commercial fishing in Lagoa Mangueira. An international highway passes through the 

middle of the area (and the Ecological Station). 

Waterfowl: One of the richest areas for waterfowl in South America, with a great diversity of 

resident breeding species, winter visitors from southern breeding areas, and passage and 

"wintering" Nearctic shorebirds. Over sixty species of waterfowl were observed during a three 

day visit to the Taim area in January 1982. Common breeding species include Fodilymbus 

podiceps, Rollandia rolland, Fodiceps major, Fhalacrocorax olivaceus. Nycticorax nycticorax, 

Syrigma sibilatrix, Butorides striatus, Egretta thula, E. alba, Ardea cocci, Mycteria americana, 

Euxenura maguari, Harpiprion caerulescens, Fhimosus infuscatus, Flegadis chihi, Ajaia ajaja, 

Chauna torquata, Dendrocygna viduata. Coscoroba coscoroba, Cygnus melancoryphus. Anas 

flavirostris, A. georgica, A. versicolor, Netta peposaca, Amazonetta brasiliensis, Heteronetta 

atricapilla, Aramus guarauna, Aramides ypecaha, Porphyriops melanops, Gallinula chloropus, 

Fulica armillata, F. leucoptera. F. rufifrons, Jacana Jacana, Haematopus palliatus, Vanellus 

chilensis, Charadrius collaris, Gallinago (g) paraguaiae, Himantopus himantopus, Larus 

maculipennis, Phaelusa simplex. Sterna superciliaris and Rynchops niger. 

Large numbers of southern Anatidae and shorebirds visit the area in the austral winter, 
including Anas sibilatrix, Charadrius falklandicus and C. modestus. Phoenicopterus chilensis 
occurs in small numbers, and Nycticryphes semicollaris has been recorded. Common Nearctic 
migrants during the migration seasons and in the austral summer include Pluvialis dominica, 
Limosa haemastica, Tringa melanoleuca, T. flavipes, Calidris alba, C. fuscicollis, C. melanotos. 
Micropalama himantopus and Tryngites subruficollis. 

Other fauna: Birds of prey are common, and include Rostrhamus sociabilis. Circus cinereus, C. 
buffoni and Falco peregrinus. Mammals include Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Myocastor coypus 
and Blastocerus dichotomus; and reptiles include Caiman latirostris and Platemys sp. 
Threats: The principal threats are drainage of wetlands for pastureland and cultivation, and the 
extensive use of pesticides on agricultural land. Grasslands are heavily overgrazed; there is a 
considerable amount of illegal hunting; and breeding colonies of Ardeidae and 
Threskiornithidae are persecuted by egg collectors. Wardening in the Ecological Station is 
reported to be inadequate. 

Research and conservation: There are excellent facilities for research at Taim Ecological 
Station, and a number of faunal and floral surveys have been carried out there. The Fundacao 
Zoobotanica do Rio Grande do Sul and CEMAVE have banded waterfowl, and Schwarzbold 
(1982) has conducted limnological studies of some lakes. 

References: Marigo (1977); MINTER & SEMA (1977); Schwarzbold (1982); Morrison (1983a); 
Belton (1984). 



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Brazil 



Source: Susana de Moura Lara-Resende, Flavio Silva and Walter A. Voss. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



The lower Rio Ibicui and Rio Uruguay marshes (41) 

Location: 28°40'-29°40'S, 56°05'-56°55'W; between Sao Borja and Uruguaiana, Rio Grande do 

Sul. 

Area: 107,500 ha. 

Altitude: 60m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 09, 11, 12, 16 & 17. 

Site description: A complex of freshwater lakes and seasonally inundated alluvial plains along 

the Rio Ibicui and its tributaries, with extensive areas of rice cultivation. Much of the natural 

wetland habitat has been converted into rice fields. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Rice cultivation and grazing. 

Waterfowl: Belton records over 55 species of waterfowl typical of the basin of the Rio de La 

Plata. Residents include Anhinga anhinga, Botaurus pinnatus, Ixobrychus involucris, Tigrisoma 

lineatum, Euxenura maguari, Phimosus infuscatus, Chauna torquata, Dendrocygna bicolor, D. 

viduata, Amazonetta brasiliensis, Cairina moschata, Oxyura dominica, Aramus guarauna, 

Aramides ypecaha, Porphyriops melanops, Gallinago (g.) paraguaiae, Phaetusa simplex, Sterna 

superciliaris and Rynchops niger. Migrant include a variety of Anatidae and Charadrius 

modestus from the south, and Pluvialis dominica, Barlramia longicauda, Tringa spp, Calidris 

fuscicollis and C. melanotos from the Nearctic. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Continuing drainage of wetlands for agriculture. 

Research and conservation: The avifauna of the region has been studied by Belton (1984). 

References: Belton (1984). 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Dams in Brazil (42) 

Type: 15. 

Site description: In recent decades, a number of enormous dams have been constructed in 
Brazil for hydroelectricity, irrigation and water supply to urban centres. Many others are 
under construction or in the planning stages, and within the next twenty years virtually every 
major river in the country will have been dammed, sometimes in several places. Some of the 
principal dams already completed are as follows: 

Boa Esperanza Dam: 6°40'7''30'S, 43°30'45°00'W; on the upper Rio Parnaiba, Maranhao and 

Piaui; 155,000 ha; 110m above sea level. 

Abras Dam: 4°20'S, 40°27'W; on the upper Rio Acarau, Ceara; 28,500 ha; 200m. 

Oros Dam: 6''15'S, 39°00'W; on the upper Rio Jaguaribe, Ceara; 32,500 ha; 200m. 

Sao Francisco Dam: 9°00'1I°20'S, 40°50'43°10'W; on the Rio Sao Francisco, Bahia; 900,000 

ha; 380m. 

Parnaiba Dams: 19°35'20°48'S, 50°40'51°38'W; two contiguous dams on the Rio Parnaiba, 

Mato Grosso do Sul, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais; 150,000 ha; 305m. 

Tres Marias Dam: 18°30'S, 45°15'W; on the upper Rio Sao Francisco, Minas Gerais; 120,000 

ha; 595m. 

Furnas Dam: 20°30'21°30'S, 45°15'46°20'W; on the Rio Grande and lower Rio Sapucai, 

Minas Gerais; 180,000 ha; 745m. 

Rio Tiete Dams: 21''25'S, 49''30'W; a chain of dams on the Rio Tiete, Sao Paulo; over 

100,000 ha; 400m. 

Paranapanema Dam: 23°15'S, 49°00'W; on the Rio Paranapanema, Sao Paulo; 60,000 ha; 

570m. 

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Brazil 

Harare Dam: 23°20'S, 49M0'W; on the Rio Harare, Sao Paulo and Parana; 65,000 ha; 550m. 

Passo Fundo Dam: 27°40'S, 52°45'W; on a tributary of the Rio Uruguay, Rio Grande do 

Sul; 15,000 ha; 550m. 

Rincao da Eslrela Dam: 28°55'S, 53°10'W; on the upper Rio Jacui, Rio Grande do Sul; 

35,000 ha; 300m. 

Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam: 24°30'S, 54°20'W; on the Rio Parana on the Paraguayan border, 

Parana; 146,000 ha; 195m. 
Large dams completed, under construction, or in the planning stages in the Amazon Basin are 
listed under site 1. 

Most of the dams have deeply indented shorelines, widely fluctuating water levels, and 
little aquatic vegetation, except at river mouths. In general, they are of little importance for 
native wildlife, although some have developed important fisheries following the introduction of 
exotic species. Several dams are known to be of importance for Nearctic shorebirds on 
migration (e.g. the Parnaiba, Rio Tiete and Paranapanema dams), and some resident waterfowl 
have adapted well to the new conditions, particularly Phalacrocorax olivaceus, several Ardeidae 
and Dendrocygna viduata. In the east and northeast, the rare Netta erythrophthalma 
erythrophthalma has recently begun to occur in significant numbers on dams. 
Tundisi (1981) has conducted limnological studies at 35 dams in Sao Paulo State, and 
researchers elsewhere are increasingly taking an interest in these new water bodies, but on the 
whole, the importance of the dams for wildlife and their ecological effects on neighbouring 
and downstream areas remain poorly known. 



-104- 



CHILE 



INTRODUCTION 

by Roberto P. Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa 

Chile is situated in the south of the South American continent. It has an area of approximately 
624,593km^ and a population of 11 million (1979). 

According to Mann's classification of climax vegetation types (Mann, 1964), Chile possesses 
five main communities: desert, thicket (matorral), savanna, steppe and montane. However, a 
more recent and precise classification is that of Castri (1968), based on bioclimatic zones. On 
this classification, Chile is divided into the following zones: 

a) Desertica litoral; the narrow coastal strip of desert from Arica to central Atacama. 

b) Desertica del interior; the interior desert between the littoral zone and the Andes, from 
Arica to central Atacama. 

c) Tropical marginal; the subdesert of the Pacific slope between the interior desert and the 
altiplano, from Tarapaca to central Atacama. 

d) Tropical de altura; the altiplano of the Andes from Tarapaca to central Atacama. 

e) Mediterranea periarida; the transition zone between the desert and arid Mediterranean 
zones, between the coast and the base of the Andes from central Atacama to northern 
Coquimbo. 

f) Mediterranea arida; the arid Mediterranean zone from the Andean foothills of Atacama and 
Coquimbo to central Aconcagua. 

g) Mediterranea semiarida; the semi-arid Mediterranean zone in the coastal zone and coastal 
ranges of Aconcagua, and in Valparaiso and north central Santiago. 

h) Mediterranea subhumeda; the subhumid Mediterranean zone from central Santiago through 

O'Higgins and Colchagua to central Curico, Talca and Maule. 
i) Mediterranea humeda; the humid Mediterranean zone in the coastal zone and coastal ranges 

of Curico and Talca, and in eastern and southern Maule, eastern Linares, Concepcion, 

Nuble, Bio-Bio and eastern Malleco. 
j) Mediterranea perhumeda; the very humid Mediterranean zone including Arauco, half of 

Cautin, the region between the humid Mediterranean zone and the Andes in Malleco, 

central Osorno and a small region to the south of Valdivia. 
k) Oceanica con influencia mediterranea; a humid temperate zone including southern Cautin, 

much of Valdivia, much of Osorno, Llanquihue and Chiloe. 
1) Oceanica templado-frio; a cold temperate zone in northwestern Aysen and from the coast to 

eastern Aysen. 
m) Oceanica sub-antartica; the subantarctic zone of southern Aysen and the western half of 

Magallanes. 
n) Oceanica trans-andina; the southern Andes and Patagonian region of eastern Aysen and 

southeastern Magallanes. 
o) Andina; the high Andean zone above the tree-line from central Atacama to Malleco and 

northern Magallanes. 

This bioclimatic diversity gives rise to a wide variety of wetland types, including salars in 
desertic regions, subantarctic tundra, peat bogs, estuaries, saline rivers, oligotrophic lakes, 
Andean meadows (bofedales), fiords with relatively fresh surface waters, etc. 



Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

Governmental 

Servicio Nacional Forestal (CONAF) and Servicio Agricola Ganadero (SAG), in the 

Ministerio de Agricultura. 

Instituto Antartico Chileno (INACH), in the Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores. 

Corporacion de Fomento (CORFO), in the Ministerio de Hacienda. 

Consejo Monumentos Nacionales, in the Ministerio de Educacion Publica. 



-105- 



Chile 

Servicio Nacional de Obras Sanitarias (SENDOS), in the Ministerio de Obras Publicas. 
Universidad de Chile. 

Non-governmental 

Institute de la Patagonia. 

Comite Pro Defensa de la Fauna y Flora (CODEF). 

Sociedad Vida Silvestre de Chile. 

Universidad Austral de Chile. 

Universidad de La Concepcion. 

Universidad de Valparaiso. 

Universidad Catolica de Chile. 

Comite de Limnologia de Chile. 

Institute de Ecologia de Chile. 



Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

In 1981, Chile ratified the Ramsar Convention and thus became the first country in the 
Neotropical Realm to join the Convention. On ratification, Chile designated a wetland of 
4,877 ha to the north of Valdivia for inclusion in the Ramsar Convention List of Wetlands of 
International Importance. The wetland had been formed by subsidence during an earthquake 
in 1960. No further wetlands have been designated for inclusion in the List because Chile has 
not as yet established the technical, administrative and scientific body necessary for the 
application of a suitable wetlands policy as recommended by the Ramsar Convention. 

However, the National System of Protected Areas (Sistema Nacional de Areas Protegidas) 
currently includes some 14,428,513 ha of which at least 6,809,626 ha (47%) are wetlands. 

Chile has 35 National Parks (six of which are Biosphere Reserves), 30 Forest Reserves, five 
Natural Monuments and 16 Nature and Scientific Sanctuaries (Santuarios de la Naturaleza e 
Investigacion Cientifica). A new law has recently been passed creating a system of State 
Protected Areas (Sistema Nacional de Areas Silvestres Protegidas del Estado). This contains 
three categories of conservation area: National Parks, National Monuments and Forest Reserves. 

Although the total area of the protected zones represents 19% of the total area of Chile, the 
protected areas do not give adequate coverage to the wetlands, since the National Parks, Forest 
Reserves and so on were not created with this specific aim in mind. Furthermore, the 
7,422,275 ha of Forest Reserves can be disregarded since these are areas for the exploitation of 
timber and rational use of forest resources; livestock grazing and farming are permitted, and 
environmental protection is not given proper attention. 

Within the National System of Protected Areas, wetlands are best represented in southern 
Chile, i.e. in the "oceanico subantartico" and "oceanico templado-frio" bioclimatic zones, and 
poorly represented in the Mediterranean bioclimatic zones and coastal zone. However, with the 
new legislation concerning the "Sistema Nacional de Areas Silvestres Protegidas del Estado" 
having been approved at high level in Government, it is hoped that the situation can be 
improved, and an adequate representation of all the bioclimatic zones and ecosystems of Chile 
included within the system of protected areas. 

To achieve this, it would be necessary to include additional wetland areas such as river 
mouths of importance for migratory waterfowl, or some of the many lakes and salars in the 
high Andes, of importance for flamingos. The areas proposed for protection total some 
3,157,050 ha, 68% of which is comprised of wetlands; protection of these areas would give 
adequate representation to Chile's wetlands in the reserve network. 

No large scale programme for the study of waterfowl has as yet been established in Chile. 
An attempt is being made to establish an international programme for the banding and 
colour-marking of the Black-necked Swan Cygnus melancoryphus, and it is hoped that an 
in-depth study of this species will be initiated at the Santuario de la Naturaleza e Investigacion 
Cientifica "Carlos Anwandter" in Valdivia, with the aim of managing and maintaining the 
existing population. 

Migratory shorebirds have been banded in a programme initiated in 1983 by the 
Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, the Universidad Austral de Chile, the Universidad 
de Antofagasta and others. 



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Major Threats to Wetlands and Waterfowl 

The principal threats to wetlands and waterfowl in Chile are various. In the estuaries and on 
the coast, there is direct and indirect pollution from discharge of domestic waste from cities; 
this is particularly serious in the Bio-Bio and Aconcagua rivers. Industrial pollution is also a 
problem, particularly near cities such as Iquique, Chaiiaral and Coquimbo. 

Other problems include the collection of birds' eggs, illegal hunting, violations of the 
hunting laws (particularly with respect to bag limits), drainage of land for rice cultivation, the 
use of insecticides, and pollution from mining activities. Man's gradual modification of the 
natural environment is a serious problem; rivers have been canalized, river banks have been 
deforested, and in many parts of the country domestic livestock have been introduced into 
wetlands and have trampled and destroyed aquatic vegetation. The oligotrophic lakes in the 
south are beginning to be visited by tourists and used for recreation; this is causing disturbance 
to waterfowl, particularly during the breeding season. Finally, it can be said that the country 
in general does not possess a high degree of conservation awareness. 



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CHILE 




ntiago 






L_ 



Km 



500 

I 



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WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on data sheets provided by Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa, 
information from Jon Fjeldsa and Carlos Guerra, and the literature. 



Wetlands in Lauca National Park (1) 

Location: 18°25'S, 69°10'W; 120 km east of Arica, Region L 

Area: 49,850 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 4,500-4,600m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 10, 12, 14 & 19. 

Site description: A number of permanent fresh, brackish and saline lakes and marshes on a 

high Andean plateau with large areas of perennial Andean meadowland (bofedales) and fast 

flowing mountain rivers and streams. The principal lakes are Chungara (fresh, 2,200 ha, 

4,520m), Cotacotani (brackish, 450 ha, 4,350m), Parinacota (brackish, 40 ha, 4,350m) and the 

Salar de Surire (saline, 25,000 ha, 4,140m). The wetlands are situated in the arid Andean 

steppe zone. 

Principal vegetation: Wet meadowlands (bofedales) with Oxcycloe andina, Gentiana prostata, 

Hipochoeris eriolaena, Hypsela oligophylla etc, shrubby steppe (tolares) with Baccharis, 

Parastrephia, Fabiana, Verbena etc, and puna grassland with Festuca acanthophylla, Stipa 

leptostachys and Stipa frigida. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned (fiscal), with some private holdings. 

Protection: In the Lauca National Park (484,000 ha) established in 1980, and Biosphere Reserve 

(520,000 ha) established in 1981. 

Land use: Traditional pastoral farming by native Indian communities and a little tourism. 

Waterfowl: The park has a very rich and varied avifauna with large numbers of most of the 

typical high Andean waterfowl and a very high population of Fulica gigantea (several thousand 

birds). Merganetta armata is common on the rivers; Charadrius alticola, Eudromias ruficollis, 

Phegornis mitchellii, Recurvirostra andina and Attagis gayi breed, and Fulica cornuta has 

occurred. All three Andean species of flamingo occur in large numbers at Salar de Surire (up 

to 4,000 Phoenicopterus chilensis, 5,000 Phoenicoparrus andinus and 6,000 P. jamesi), and P. 

chilensis breeds. P. jamesi is thought to have nested in 1972. Much smaller numbers of 

flamingos occur at times on several of the other lakes. Several Nearctic shorebirds occur 

during the austral summer, notably Calidris bairdii and Steganopus tricolor. 

Other fauna: Other interesting wildlife in the park includes Pterocnemia pennata tarapacensis, 

Lama guanacoe, Vicugna vicugna and Hippocamelus antisensis. 

Threats: There is a proposal to use the waters of Lake Chungara for irrigation, and the 

construction of a railroad has caused erosion problems. Overgrazing by llamas and alpacas, and 

exploitation of mineral deposits are also causing problems. 

Research and conservation: A considerable amount of research has been conducted in the park, 

much of this on the Vicuna, and a management plan for the park has been produced. 

References: Kahl (1975); McFarlane (1975b & 1975c); Hurlbert (1978 & 1981); Torres et al 

(1978); lUCN (1982); CONAF (undated). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Caritaya Dam (2) 

Location: 19°0rS, 69°19'W; 120 km southeast of Arica, Region I. 

Area: 650 ha. 

Altitude: 3,600m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 15. 

Site description: A small freshwater reservoir in the high Andes just southwest of Lauca 

National Park. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

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Chile 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: The most northerly known breeding locality of the Horned Coot Fulica cornuta; 

three nests were found in 1957. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: McFarlane (1975b). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a. 



Wetlands in Isluga National Park (3) 

Location: 19°15'S, 68°44'W; 80 km east of Huara, Region I. 

Area: Several thousand hectares of wetlands. 

Altitude: 4,500m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12/8.37.12; 10, 12, 14 & 19. 

Site description: Permanent fresh, brackish and saline lakes, wet Andean meadowland 

(bofedales), and fast flowing rivers and streams on a high Andean plateau. The area includes 

several thousand hectares of the vast Salar de Coipasa on the Bolivian border, but there are no 

large freshwater lakes. 

Principal vegetation: Similar to Lauca National Park. 

Land tenure: State owned (fiscal). 

Protection: In the Isluga National Park (400,000 ha). 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Presumably similar to that of Lauca National Park. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Salar de Huasco (4) 

Location: 20°18'S, 68°52'W; 135 km east of Iquique, Region I. 

Area: 6,000 ha. 

Altitude: 4,000m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: High Andean salt basin inundated by summer rains, with nearby snow melt 

bogs and bofedales. 

Principal vegetation: Bofedal and Andean steppe vegetation (see Lauca National Park). 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Presumably similar to Lauca National Park; the Andean Flamingo Phoenicoparrus 

andinus is reported to have bred. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Kahl (1975). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Salar de Ascotan (5) 

Location: 21''30'S, 68°18'W; 240 km southwest of Iquique, Region II. 
Area: 37,800 ha salar with numerous small lakes totalling 325 ha. 
Altitude: 3,722m. 

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Chile 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: High Andean salt basin inundated by summer storms and with a number of 

highly saline lakes around its perimeter; and nearby snow melt bogs and bofedales. 

Principal vegetation: Bofedal and Andean steppe vegetation (see Lauca National Park). 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Important for flamingos: up to 250 Phoenicoparrus jamesi have been observed, 

and P. andinus is reported to have bred. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Kahl (1975); Hurlbert (1978). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Salar de Atacama (6) 

Location: 23°25'S, 68°20'W; 200 km east of Antofagasta, Region II. 

Area: 280,000 ha. 

Altitude: 2,300m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: High Andean salt basin with many small saline lakes inundated by summer 

storms, and nearby snow melt bogs and bofedales. 

Principal vegetation: Bofedal and Andean steppe vegetation (see Lauca National Park). 

Land tenure: Public and/or private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: The principal and perhaps only regular breeding site of the Andean 

Flamingo Phoenicoparrus andinus. The other two Andean flamingos P. jamesi 

and Phoenicopterus chilensis occur as nonbreeding visitors in small numbers. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: New roads have provided easier access to flamingo nesting areas and the collection of 

eggs for human consumption is becoming a serious problem. 

Research and conservation: Studies are underway for the establishment of one or more 

protected areas by CONAF in collaboration with the New York Zoological Society. 

References: Hurlbert (1978, 1981 & 1982). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: Ic. 



Salares de Aguas Calientes and Lagunas de Miscanti (7) 

Location: 23''00'-24°00'S, 67°08'-67°48'W; 300 km east of Antofagasta, Region II. 

Area: Approximately 100,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 4,150-4,550m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: A complex of high Andean salt basins and salt lakes inundated by summer 

storms, with nearby snow melt bogs and bofedales. The principal wetlands are as follows: 

Salar de Tara: 3,500 ha open water, 4,325m 

Salar de Pujsa; 600 ha open water, 4,525m 

Salar de Quisquiro: 7,000 ha salar with 400 ha open water, 4,185m 

Salar de Aguas Calientes \: 12,000 ha salar with 500 ha open water, 4,211m 

Laguna Lejia: 210 ha, 4,325m 

Salar de Aguas Calientes II: 500 ha open water, 4,195m 

Laguna de Miscanti: 1,400 ha, c. 4,250m. 
All are hypersaline, and the Salar de Pujsa has permanent ice islands. 
Principal vegetation: Bofedal and Andean steppe vegetation (see Lauca National Park). 

-Ill- 



Chile 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important feeding and nesting area for flamingos: up to 5,000 flamingos have 

been observed at one time, and up to 2,500 Phoenicoparrus jamesi, 730 P. andinus and 

310 Phoenicopterus chilensis have been identified. P. jamesi has probably bred at Salar de 

Tara, and P. chilensis is known to have bred at Salar de Pujsa and at Salar de Quisquiro. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

References: Hurlbert (1978, 1981 & 1982); Hurlbert & Chang (1984). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3b. 



Salar de Aguas Calientes III (8) 

Location: 25°00'S, 68°38'W; 190 km ENE of Taltal, Region IL 

Area: 1 ,400 ha. 

Altitude: 3,670m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: High Andean salt lake with permanent ice islands, and nearby bofedales. 

Principal vegetation: Bofedal and Andean steppe vegetation. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important feeding area for flamingos: up to 760 Phoenicoparrus andinus and 

150 Phoenicopterus chilensis have been recorded, with much smaller numbers of Phoenicoparrus 

jamesi. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Hurlbert (1978 & 1981); Hurlbert & Chang (1984). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb. 



Lagunas Brava, del Jilquero, Escondida and Verde, 
Salar de Piedra Parada and Salar de Pedernales (9) 

Location: 25''40'-27°00'S, 68"'25'-69°15'W; 180 km east of Chanaral, Region IIL 

Area: c. 100,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 3,500-4,250m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: High Andean salt basins and salt lakes inundated by summer storms, with 

nearby snow melt bogs and bofedales. 

Principal vegetation: Bofedal and Andean steppe vegetation. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: All three Andean species of flamingos are known to occur; this is the most 

southerly locality for Phoenicoparrus jamesi in the Andes. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Hurlbert et al (1976); Hurlbert (1978); Hurlbert & Keith (1979). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



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Chile 

Laguna Santa Rosa and Lago del Negro Francisco (10) 

Location: 27°05'-28°00'S, 69°10'-69°13'W; 170 km east of Caldera, Region III. 

Area: 3,000 ha. 

Altitude: Santa Rosa 3,760m; Negro Francisco 4,000m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: Four permanent high Andean mixosaline lakes with surrounding bofedales. 

Laguna Santa Rosa consists of three small lakes totalling 70 ha in extent; Lago del Negro 

Francisco is a large lake of about 2,800 ha. 

Principal vegetation: There is a limited growth of Ruppia filifolia in Laguna Santa Rosa. 

Surrounding areas have typical bofedal and Andean steppe vegetation. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Laguna Santa Rosa is an important breeding area for Fulica cornuta; some 100 birds 

and 30 nests were found there in 1956. Small numbers of the flamingos Phoenicopterus chilensis 

and Phoenicoparrus andinus have been observed. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Johnson (1965); Hurlbert (1978). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a. 



Caleta Vitor (11) 

Location: 18°44'S, 70°19'W; 30 km south of Arica, Region L 

Area: 500 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 01, 02, 04, 05 & 09. 

Site description: Coast of sea bay with rocky and sandy shores, coastal sand dunes and estuary 

of the Rio Vitor. 

Principal vegetation: Some marsh vegetation at the mouth of the river including species 

of Scirpus, Phragmites, and Typha. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important area for migrant shorebirds and Laridae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Pollution from nearby towns. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Caleta Camarones (12) 

Location: 19°12'S, 70''17'W; 75 km south of Arica, Region L 

Area: 500 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 01, 02, 04, 05 & 09. 

Site description: Coast of sea bay with rocky and sandy shores, coastal sand dunes and estuary 

of the Rio Camarones. 

Principal vegetation: Some marsh vegetation near the river mouth including species of Scirpus, 

Typha and Phragmites. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important area for migrant shorebirds and Laridae. 

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Chile 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Caleta Loa (13) 

Location: 21°25'S, 70°04'W; 130 km south of Iquique, Region IL 

Area: 500 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 01, 02, 04, 05 & 09. 

Site description: Coast of sea bay with rocky and sandy shores, coastal sand dunes, and estuary 

of the Rio Loa. 

Principal vegetation: Some marsh vegetation at river mouth including species of Scirpus, Typha 

and Phragmites. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important area for migrant shorebirds and Laridae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Peninsula de Mejillones (14) 

Location: 23°03'S, 70°27'W; between Antofagasta and Mejillones, Region IL 

Area: 2,500 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 01, 03, 04, 05 & 06. 

Site description: The Mejillones Peninsula (50 km x 20 km) with rocky sea coast, sea cliffs and 

rocky offshore islets, and the two large sea bays, Bahia Mejillones del Sur and Bahia de San 

Jorge, to the north and south of the peninsula respectively, with extensive intertidal sand flats, 

sandy beaches and coastal sand dunes. 

Principal vegetation: Some marine algae in the intertidal zone. In the desertic coastal scrub 

(matorral) and cactus zone. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Commercial and traditional fishing and fishmeal industry, with mining and chemical 

industries on the nearby coast. 

Waterfowl: The most important "wintering" area for Nearctic shorebirds along the northern 

coast of Chile, and a very important breeding area for Humboldt current sea-birds. The two 

bays are particularly important for feeding Larus modestus which has declined greatly in 

numbers in recent years due to the loss of nesting sites in the coastal desert. 

Other fauna: The marine otter Lutra felina, the sea- lion Otaria flavescens and the fur 

sea Arctocephalus austral is occur. 

Threats: Pollution from the chemical and fishing industries, overfishing, and disturbance from 

fishermen, tourism and guano collectors. 

Research and conservation: A considerable amount of research has been conducted in the area 

by Carlos Guerra and others, particularly on Larus modestus and Arctocephalus australis. 

References: Zarate (1983); many publications by Guerra et al (1981-1983 and in prep). 

Source: Carlos G. Guerra, Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



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Chile 

Taltal Bay (15) 

Location: 25°23'S, 70°3rW; 4 km west of Taltal, Region II. 

Area: 400 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 01, 02 & 05. 

Site description: A sea bay with sandy beaches, coastal sand dunes and estuary of the Quebrada 

Taltal. 

Principal vegetation: In desertic coastal scrub and cactus zone. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important area for migrant shorebirds and Laridae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Bahia Chaiiaral (16) 

Location: 26°21'S, 70°37'W; near Chaiiaral town. Region III. 

Area: 400 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 01, 02 & 05. 

Site description: A sea bay with sandy beaches, coastal sand dunes and estuary of the Quebrada 

del Salado. 

Principal vegetation: In desertic coastal scrub and cactus zone. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important area for migratory shorebirds and Laridae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Pollution with chemical products. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Coast between Huasco and Carrizal (17) 

Location: 28°04'-28°28'S, 7riO'W; 50 km northwest of Vallenar, Regions III and IV. 

Area: c. 2,000 ha (50 km of sea coast). 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 01, 02 & 05. 

Site description: 50 kilometres of sea coast with several small bays with sandy beaches and 

coastal sand dunes, and three small estuaries. 

Principal vegetation: In semi-desertic coastal scrub and woodland zone. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important area for shorebirds and Laridae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Pollution from mining activities and industrial waste. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



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Chile 

Bahia de Coquimbo (18) 

Location: 29°53'S, Tl'ig'W; north of Coquimbo town. Region IV. 

Area: 2,040 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 01, 02 & 05. 

Site description: A sea bay and estuary with sandy beaches and coastal sand dunes. 

Principal vegetation: In semi-desertic coastal scrub and woodland zone. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important area for shorebirds and Laridae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Embalse La Paloma and Embalse Recoleta (19) 

Location: 30°50'S, 7ri2'W; near Ovalle, Region IV. 

Area: La Paloma 2,000 ha; Recoleta 500 ha. 

Altitude: 500m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 10 & 15. 

Site description: Two freshwater reservoirs with some fringing marshes, and associated 

fast-flowing rivers and streams with some riverine forest. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with species of Scirpus, Phragmites and Typha. 

Land tenure: Public and/or private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important area for Anatidae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Wetlands in Lago Penuelas Forest Reserve (20) 

Location: 33°10'S, 71°32'W; near Quilpue, Region V. 

Area: c.3,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 335m. 

Province and type: 8.23.6; 10, 12 & 16. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake (Lago Pefiuelas) and associated marshes, 

fast-flowing streams and some seasonally inundated grassland. 

Principal vegetation: In an area of thorn-bush savanna with plantations of introduced tree 

species. 

Land tenure: State owned (fiscal). 

Protection: Within the Lago Penuelas Forest Reserve (9,095 ha) established in 1981. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important area for Anatidae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

References: Rottman & Glade (1973); Drouilly & Ibarra (1978). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



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Chile 

Laguna El Peral (21) 

Location: 33°30'S, 71°38'W; 50 km south of Valparaiso, Region V. 

Area: 16 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.23.6; 12. 

Site description: A small permanent freshwater lake and associated marshes. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with species of Scirpus, Phragmites and Typha. 

Land tenure: State owned (Ministry of Education). 

Protection: A Nature Sanctuary. 

Land use: Some tourist recreation on nearby beaches. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of waterfowl occur, including Cygnus melancoryphus, and species 

of ducks Anatidae, grebes Podicipedidae and herons Ardeidae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Disturbance from tourism causes some problems. 

References: Gonzalez (1975); Schlatter (1975); Riveros et a/ (1981). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



El Convento and Estero Yali (22) 

Location: 33°48'S, 7r46'W; 20 km SSW of San Antonio, Region V. 

Area: 8,450 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.23.6; 02, 05, 06, 07, 09 & 11. 

Site description: An estuarine system with a slow-flowing river, riverine marshes, wet 

meadows, fresh to brackish lagoons and marshes, intertidal mudflats and sandy beaches. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with species of Scirpus, Typha and Phragmites. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important wetland area for a wide variety of waterfowl including Anatidae and 

migratory shorebirds. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Some illegal hunting causes problems. 

References: Johnson & Ewer (1969). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Laguna Torca (23) 

Location: 34°46'S, 72"'03'W; 80 km northwest of Talca, Region VL 

Area: 170 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.23.6; 07. 

Site description: A permanent coastal brackish lake with associated fresh to brackish marshes. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with species of Scirpus, Phragmites and Typha. 

Land tenure: State owned (Ministry of Education). 

Protection: A Nature Sanctuary. 

Land use: Tourism; there are plantations of exotic pines nearby. 

Waterfowl: A variety of waterfowl including Cygnus melancoryphus, Plegadis chihi and various 

grebes, herons and ducks. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Disturbance from tourism and the exploitation of timber. 



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References: Drouilly (1969); Gonzalez (1977). 
Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 
Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Laguna del Maule (24) 

Location: 36°04'S, 70°30'W; 120 km southeast of Talca, Region VIL 

Area: 16,800 ha. 

Altitude: 2,900m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 10, 12 & 19. 

Site description: A large permanent freshwater Andean lake and associated fast-flowing rivers, 

marshes and snow melt bogs. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of high Andean steppe. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Drouilly & Montecinos (1976). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Rio Itata Estuary (25) 

Location: 36°24'S, 72°5rW; 50 km NNE of Concepcion, Region VIIL 

Area: 2,550 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.22.5; 02, 07, 09, 11, 16 & 19. 

Site description: The estuarine system of the Rio Itata, with riverine marshes, seasonally 

flooded grassland, peat bogs and coastal brackish to saline marshes. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of coastal scrub and woodland, with some sparsely vegetated 

sandy areas. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Hualpen Peninsula (26) 

Location: 36°40'S, 73°07'W; north of Talcahuano, Region VIII. 

Area: 1,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-50m. 

Province and type: 8.22.5; 01, 04, 05, 13 & 16. 

Site description: A sea bay and peninsula with rocky and sandy shores; with freshwater 

marshes and seasonally flooded grassland inland. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with species of Scirpus, Phragmites and Typha. 

Land tenure: State owned (Ministry of Education). 

Protection: A Nature Sanctuary. 

Land use: No information. 

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Waterfowl: An important area for migratory Anatidae and shorebirds. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

References: Jorge Juan (1976). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Bahia Arauco (27) 

Location: 37°14'S, 73''25'W; 55 km southwest of Concepcion, Region VIIL 

Area: 5,250 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.22.5; 01, 02, 04, 05, 09 & 11. 

Site description: A large sea bay and estuary with rocky and sandy shores, coastal sand dunes, 

and slow-flowing river and associated riverine marshes. 

Principal vegetation: In an area of coastal woodland and sand dunes. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important area for migratory Anatidae and shorebirds. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Pollution from iron and coal industries on the coast. 

References: Jorge Juan (1976). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Wetlands in Laguna del Laja National Park (28) 

Location: 37''21'S, 7ri9'W; 160 km ESE of Concepcion, Region VIIL 

Area: Laguna del Laja 10,440 ha. 

Altitude: 1,000m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 10, 12 & 19. 

Site description: A large permanent freshwater lake with some marshes, fast-flowing mountain 

rivers and streams, and bogs fed by snow melt. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Andean steppe dominated by Festuca spp. 

Land tenure: State owned (fiscal). 

Protection: Within the Laguna del Laja National Park (11,600 ha). 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Palcavi Estuary and Lago Lleu-LIeu (29) 

Location: 38°10'S, 73°20'W; 180 km north of Valdivia, Region VIIL 

Area: 26,250 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.22.5; 02, 05, 09 & 12. 

Site description: An estuarine system with sandy beaches and coastal sand dunes, a 

slow-flowing river with associated marshes, and a large freshwater lake and marshes. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of coastal woodland and sand dune vegetation. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

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Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Lago Budi (30) 

Location: 38°53'S, VS'IS'W; 100 km north of Valdivia, Region IX. 

Area: 14,400 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 02, 05, 06, 07, 09 & 11. 

Site description: An estuarine system with sandy beaches, intertidal mudflats, brackish to saline 

coastal lagoons and marshes, coastal sand dunes, and slow-flowing river with riverine marshes. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with species of Scirpus, Typha and Phragmites. j 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Adjacent areas are under cultivation. 

Waterfowl: An important area for Anatidae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Excessive hunting, both legal and illegal; expansion of agriculture. 

References: SAG (1981). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Bahia Queule and Rio Queule (31) 

Location: 39''23'S, 73°12'W; 50 km north of Valdivia, Region IX. 

Area: 2,100 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 01, 02, 05, 09 & 11. 

Site description: Sea bay and estuarine system of the Rio Queule, with sandy beaches, coastal 

sand dunes and riverine marshes. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Traditional fishing. 

Waterfowl: An important area for shorebirds. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Rio Cruces and Carlos Anwandter Sanctuary (32) 

Location: 39°47'S, 73°16'W; north of Valdivia city. Region X. 

Area: 4,877 ha. 

Altitude: 0-2m. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 09, 10, 11 & 16. 

Site description: A complex of rivers and streams with sandbars and islands, associated riverine 

marshes and seasonally inundated grasslands in a depression caused by subsidence during an 

earthquake in 1960. Water levels rise by up to Im during periods of flooding. 

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Principal vegetation: Marshes with Sagittaria chilensis, Scirpus californicus, Hydrootyle 

volksmanni, Typha angustifolia, Phragmites sp, Senecio spp, Juncus spp and sedges 

Cyperaceae. In a region of Valdiviano woodland. 

Land tenure: State owned (Ministry of Education). 

Protection: Protected in the Carlos Anwandter Nature and Scientific Investigation Sanctuary. 

Designated as a Ramsar site in 1981; the only Ramsar site in Chile. 

Land use: Nature tourism and research. 

Waterfowl: An important area for Anatidae including Cygnus melancoryphus, Podicipedidae 

and Ardeidae. 

Other fauna: The Osprey Pandion haliaetus is a regular non-breeding visitor. 

Threats: Some pollution from run-off of pesticides from nearby agricultural land. 

Research and conservation: The wetland is managed as a field study area for the Universidad 

Austral de Chile. 

References: Schlatter (1976b); Durrschmidt (1980); Schlatter & Morales (1980); lUCN (1982 & 

1984). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Rio Rahue (33) 

Location: 40''27'S, 73°16'W; 20 km northwest of Osorno, Region X. 

Area: 9,000 ha. 

Altitude: 50m. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 10, 11 & 18. 

Site description: A complex of fast-flowing rivers and streams, and associated marshes and 

swamp forest. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Valdiviano forest. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Forestry. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Excessive hunting is reported to be a problem. 

References: Schlatter et al (1983). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



The Chilean Lake District (34) 

Location: 38°22'-41°20'S, 7ri5'-73°00'W; Regions IX and X. 

Area: c. 300,000 ha of lakes and associated marshes. 

Altitude: mainly 100- 1,000m; most of the large lakes are below 300m. 

Province and type: 8.10.2/8.22.5/8.37.12; 10, 11, 12, 16, 18 & 19. 

Site description: A chain of large, permanent, deep, freshwater lakes in the foothills of the 

southern Andes stretching from Temuco in the north to the region of Puerto Montt in the 

south. The principal lakes are Lago Colico (5,400 ha), Lago Villarrica (19,000 ha), Lago 

Calafquen (15,000 ha), Lago Ranguipulli (15,000 ha), Lago Rinihue (9,250 ha), Lago 

Pirehueico (3,200 ha), Lago Ranco (44,000 ha), Lago Maihue (4,750 ha), Lago Puyehue 

(17,000 ha), Lago Rupanco (25,000 ha), Lago Todos los Santos (21,000 ha), Lago Llanquihue 

(85,000 ha) and Lago Chapo (4,900 ha). The region abounds in fast-flowing rivers and 

streams, and there are numerous small freshwater lakes, marshes and bogs at higher elevations 

in the Andes. 

Most of the large lakes in the lowlands are much disturbed and of little importanc: for 

wildlife. Of the lakes listed above, only Todos los Santos lies within a Protected Area. Areas 

thought to be of special importance are treated separately below. 



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Wetlands in Conguillio y Los Paraguas National Park (34a) 

Location: 38°22'S, 71°38'W; 20 km ENE of Curacautin, Region IX. 

Area: 16,000 ha. 

Altitude: 1,200m. 

Province and type: 8.22.5/8.37.12; 10, 12 & 19. 

Site description: Three large deep freshwater lakes (Lago Conguillio, Laguna Verde and 

Laguna Captren) with some associated marshes, a fast flowing river (Rio Truful-Truful) and 

tributaries, and Andean bogs fed by snow melt in a region of volcanic activity. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Nothofagus forest with some Araucaria araucana, and 

Andean-Patagonian steppe. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned (fiscal), with some private holdings. 

Protection: Within the Conguillio y Los Paraguas National Park (58,000 ha) established in 1940. 

Land use: Tourism in both summer and winter. 

Waterfowl: A variety of breeding species including Podicipedidae, Chloephaga spp, Fulica spp 

and Larus serranus. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: There is some disturbance in the park from neighbouring properties. 

Research and conservation: A management plan for the park has been prepared by CONAF. 

References: CONAF & FAO (1974); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Wetlands in Alto Bio-Bio Forest Reserve (34b) 

Location: 38°42'S, 7ri6'W; Araucania, Region IX. 

Area: 7,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 2,000m. 

Province and type: 8.22.5/8.37.12; 10 & 12. 

Site description: Freshwater lakes and marshes, and fast-flowing rivers and streams. 

Principal vegetation: In region of mountain forests of Araucaria and Andean-Patagonian steppe. 

Land tenure: State owned (fiscal). 

Protection: Within the Alto Bio-Bio Forest Reserve (35,190 ha) established in 1981. 

Land use: Forestry. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Wetlands in Villarrica National Park (34c) 

Location: 39°25'S, 72°00'W; 50 km east of Loncoche, Region IX. 

Area: 21,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 900m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 10, 12 & 19. 

Site description: Permanent freshwater lakes and marshes, fast-flowing mountain rivers and 

streams, and high Andean bogs fed by snow melt in a region of volcanic activity. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Nothofagus and Araucaria forest and Andean grassland. 

Land tenure: State owned (fiscal). 

Protection: Within the Villarrica National Park (65,400 ha) established in 1940. 

Land use: Tourism in the National Park. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Forest fires and illegal settlers cause some problems in the park. 

Research and conservation: A management plan for the National Park has been produced. 

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References: Castro et al (1974); lUCN (1982). 
Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 
Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Wetlands in the Puyehue and Vicente Perez Resales National Parks (34d) 

Location: 40°40'-4r06'S, 72''15'-72°30'W; 60 km east of Osorno, Region X. 

Area: 45,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 200-500m. 

Province and type: 8.10.2/8.37.12; 10, 12, 16 & 19. 

Site description: A large freshwater lake of 12,500 ha (Lago Todos los Santos), its associated 

marshes, fast-flowing mountain rivers and streams, riverine marshes, seasonally flooded 

meadows, and Andean bogs fed by snow melt in a region of volcanic activity. The most 

extensive marshes are at the mouths of rivers entering the lake. The lake is probably several 

hundred metres deep. 

Principal vegetation: Wet meadows and delta marshes with Phragmites communis, Holcus 

lantus, Plantago lanceolata, Hydrocotyle poepeggie, Juncus leseurii and Rumex sp. In a region 

of Valdiviano rain forest (lower slopes), and Nothofagus forest and Andean steppe (higher 

elevations). 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned (fiscal), with some private holdings. 

Protection: Within two contiguous National Parks: Puyehue National Park (104,017 ha) 

established 1941, and Vicente Perez Rosales National Park (220,000 ha) established 1926. 

Land use: Tourism in the National Parks. There is a regular passenger boat service across the 

lake. 

Waterfowl: An important area for waterfowl with large populations of several species, 

notably Podiceps major and Chloephaga poliocephala. 

Other fauna: The Southern River Otter Lutra provocax and the Coypu Myocastor coypus occur. 

Threats: There is some disturbance from tourism and the private inholdings in the parks. The 

National Electricity Corporation (ENDESA) has included Lago Todos los Santos in its 

hydroelectric development plans. Development of the lake is scheduled for initiation in 1986, 

and will involve the construction of a low barrage at the lake's outlet to raise the water level. 

This is likely to result in severe shoreline erosion and will change flooding patterns in marshes 

at river deltas (W.E. Klohn, pers. com. to WWF/IUCN). 

Research and conservation: Very few studies have been conducted in the parks other than 

preliminary inventories of the fauna and flora. The Park is managed by CONAF, and there is 

a small visitor centre and museum at Petrohue. 

References: Greenquist (1982); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Reloncavi Estuary (35) 

Location: 4r40'S, 72°21W; 40 km southeast of Puerto Montt, Region X. 

Area: 28,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 10 & 11. 

Site description: The estuarine system of the Rio Reloncavi, with rocky and sandy beaches, 

intertidal mudflats, salt marshes, riverine marshes and wet meadows. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Nothofagus forest. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Traditional fishing and exploitation of algae. 

Waterfowl: An important wintering area for Anatidae and shorebirds. 

Other fauna: No information. 



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Threats: Increased human settlement, overfishing and over-exploitation of the marine algae. 
Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 
Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Wetlands in Alerce Andino National Park (36) 

Location: 41°27'S, 72°30'W; 40 km east of Puerto Montt, Region X. 

Area: 2,200 ha. 

Altitude: 0-350m. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 02, 04, 06, 07, 09, 12 & 19. 

Site description: Estuarine coast with rocky shores, intertidal mudflats and salt marshes; small 

freshwater lakes and marshes; fast-flowing mountain streams; and Andean bogs; in a region of 

volcanic activity. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Nothofagus and Fitzroya forest with some Mirtaceae scrub 

at low elevations. 

Land tenure: State owned (fiscal). 

Protection: Within the newly created Alerce Andino National Park (39,225 ha). 

Land use: National Park. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Isla Coihuin - Pelluco (37) 

Location: 41°29'S, 72°51'W; 5 km east of Puerto Montt, Region X. 

Area: 5,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 01, 02, 05, 06, 07, 09, 11 & 16. 

Site description: Sea bay coast with sandy beaches and coastal sand dunes; small estuarine 

system with intertidal mudflats and salt marshes; and river with riverine marshes, wet meadows 

and seasonally flooded grassland. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Scirpus, Typha and Phragmites. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Traditional fishing and exploitation of algae. 

Waterfowl: An important area for shorebirds and Laridae including Nearctic migrants {Limosa 

haemastica. Numenius phaeopus and Larus pipixcan). 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Over-exploitation of the marine algae. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter, Luis A. Espinosa and Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



The Rio Quenuir and Rio MauIIin Estuaries (38) 

Location: 4r35'S, 73°40'W; 60 km west of Puerto Montt, Region X. 

Area: 3,600 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 01, 02, 05, 06, 07, 09, 11, 16 & 18. 

Site description: Sea bay coast with sandy beaches and coastal sand dunes; estuarine system of 

the Rio Maullin with intertidal mudflats, brackish coastal lagoons and salt marshes; and the 

lower Rio Maullin with its associated riverine marshes, seasonally flooded grassland and swamp 

forest. 

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Principal vegetation: Marshes with Scirpus, Typha and Phragmites; in a region of Nothofagus 

forest. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Traditional fishing and exploitation of algae. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Over-exploitation of the marine algae. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Wetlands in Chiloe National Park (39) 

Location: 42°40'S, 73°57'W; 90 km south of Ancud on Chiloe Island, Region X. 

Area: 16,400 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 0-800m. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 12, 13 & 18. 

Site description: Sea coast with small rocky offshore islands, rocky and sandy shores, coastal 

sand dunes and some intertidal mudflats; and inland freshwater lakes, marshes, bogs and 

swamp forest. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Nothofagus forest and Mirtaceae scrub. 

Land tenure: State owned (fiscal). 

Protection: Within the Chiloe National Park (43,057 ha). 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: The Marine Otter Lutra felina and sea-lion Otaria flavescens occur. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Archipelago off Eastern Chiloe Island (40) 

Location: 42°35'S, 73°30'W; archipelago east of Castro, Chiloe Island, Region X. 

Area: 250,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-3m. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 12, 13, 18 & 19. 

Site description: An archipelago of numerous islands and islets centered around Isla Quinchao, 

with rocky and sandy shores, coastal sand dunes, extensive intertidal mudflats and salt 

marshes. There are many small freshwater lakes, marshes, peat bogs and area of swamp forest 

on the larger islands. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: Public and/or private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for waterfowl with a variety of breeding and non-breeding 

Anatidae and shorebirds, the latter including both Nearctic migrants {Limosa haemastica, 

Numenius phaeopus and Tringa melanoleuca) and migrants from the south (Charadrius 

modestus). Phoenicopterus chilensis also occurs as a non-breeding visitor. 

Other fauna: The Marine Otter Lutra felina probably occurs. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: la & 3a. 



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Yelcho-Pumalin Delta (41) 

Location: 42°58'S, 72°45'W; 170 km south of Puerto Montt, Region X. 

Area: 109,350 ha. 

Altitude: 0-3m. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 01, 02, 03, 05, 07 & 10. 

Site description: Sea bay and delta marshes of the Rio Yelcho-Pumalin, with sandy beaches, 

tidal salt marshes and small offshore islands. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An important area for Phoenicopterus chilensis, Anatidae and shorebirds. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Construction of roads, excessive forest exploitation and increased human settlement. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Guamblad Fjord and San Pedro Canal (42) 

Location: 43°18'S, 73"'50'W; at southeast tip of Chiloe Island, Region X. 

Area: 9,720 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.10.2; 01, 02, 03, 05, 07, 09 & 11. 

Site description: Sea coast and small estuaries with sandy beaches, brackish to saline marshes, 

small offshore islands and riverine marshes. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Nothofagus forest. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Wetlands in the Southern Andes (43) 

Location: 43°56'-46°51'S, 71[40'-72[52'W; in the Southern Andes of Chile from 180 km NNE 

to 170 km SSE of Puerto Aisen, Regions X and XI. 

Area: Over 300,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 100- 1,500m (mainly 500- 1,000m). 

Province and type: 8.37.12/8.10.2; 10, 12, 16, 18 & 19. 

Site description: A chain of small to very large freshwater lakes and associated marshes 

stretching through the southern Andes of Chile from Lago Patena in the north to the vast Lago 

Buenos Aires in the south. There are numerous fast-flowing mountain rivers and streams and 

highland bogs throughout the region, and areas of seasonally flooded grassland, wet meadows 

and swamp forest. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Nothofagus forest and patagonian steppe. 

Land tenure: State owned (fiscal). The Dos Lagunas Natural Monument is owned by the 

Ministry of Education. 

Protection: Large portions of the region are protected in a network of Forest Reserves and 

National Parks as follows: 

8,690 ha of wetlands in Lago Palena Forest Reserve (41,380 ha) 

42,480 ha of wetlands in Puyuhuapi Forest Reserve (184,700 ha) 

7,425 ha of wetlands in Rosselot National Park (67,500 ha) 

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6,800 ha of wetlands in Puerto Cisnes Forest Reserve (136,000 ha) 

1,050 ha of wetlands in Lago Las Torres Forest Reserve (35,000 ha) 

2,800 ha of wetlands in Rio Simpson National Park (41,160 ha) 

10,000 ha of wetlands in Dos Lagunas Natural Monument (10,000 ha) 

26,930 ha of wetlands in Cerro Castillo Forest Reserve (179,550 ha) 

41,030 ha of wetlands including part of Lago Buenos Aires (160 km long) in Lago General 

Carrera Forest Reserve (178,400 ha) 

3,100 ha of wetlands in Lago Jeinimeni Forest Reserve (38,700 ha) 
Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: An abundant waterfowl fauna includes typical Southern Andean species such 
as Podiceps major, Theristicus caudatus melanopis, Chloephaga poliocephala, C. picta, Anas 
specularis and Merganetta armata. 
Other fauna: No information. 
Threats: No information. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 
Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



The Chilean Fjordland (44) 

Location: 44°40'-53°00'S, 72°30'-75°10'W; from the region of Puerto Aisen in the north to 

100 km west of Punta Arenas in the south. Regions XI and XIL 

Area: Approximately 5,500,000 ha of wetland habitat. 

Altitude: 0-1, 000m, but mainly below 300m. 

Province and type: 8.10.2/8.11.2; 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 10, 12, 13, 16, 18 & 19. 

Site description: The fjord coastline and associated offshore islands of southern Chile 

stretching in a belt up to 220 km wide for over 1,000 km from the Golfo de Guafo in the 

north to the Straits of Magellan in the south. The coastline is mainly rocky, with some 

stretches of sandy beach, small estuaries with intertidal mudflats and salt marshes, and patches 

of coastal sand dunes. There are countless small islands in various archipelagos, many with 

high sea cliffs. Inland from the coast there are numerous freshwater lakes, marshes, peat bogs, 

fast-flowing rivers and streams, wet meadows, areas of seasonally flooded grassland and some 

swamp forest. On the higher ground and in the south there are extensive areas of tundra and 

bogs fed by melting glaciers and snow. 

Principal vegetation: At lower elevations, humid forests of Nothofagus spp, Tepualia stipularia, 

Laurelia sp and Pernettya sp, and scrub with species of Escalonia, Ribes and Gunnera; at higher 

elevations, Magellanic pampa and Magellanic tundra. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned (fiscal). 

Protection: Almost the entire region is included within a chain of National Parks and Forest 

Reserves as follows: 

Isla Magdalena National Park (360,000 ha); an archipelago 80 km NNW of Puerto Aisen, 

containing 90,000 ha of wetlands. 

Las Guaitecas Forest Reserve (850,000 ha); a large archipelago (Archipielago de Los 

Chonos) west of Puerto Aisen, containing over 550,000 ha of wetlands. 

Isla Guamblin National Park (10,625 ha, established 1967); a remote and seldom visited 

island at the western edge of the Archipielago de Los Chonos, with 800 ha of wetlands. 

Taitao Forest Reserve (915,000 ha); a region of fjord coastland and mountains 180 km 

southwest of Puerto Aisen, containing almost 500,000 ha of wetlands. 

San Rafael National Park (1,350,000 ha, established 1959); a region of fjord coastland and 

mountains 200 km SSW of Puerto Aisen, containing 540,000 ha of wetlands. Included with 

Guayaneco National Park in a Biosphere Reserve (1,380,613 ha, established in 1979). 

Guayaneco National Park (30,498 ha); a small archipelago 320 km southwest of Puerto 

Aisen, containing 18,300 ha of wetlands. Included with San Rafael National Park in a 

Biosphere Reserve. 

Rio Pascua Forest Reserve (1,196,510 ha); a region of fjord coastland, islands and 

mountains south of the Golfo de Penas, containing nearly 900,000 ha of wetlands. 



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Alacalufes Forest Reserve (2,674,000 ha); a vast tract of fjordland and islands stretching 
from the Rio Pascua Forest Reserve to the entrance to the Straits of Magellan, and 
containing over 1,600,000 ha of wetlands. 

O'Higgins, Torres del Paine and Monte Balmaceda. National Parks (three contiguous 
National Parks totalling 1,930,000 ha); a region of fjord coastland and mountains stretching 
north from Puerto Natales for 350 km, and containing 965,000 ha of wetlands. The parks 
incorporate four large lakes; Lago O'Higgins, Lago Sarmiento, Lago del Toro and Lago 
Balmaceda. Torres del Paine National Park was established as a Biosphere Reserve of 
163,000 ha in 1978. 

Isla Riesco Forest Reserve (303,750 ha); a large island on the north shore of the Straits of 
Magellan 100 km west of Punta Arenas, containing 164,000 ha of wetlands including Lago 
Riesco. 
Land use: Tourism in some of the National Parks. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important breeding area for southern waterfowl, notably species of 
grebe Podicipedidae, the swans Cygnus melancoryphus and Coscoroba coscoroba, the 
geese Chloephaga poliocephala, picta and hybrida, many ducks including Lophonetta 
specularioides. Tachyeres pteneres, T. patachonicus and Anas sibilatrix, and Fulica 
spp. Phoenicopterus chilensis occurs as a non-breeding visitor, and large numbers of Anatidae 
overwinter in the sheltered fjords. Several Nearctic shorebirds occur during the austral 
summer, particularly Limosa haemastica, Numenius phaeopus, Calidris bairdii and C. alba. 
Other fauna: There are large breeding colonies of sea-birds on many of the islands, and the 
sea-lion Otaria flavescens and fur seal Arctocephalus australis are common. Lutra felina occurs 
along the coasts, and L. provocax is known from San Rafael National Park. Amphibians 
include Bufo variegatus and Pleurodema bufonina. 

Threats: Much of the area is very remote, seldom visited and under no threat at present. There 
is some marine pollution from oil tankers in the Isla Guamblin National Park; the opening up 
of a ship canal across the Ofqui isthmus will cause some ecological disturbance in the San 
Rafael National Park; and uncontrolled tourism in the O'Higgins, Torres del Paine and Monte 
Balmaceda National Parks is causing some damage to the ecosystems. 

Research and conservation: A management plan has been produced for the Torres del Paine 
National Park, but otherwise very little research has been done in the area other than 
preliminary investigations of the fauna and flora of some of the national parks, e.g. San Rafael 
and Torres del Paine. 

References: Markham (1970); Pisano (1971); CONAF (1975); Cardenas (1976); Universidad de 
Chile de Valparaiso (1978); Riveros (1979); Rau (1980); lUCN (1982); Clark et al (1984). 
Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Wetlands in the Hernando de Magallanes and 
Alberto d'Agostini National Parks and Isla Holanda Forest Reserve (45) 

Location: 52°45'S, 74°45'W to 55°15'S, 68°00'W; southwest Tierra del Fuego and archipelagos 

south of the Straits of Magellan and Beagle Channel, Region XII. 

Area: 980,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 0-700m. 

Province and type: 8.11.2/7.4.9; 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 10, 12, 13, 14 & 19. 

Site description: The fjordland of southwestern Tierra del Fuego, the Isla Santa Ines 

archipelago and the Isla Holanda archipelago, together stretching for 580 kms from the west 

end of the Straits of Magellan to near Cape Horn. Numerous islands, sea bays and fjords with 

rocky and sandy coasts; small estuaries with intertidal mudflats and salt marshes; fast-flowing 

rivers and streams; small freshwater lakes and marshes; some small inland salt lakes; extensive 

areas of tundra and peat bog; and low elevation glaciers and snow fields. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Magellanic forest and Magellanic tundra. 

Land tenure: State owned (fiscal). 

Protection: Protected within the two contiguous National Parks, Hernando de Magallanes and 

Alberto d'Agostini (1,600,000 ha), and the adjacent Isla Holanda Forest Reserve (300,000 ha). 

Land use: Some fishing for shellfish. 



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Waterfowl: An important area for breeding Anatidae including the geese Chloephaga 

poliocephala, C. picta and C. hybrida, Lophonetta specularioides, Tachyeres pteneres, 

various Anas spp and Merganetta armata. 

Other fauna: There are large breeding colonies of sea-birds on many of the islands, and the 

sea-lion Otaria flavescens and otter Lutra felina occur. 

Threats: Some birds are captured for use as bait in crab fishing. 

References: Humphrey et al (1970); Parmalee & MacDonald (1975); Sielfeld (1977). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Wetlands in Cabo de Hornos National Park (46) 

Location: 55°45'S, 67°30'W; at the extreme southern tip of the continent, Region XII. 

Area: 38,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 0-lOOm. 

Province and type: 7.4.9; 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 10, 12 & 19. 

Site description: The many small islands in the Cape Horn Archipelago with rocky and sandy 

coasts; sheltered bays with intertidal mudflats and salt marshes; numerous small streams, 

freshwater lakes and marshes; extensive peat bogs and areas of tundra; and permanent snow 

fields on high ground. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Magellanic tundra and humid Magellanic forest 

with Nothofagus nitida and A^. antarctica. 

Land tenure: State owned (fiscal). 

Protection: Within the Cabo de Hornos National Park (63,093 ha) established in 1945. 

Land use: Very remote and seldom visited. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for many waterfowl including Nycticorax nycticorax, 

Theristicus caudatus melanopis, Chloephaga poliocephala, picta and hybrida, Lophonetta 

specularioides. Tachyeres pteneres. T. patachonicus, various Anas spp, and a variety of 

shorebirds including Haematopus leucopodus, H. ater, Charadrius modestus and the 

rare Gallinago s. stricklandii. Small numbers of several Nearctic shorebirds occur, 

notably Tringa melanoleuca. Calidris fuscicollis and C. bairdii, and the local seedsnipe Attagis 

malouinus occurs. 

Other fauna: There are a number of sea-bird colonies, and Falco peregrinus cassini breeds. 

Mammals include the two otters Lutra felina and L. provocax, and Otaria flavescens 

and Arctocephalus aus trails. 

Threats: None at present. 

Research and conservation: Apparently none other than preliminary studies of the fauna and 

flora. 

References: Olrog (1950); Venegas (1981); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna Blanca and the Seno de Otway and Segunda Angostura area (47) 

Location: 52''25'S, 7riO'W; north of Punta Arenas on the Straits of Magellan, Region XII. 

Area: c.500,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lOOm. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 10, 12, 13, 16 & 19. 

Site description: An area of Patagonian steppe and tundra with numerous freshwater lakes, 

marshes and peat bogs, between the Seno de Otway (a large sea bay) and the Segunda 

Angostura (a branch of the Straits of Magellan). There are rocky and sandy sea shores, small 

offshore islands, and small estuaries with intertidal mudflats and salt marshes. Inland, the 

principal lakes are Laguna Blanca (17,500 ha), Laguna El Toro and Laguna Cabeza del Mar. 

There are numerous small fast-flowing rivers and streams, and areas of seasonally flooded 

grassland. 



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Chile 

Principal vegetation: In the Patagonian steppe zone. Most of the lakes have little vegetation, 

although some have dense islands of Carex sp and Caltha sp. 

Land tenure: Private and/or public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: There is some human settlement for ranching, and much of the forest has been 

cleared. 

Waterfowl: The area supports large numbers of breeding waterfowl of a wide variety of species 

including Theristicus caudatus melanopis, Chloephaga poliocephala, C. picta, Tachyeres 

patachonicus, eight species of Anas, Netta peposaca, Fulica armillata, F. leucoptera and several 

species of shorebirds. Fjeldsa observed seven Chloephaga rubidiceps in the area in November 

1981; this species is now endangered on the South American mainland. A number of Nearctic 

shorebirds, notably Limosa haemastica, Calidris fuscicollis and C bairdii, occur in the austral 

summer. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Some of the marshes are being drained for pastureland. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter, Luis A. Espinosa and Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: la, 2a & 3a. 



Wetlands in Laguna Parrillar Forest Reserve (48) 

Location: 53°25'S, 71°17'W; 40 km southwest of Punta Arenas, Region XIL 

Area: 7,100 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 900m. 

Province and type: 8.11.2; 10, 12 & 19. 

Site description: A number of freshwater lakes and marshes, fast-flowing rivers and streams, 

and extensive bogs fed by snow melt in a mountainous area by the Straits of Magellan. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of humid Magellanic forest. 

Land tenure: State owned (fiscal). 

Protection: Within the Laguna Parrillar Forest Reserve (20,814 ha) established in 1981. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Los Cisnes Natural Monument and nearby lakes (49) 

Location: 53°14'S, 70°22'W; north of Porvenir, on Tierra del Fuego, Region XII. 

Area: 15,000 ha of wetlands. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 12 & 14. 

Site description: A complex of relatively shallow fresh, brackish and saline lakes and associated 

marshes near the northwest coast of Tierra del Fuego. The area includes Lago los Cisnes and 

Laguna Deseada. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Patagonian steppe with some low scrub. 

Land tenure: The Natural Monument is state owned (Ministry of Education); the remainder is 

privately owned. 

Protection: Lago los Cisnes is included within the Los Cisnes Natural Monument (2,358 ha); 

the remainder of the area is unprotected. 

Land use: Cattle ranching on unprotected and surrounding land. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding and wintering area for large numbers of waterfowl 

including Phoenicopterus chilensis (over 1,500 in July 1976), Cygnus melancoryphus (over 100 

in July 1976), Coscoroba coscoroba (over 100 in July 1976), Chloephaga picta, and several 

species of ducks and shorebirds. The very local Magellanic Plover Pluvianellus socialis is fairly 

common in this area. 

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Chile 



Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

References: Humphrey et al (1970); Jory et al (1974). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter, Luis A. Espinosa and Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: la & 3a. 



Bahia Inutil, Laguna Larga and surroundings (50) 

Location: 53°30'S, 69°20'W; west-central Tierra del Fuego, Region XII. 

Area: 429,000 ha (including terrestrial habitats). 

Altitude: 0-60m. 

Province and type: 8.26.8; 01, 02, 03, 05, 06, 07, 10, 12, 16 & 19. 

Site description: A large sea bay (Bahia Inutil) with sandy beaches, small islands, and several 

small estuaries with intertidal mudflats and salt marshes; and the adjacent steppe with 

numerous fresh and brackish lakes and marshes, fast-flowing rivers and streams, areas of 

seasonally flooded grassland and bogs. The largest lake is Laguna Larga. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of Patagonian steppe. 

Land tenure: Public and/or private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Ranching. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Humphrey et al (1970). 

Source: Roberto Schlatter and Luis A. Espinosa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



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COLOMBIA 



INTRODUCTION 

by Luis G. Naranjo 

Colombia is situated in the extreme northeast of South America. It has a surface area of 
1,141,736 sq.km and a population of 25,614,000. The country borders on the Caribbean Sea 
and the Pacific Ocean, and in both drainages there are many rivers, lagoons, marshes, 
mangrove swamps, estuaries, gulfs and bays providing suitable habitat for numerous species of 
waterfowl. 

The topography of the country is dominated by the northern extremity of the Andes which 
is divided into three main branches, the Ramal Occidental, Cordillera Central and Cordillera 
Oriental. Colombia's four main drainage basins are characterized by their climatic conditions 
and typical plant formations: 

a) The Caribbean watershed (435,000 sq.km) includes the rivers which flow into the 
Caribbean Sea, the chief of which is the Rio Magdalena with its tributaries, the Cauca, 
Cesar, San Jorge, etc. In the lowlands of the Magdalena basin, to the east of the Gulf of 
Uraba, there is an extensive area of lakes and marshes which is perhaps the most important 
wetland system in Colombia from the point of view of waterfowl. The principal wetlands 
in this system are the Cienagas del Magdalena (2,890 sq.km), Cienagas del San Jorge (753 
sq.km), Cienagas del Sinu (345 sq.km) and Cienagas del Cauca (247 sq.km). All the 
wetlands in this system are worthy of special attention, not only because they constitute 
important natural refuges for resident and migratory waterfowl, but also because they 
support one of the richest fish communities in northern South America. The basin of the 
Rio Atrato, in the western Caribbean lowlands, is separated from the basin of the 
Magdalena by the northern end of the western Andes. It is of great biogeographical 
interest in that its humid climate supports tropical rain forest, in contrast to the relatively 
arid conditions on the rest of the Caribbean coast of Colombia. 

b) The Pacific watershed (90,000 sq.km) includes a large number of short rivers with abundant 
flow which generally enter the sea through estuarine systems with mangrove swamps. Some 
of the principal rivers are the San Juan, Patia, Baudo and Mira. Because of its high 
rainfall, this watershed includes some of the richest humid tropical forests in Colombia. 

c) The Amazon watershed (332,000 sq.km) includes the basins of several large tributaries of 
the Amazon, notably the Putumayo, Caqueta and Vaupes. In addition to the main rivers, 
there is an intricate network of small rivers, channels and associated lakes. Much of the 
watershed is poorly known. 

d) The Orinoco watershed (263,000 sq.km) includes several large tributaries of the Orinoco, 
notably the Arauca, Meta and Vichada. It comprises the region known as the Llanos 
Orientales and has large areas of seasonally flooded marshes, permanent swamps, and 
numerous river channels and streams. 

Some geographers recognize a fifth watershed, the basin of the Rio Catatumbo (18,500 sq.km), 
which is usually included in the Caribbean watershed. This system flows into the Gulf of 
Maracaibo in Venezuela and includes the Zulia, Sardinata, Tarra and Tachira rivers. 

In the highlands of Colombia, there are bogs, marshes and oxbow lakes important for 
resident and migratory waterfowl along the upper course of the Rio Cauca, between the Ramal 
Occidental and the Cordillera Central, and similarly along the upper course of the Rio 
Magdalena, between the Cordillera Central and the Cordillera Oriental. Finally, in the high 
Andes, there are many glacial lakes, paramo wetlands and mountain rivers important for a 
variety of waterfowl, many of which are endemic to Colombia. 



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Colombia 

Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

Until the 1960s, conservation was very much an unexplored field in Colombia, and only 
occasional measures had been taken. Research on renewable natural resources was conducted 
primarily by the universities and museums such as, for example, the Universidad Nacional de 
Colombia and its Instituto de Ciencias Naturales in Bogota. At present, the organizations 
dedicated to conservation are as follows: 

Governmental 

The Instituto Nacional de los Recursos Naturales Renovables y del Ambiente (INDERENA), 

created by the Government in 1968 within the Ministerio de Agricultura. INDERENA is 

responsible for controlling the exploitation of renewable natural resources and furthering 

research necessary for the implementation of a conservation policy in accordance with the 

development of the country. The Codigo Nacional de Recursos Naturales Renovables y de 

la Proteccion del Medio Ambiente provides the legislative instrument under which the 

management, exploitation and conservation of wildlife resources, land and water is 

considered. An extensive network of Reserves, National Parks and Faunal and Floral 

Sanctuaries administered by INDERENA gives some legal protection to a total of 

3,958,750 ha of Colombian territory. 

The Corporacion Autonoma Regional del Cauca (CVC). This administers some protected 

areas such as the Laguna de Sonso and Bosque de Yotoco Reserves, and Las Hermosas and 

Los Farallones de Cali National Parks. 

The Corporacion de los Rios Sinu y San Jorge. 

The Corporacion del Golfo de Uraba. 

CAR, which operates in the altiplano of Cundiboyaca. 

Non-governmental 

The Fundacion Merenberg para la conservacion del bosque andino. 

The Fundacion Herencia Verde. 

The Sociedad Vallecaucana de Ornitologia. 

As regards research, during the last two decades governmental organizations such as 
COLCIENCIAS, the Fundacion para la Educacion Superior (FES), and the Instituto Colombiano 
para el Fomento de la Educacion Superior (ICFES), have given considerable financial support 
to research work. However, most of the research has been directed from certain specialized 
universities and institutes. These include the following: 

In Bogota: the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, the Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, the 

Universidad de los Andes, and the Museo del Mar. 

In Cali: the Universidad del Valle and the Instituto Vallecaucano de Investigaciones 

Cientificas (INCIVA). 

In Medellin: the Universidad de Antioquia and the Museo del Colegio San Jose. 

In Cartagena: the Centro de Investigaciones Pesqueras in INDERENA and the Universidad 

Jorge Tadeo Lozano. 

In Santa Marta: the Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas de Punta Betin. 

However, the study of wetlands in Colombia has only been directed towards fishing and 
research related to aquaculture. 



Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

In 1974, the Colombian Government passed a law, the "Codigo Nacional de Recursos Naturales 
Renovables y de la Proteccion del Medio Ambiente", in which regulations were established for 
the use, supply and management of hydrobiological resources including both the wetlands 
themselves and matters relating to fishing activities, aquaculture and mariculture. A further 
law, passed in 1978, introduced regulations for the management, exploitation, conservation and 
preservation of fauna which, although not totally aquatic, is dependent during part of its life 
cycle on aquatic ecosystems. Under this legislation, INDERENA and the autonomous regional 



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Colombia 

corporations concerned with environmental conservation are responsible for, and have the right 
to control, any type of human activity related to wetlands. A law passed in 1977 dealt with 
aspects concerning the establishment of reserves under the Codigo Nacional de Recursos 
Naturales. 

Within the national system of parks and reserves, wetlands are represented in the following: 

National Parks (Parques Nacionales Naturales) 

El Tuparro (548,000 ha); swamps, marshes, seasonally flooded plains, channels and 

rivers in the llanos. 

El Cocuy (306,000 ha); high Andean lakes and torrents. 

Amacayacu (170,000 ha); floodplains, channels and rivers in the Amazon drainage. 

Sumapaz (154,000 ha); high Andean lakes and torrents. 

Los Farallones de Call (150,000 ha); Andean torrents. 

Las Hermosas (125,000 ha); high Andean lakes and torrents. 

Sanquianga (89,000 ha); floodplains, brackish channels and mangrove swamps. 

Purace (83,000 ha); high Andean lakes and torrents. 

Los Katios (72,000 ha); coastal waters, mangrove swamps, rivers and forest lakes. 

Chingaza (50,000 ha); high Andean lakes and torrents. 

Los Nevados (38,000 ha); high Andean lakes and torrents. 

Isla de Salamanca (21,000 ha); sea coasts, brackish lagoons, mangrove swamps and 

hypersaline pools. 

Tayrona (15,000 ha); small rivers, shallow bays and rocky coasts. 
Faunal and Floral Sanctuaries (Santuarios de Fauna y Flora) 

Arauca (90,000 ha); seasonally flooded plains, rivers, channels, swamps and oxbow lakes 

on the llanos. 

Cienaga Grande de Santa Mart a (23,000 ha); freshwater lakes, swamps and flooded 

forest. 
Faunal Sanctuaries (Santuarios de Fauna) 

Los Flamencos (7,000 ha); brackish lagoons, shallow brackish marshes and coastal 

lagoons connected with the Caribbean. 
Nature Reserves (Reservas Naturales) 

Laguna de Sonso (2,000 ha); a lake adjacent to the Rio Cauca, and adjoining oxbow 

lakes. 

Although there are many protected areas which are important for waterfowl, only three, Isla de 
Salamanca, Los Flamencos and Laguna de Sonso, were created especially for the conservation 
of their avifauna. The funds allocated by the Government for maintaining and wardening the 
National Parks, Reserves and Sanctuaries are small, and therefore the accomplishments in terms 
of conservation are more theoretical than practical. The policy of expansion in agriculture and 
ranching in Colombia in the last two decades has affected some areas formerly of importance 
for waterfowl. In general, priorities for land-use conflict with the Codigo Nacional de 
Recursos Naturales Renovables y de la Proteccion del Medio Ambiente. This law establishes 
that a major obligation in any development is to conduct environmental impact studies to 
determine to what extent a land-use project is harmful or beneficial. 

Since the beginning of the last decade, a considerable amount of research has been 
conducted on the limnology and fisheries potential of various important wetlands. The 
INDERENA/FAO programme for the development of the continental fishery in Colombia, the 
Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Bogota and Cartagena, and the Instituto de Investigaciones 
Marinas de Punta de Betin have accumulated a large number of unpublished reports which 
would be useful in the development of a strategy for the management and conservation of 
wetlands. 

Research on waterfowl, however, has long been neglected in Colombia, and only in recent 
years have any serious projects been undertaken. These include studies of the following: 

a) The feeding ecology of shorebirds (Charadriidae and Scolopacidae) in the Bay of 
Buenaventura (J. W. Beltran, Universidad del Valle). 

b) Waterfowl use of the Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta (J. E. Botero, University of 
Wisconsin). 



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Colombia 

c) The chronological distribution and habitat utilization of shorebirds (Charadriidae and 
Scolopacidae) in the Bay of Buenaventura (R. Franke, Universidad del Valle). 

d) The taxonomy, zoogeography and ecology of the sea-birds of the Caribbean coast of 
Colombia (L. G. Naranjo, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano). 

e) The natural history of the Horned Screamer Anhima cornuta (L. G. Naranjo, Universidad 
del Valle). 

f) The ecology and behaviour of the Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana in the Cauca Valley (R. 
Velosa, Universidad del Valle). 

In addition, a number of articles and publications have appeared concerning particular species 
of waterfowl or the bird communities at particular wetlands. 



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Colombia 



COLOMBIA 



2 J. 




200 400 

_J I 



Km 



■136- 



Colombia 



WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on data sheets provided by Luis German Naranjo and Jorge E. Botero, 
with contributions from German L Andrade, Juan G. Arango, Elisabeth Buttkus, Jon Fjeldsa, 
Carolina Murcia and Marco A. Serna. 



Bahia Hondita (1) 

Location: 12''25'N, 71M3'W; 100 km NNE of Uribia, Guajira Department. 

Area: 4,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 01. 

Site description: A shallow inlet, up to 2m deep, of Bahia Honda, with little tidal variation. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of semi-arid scrub (matorral). 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but INDERENA is responsible for controlling hunting and 

fishing. 

Land use: Exploitation of salt, and fishing. 

Waterfowl: An important area for Phoenicopterus ruber; several hundred occur each year, and 

the species is reported to have nested. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: There is a considerable amount of disturbance from human activities in the area. 

References: Serna (1984). 

Source: Luis German Naranjo. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb. 



Bahia Portete (2) 

Location: 12°13'N, TTSS'W; 60 km NNE of Uribia, Guajira Department. 

Area: 15,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 01, 05, 06 & 08. 

Site description: A shallow sea bay with little tidal fluctuation, almost closed off from the open 

sea by a sand barrier. The salinity is high (40 p.p.t.), and there are some tidal mudflats and 

small patches of mangroves. The bay is the most important mangrove/mudflat system on the 

Guajira Peninsula. 

Principal vegetation: Mangroves dominated by Rhizophora mangle, with some Avicennia 

germinans. In a region of semi-arid scrub (matorral). 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: Supposedly protected by INDERENA. 

Land use: Exploitation of salt, and coal mining. Docks are currently being built to facilitate 

the transportation of the coal. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of waterfowl has been recorded including Pelecanus occidentalis, 

Egretta rufescens. Euxenura maguari, Eudocimus ruber (common), E. albus (scarce), Ajaia 

ajaja, Himantopus himantopus and many Nearctic shorebirds. The area is particularly 

important for Phoenicopterus ruber which occurs regularly as a non-breeding visitor, and may 

have nested. 

Other fauna: Conirostrum bicolor and Dendroica petechia occur in the mangroves, and Pandion 

haliaetus is a regular winter visitor. 

Threats: Disturbance from shipping, particularly in the transportation of coal, and some 

associated contamination of shallow water areas. 

Research and conservation: Serna has documented the avifauna of the area, and environmental 

impact studies have recently been carried out in relation to the construction of docks for the 

coal industry, but the results of these have not as yet been published. 



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Colombia 

References: Serna (1984). 
Source: Luis German Naranjo. 
Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3a. 



Salinas de San Juan and Cienaga de San Agustin (3) 

Location: 11°45'N, 72°30'W; 50 km ENE of Riohacha, Guajira Department. 

Area: c. 11,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 05, 06, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A coastal zone stretching for some 20 km, with a narrow strip of intertidal 

sand and mud-flats, a low sandy beach ridge, and a chain of shallow saline lagoons with 

mangrove swamps. Approximately 4,000 ha of low-lying salt flats periodically inundated by 

high tides were converted into salt pans for salt extraction in the early 1970s. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa 

and Rhizophora mangle; saline marshes with Sporobolus virginianus and Batis maritima; and 

offshore beds of Thalassia sp and Diplanthera sp. In a region of semi-arid woodland 

with Prosopis sp. Acacia sp and various Cactaceae. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership; all but 100 ha of the Nature Sanctuary 

is state owned. 

Protection: 7,000 ha of coastal lagoons and marshes are included ivithin Los Flamencos Faunal 

Sanctuary, established in 1977. 

Land use: Exploitation of salt and fishing. There is some traditional fishing in the Nature 

Sanctuary, but otherwise the area is very little disturbed. 

Waterfowl: Phoenicopterus ruber occurs throughout the year as a non-breeding visitor, andup 

to 1,300 have been recorded. In June 1974, Sprunt observed large numbers of Pelecanus 

occidentalis, Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Egretta tricolor, E. thula, Eudocimus albus, shorebirds and 

Laridae, along with 100 Egretta rufescens (probably breeding in the mangroves), 100 Mycteria 

americana and 200-250 Ajaia ajaja. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: Very little research seems to have been conducted in this important 

area. 

References: Sprunt (1976); lUCN (1982); Serna (1984). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3a. 



Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta (4) 

Location: 10''44'-ir00'N, 74°15'-74°3rW; east of Barranquilla, Magdalena Department. 

Area: 50,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-20m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 02, 07, 08, 09, 12 & 18. 

Site description: A complex of wetland habitats near the mouth of the Rio Magdalena, 

including large shallow brackish to saline lagoons and mangrove swamps near the coast, and 

extensive freshwater lakes, marshes and swamp forest flooded by the Rio Magdalena further 

inland. The lagoons are up to 3m deep, but water levels fluctuate seasonally by up to 60 cm, 

and during the dry season, large portions of the marshes dry out. Salinities range from as high 

as 45 p.p.t. near the coast to fresh in the south. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans. Laguncularia racemosa 

and Rhizophora mangle; fresh to brackish marshes with Nymphaea sp, Eichhorniasp, Typha sp 

and various Cyperaceae; and swamp forest with Erythrina fusca. In a region of semi-arid 

tropical woodland. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 95% of the Sanctuary is state owned. 



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Protection: 23,000 ha of the wetland are included within a National Park and Sanctuary, the 
"Parque Nacional Natural y Santuario Faunistico Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta", established 
in 1977. Elsewhere, there are restrictions on hunting, fishing and the exploitation of timber. 
Land use: Intensive traditional fishing, particularly for oysters and shrimps; sport and 
subsistence hunting; exploitation of mangroves for timber; navigation; and recreation. 
Agriculture and cattle ranching in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: The most important wetland area for waterfowl on the Caribbean coast of 
Colombia, with large concentrations of both resident breeding species and Nearctic migrants. 
There are important breeding populations of Phalacrocorax olivaceus, a variety of Ardeidae 
and Threskiornithidae, Chauna chavaria and Anatidae {Dendrocygna bicolor, D. autumnalis, D. 
viduata. Anas bahamensis, Cairina moschata and probably Oxyura dominica). Phoenicopterus 
ruber is a regular non-breeding visitor in groups of up to several hundred. The area is 
particularly important for its large concentrations of wintering Anatidae. Up to 25,000 ducks 
have been observed at one time; the peak counts of the commonest species have been 20,000 
Anas discors, 4,000 A. americana, 2,000 A. clypeata and 1,000 Aythya af finis. The rare Netta 
erythrophthalma erythrophthalma has been recorded on several occasions in recent yeais, 
and Sarkidiornis melanotos has occurred. Many Nearctic shorebirds and Laridae occur as 
non-breeding visitors, but no census data are available. 

Other fauna: The Osprey Pandion haliaetus is a regular non-breeding visitor. There is a very 
diverse fish fauna, and there are significant populations of Caiman crocodilus fuscus, 
Crocodylus acutus and the manatee Trichechus manatus. 

Threats: Drainage in surrounding areas, canalization of river channels, blocking off of springs, 
water pollution, and increased sedimentation as a result of watershed degradation, have all had 
detrimental effects on the morphology and hydrology of the system, and pose a serious threat 
to the entire region. The breeding colonies of Ardeidae and Threskiornithidae have been 
heavily persecuted by people collecting eggs and young birds, and there was no breeding from 
1978 to 1980. 

Research and conservation: Several studies have been made on the fauna and flora of the 
Cienaga, notably by Botero in 1979 and 1980; and there have been numerous projects by 
INVEMAR and INDERENA on the fisheries and aquaculture. 
References: Naranjo (1979b); Botero (1982 & 1983); lUCN (1982). 
Source: Jorge E. Botero and Luis German Naranjo. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Isia de Salamanca National Park (5) 

Location: 10°57'-ir06'N, 74°22'-74°58'W; east of Barranquilla, Magdalena Department. 

Area: 21,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-8m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 05, 06, 07 & 08. 

Site description: Isla de Salamanca is a long narrow coastal barrier island separating the 

Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta from the sea, and with the mouth of the Rio Magdalena to the 

west. There are long sandy beaches and sand dunes, and a series of shallow brackish lagoons 

and mangrove swamps connected to the sea by channels at high tide. Water levels in the 

lagoons fall during the dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa. 

Conocarpus erectus and Rhizophora mangle; saline marshes with Sesuvium portulacastrum 

and Batis maritima; brackish marshes with Typha domingensis; and some Erythrina fusca. In a 

region of semi-arid tropical woodland with Acacia farnesiana, Prosopis juliflora and Libidivia 

coriaria. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: The island constitutes the "Parque Nacional Natural Isla de Salamanca", established 

in 1977. Wardening and management are however reported to be inadequate. 

Land use: Traditional fishing, recreation, and navigation in the surrounding waters. 

Waterfowl: Similar to that of the Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta, with large numbers of 

breeding and wintering Ardeidae, Threskiornithidae, Anatidae, shorebirds and Laridae. 

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Other fauna: Over 170 species of birds have been recorded on the island. There is a great 

diversity of fishes, amphibians and reptiles, and the manatee Trichechus manatus occurs. 

Threats: The construction of a road along the island has caused changes in salinity in some of 

the lagoons and this has resulted in the death of large areas of mangroves. Automobile traffic 

causes constant disturbance, and high tension power lines through the park cause considerable 

bird mortality. Pollution from domestic sewage and industrial waste is a serious problem in the 

Rio Magdalena. The illegal hunting of sea turtles and iguanas, and the collection of birds' eggs 

and chicks for human consumption also cause problems. 

Research and conservation: Several faunal and floral surveys have been conducted in the park, 

and the avifauna is particularly well known. Unfortunately, enforcement of the Park 

regulations is very poor. 

References: Toro et al (1975); Franky & Rodriguez (1977); Naranjo (1979a, 1979b & 1981); 

lUCN (1982). 

Source: Luis German Naranjo. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Clenaga del Totumo (6) 

Location: 10°45'N, 75°14'W; 45 km northeast of Cartagena, Atlantico Department. 

Area: 2,100 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 07. 

Site description: A shallow brackish coastal lagoon, up to 1.2m deep, connecting with the sea 

through a channel, the Cano Amansaguapos. A dam and sluice have been constructed across 

the channel and water flow is controlled. The salinity of the lagoon has decreased since the 

construction of the dam, and the water is now almost fresh. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of dry tropical woodland with Crescentia cujete. Acacia 

farnesiana, Libidivia coriaria, Prosopis juli flora, Bombacopsis quinata and Lecythis minor. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Traditional fishing, extraction of salt, and occasional hunting; cattle ranching and 

agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: An important lagoon for both resident and migrant species, particularly fish-eating 

birds and Laridae. Residents include Pelecanus occidentalis, Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Anhinga 

anhinga, Egretta caerulea, E. tricolor, Dendrocygna autumnalis, Charadrius wilsonius and C. 

collaris. Nearctic migrants include Butorides virescens, Ardea herodias. Anas discors, twelve 

species of shorebirds and several gulls and terns Laridae. 

Other fauna: The area is rich in birds of prey and Psittacidae. Reptiles include Caiman 

crocodilus, Crocodylus acutus, Chrysemys scripta. Iguana iguana and Pseudoboa newiedii. 

Threats: The decreasing salinity of the lagoon is presumably affecting fish populations, and 

pollution from pesticide run-off is likely to cause problems in the future. 

Research and conservation: A preliminary limnological investigation was made by Mercado; 

and avifaunal studies were conducted by Naranjo between 1977 and 1979. The lagoon merits 

protection as an important wintering area for migratory waterfowl. 

References: Mercado (1971). 

Source: Luis German Naranjo. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Clenaga de Guajaro (7) 

Location: 10°30'N, 75°08'W; 45 km east of Cartagena, Atlantico Department. 

Area: 15,000 ha. 

Altitude: 9m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 15, 16 & 17. 



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Site description: A complex of thirteen shallow interconnecting freshwater lakes and associated 

marshes behind the dam of the Canal del Dique; with adjacent seasonally inundated grassland 

and rice-growing areas. The principal lakes are Guajaro, Bonanza, Cabildo, Celosa, Playon del 

Hacha and Puerco. Water levels fluctuate according to the level in the Rio Magdalena, and 

reach a maximum of 4.5m. 

Principal vegetation: Lakes and marshes with Eichhornia crassipes and species of Eleocharis, 

Pistia and Typha; gallery forest with Cecropia and Aeschynomene spp; and dry tropical 

woodland with Prosopis juli flora. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: No habitat protection; INDERENA controls the fishing and hunting. 

Land use: Traditional fishing, subsistence hunting, occasional sport hunting, and navigation; 

with rice-growing, other agriculture and cattle ranching in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: An important area for species typical of the cienagas of northern Colombia, notably 

species of Podicipedidae, Ardeidae, Ciconiidae, Threskiornithidae, Anatidae and Rallidae (see 

Cienaga de Zapatosa (14)). 

Other fauna: The manatee Trichechus manatus has been recorded. 

Threats: Pollution in the Rio Magdalena and Canal del Dique, and pesticide run-off from 

adjacent agricultural land are the main threats. 

Research and conservation: INDERENA and FAO have carried out several limnological and 

fisheries investigations in the area. 

References: Ducharme (1975). 

Source: Luis German Naranjo. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Cienaga de la Virgen (8) 

Location: 10°27'N, 75°30'W; north of Cartagena, Bolivar Department. 

Area: 2,250 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A shallow brackish coastal lagoon, averaging 1.5m deep, with some mangrove 

swamps; in communication with the sea through several channels, and fed by freshwater 

streams. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, 

Conocarpus erectus, Pelliciera rhizophorae and Rhizophora mangle; dry tropical woodland in 

surrounding areas with Prosopis juli flora. Acacia farnesiana and Libidivia coriaria. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but there are regulations concerning fishing and some 

pollution control. 

Land use: Commercial and traditional fishing. The city of Cartagena almost surrounds the 

lagoon, and there are various industries sited on its shores; elsewhere there is some cattle 

ranching, agriculture and tourist recreation. 

Waterfowl: An important lagoon for breeding, passage and wintering species. Residents 

include Pelecanus occidentalis, Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Anhinga anhinga, Nyctanassa violacea, 

Egretta caerulea, E. tricolor, E. rufescens, Eudocimus albus, Dendrocygna autumnalis 

and Himantopus himantopus; South American migrants include Charadrius collaris, Phaetusa 

simplex and Rynchops niger; and Nearctic migrants include Anas discors, nineteen species of 

shorebirds, and eight species of Laridae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The main threat is pollution from Cartagena city, including thermal pollution and 

contamination with hydrocarbons, heavy metals and domestic sewage. Mangroves are being cut 

down and parts of the wetland are being filled in. Tourist recreation and hunting cause 

excessive disturbance. 

Research and conservation: The Marine Museum and Faculty of Marine Biology at the Jorge 

Tadeo Lozano University in Bogota have accumulated a great deal of information on various 

aspects of the lagoon including the pollution problem, and much of this has been written up in 

several University dissertations. The bird fauna of the lake has been well documented by 

Naranjo. 

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References: Mercado (1968); Naranjo (1979b). 
Source: Luis German Naranjo. 
Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



I Bahia de Cartagena (9) 

Location: 10°20'N, 75°33'W; south of Cartagena, Bolivar Department. 

Area: 12,000 ha. 

Altitude: Cm. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 01, 02, 03, 05, 06, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A large sea bay with several small islands, and the mouth of the Canal del 

Dique; wetland habitats include shallow inshore waters, intertidal mudflats, sandy beaches, 

brackish to saline coastal lagoons, and mangroves swamps. Tidal variation in the bay is less 

than one metre. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemose 

and Rhizophora mangle; woodland with Bombacopsis quinata. Lecythis minor and Astronium 

graveolens. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: The city of Cartagena, the Mamonal Industrial Estate and various oil installations 

border on parts of the bay; and there is tourist recreation and traditional fishing elsewhere. 

Waterfowl: Important for breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl. Residents 

include Pelecanus occidentalis. Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Nyctanassa violacea, Egretta caerulea. 

E. tricolor, E. rufescens. Charadrius wilsonius and Himantopus himantopus. Nearctic migrants 

include Ardea herodias, seventeen species of shorebirds, Larus atricilla and seven species of 

terns Chlidonias, Hydroprogne and Sterna. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The principal threat is pollution including thermal pollution and contamination with 

chemicals, heavy metals, domestic sewage and rubbish. Tourist recreation causes excessive 

disturbance. 

Research and conservation: The Marine Museum and Faculty of Marine Biology at the Jorge 

Tadeo Lozano University in Bogota have conducted oceanographic and biological studies in the 

bay. 

References: Naranjo (1979b). 

Source: Luis G. Naranjo and Elisabeth Buttkus. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Corales del Rosario National Park (10) 

Location: 10°10'N, 75°45'W; off the Caribbean coast of Cartagena Municipality, Bolivar 

Department. 

Area: 18,700 ha (mainly marine). 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 01, 03 & 08. 

Site description: A marine park including part of Isla de Baru and the waters around the 

Archipelago del Rosario. The only terrestrial part of the Park is along the western edge of Isla 

de Baru, where there are mangrove swamps. The Park contains the most important coral 

platform area in Colombian waters. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans and Laguncularia racemosa. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Constitutes the Corales del Rosario National Park (18,700 ha) established in 1977. 

Land use: Tourism, water sports and sport fishing. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for Pelecanus occidentalis (one of only four breeding 

sites on the Caribbean coast of Colombia), and Fregata magnificens. 

Other fauna: Very rich coral reefs, with 60 species of coral and a diverse associated fauna. 



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Threats: Disturbance from tourist recreation, particularly the use of power boats, and illegal 

fishing. Some of the islands are being developed for tourism. 

Research and conservation: A considerable amount of research in marine biology has been 

conducted in the Park. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Cienaga de Lorlca (11) 

Location: 9°10'N, 75°43'W; east of Lorica, Cordoba Department. 

Area: 1 1 ,800 ha. 

Altitude: 23m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 12 & 16. 

Site description: A complex of permanent freshwater lakes and marshes, and seasonally 

inundated plains along the Rio Sinu. The level in the Rio Sinu fluctuates seasonally by 4.5m. 

Principal vegetation: Lakes and marshes with Eichhornia crassipes and species of Eleocharis, 

Pistia and Typha; gallery forest with Cecropia and Aeschynomene spp; and dry tropical 

woodland with Prosopis juli flora. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: No habitat protection; the Corporacion Autonoma Regional de los Rios Sinu y San 

Jorge controls fishing, and hunting is prohibited. 

Land use: Traditional fishing, navigation, and illegal sport and subsistence hunting. Cattle 

ranching and agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: The most important wetland system in the Rio Sinu watershed, with large 

populations of waterfowl typical of the cienagas of northern Colombia (see Cienaga de 

Zapatosa (14)). The very local Laterallus albigularis cerdaleus occurs. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: There is some pollution from pesticide run-off, and a considerable amount of illegal 

hunting. 

References: Ducharme (1975). 

Source: Luis German Naranjo. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Golfo de Uraba (12) 

Location: 7°55'-8°40'N, 76M4'-77°20'W; between Acandi and Turbo, Departments of 

Antioquia and Choco. 

Area: c.200,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.3.1; 01, 02, 06, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A large sea bay on the Caribbean coast fed by several important rivers with 

extensive estuarine marshes, intertidal mudflats and mangrove swamps. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive mangrove swamps. In a region of humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: No habitat protection. INDERENA and the Corporacion Autonoma de Uraba are 

responsible for protecting the fauna and flora of the region. 

Land use: Traditional fishing and navigation. Exploitation of timber, cattle ranching and 

agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for a wide variety of waterfowl, including several species 

which are rare elsewhere in Colombia. The area is particularly rich in Nearctic migrants, with 

large numbers of wintering Ardeidae, Anatidae, shorebirds and Laridae. No census data are 

however available. 

Other fauna: No information. 



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Threats: Urban expansion and increasing settlement along the rivers, pollution from domestic 
sewage, and forest clearance. 
Source: Luis German Naranjo. 
Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Cienaga de Chilloa (13) 

Location: 9°10'N, 74°04'W; 15 km northwest of El Banco, Magdalena Department. 

Area: 20,000 ha. 

Altitude: 25m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 12, 16 & 17. 

Site description: A large permanent freshwater lake and marshes fed by the Rio Magdalena, 

with surrounding areas of seasonally inundated grassland and arable land. The water level 

fluctuates with that of the Rio Magdalena, which varies in depth from 4 to 7.3m. 

Principal vegetation: Lake and marshes with Eichhornia crassipes, Pistia stratiotes and species 

of Eleocharis and Typha. In a region of dry tropical woodland. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: No habitat protection. INDERENA controls hunting and fishing activities. 

Land use: Traditional fishing, sport and subsistence hunting, and navigation; cattle ranching 

and agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: An important area for waterfowl, with a species composition similar to that of the 

nearby Cienaga de Zapatosa (14). 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Pollution in the Rio Magdalena, pesticide run-off from adjacent agricultural land, and 

inadequate control of hunting. 

Research and conservation: The lake does not appear to have been studied in any detail. 

Source: Luis German Naranjo. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Cienaga de Zapatosa and nearby lakes (14) 

Location: 9''05'N, 73°50'W; between El Banco, Chimichagua and Tamalameque, Magdalena 

Department. 

Area: 34,000 ha. 

Altitude: 30m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 12, 16 & 17. 

Site description: A vast complex of freshwater lakes and marshes along the Rio Cesar near its 

confluence with the Rio Magdalena; and adjacent areas of seasonally inundated grassy plains 

and agricultural land. 

Principal vegetation: Lakes and marshes with Eichhornia crassipes and species of Eleocharis, 

Pistia and Typha; gallery forest with Cecropia and Aeschynomene;zn(i dry tropical woodland 

with Prosopis juli flora etc. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: No habitat protection. INDERENA controls the fishing and is responsible for 

prohibiting hunting. 

Land use: Traditional fishing, illegal sport and subsistence hunting, and navigation; cattle 

ranching and agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: The Zapatosa complex is the principal wetland area in the lacustrine system of the 

middle Rio Magdalena, and supports important populations of many resident and migratory 

waterfowl. Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Bubulcus ibis, Egrelta Ihula, E. alba and Ardea cocoi are 

particularly abundant. Other resident breeding species include Podiceps dominicus, Anhinga 

anhinga, Botaurus pinnatus. Ixobrychus involucris. Tigrisoma spp, Pilherodius pileatus, Egrelta 



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caerulea, Mycteria americana, Jabiru mycteria, Theristicus caudatus, Phimosus infuscatus, 
Eudocimus albus, Ajaia ajaja, Chauna chavaria, all three Dendrocygna species, Sarkidiornis 
melanotos, Cairina moschata, Oxyura dominica, Aramus guarauna, seven species of 
Rallidae, Jacana jacana, Himantopus himantopus, Phaetusa simplex and Rynchops 
niger. Vanellus chilensis and Burhinus bistriatus are common on the surrounding plains. 
Common Nearctic migrants include Ardea herodias. Anas discors, A. cyanoptera, Tringa 
solitaria, T. melanoleuca, T. flavipes, Actitis macularia. Larus atricilla, and Chlidonias nigra. 
Other fauna: Birds of prey are common, and include Cathartes burrovianus, Pandion haliaetus 
and Rostrhamus sociabilis. Odocoileus virginianus and Alouatta seniculus occur in the 
surrounding woodland. 

Threats: Pollution in the Rio Magdalena and its tributaries affects the area, and there is some 
run-off of pesticides from adjacent agricultural land. Forest clearance continues, and hunting 
is uncontrolled. 

Research and conservation: Together with the cienagas of the lower Rio Magdalena and the 
lacustrine systems of the Sinu and San Jorge rivers, the Zapatosa complex constitutes the most 
important wetland area in northern Colombia. However, the area remains unprotected and 
very poorly known. 
References: Ducharme (1975). 
Source: Luis German Naranjo. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Cienaga de Ayapel (15) 

Location: 8°19'N, 75°05'W; east of Ayapel, Cordoba Department. 

Area: 12,800 ha. 

Altitude: 55m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 12. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake and marshes by the Rio San Jorge. 

Principal vegetation: Similar to that of Cienaga de Zapatosa (14). 

Land tenure: Largely privately owned, with some state owned. 

Protection: No habitat protection. The Corporacion Autonoma de los Valles del Sinu y San 

Jorge is responsible for controlling the fishing and prohibiting hunting. 

Land use: Traditional fishing, illegal sport and susbsistence hunting, navigation and recreation; 

cattle ranching and agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: No avifaunal surveys have been conducted, but according to local reports, an 

important area for waterfowl, comparable to the other main cienagas in the region (e.g. 

Cienaga de Zapatosa). 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Fish populations have declined as a result of overfishing, and hunting is totally 

uncontrolled. 

Research and conservation: INDERENA has conducted some limnological investigations. 

References: Ducharme (1975). 

Source: Jorge E. Botero and Luis German Naranjo. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



The lower Rio Atrato and Los Ratios National Park (16) 

Location: 6°50'-8°05'N, 76°45'-77°13'W; the lower Rio Atrato basin from the region of 

Opogodo to near its mouth on the Golfo de Uraba, Departments of Choco and Antioquia. 

Area: c.670,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-1 50m. 

Province and type: 8.3.1; 09, 11, 12 & 18. 

Site description: A vast complex of freshwater lakes and marshes with surrounding swamp 

forest and seasonally flooded forest along the lower course of the Rio .Atrato. The Cienaga de 



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Tumarado is one of the principal lakes in the area. Flooding occurs during the rainy season 

from April to November. 

Principal vegetation: Lakes with extensive areas of Eichhornia azurea, Pislia stratiotes 

and Linocharis flava; marshes with Montrichardia arborescens and Polygonum acuminatum; and 

swamp forest with species of Raphia, Erythrina, Pachira, Prioria. Ficus and Heliconia. In a 

region of very humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: The small part within Los Katios National Park is state owned. The ownership of 

the remainder is unknown. 

Protection: Approximately 27,000 ha of wetlands including Cienaga de Tumarado are within 

Los Katios National Park (72,000 ha), established in 1973. The remainder is unprotected. 

Land use: Traditional fishing and exploitation of timber; some cattle ranching and agriculture 

in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: Fifty-seven species of waterfowl have been listed for Los Katios National Park by 

Rodriguez, including several which are rare elsewhere in Colombia such as Amaurolimnas 

concolor, Heliornis fulica and Eurypyga helias. Other noteworthy species include Pilherodius 

pileatus. Cochlearius cochlearius. Agamic agami, Mesembrinibis cayennensis, Ajaia ajaja. 

Chauna chavaria, Cairina moschata and eleven species of Nearctic shorebirds. The area as a 

whole is undoubtedly of very great importance for waterfowl, particularly as much remains 

remote and relatively undisturbed. 

Other fauna: About 400 bird species have been recorded in the National Park, including a 

variety of birds of prey dependent on wetlands, and all five South American kingfishers 

Alcedinidae. Caiman crocodilus, an otter Lutra sp, and Baird's Tapir Tapirus bairdii occur in 

the Park, and presumably elsewhere in the region. 

Threats: No information. 

Research and conservation: A variety of faunal and floral investigations have been conducted 

in the National Park, and the birds have been well documented by Rodriguez, but little seems 

to be known about the large tracts of wetland outside the Park. 

References: lUCN (1982); Rodriguez (1982). 

Source: Luis German Naranjo. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Wetlands in Arauca Faunal and Floral Sanctuary (17) 

Location: 6°36'-6°53'N, 7r05'-7r25'W; in the eastern llanos of Colombia, Arauca Intendencia. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown (Sanctuary 90,000 ha). 

Altitude: 150m. 

Province and type: 8.27.10; 09, 11, 16 & 17. 

Site description: A large area of seasonally inundated grassland, savanna and agricultural land 

along the Rio Arauca and its tributaries. The plains dry out during the dry season, but there 

are some permanent marshes along the main water courses. 

Principal vegetation: Swamps with groves of Mauritia flexuosa; gallery forest and riverine 

thickets with Ficus insipida, Bombacopsis quinatum, Ceiba pentandra, Tabebuia sp and clumps 

of the bamboo Guadua angustifolia. 

Land tenure: 70% state owned and 30% privately owned. 

Protection: Within the Santuario de Fauna y Flora Arauca (90,000 ha) established in 1977. 

Land use: Subsistence hunting and fishing, some illegal sport hunting, cattle ranching and 

agriculture. 

Waterfowl: An important area for waterfowl typical of the llanos of eastern Colombia and the 

Orinoco basin of Venezuela. The families Ardeidae, Ciconiidae, Threskiornithidae, 

Anhimidae, Anatidae and Rallidae are well represented, and specialities include Euxenura 

maguari, Eudocimus ruber, Neochen Jubata and Amazonetta brasiliensis. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Lutra enudris, Pteronura 

brasiliensis, Tapirus terrestris and Odocoileus virginianus; and reptiles include Caiman 

crocodilus and Crocodylus intermedius. 

Threats: Continuing colonization and an associated increase in agriculture and illegal hunting. 

It is reported that wardening and management of the Sanctuary are inadequate. 



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References: lUCN (1982). 
Source: Luis German Naranjo. 
Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Wetlands in El Tuparro National Park (18) 

Location: 5°00'-5°34'N, 67°52'-69°10'W; in the eastern llanos between Rio Tomo and Rio 

Tuparro, Vichada Comisario. 

Area: c.470,000 ha. 

Altitude: 125m. 

Province and type: 8.27.10; 09, 11, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A vast alluvial plain between the Tomo and Tuparro rivers, bounded in the 

east by the Orinoco River, along the Venezuelan border. Wetland habitats include 

slow-flowing rivers with associated riverine marshes and riverine forest, and large tracts of 

seasonally flooded grassland and palm savanna. 85% of the National Park is subject to seasonal 

flooding. 

Principal vegetation: Seasonally flooded grassland with species of Paspalum, Stipa 

and Andropogon, and groves of the palm Mauritia flexuosa. 

Land tenure: Almost entirely state owned, with some small private holdings. 

Protection: Within the El Tuparro National Park (548,000 ha), established as a "Territorio 

Faunistico" in 1970, and upgraded to a "Parque Nacional Natural" in 1980. 

Land use: Almost none. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: Reptiles include Caiman crocodilus, Crocodylus intermedins, Eunectes murinus2ind 

a variety of freshwater turtles; mammals include Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and Pteronura 

brasiliensis. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: Some faunal and floral investigations have been conducted in the 

Park. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Wetlands in Amacayacu National Park (19) 

Location: 3°02'-3°47'S, 69°59'-70°25'W; in extreme southeastern Colombia, northwest of 

Leticia, Amazonas Department. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown (Park 170,000 ha). 

Altitude: 100m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 11 & 18. 

Site description: Alluvial plains along the Amazon, Amacayacu and Cotuhe rivers, on the 

Peruvian border. Wetland habitats include slow-flowing rivers and associated oxbow lakes and 

marshes, forest streams, swamp forest and seasonally flooded forest. 

Principal vegetation: Oxbow lakes and marshes with Pseudobombax munguba and floating beds 

of Victoria amazonica, Eichhornia sp and Pistia sp; groves of Mauritia palms,and swamp forest 

with Calycophyllum spruceanum, Ficus insipida and Ogodeia sp. In a region of relatively 

undisturbed humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: Almost entirely state owned, with some small private holdings. 

Protection: Within the Amacayacu National Park (170,000 ha) established in 1975. 

Land use: Some settlement and primitive cultivation along the river banks by indigenous 

groups; subsistence hunting and fishing. 

Waterfowl: A variety of species typical of western Amazonia were observed during a brief 

survey in September 1976, including Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Pilherodius pileatus, Butorides 



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striatus, Egretta alba, Ardea cocoi, Anhima cornuta, Jacana jacana, Charadrius collaris, 

Phaetusa simplex. Sterna superciliaris and Rynchops niger. 

Other fauna: Birds of prey observed in September 1976 included Pandion haliaetus, Leptodon 

cayanensis and Busarellus nigricollis. Mammals recorded for the Park include the 

manatee Trichechus inunguis and an otter Lutra sp; reptiles include Melanosuchus niger 

and Eunectes murinus gigas. 

Threats: Colonization along the river banks, and ensuing destruction of riverine habitat and 

increased persecution of wildlife. 

Research and conservation: The wetland habitats of Amacayacu National Park probably do not 

differ significantly from those of comparable areas in much of western Amazonia. The area is 

however still relatively undisturbed, and must rank as a good example of this complex of 

wetland communities, particularly at the National level. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Lake Tota (20) 

Location: 5°32'N, 72°56'W; 45 km east of Tunja, Boyaca Department. 

Area: 5,620 ha. 

Altitude: 3,015m. 

Province and type: 8.34.12; 12 & 16. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater Andean lake, up to 67m deep, with fringing marshes, 

wet meadows and arable land. The level of the lake has been lowered, and much of the 

original marsh vegetation converted into meadows. 

Principal vegetation: Large beds of submergent Elodea sp, and floating Myriophyllum 

brasiliense, Azolla filiculoides. Lemna minor and Ricciocarpus sp; marshes in shallow bays 

with Typha latifolia, Scirpus californicus and some Cortaderia sp; and bogs with Hydrocotyle 

ranunculoides. Polygonum punctatum, Rumex sp and Juncus sp. The surrounding land is largely 

under cultivation, with some Eucalyptus and conifer plantations, and patches of the native 

humid montane forest. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Trout fishing; tourist recreation including sailing and water skiing; cutting of reeds 

for thatching and mattress making; and utilization of water for irrigation and domestic 

consumption by 22,000 people in the surrounding villages. There are several hotels on the lake 

shore. 

Waterfowl: One of the most important lakes for waterfowl in the Colombian Andes, still 

supporting healthy populations of most of the endemic species and subspecies of the region. 

The Colombian Grebe Podiceps (nigricollis) andinus appears however to be extinct. This 

grebe was abundant when first collected in 1945, and was subsequently found on several lakes 

in the Bogota Savanna. However, by the late 1950s it was restricted to Lake Tota, and by 1968 

the population was down to 300 birds. There are reliable records of odd individuals until 1977 

(R. Ridgely), but none were located in thorough surveys in 1981 (J. Fjeldsa) and 1982 

(Adams et al). In their survey in July and August 1982, Adams et al estimated breeding 

populations of other species as follows: Podilymbus podiceps 150-200 pairs; Ixobrychus exilis 

bogotensis 50-100 pairs; Oxyura jamaicensis andina 15-25 pairs; Rallus semiplumbeus 30-50 

pairs; Porphyriops melanops bogotensis 40-50 pairs; Porphyrula martinica less than 25 pairs; 

and Fulica americana columbiana 500-600 pairs. Fjeldsa, in his survey of the previous year, 

estimated that there were 200 territories of Rallus semiplumbeus and 500-600 adult and 

juvenile Porphyriops melanops. Gallinago nobilis is common in the marshes, and a variety of 

lowland species have occurred at the lake as occasional visitors. Anas discors, Porzana Carolina 

and Actitis macularia are common winter visitors from the Nearctic. 

Other fauna: The marshes around the lake support an important population of the very local 

Apolinar's Marsh Wren Cistothorus apolinari. Adams et al estimated the breeding populationin 

1982 to be between 30 and 50 pairs. Trout were introduced into the lake in the 1940s. Since 

then the endemic fish have virtually disappeared, and in 1981 local fishermen reported that 

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they catch only one or two a year. The invertebrate community has been described by 

Adams et al. 

Threats: A variety of threats have been reported, including excessive hunting pressure, the 

extensive burning of marsh vegetation, harvesting of reeds, disturbance from tourism, the use 

of pesticides on adjacent agricultural land, and eutrophication caused by an inflow of domestic 

sewage and organic fertilizers. The introduction of trout undoubtedly had a drastic effect on 

the ecology of the lake, and the lowering of the water level in the past caused a reduction in 

the extent of the marshes, but no further reduction in water level is anticipated. Adams et al 

consider the lowering of the lake level and excessive hunting to be the principal causes for the 

decline in bird populations, but the introduction of trout must have been a contributing factor, 

and eutrophication and pollution may now pose the most serious threats. 

Research and conservation: A number of studies have been conducted at the lake, the most 

thorough being those of Fjeldsa in 1981 and Adams et al in 1982. The latter authors made a 

variety of recommendations with regard to the conservation of the lake, including the creation 

of appropriate reserves, and the development of voluntary agreements between the local 

authorities and landowners to protect the shoreline. 

References: IGAC (1977); Adams et al (1982); Adams & Slavid (1984). 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa and Carolina Murcia. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna de Fuquene (21) 

Location: 5°32'N, 73°45'W; 100 km NNE of Bogota, Cundinamarca Department. 

Area: c.4,000 ha. 

Altitude: 2,510m. 

Province and type: 8.34.12; 12. 

Site description: A shallow freshwater lake and marshes in the Ubate Valley on the Bogota 

Savanna; a relict of the former Lake of Humboldt which has been decreasing in size since the 

Pleistocene. In recent decades the lake has been greatly reduced in size by drainage for 

agriculture, although it remains the largest wetland area on the Bogota Savanna. The water is 

used for irrigation, and the level now shows wide seasonal fluctuations. 

PrincipaL vegetation: Some submergent vegetation including Potamogeton illinoiensis; bedsof 

floating Limnobium stoloniferum, Bidens laevis and Azolla sp; and marshes with Scirpus 

calif ornicus, Hydrocotyle sp, Typha sp and Ludwigia sp. Surrounded by extensive areas of wet 

pastureland. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Hunting, carp fishing, some reed-cutting and recreation; livestock rearing and 

agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: Formerly a breeding area for Podiceps (nigricollis) andinus. Anas georgica 

niceforoi (both now extinct) and Netta erythrophthalma erythrophtkalma, and an important 

wintering area for ducks, but relatively few birds now use the area. In October 1981, Fjeldsa 

recorded small numbers of Podiceps dominicus, Ixobrychus exilis bogotensis, Bubulcus ibis, 

Egretta alba, Rallus semiplumbeus, Porphyriops melanops bogotensis, Fulica americana. 

Charadrius semipalmatus and Actitis macularia. 

Other fauna: Adams et al found several Cistothorus apolinari in the marshesin 1982, and 

thought that it might be commoner here than at Lake Tota. Fjeldsa also recorded Agelaius 

icterocephalus bogotensis in the marshes. Various fishes including carp and trout have been 

introduced into the lake. 

Threats: Hunting pressure is extreme and it appears that at times there are more hunters than 

birds. The drainage of the marshes continues, and there is a very high siltation rate as a result 

of soil erosion in the surrounding watershed. 

Research and conservation: Very little information is available except for the reports of brief 

visits by Fjeldsa in 1981 and Adams et al in 1982. The lake remains one of the most important 

wetlands on the Bogota Savanna, and further sudies should be initiated as soon as possible to 

determine what steps if any might be taken to halt further deterioration. 

References: Olivares (1967); Adams et al (1982). 



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Source: German Ignacio Andrade and Jon Fjeldsa. 
Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 2b. 



Laguna de Cucunuba (22) 

Location: S^IT'N, 73M8'W; 70 km northeast of Bogota, Cundinamarca Department. 

Area: 35 ha. 

Altitude: 2,640m. 

Province and type: 8.34.12; 12. 

Site description: A shallow freshwater lake and marshes on the Bogota Savanna; once a part of 

Laguna de Fuquene and a relict of the large Pleistocene Lake of Humboldt. The water level is 

subject to wide seasonal fluctuations, and the lake dries out completely in the dry season. 

Much of the surrounding marshland has been drained for pasture; the lake is now greatly 

reduced in size, and there is little open water. 

Principal vegetation: Large areas of floating Limnobium sp and Azolla sp; and marshes 

with Scirpus calif ornicus and Typha sp. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: The waters of the lake are used for irrigation; and there is some reed-cutting, 

hunting, and livestock grazing in the marshes. 

Waterfowl: Presumably the lake once supported breeding populations of most of the waterfowl 

of the Bogota Savanna, but with the reduction in extent of open water, several species have 

disappeared. In October 1981, Fjeldsa observed small numbers of Podilymbus podiceps, 

Ixobrychus exilis bogotensis, Rallus semiplumbeus and Porphyriops melanops bogotensis. 

Other fauna: Agelaius icterocephalus bogotensis is common and Cistothorus apolinari occurs in 

the marshes. 

Threats: Drainage for pasture continues; there is heavy hunting pressure; and the lake is silting 

up as a result of serious soil erosion in the surrounding hills. 

References: Olivares (1967). 

Source: German Ignacio Andrade and Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a. 



Laguna de Suesca (23) 

Location: 5°10'N, 73°47'W; 60 km northeast of Bogota, Cundinamarca Department. 

Area: 300 ha. 

Altitude: 2,640m. 

Province and type: 8.34.12; 12. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater glacial lake with fringing marshes. 

Principal vegetation: A little floating vegetation, and some marshes with Scirpus and Typha. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Hunting, fishing and reed-cutting; livestock grazing, some cultivation and Eucalyptus 

plantations in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: Very few waterfowl occur at present, mainly Porphyriops melanops bogotensis 

and Fulica americana. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Heavy hunting pressure, and some pollution and eutrophication. 

Research and conservation: In view of its size and lack of serious threats, this is potentially one 

of the most important wetlands on the Bogota Savanna, but as long as intensive hunting is 

permitted, the lake is unlikely to support much wildlife. 

References: Olivares (1967); Adams et al (1982). 

Source: German Ignacio Andrade. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



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Embalse de Neusa (24) 

Location: 5°10'N, 73°58'W; 50 km north of Bogota, Cundinamarca Department. 

Area: 750 ha. 

Altitude: 2,890m. 

Province and type: 8.34.12; 15. 

Site description: A reservoir, built in 1951, with widely fluctuating water levels and a highly 

mobile shoreline. There are some marshes, particularly at the north end. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive beds of Elodea sp, and some reedbeds. Much of the watershed 

is heavily forested with Cupressus and Pinus spp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Water supply; fishing; and recreation including camping and water sports. The area 

is a very popular resort for people from Bogota, with upto 1 ,000 cars present at weekends. 

Waterfowl: A variety of waterfowl have been recorded including breeding Podilymbus 

podiceps. Anas flavirostris, Oxyura Jamaicensis andina, Porphyriops melanops bogotensis 

and Fulica americana. Common Nearctic migrants include Anas discors, Tringa solitaria, T. 

melanoleuca and Actitis macularia. 

Other fauna: The dipper Cinclus leucocephalus occurs on nearby streams. 

Threats: Eutrophication caused by agricultural run-off, and excessive disturbance from tourist 

recreation, particularly at weekends, seem to be the only threats. 

Research and conservation: The area has great potential as a multipurpose nature conservation 

and public recreation area. Gast has recommended that disturbance free sanctuaries be created, 

that grazing by cattle and sheep be limited, and that the aquatic vegetation be managed to 

improve the habitat for waterfowl. 

References: Gast (1979); Adams et al (1982). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b. 



La Florida Marshes (25) 

Location: 4°45'N, 74°10'W; near El Dorado Airport, Bogota, Cundinamarca Department. 

Area: 100 ha. 

Altitude: 2,550m. 

Province and type: 8.34.12; 13. 

Site description: A complex of shallow freshwater ponds, up to 2.5m deep, and marshes on the 

flood plain of the Rio Bogota. 

Principal vegetation: Ponds with beds of submergent Potamogeton sp, and floating Limnobium 

sp and Azolla sp; marshes with species of Scirpus and Typha. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: No habitat protection. A part of the area is included in the "Parque de la Florida", 

a public recreation area. 

Land use: Public recreation. One of the ponds is used for boating; a road bisects the marshes; 

and there is a golf course nearby. 

Waterfowl: Despite the proximity of the site to Bogota, and the considerable disturbance from 

recreation, the ponds and marshes support a wide variety of waterfowl in significant numbers. 

Twenty-five species have been recorded including Ixobrychus exilis bogotensis, Nycticorax 

nycticorax, Bubulcus ibis. Anas cyanoptera, A. discors, Oxyura jamaicensis andina, O. dominica, 

Rallus semiplumbeus, Porzana Carolina, Porphyriops melanops bogotensis (up to 130), Gallinula 

chloropus (up to 150), Fulica americana, Gallinago nobilis and five species of Nearctic 

shorebirds. 

Other fauna: There is a large population of Agelaius icterocephalus bogotensis, and thereare 

several pairs of Cistothorus apolinari. 

Threats: There is considerable pollution in the Rio Bogota, and a Government proposal exists 

to control the flooding of the river and eventually drain the entire area. 

Research and conservation: The marshes remain one of the most important wetlands in the 

Bogota Savanna, and would be an ideal site for a conservation education programme. 

References: Olivares (1967); Adams et al (1982). 

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Source: Juan Gonzalo Arango, German Ignacio Andrade and Jon Fjeldsa. 
Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Funza Marshes (26) 

Location: 4°40'N, 74°10'W; near Funza, west of Bogota, Cundinamarca Department. 

Area: 30 ha. 

Altitude: 2,550m. 

Province and type: 8.34.12; 13. 

Site description: A complex of shallow freshwater ponds, up to 2.5m deep, and marshes on the 

flood plain of the Rio Bogota. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with species of Scirpus and Typha. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Hunting and livestock grazing. 

Waterfowl: Small populations of Ixobrychus exilis bogotensis, Nycticorax nycticorax, Rallus 

semiplumbeus. Laterallus exilis, Porphyriops melanops bogotensis, Porphyrula martinica 

and Fulica americana. Porzana Carolina is a winter visitor. 

Other fauna: Populations of Cistothorus apolinari and Agelaius icterocephalus bogotensis. 

Threats: Canalization and filling in of the marshes; and pollution with domestic sewage from 

the Rio Bogota. There is a Government project to control the flooding of the Rio Bogota and 

eventually drain the marshes completely. 

References: Olivares (1967). 

Source: Juan Gonzalo Arango. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a. 



Laguna de La Herrera (27) 

Location: 4°40'N, 74°16'W; 15 km west of Bogota, Cundinamarca Department. 

Area: 350 ha. 

Altitude: 2,550m. 

Province and type: 8.34.12; 12. 

Site description: A permanent shallow freshwater lake, up to 3m deep, with extensive marshes 

on the Bogota Savanna. A relict of the much larger Pleistocene Lake of Humboldt. The lake 

and marshes were greatly reduced by drainage schemes in the early 1970s. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive beds of floating vegetation and muddy areas with species 

of Azolla, Limnobium, Ludwigia and Hydrocotyle; marshes with Scirpus californicus and Typha 

sp. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Hunting and reed-cutting; livestock grazing and agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: Formerly an extremely important wetland for waterfowl of the Bogota Savanna and 

a breeding site for Podiceps (nigricollis) andinus. Anas georgica niceforoi and Netta 

erythrophthalma erythrophthalma, but much reduced in importance in recent years. A wide 

variety of species still occur including Ixobrychus exilis bogotensis, Bubulcus ibis (roost of up to 

1,100), Egretta caerulea, E. thula, Rallus semiplumbeus (common), Porphyriops melanops 

bogotensis (up to 50), Porphyrula martinica and Gallinago nobilis. Anas discors, Porzana 

Carolina and several Nearctic shorebirds are common winter visitors. 

Other fauna: There is a small population of Cistothorus apolinari, and Agelaius icterocephalus 

bogotensis is common. 

Threats: Progressive drainage for pasture land, pollution from the Rio Bogota, destruction of 

marsh vegetation by cattle, excessive hunting, and the development of limestone quarries on 

the west side of the lake have been the principal threats. However, there is now a Government 

project to control the flooding of the Rio Bogota which would destroy the wetland completely. 

Research and conservation: Despite its diminished size, Laguna de La Herrera remains one of 

the most important wetlands on the Bogota Savanna, and could still be restored to something 

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approaching its original condition. Apparently a proposal has already been made for the 

establishment of a reserve, but no action has been taken. Studies are urgently required to 

determine what might be done to conserve the area before it is lost completely in the proposed 

flood control project for the Rio Bogota. 

References: Olivares (1967); Adams et al (1982). 

Source: Juan Gonzalo Arango, German Ignacio Andrade and Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Laguna de Pedropalo (28) 

Location: 4°40'N, 74°20'W; 25 km west of Bogota, on the east side of the Santa Magdalena 

valley, Cundinamarca Department. 

Area: 60 ha. 

Altitude: 2,100m. 

Province and type: 8.34.12; 12. 

Site description: A small permanent freshwater lake, up to 30m deep, with fringing marshes 

and stable water level. 

Principal vegetation: One third of the lake surface is covered with Lemna sp, and there are 

fringing marshes of Typha and Scirpus. In a region of subtropical cloud forest. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Hunting. There is some cultivation in the surrounding area. 

Waterfowl: There is a large population of Podiceps dominicus and small populations of Oxyura 

jamaicensis andina, Porphyriops melanops bogotensis and Fulica americana. Porzana Carolina 

occurs in winter. 

Other fauna: Cistothorus apolinari is thought to occur. There are very high densities of 

amphipods in the lake, and trout have been introduced. 

Threats: Excessive hunting, and the introduction of trout. 

References: Olivares (1967). 

Source: German Ignacio Andrade and Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Laguna de San Ramon (29) 

Location: 4°35'N, 74°10'W; west of Bogota, Cundinamarca Department. 

Area: Several hundred ha. 

Altitude: 2,700m. 

Province and type: 8.34.12; 15. 

Site description: A permanent artificial lake, up to 2m deep, with stable water level and narrow 

fringing marshes, in pastureland on the Bogota Savanna. 

Principal vegetation: Fringing marshes and shrubbery. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: No legal protection, but the owners prohibit hunting. 

Land use: Livestock grazing and ornamental gardening in the surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: During a brief visit in October 1981, Fjeldsa observed 18 adult Oxyura jamaicensis 

andina with seven puUi. This subspecies, which is confined to the Andes of Colombia, is 

declining throughout its range and is now rare. Other breeding species included Podilymbus 

podiceps, Porphyriops melanops bogotensis and Fulica americana columbiana. 

Other fauna: Agelaius icterocephalus bogotensis was observed in October 1981. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: One of the few wetlands on the Bogota Savanna which is neither 

seriously threatened nor disturbed by hunters. 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a. 



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Laguna Chingaza (30) 

Location: 4°30'N, 73°50'W; between Alto La Bandera and Villaguardia, Cundinamarca 

Department. 

Area: 150 ha. 

Altitude: 3,300m. 

Province and type: 8.34.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater glacial lake, over 10m deep, with surrounding bogs, 

in the paramo zone. 

Principal vegetation: A little submergent Ranunculus kunthianus; bogs with species of Carex, 

Chusquea and Sphagnum; in a region of paramo vegetation and temperate cloud forest. 

Land tenure: Approximately 90% of the National Natural Park is state owned; the rest is 

privately owned. 

Protection: Within the Chingaza National Natural Park (50,000 ha) established in 1977. 

Land use: The water is used for human consumption. 

Waterfowl: Breeding species observed during a brief visit in October 1981 included Anas 

flavirostris, Rallus semiplumbeus, Fulica americana columbiana, Gallinago nobilis and G. 

stricklandii jamesoni. 

Other fauna: Cinclus leucocephalus occurs along nearby streams, and the Mountain 

Tapir Tapirus pinchaque occurs in the area. 

Threats: None known. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Laguna del Otun (31) 

Location: 4°47'N, 75°26'W; 30 km SSE of Manizales in the Cordillera Central, Risaralda 

Department. 

Area: 150 ha. 

Altitude: 3,980m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake of glacial origin, with surrounding bogs; in the 

high Andean paramo zone. The lake receives it water from snow melt on Nevado de Santa 

Isabel. 

Principal vegetation: Paramo vegetation with Espeletia sp and the grasses Calamagrostis 

and Festuca. 

Land tenure: No information. (60% of the land in the National Park is state owned, the rest is 

privately owned.) 

Protection: Within Los Nevados National Natural Park (38,000 ha) established in 1977. 

Land use: Sport fishing. Some agriculture nearby. 

Waterfowl: The lake supports important breeding populations of Anas flavisrostris andium, 

Oxyura jamaicensis andina and Fulica americana. Gallinago stricklandii jamesoni occurs in 

the surrounding bogs, and Merganetta armata on nearby rivers and streams. Several Nearctic 

migrants occur on passage, particularly Anas discors. 

Other fauna: The Mountain Tapir Tapirus pinchaque and Spectacled Bear Tremarctos ornatus 

are thought to occur in the area. The trout Salmo gairdnieri has been introduced into the lake. 

Threats: The introduction of trout has affected the ecology of the lake, and there have been 

some modifications to the wetland as a result of road construction. Adjacent agriculture and 

occasional fires on the paramo may be causing problems. 

Research and conservation: The Sociedad Caldense de Ornitologia in Manizales has conducted 

bird censuses at the lake. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: Jorge E. Botero. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



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Laguna de Sonso (32) 

Location: 3''52'N, 76°21'W; 3 km west of Buga, Valle Department. 

Area: 594 ha permanently flooded. 

Altitude: 935m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 11, 12, 17 & 18. 

Site description: A permanent shallow freshwater lake and marshes adjacent to the Rio Cauca, 

and part of an old natural system of seasonal lakes and marshes along the Rio Cauca. Most of 

the seasonal marshes have now been drained for agriculture and pasture land. There are some 

small remnants of native swamp forest. 

Principal vegetation: Patches of swamp forest with Erythrina poeppigiana. E. glauca 

and Anacardium excelsum. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: The permanently flooded areas and surrounding marshes are included within a 

Nature Reserve administered by the Corporacion Autonoma Regional del Cauca. 

Land use: Traditional fishing and some tourism. Cattle ranching and intensive agriculture in 

surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: A very important wetland for waterfowl, with a wide variety of breeding species 

and winter visitors. Residents include Anhinga anhinga, Botaurus pinnatus, Nycticorax 

nycticorax, Egretta caerulea, Ardea cocoi, Anhima cornuta, Dendrocygna bicolor, D. autumnalis, 

Oxyura dominica, Rallus nigricans, R. maculatus, Porphyrula martinica, Jacana jacana 

and Himantopus himantopus. Nearctic migrants include Ixobrychus exilis, Butorides virescens, 

Anas discors, A. cyanoptera and several shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Pandion haliaetus is a regular winter visitor. 

Threats: Drainage ditches have been dug through the marshes, and some of the springs have 

been blocked off. Sedimentation rates have increased and eutrophication is occurring as a 

result of agricultural activities, and there is some industrial pollution. 

Research and conservation: The Corporacion Autonoma Regional del Cauca has conducted 

studies on the hydrology of the area and management of the vegetation; and Naranjo is 

currently undertaking a study of the small population of Anhima cornuta. 

References: Corporacion Autonoma Regional del Cauca (1981). 

Source: Luis German Naranjo. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Rio Cauca marshes (33) 

Location: 4''05'N, 76°18'W to 3°18'N, 76°30'W; between Jamundi and Tulua on the Rio Cauca, 

Valle Department. 

Area: 100 km of river. 

Altitude: 970-975m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 09, 11 & 18. 

Site description: A series of thirteen permanent freshwater oxbow lakes, up to 4m deep, and 

associated marshes along the Rio Cauca, with remnants of the native swamp forest. The lakes 

increase in extent during the rainy season with flooding from the Rio Cauca. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Typha angustifolia, Eichhornia crassipes and Pistia 

stratiotes; patches of swamp forest with Erythrina spp, Anacardium excelsum, Ceiba pentandra, 

Clorophora tinctoria and Gustavia occidentalis. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: No habitat protection. The Corporacion Autonoma Regional del Cauca is 

responsible for prohibiting hunting. 

Land use: Traditional fishing; cattle ranching and agriculture in adjacent areas. 

Waterfowl: An important chain of wetlands for waterfowl, with an avifauna similar to that of 

Laguna de Sonso (32). 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Drainage for agriculture; eutrophication caused by agricultural run-off; pollution 

from the Rio Cauca and from pesticides used on adjacent agricultural land; and illegal hunting. 



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Colombia 

Research and conservation: The Corporacion Autonoma Regional del Cauca has done some 

studies in the area. 

References: Corporacion Autonoma Regional del Cauca (1981). 

Source: Luis German Naranjo. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Rio Call (34) 

Location: 3°30'N, 76°40'W; 10 km west of Cali, Valle Department. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 2,000m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 10. 

Site description: A fast-flowing mountain river with a rocky bottom, and rocky and sandy 

shores. During the rainy season, the flow increases considerably. 

Principal vegetation: The river flows through remnants of the native humid low montane 

forest, and cleared areas with cultivation and plantations of Eucalyptus and Cupressus. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: The Corporacion Autonoma Regional del Cauca is responsible for protecting the 

area, and hunting and wood-cutting are prohibited. 

Land use: An important water source for the city of Cali. There is some sport fishing and 

tourist recreation along the river, and cattle ranching and agriculture in adjacent areas. 

Waterfowl: The river supports a breeding population of Merganetta armata. 

Other fauna: Cinclus leucocephalus nests along the river, and the native forests support a 

variety of species which are dependent on this natural riverine habitat, including Rupicola 

peruviana, Sayornis nigricans and Serpophaga cinerea. 

Threats: Forest clearance for agriculture continues despite efforts to protect the watershed and 

maintain a pure water supply for Cali. A recent prolonged drought has accelerated soil erosion 

in the area. 

References: Espinal (1968). 

Source: Carolina Murcia. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Laguna San Rafael (35) 

Location: 2°25'N, 76°22'W; 30 km east of Popayan, Cauca Department. 

Area: 100 ha. 

Altitude: 3,200m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 10, 12 & 19. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake, surrounding peat bogs, and nearby fast-flowing 

mountain streams, at the source of the Cauca and Magdalena rivers, in the high Andes. The 

lake is considerably reduced in extent during the dry season. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of paramo vegetation and elfin cloud forest, with 

abundant Espeletia sp, and species of Weinmania, Clusia. Persea, Blechnum, Cortaderia, Senecio, 

Puya, Eryngium, Sphagnum and Polytrichum. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Purace National Park (83,000 ha), established in 1961 and extended in 

1977. Hunting and fishing are prohibited. 

Land use: Livestock grazing and some subsistence hunting and wood-cutting by the inhabitants 

of small settlements in the Park; and some tourism. 

Waterfowl: Anas flavirostris occurs on the lake, and Merganetta armata on the rivers and 

streams. Anas discors occurs on migration. 

Other fauna: The Park has a rich mammalian fauna including the Spectacled Bear Tremarctos 

ornatus and Mountain Tapir Tapirus pinchaque, and it is possible that some condors Vultur 

gryphus still occur. 

Threats: Illegal hunting and wood-cutting by the inhabitants of the Park. 

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Colombia 

Research and conservation: The Park is of particular importance in that it affords some 
protection to the upper watersheds of the Cauca and Magdalena Rivers. 
References: IGAC (1977). 
Source: Carolina Murcia. 
Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Laguna de La Cocha (36) 

Location: 1°05'N, 77°10'W; 10 km southeast of Pasto, Narino Department. 

Area: 4,200 ha. 

Altitude: 2,700m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 12. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake of volcanic origin, fed by several rivers and with 

a small island. 

Principal vegetation: In the humid montane forest zone. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: The lake itself is unprotected, but the island is protected in La Corota Floral 

Sanctuary, administered by INDERENA and the University of Nariiio. 

Land use: Trout fishing; recreation. 

Waterfowl: There is a small population of Podiceps occipitalis, possibly the only population of 

this species still surviving in Colombia. Anas flavirostris also occurs. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Research and conservation: One of the few significant lakes in the southern Andes of Colombia 

and the largest, but apparently very poorly known. 

References: IGAC (1977). 

Source: Carolina Murcia. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b. 



Laguna del Trueno (or Piusbi) (37) 

Location: 1°55'N, 77°50'W; 100 km northwest of Pasto, Narino Department. 

Area: 2,000 ha. 

Altitude: 150m. 

Province and type: 8.3.1; 12. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake with a large island, near the Rio Patia in the 

western foothills of the Andes. 

Principal vegetation: In virgin humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. A very remote area, inaccessible by road and undoubtedly little 

disturbed. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information, but probably none. 

Research and conservation: The only significant lake in the humid tropical forests of 

southwestern Colombia, but very difficult of access and apparently never surveyed. 

References: IGAC (1977). 

Source: Carolina Murcia. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



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Colombia 

Delta marshes of the Rio San Juan and Rio Baudo (38) 

Location: 4°00'-5°30'N, 77°15'-77°30'W; on the Pacific coast from Bahia de Malaga to Cabo 

Corrientes, 10-170 km north of Buenaventura, Choco Department. 

Area: c.220,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.3.1; 01, 02, 06, 07, 08, 09, 11 & 18. 

Site description: A vast complex of coastal marshes including Bahia de Malaga, the delta of the 

Rio San Juan, and the estuaries of a number of smaller rivers including the Rio Baude, north to 

Cabo Corrientes. Wetland habitats include extensive intertidal mudflats, particularly in Bahia 

de Malaga; brackish coastal lagoons and marshes; mangrove swamps; slow-flowing rivers and 

riverine marshes; and swamp forest. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of very humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information is available, but the avifauna is likely to be similar to that of Bahia 

de Buenaventura (39). 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Research and conservation: Very little information is available on this large and remote coastal 

wetland complex. The Fundacion Herencia Verde has recently conducted an avifaunal survey 

of the area, but the results have not yet been published. 

Source: Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Bahia de Buenaventura (39) 

Location: 3°50'N, 77°10'W; at Buenaventura, Valle Department. 

Area: c.20,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.3.1; 01, 02, 03, 05, 06, 08 & 09. 

Site description: A shallow sea bay and estuarine system of several rivers, with small offshore 

islands, sandy beaches, intertidal mudflats and extensive mangrove swamps. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, 

Pelliciera rhizophorae and Rhizophora spp. In a region of very humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: The city of Buenaventura, which has the largest port on the Pacific coast of 

Colombia, lies at the east end of the bay, and there is a considerable amount of boat traffic in 

the bay. Other activities include fishing, hunting, wood-cutting and tourist recreation. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for both breeding and wintering waterfowl. Resident 

breeding species include Pelecanus occidentalis, Phalacrocorax olivaceus. Nycticorax nycticorax, 

Nyctanassa violacea, Egretta caerulea, E. thula, E. alba, Oxyura dominica, Charadrius wilsonius 

and Rynchops niger. The area is particularly important as a wintering area for Nearctic 

shorebirds (thirteen species) and Laridae (eight species), but no census data are available. 

Other fauna: Pandion haliaetus is a regular winter visitor. No information is available on the 

aquatic mammals or reptiles of the area. 

Threats: Pollution from the city of Buenaventura and from shipping; indiscriminate cutting of 

mangroves; and excessive hunting. 

Research and conservation: Naranjo et al have conducted a preliminary investigation of the 

avifauna of the bay, and Franke and Beltran commenced monthly censuses of shorebirds in 

July 1984. 

References: Borrero (1968); Ralph & Chaplin (1973); Naranjo & Beltran et al (in press). 

Source: Luis German Naranjo. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



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Colombia 

Wetlands in Sanquianga National Natural Park (40) 

Location: 2°22'-2M3'N, 78°06'-78°37'W; 100 km northeast of Tumaco, Narino Department. 

Area: c. 100,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lOOm. 

Province and type: 8.3.1; 02, 03, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 & 11. 

Site description: A complex of estuaries and islands in the delta area of several rivers including 

Rio Sanquianga, with sandy beaches, coastal sand dunes, intertidal mudflats, tidal salt marshes, 

brackish lagoons, mangrove swamps, and some freshwater riverine marshes. 

Principal vegetation: Mangroves with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, Pelliciera 

rhizophorae and Rhizophora spp. In the humid tropical forest zone. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned; about 10% of the National Park is in private holdings. 

Protection: The greater part of the wetland area lies within Sanquianga National Natural Park 

(89,000 ha) established in 1977. 

Land use: Selective exploitation of timber, and general wood-cutting by local inhabitants. 

Waterfowl: Known to be an important area for migratory waterfowl, but no details are 

available. The avifauna is presumably similar to that of Bahia de Buenaventura (39). 

Other fauna: The area is of great importance for fisheries production, particularly for species 

of Area. The Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris occurs. 

Threats: Excessive felling of timber. 

Research and conservation: Little work has been done on the fauna and flora of the region. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2c & 3a. 



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ECUADOR 



INTRODUCTION 

by Fernando Ortiz 

Ecuador, the third smallest country in South America, has a surface area of 270,670km^ and a 
population of over seven million. The country is divided into three distinct regions: the Pacific 
lowlands in the west, the Andes in the centre, and the lowlands of the Amazon basin in the 
east. 

Although Ecuador lies on the equator, its climate is by no means uniformly hot and humid. 
Generally, two seasons can be identified; a winter season from December to May, with high 
temperatures and heavy rainfall, and a dry season during the rest of the year. However, in 
northern coastal regions and the Amazon lowlands there is heavy rainfall throughout the year. 

Half of the country is covered in humid tropical forest. This occurs throughout the 
lowlands of upper Amazonia, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, and in the coastal lowlands of 
the northwest. Further south along the coast, semideciduous forest gives way to arid tropical 
woodland and eventually, in the extreme south, to desertic scrub (matorral). In the Andes, 
humid temperate forest gives way at high altitude to Andean grassland and paramo vegetation. 

A general review of the wetlands of Ecuador has recently been given by the author (Ortiz, 
1983). M. Steinitz-Kannan and P. Colinvaux are using the lakes of Ecuador to test 
limnological hypotheses developed from studies of seasonal lakes at high latitudes. The great 
advantage of this selection of equatorial lakes for research is the coupling of minimal seasonal 
changes with immense variety. At close to zero latitude, there are glacial lakes of the paramo 
with a temperature range of TC to 16.8°C, and permanent lakes of the lowland rain forest 
with temperature ranges of 25.8°C to 28.2°C. Diurnal changes in temperature probably exceed 
annual changes. Lakes lie in deserts, in marshes of the coastal plain, and in montane cloud 
forest; they are virgin, or with long histories of disturbance; polymictic, oligomictic or with 
aberrant chemistry; occupying the basins of maars, river channels, grabens, calderas, kettles, 
and moraine-dammed fjords; behind volcanic dams, primary Andean landforms, and emergent 
coast lines. Ancient and permanent lakes have been discovered for the first time in the 
Amazon basin; one of them (Ayauchi), a blue-water oligotrophic lake with oxygen to 20m, has 
been isolated from rivers or flooding for seven thousand years (M. Steinitz-Kannan, pers. com.). 

Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

The principal institutions concerned with wildlife conservation and research in Ecuador are as 
follows: 

a) Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia; Programa Nacional Forestal. 

Departamento de Areas Nalurales y Vida Silvestre: the department responsible for the 
establishment and administration of national parks, natural recreation areas, ecological 
reserves and faunistic reserves. About 9.6% of the country is legally protected within 
this system of protected areas. The department is also the administrative authority for 
CITES in Ecuador. 

b) Ministerio de Recursos Naturales; Subsecretaria de Recursos Pesqueros. 

Direccion General de Recursos Pesqueros: the agency that controls fishing activities both 

at sea and in freshwater bodies, and gives authorization for the construction of shrimp 

ponds. 

Institute Nacional de Pesca: the institute responsible for fisheries research. Emphasis 

has been given to research on marine species, and the freshwater resources with no 

export potential have been neglected. 

Direccion General de Medio Ambiente. 

c) Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores; Direccion General de Soberania Maritima y Aerea; 
Departamento de Soberania Maritima. 



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Ecuador 

Fundacion Charles Darwin: this began as an almost 100% foreign organization based in 
Europe, but is now about 75% Ecuadorean in its composition. The Foundation fosters 
conservation in the Galapagos Islands by promoting research and enlisting international 
support. 

Estacion Charles Darwin: this was created in 1964 and is responsible for conducting 
research in the Galapagos Islands. In addition to its success in research, the Station has 
been instrumental in the creation of the Servicio del Parque Nacional Galapagos, which 
has become the best manned conservation unit in Ecuador. 
Ministerio de Defensa. 

Colegio Militar Eloy Alfaro: this Military School maintains a zoological garden in Quito. 
Institute Geografico Militar: this is the source of all official geographical information 
for Ecuador. The Institute houses the Center for Remote Sensing (CLIRSEN) which has 
conducted forest inventories in the Amazon watershed. 
Universidad Central del Ecuador. (The largest and oldest university in Ecuador. All of the 
universities are autonomous, but receive financial support from the Government through 
the Ministry of Finance.) 

Institute de Ciencias Naturales: this Institute houses an herbarium and is the centre for 
botanical studies at the Central University. It publishes a journal "Ciencia y Naturaleza". 
Universidad Estatal de Guayaquil. 

Escuela de Biologia and Museo de Zoologia (Facultad de Ciencias Naturales): the only 
pure biology department in a natural science faculty in the country. The Faculty 
maintains an herbarium and a zoological collection, and is responsible for the operation 
of the recently established field station at Jauneche in humid tropical forest in Guayas 
Province. 
Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral. 

Departamento de Ciencias del Mar: this has conducted some projects dealing with 
environmental issues and some research on mangroves. 
Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador. 

Departamento de Biologia (Facultad de Pedagogia): this department maintains an 
herbarium and a zoological museum, and has collaborated for ten years with the Centre 
Cientifico Rio Palenque, where students can carry out field work in an area of humid 
tropical forest. The University produces a journal, "Revista de la Universidad Catolica" 
in which the Department of Biology publishes its work. 
Consejo Nacional de Cultura; Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana. 

Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales (Seccion Academica de Ciencias Biologicas y 

Naturales): created in 1979, the Museum maintains scientific collections and puts strong 

emphasis on public education through its exhibits. It is an autonomous entity nominally 

affiliated to the Casa de la Cultura. 

Sociedad Ecuatoriana de Biologia. A society for professional biologists, organizing annual 

meetings and providing a link between individual biologists and government agencies. 

Fundacion Natura. The largest private conservation body in Ecuador and one which has 

won the confidence of international oganizations. The Foundation obtains funds from 

agencies such as WWF, lUCN and US-AID, and supervizes the funding of conservation 

projects in Ecuador. It also conducts a campaign of environmental education through the 

media and has made a number of documentary films which have been shown throughout 

the country. In 1984, it initiated a programme of environmental education in primary and 

high schools which will run for four years and is expected to reach most schools. In late 

1984, the Foundation established a sanctuary for Andean fauna and flora, the "Bosque 

Protector Pasochoa", near Quito. 



Progress in Wetland Conservation 

The following parks and reserves in the Sistema Nacional de Conservacion y Manejo de Areas 
Silvestres include significant areas of wetland: 

Parque Nacional Cotopaxi: high Andean oligotrophic lakes, ancient glacial basins and 
associated bogs; comprising 5% of the total area of the park. 

Parque Nacional Sangay: high Andean oligotrophic lakes, ancient glacial basins and 
associated bogs. 

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Ecuador 

Parque Nacional Podocarpus: high Andean oligotrophic lakes, ancient glacial basins and 

associated bogs. 

Area Nacional de Recreacion Cajas: high Andean oligotrophic lakes, ancient glacial basins 

and associated bogs. 

Parque Nacional Machalilla: mangrove swamps; comprising 1% of the total area of the park. 

Parque Nacional Yasuni: varzea forest and oxbow lakes along the Tiputini, Yasuni and 

Nashino rivers; comprising 10% of the park. This region of humid tropical forest is one of 

the most important pleistocene refuges in Amazonia (the Napo Refuge). 

Parque Nacional Galapagos: saline coastal lagoons, mangrove swamps and small freshwater 

lakes of volcanic origin in the Galapagos Islands. 

Reserva Cotacachi-Cayapas: two oligotrophic lakes, Cuicocha and Cristococha (or Donoso 

de Pinan), with surrounding high Andean paramo. Cuicocha is in a volcanic crater and 

Cristococha is in a glacial basin. 

Reserva Ecologica Cayambe-Coca: Lake San Marcos, Lake Purcianta and other high Andean 

oligotrophic lakes together with associated bogs; comprising 5% of the total area of the 

reserve. 

Reserva Manglares Churute: mangrove swamps; comprising 50% of the total area of the 

reserve. 

Reserva Faunistica Cuyabeno: a network of lakes which partially dry out during the dry 

season; comprising 50% of the total area of this humid tropical forest reserve in the Napo 

Refuge. 

It is anticipated that wetlands will receive an adequate measure of protection if and when 
Ecuador ratifies the Ramsar Convention. The Fundacion Natura has requested the National 
Congress to take this step, and to implement adequate coordination between the Fundacion, the 
Departamento de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre in the Ministeria de Agricultura, and other 
governmental bodies which are responsible for wetlands, e.g. Direccion de Pesca, Institute 
Ecuatoriano de Recursos Hidraulicos and Comandancia de Marina. On ratification of the 
Ramsar Convention, it would be possible for Ecuador to strengthen the protection of wetlands 
within its system of protected areas and also to provide a measure of protection to important 
wetlands outside the system, such as San Pablo, Yahuarcocha, Yambo and Colta lakes, and 
mangrove areas in the Santiago-Cayapas Delta, in Muisne-Cojimies, in the Portoviejo Delta 
and in the Gulf of Guayaquil (which contains 70% of the mangroves in coastal Ecuador). 



Major Threats to Wetlands 

The Fundacion Natura has pointed out that industrial and agricultural development constitute 
one of the most serious and immediate threats to wetlands both inland and on the coast. The 
Universidad Catolica has also drawn attention to the disappearance of wetlands, particularly 
along the coast, and considers this to be the most serious problem for conservation in Ecuador. 

A number of major projects have recently been initiated to drain coastal wetlands for 
increased rice production and livestock rearing. Another serious problem is that posed by the 
explosive expansion of the shrimp industry along the coast. Recent information suggests that 
more than 20% of the mangroves have disappeared as a result of this expansion, and the 
remainder is seriously threatened. In addition, mangroves are gradually being chopped down 
for timber, charcoal and the extraction of tannin (E. Arellano, pers. com.). As a result of the 
uncontrolled expansion of shrimp ponds, there has been on increase in the occurrence of 
malaria, and it has become necessary to import pesticides to combat this problem. 

In the Andes, large areas of native vegetation have been converted to pasture land. 
However, the most serious threats to wetlands are eutrophication, e.g at San Pablo, 
Yahuarcocha and Poza Honda lakes, and dessication, e.g. at Waquito-La Carolina and 
Yaguachi-Daule-Vinces. 

The development of the petroleum industry in the Amazon basin has facilitated colonization 
by settlers with agricultural interests. Transportation networks have been expanded without 
regard for the boundaries of protected areas; this has been the case at, for example, the 
Reserva Faunistica Cuyabeno, where some pollution has already been observed (E. Asanza, 
pers. com.). This increasing activity in the Amazon region has been accompanied by 
widespread deforestation and transformation of wetland ecosystems. 

Conservationists have not as yet been able to solve the problems facing wetlands, because 

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Ecuador 

Ecuador lacks a proper wetlands conservation policy. The root of the problem lies in the lack 
of suitable expertize in the field. Very little is known of the size, distribution and 
characteristics of wetlands in Ecuador. It is essential that information be obtained on the role 
of wetlands both in terms of their importance for animal and plant species, and the influence 
they have on other environmental variables, and vice versa. There is almost no information on 
the use of the wetlands by the different species, or on the importance of adjoining areas for 
agriculture. 



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Ecuador 




GALAPAGOS 
ISLANDS 




ECUADOR 



100 200 

Km 



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I 



Ecuador 



WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on data sheets provided by Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Paul 
Greenfield, with contributions from Eduardo Asanza, Nancy Hilgert, Felix Man-ging, Robert 
S. Ridgely, Miriam Steinitz-Kannan and Carlos Valle. 



Lagunas del Cuyabeno (1) 

Location: 0°05'S, 76°10'W; west of Cuyabeno, Napo Province. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 280m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 11, 12 & 18. 

Site description: A vast complex of freshwater lakes and marshes in the fluvial system of the 

Rio Cuyabeno; including thirteen main lakes and extensive areas of swamp forest. 

Principal vegetation: Lakes with typical igapo vegetation; in a region of humid to very humid 

tropical forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within a faunal reserve, the "Reserva de Produccion Faunistica Cuyabeno", 

established in 1979. Figueroa (1983) gives the area as 254,760 ha. 

Land use: Subsistence hunting and fishing by indigenous Indian groups; the Government has 

authorized petroleum exploration. 

Waterfowl: One of the richest areas in Ecuador for waterfowl. Seventy species have been 

recorded, including virtually all of the waterfowl typical of western Amazonia, but no census 

data are available. Species of particular note include Tigrisoma fascialum, Zebrilus undulatus, 

Cochlearius cochlearius, Agamia agami, all three Ciconiidae, Anhima cornuta, Sarkidiornis 

melanotos, Amaurolimnas concolor, Porphyrula flavirostris. Heliornis fulica, Eurypyga helias 

and Gallinago undulata. Thirteen species of Nearctic shorebirds have been recorded on 

migration. 

Other fauna: The area has an extremely rich avifauna including a wide variety of birds of prey 

dependent on wetland habitats and all five South American kingfishers Alcedinidae. Other 

faunal elements are similarly well represented. 

Threats: Although designated a Faunal Reserve, the area has no game wardens, hunting is 

unrestricted, and there are no controls to prevent habitat destruction. Illegal fishing methods 

are employed including dynamiting and poisoning. An Oil Company has constructed a network 

of roads for exploration in the Reserve, and there is oil pollution along the river banks and 

edges of lagoons. 

Research and conservation: As in most of eastern Ecuador, very little work has been done on 

the fauna and flora other than some basic inventories. Asanza has recently produced a bird list 

for the area, but otherwise the Reserve remains very poorly known. The need for proper 

enforcement of the Reserve regulations is apparent. 

References: Figueroa (1983); Asanza (undated). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela, Paul Greenfield and E. Asanza. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



The upper Rio Napo and tributaries (2) 

Location: 0°30'S, 77''30'-75°20'W; Napo Province. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 200-330m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 11 & 18. 

Site description: Slow-flowing rivers, riverine marshes, and associated oxbow lakes and swamp 

forest of the upper Rio Napo, Rio Suno, lower Rio Sumaco and Rio Aguarico. Two of the 

principal oxbow lakes, Limoncocha and Taracoa, are described separately below. 

Principal vegetation: In humid to very humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: The rivers are state owned; the settled areas along the river banks are now 

privately owned. 

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Ecuador 

Protection: None, but the region borders on the Yasuni National Park to the south. 

Land use: Hunting, fishing, exploitation of timber and cultivation of oil palms. 

Waterfowl: A very rich area for waterfowl species typical of western Amazonia. Some of the 

more noteworthy species known from the area include Tigrisoma fasciatum, Pilherodius 

pileatus, Jabiru mycteria, Aramides calopterus, Anurolimnas castaneiceps, Laterallus fasciatus, 

Eurypyga helias and Hoploxypterus cayanus. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Colonization by settlers along the river banks continues to erode the riverine habitats, 

particularly to the west of Coca, and a big oil palm plantation near Coca is likely to be 

extended in the future. Tree-felling is unrestricted, and there is some illegal use of dynamite 

and poisons {Verbascum and cyanide) in fishing activities. 

Research and conservation: A considerable amount of basic survey work has been carried out 

at Limoncocha and Taracoa (see below), and Steinitz-Kannan et al (1983) conducted 

limnological studies at Lago Agrio and Laguna Santa Cecilia, two small oxbow lakes near the 

town of Lago Agrio. There remain, however, large tracts of the upper Rio Napo which are 

still very remote and poorly known. 

References: Chapman (1926); Pearson (1972a); Pearson et al (1977); Steinitz-Kannan et al 

(1983). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela, Paul Greenfield and Robert S. Ridgely. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 

Lago Limoncocha and the Rio Jivino (2a) 

Location: 0°24'S, 76°37'W; on the Rio Napo, 40 km east of the confluence of the Rio Coca and 

Rio Napo, Napo Province. 

Area: Lago Limoncocha 120 ha. 

Altitude: 240m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09 & 11. 

Site description: Lago Limoncocha is an old oxbow lake of the Rio Napo. The water level in 

the lake fluctuates according to rainfall in the eastern Andes, and according to the level in the 

nearby Rio Jivino, a small tributary of the Rio Napo which floods into the lake at high water 

levels. 

Principal vegetation: In humid tropical forest (average annual rainfall 2,940 mm). 

Land tenure: The lake is state owned; some of the surrounding land is owned by indigenous 

communities. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Subsistence hunting and fishing, exploitation of timber, and tourism. 

Waterfowl: A very rich oxbow lake for western Amazonian waterfowl, with sixty species 

recorded. The commoner species include Anhinga anhinga, Butorides striatus, Ardea cocoi, 

Opisthocomus hoazin, Aramus guarauna, Heliornis fulica, Anurolimnas castaneiceps, Laterallus 

exilis, Porphyrula martinica, P. flavirostris, Jacana jacana and Hoploxypterus cayanus. Fifteen 

species of Nearctic shorebirds have been recorded on passage, the commonest being Tringa 

solitaria, Actilis macularia, Calidris bairdii and C. melanotos. 

Other fauna: Nearly 500 species of birds have been recorded in the Limoncocha area, along 

with a wide variety of Amazonian species of fishes, reptiles and amphibians. The local 

mammalian fauna has however suffered badly from hunting. 

Threats: Uncontrolled hunting and fishing, and indiscriminate wood-cutting. There has been a 

tremendous increase in colonization by settlers in recent years, and there were reports of 

dynamiting for fishes in 1983. 

Research and conservation: The fauna and flora of the lake and its surroundings have been 

well studied and documented. Limoncocha has become a popular locality for nature tourism, 

and a proposal has been made to designate the area as a faunal and floral reserve. However, no 

steps have as yet been taken to implement this, and destruction of the forests around the lake 

continues at an ever- increasing rate. 

References: Pearson (1972a & 1972b); Pearson et al (1977); Ortiz (1983). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Paul Greenfield. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a- 



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Laguna Taracoa (2b) 

Location: 0°26'S, 76°46'W; on the south bank of the Rio Napo, east of Coca, Napo Province. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 240m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 11 & 18. 

Site description: An old black water oxbow lake and inlet of the Rio Napo, with surrounding 

low-lying swamp forest and seasonally flooded palm forest. The lake is 2-3m deep. 

Principal vegetation: Lake with abundant aquatic vegetation, swamps with Mauritia palms. In 

humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: No legal protection, but a local tour company tries to prohibit hunting. The area 

borders on the Yasuni National Park to the east. 

Land use: Tourism; and some hunting, fishing and exploitation of timber by a local Indian 

community. An oil company pumps water from the lake. 

Waterfowl: A very rich lake for Amazonian waterfowl, with a fauna similar to that of 

Limoncocha. Cochlearius cochlearius, Agamia agami and Anurolimnas castaneiceps are fairly 

common. 

Other fauna: Almost 500 species of birds have been recorded, including many which are not 

normally considered as waterfowl, but which are closely linked to forest streams, lake edge 

habitats and seasonally flooded "varzea" forest, e.g. the rather scarce hummingbird Topaza pyra 

which nests on limbs protruding over forest streams. A wide variety of Amazonian fishes, 

amphibians, reptiles and mammals occur, including Caiman crocodilus and Melanosuchus niger. 

Threats: Oil exploration and the construction of a road to the west end of the lake has opened 

up the area to encroachment by local Indians and recent colonists. There have been rumours of 

the use of dynamite and poisons in fishing activities. 

Research and conservation: Avifaunal surveys have been conducted by Greenfield. There are 

few areas in Ecuador with as rich a fauna and flora as Laguna Taracoa and which at the same 

time are as accessible for tourism. Unfortunately, the local tour company (Metropolitan 

Touring) has so far failed to secure rights over the land. The Government should therefore be 

encouraged to establish a reserve in this area, perhaps by extending the boundaries of the 

nearby Yasuni National Park. 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Paul Greenfield. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 

Wetlands in Yasuni National Park (3) 

Location: 0°26'-l''09'S, 75°26'-76Ml'W; along the Rio Yasuni and Rio Nashino, 50 km west of 

Coca, Napo Province. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown. 

Altitude: 200-250m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 11, 12 & 18. 

Site description: The alluvial plains of the Rio Yasuni and Rio Nashino, with numerous oxbow 

lakes and riverine marshes, freshwater lakes and swamps, and large areas of swamp forest. 

Principal vegetation: In humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Yasuni National Park (679,730 ha) established in 1979, but as the Park 

regulations are not enforced, the area is in effect unprotected. 

Land use: Hunting, fishing, exploitation of timber, and oil exploration. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of western Amazonian waterfowl, including such characteristic 

species as Anhinga anhinga, Ardea cocoi, Mesembrinibis cayennensis. Cairina moschata, 

Opisthocomus hoazin, Aramus guarauna, Heliornis fulica, Phaetusa simplex and Sterna 

superciliaris. 

Other fauna: A rich Amazonian fauna still largely intact, with large populations of crocodilians 

and cetaceans in the rivers. 

Threats: Unrestricted squatting by settlers, with associated forest clearance, hunting and 

fishing. The construction of a network of roads for oil exploration has opened up the area to 

colonization, and the colonists have now formed their own organizations to pressure the 

Government into declassifying parts of the National Park for settlement. The Department of 

National Parks seems powerless to prevent this. 

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Research and conservation: Only preliminary faunal investigations have been carried out in the 

Park, but it is clear that the area is still very rich in wildlife. As Yasuni National Park 

constitutes almost the only protected area in the Amazonian region of Ecuador, every effort 

should be made to enforce the Park regulations and prevent further colonization in the area. 

References: Vreugdenhil (1979); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Paul Greenfield. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Rio Pastaza and tributaries (4) 

Location: 1°30'-2°35'S, 76M0'-78°00'W; between Pastaza and the Peruvian border, Pastaza 

Province. 

Area: 250 km of river. 

Altitude: 250-800m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 1 1 & 18. 

Site description: The Rio Pastaza and its tributaries, including Rio Bobonanza and Rio Rutuno, 

and the Sarayacu zone on the Rio Bobonanza. Wetland habitats include slow-flowing rivers, 

oxbow lakes and marshes, and swamp forest. 

Principal vegetation: In humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Primitive agriculture and livestock rearing around many small settlements; 

subsistence hunting and fishing. 

Waterfowl: Little information available, but the area appears to support a very rich waterfowl 

community including a variety of uncommon species such as Zebrilus undulatus, Neochen 

jubatus and Aramides calopterus. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Human colonization proceeds at a rapid rate. 

Research and conservation: The area is still very poorly known. 

Source: Fernando Ortiz and Clemencia Vela. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Lago Yaguarcocha (5) 

Location: 0°23'N, 78°05'W; north of Ibarra, Imbabura Province. 

Area: 230 ha. 

Altitude: 2,210m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 12. 

Site description: A permanent relatively shallow freshwater lake of volcanic origin and with 

hard alkaline eutrophic waters, at medium elevation in the Andes. The maximum depth is 9m, 

but there is a very wide littoral zone, and the level of the lake is apparently decreasing. The 

lake is fed by water from the Rio Tahuando and local rainfall; it never freezes. 

Principal vegetation: Eighty-four species of phytoplankton have been recorded, the highest 

number from any lake in Ecuador. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: There is an automobile race track around the lake. 

Waterfowl: A variety of Andean waterfowl occur including up to 25 Podiceps occipitalis, 

225 Anas georgica, 50 Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea, 40 Fulica americana/ ardesiaca and 

22 Larus serranus. Podilymbus podiceps is common, and several Nearctic migrants occur on 

passage, including Anas discors and Porzana Carolina. The very rare Southern Pochard Netta 

erythrophthalma erythrophthalma was observed on the lake as recently as February 1981. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The basin of the lake has been modified by the recent construction of an automobile 

race track around the lake. Erosion and siltation resulting from this have affected the shallow 

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areas of the lake, and a recently constructed channel between the lake and the Rio Tahuando is 

at least partly responsible for a lowering in water level, although climatic changes are also 

almost certainly involved. 

Research and conservation: The limnology of the lake has been studied by Steinitz-Kannan et 

al. 

References: Colinvaux & Steinitz (1980); Steinitz-Kannan et al (1983). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Paul Greenfield. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna Cuicocha (6) 

Location: 0°18'N, 78°24'W; 55 km NNE of Quito in the Western Cordillera, Imbabura Province. 

Area: 657 ha. 

Altitude: 3,068m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 12. 

Site description: A deep freshwater volcanic crater lake with two large islands, on the slopes of 

Cotacachi Mountain. The largest lake in Ecuador, with clear oligotrophic waters up to 132m 

deep; in a closed basin with cliffs rising up to 400m above the water. The water level is 

maintained by snow melt and rainfall balanced by evaporation and seepage. 

Principal vegetation: Beds of Potamogeton sp and Myriophyllum sp, and a narrow fringe 

of Scirpus sp. Seventy-nine species of phytoplankton have been recorded. The western island 

is covered in montane forest. In the paramo and humid montane scrub zone. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve (204,420 ha) established in 1968 

and increased to its present size in 1979. 

Land use: Tourism; there is a restaurant and recreation area on the lake shore, and regular 

boats trips around the lake at weekends. 

Waterfowl: There are small resident populations of Podiceps occipitalis (up to 44 adults) 

and Fulica americana/ ardesiaca. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Motor boat trips cause a considerable amount of disturbance, particularly at weekends. 

Research and conservation: Studies have been conducted on the limnology of the lake and the 

grebe population, and a management plan has been produced for the Ecological Reserve. 

References: Ortiz (1977); Hilsenbeck (1979); Colinvaux & Steinitz (1980); lUCN (1982); 

Figueroa (1983); Steinitz-Kannan et al (1983). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz and Clemencia Vela. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3b. 



Lago San Pablo (7) 

Location: 0°13'N, 78°14'W; 5 km southeast of Otavalo, at the foot of Mt Imbabura, Imbabura 

Province. 

Area: 620 ha. 

Altitude: 2,661m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 12. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake, up to 48m deep and with a wide shallow littoral 

zone, occupying an ancient closed basin on an interandean plateau. The second largest lake in 

Ecuador; formerly oligotrophic, but now much polluted and becoming eutrophic. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Scirpus sp; beds of submergent Potamogeton sp 

and Ceratophyllum sp; a variety of algae including Microcystis aeruginosa and Lyngbya birgei; 

and 74 species of phytoplankton including Pediastrum boryanum and Scenedesmus quadricauda. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None, although the lake is near the northern border of the Cayambe-Coca 

Ecological Reserve. 



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Land use: Water sports, particularly sailing; hunting and fishing; reed-cutting for weaving; and 

utilization of the water for irrigation. There are many chalets, restaurants and a sailing club on 

the shores of the lake. 

Waterfowl: Formerly an important lake for waterfowl and a locality for the rare Netta 

erythrophthalma erythrophthalma, but relatively few birds present in recent years. A census in 

September 1983 included 11 Podilymbus podiceps, 130 Anas georgica, breeding Gallinula 

chloropus and Fulica americana ardesiaca, and small numbers of four species of Nearctic 

shorebirds. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The lake is undergoing eutrophication as a result of pollution with domestic sewage 

from holiday homes and other facilities on the lake shore; and there is excessive disturbance 

from human activities in general. 

Research and conservation: The limnology of the lake has been studied by Steinitz-Kannan et 

al. 

References: Steinitz-Kannan et al (1983). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela, Paul Greenfield and Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Laguna de San Marcos (8) 

Location: 0°07'N, 78°25'W; on the northeast slopes of Cayambe Volcano, Napo Province. 

Area: 39 ha. 

Altitude: 3,414m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 12. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake, up to 35m deep, occupying a glacial fjord on 

the northeastern slopes of Mt Cayambe. The lake is oligotrophic, with very acidic and strongly 

stratified waters; it is fed by several streams from melting glaciers. The water level remains 

fairly constant. 

Principal vegetation: There are some patches of Myhophyllum and Potamogeton in shallow 

areas at the north end of the lake. Eighty-two species of phytoplankton have been recorded, 

with the Chrysophyta Dinobrion sertularia predominating. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve (403,103 ha) established in 1970 and 

increased to its present size in 1979. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: The planktonic fauna has been described in some detail by Steinitz-Kannan et al 

(1983). The lake is of great limnological interest as a true fjord lake with very acidic waters 

and marked stratification. 

Threats: No information. 

Research and conservation: The lake has been the subject of detailed limnological 

investigations. 

References: Steinitz-Kannan et al (1982 & 1983); Figueroa (1983). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



The upper Rio Blanco (9) 

Location: 0'02'S, 78°48'W; 40 km northwest of Quito, Pichincha Province. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: c.2,100m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 10. 

Site description: Fast-flowing rivers and streams in the upper Rio Blanco drainage on the 

Pacific slope of the Andes west of the town of Mindo. One of the few areas on the Pacific 

slope of Ecuador with relatively undisturbed subtropical forest, and clear water rivers and 

streams. 

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Principal vegetation: In humid subtropical montane forest. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned, but with private holdings around the town of Mindo. 

Protection: None at present. 

Land use: Some forest clearance and agriculture. 

Waterfowl: Few true waterfowl occur, but these include Tigrisoma fasciatum, Merganetta 

armata and the very local Aramides wolfi. 

Other fauna: The area is very rich both faunistically and floristically. Over 300 bird species 

have been recorded many of which, although not typical waterfowl, are closely associated with 

the rivers and streams. The Spectacled Bear Tremarctos ornatus is reported to be relatively 

common. 

Threats: There is a plan to construct a road between Mindo and Ulloa which would open up 

this remote area to further forest clearance and colonization. 

Research and conservation: A proposal exists to create a protected area in the region, with the 

headquarters in Mindo, but apparently there is some political opposition to this. 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Paul Greenfield. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Lakes and bogs at Papallacta Pass (10) 

Location: 0°18'S, 78°10'W; in the western part of the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve, Napo 

Province. 

Area: c.700 ha. 

Altitude: 4,100m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: Numerous small freshwater lakes, marshes and Andean bogs near Papallacta 

Pass. Many of the lakes and bogs are difficult of access, and few have been investigated. 

Principal vegetation: In the paramo zone, with some elfin forest of Polylepis sp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve (403,103 ha) established in 1970 and 

increased to its present size in 1979. 

Land use: A little cattle grazing, burning of grassland and hunting. 

Waterfowl: A variety of high Andean waterfowl have been recorded, including Anas 

flavirostris. Gallinago nobilis, G. stricklandii jamesoni and Larus serranus. It is possible that 

the rare Theristicus (c) branickii still occurs in the area. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: A management plan has been prepared for the Ecological Reserve, 

but the wetlands remain very poorly known. 

References: Paucar & Reinoso (1978); lUCN (1982); Figueroa (1983). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Paul Greenfield. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Lago Papallacta (11) 

Location: 0°22'S, 78°10'W; 25 km west of Baeza, Napo Province. 

Area: 38 ha. 

Altitude: 3,920m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 10 & 12. 

Site description: A small permanent freshwater lake, up to 5.5m deep, formed by a landslide 

across the Rio Papallacta. The Rio Papallacta and other streams feeding the lake are still 

relatively unspoiled. 



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Principal vegetation: Fringing marshes of Scirpus calif ornicus and Junus sp . The predominant 

phytoplankton is the diatom Synedra ulna chaseana. In the paramo zone, with some damp 

meadows and patches of cloud forest near the lake. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None, but close to the boundary of the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve. 

Land use: Some farming, quarrying of rock, hunting and fishing. 

Waterfowl: A variety of high Andean waterfowl occur in small numbers, including Anas 

flavirostris and Gallinago nobilis. Merganetta armata still nests along the Rio Papallacta. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Excessive disturbance from human activities, particularly hunting. 

Research and conservation: Limnological studies have been carried out by Steinitz-Kannan et 

al. 

References: Steinitz-Kannan et al (1983). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Paul Greenfield. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna La Mica (12) 

Location: 0°33'S, 78''12'W; on the south slope of Cerro Antisana, ESE of Quito, Napo Province. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 4,100m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 12. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake in the high Andes, deriving its water from snow 

melt on Antisana. 

Principal vegetation: In the paramo zone. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: No legal protection, but the land owners restrict access. 

Land use: Some hunting and fishing. 

Waterfowl: A variety of high Andean species have been recorded including Podiceps 

occipitalis, Theristicus (c) branickii. Anas flavirostris, A. georgica, Vanellus resplendens, Attagis 

gayi and Larus serranus. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Paul Greenfield. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Limpiapungo Lake and Paramo (13) 

Location: OMO'S, 78°30'W; in Cotopaxi National Park, Cotopaxi Province. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown; Limpiapungo Lake 1 ha. 

Altitude: Lake at 3,800m; National Park 3,300-6,000m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: Limpiapungo Lake is a permanent freshwater lake, up to 65 cm deep, in a 

basin at the intersection of valley systems below the snow-capped peak of Cotopaxi Volcano. 

There are glacial features in the vicinity, but the lake itself is not of glacial origin. There are 

extensive areas of bog and wet grassland in the surrounding paramo. 

Principal vegetation: There is a benthic mass of Phormidium sp in the lake. The typical 

paramo vegetation includes Hyperium laricifolium, Brachyotum lepidifolium, Chuquiragua 

land folia, Polylepis incana, Buddelia incana, Oreopanax argentata and some Cyperaceae. 

Land tenure: About 50% state owned and 50% privately owned. 

Protection: Within the Cotopaxi National Park (33,393 ha) established in 1975. 

Land use: Tourism in the National Park. 



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Ecuador 

Waterfowl: A variety of high Andean waterfowl occur, including Theristicus (c) branikii. 

Anas flavirostris, A. georgica, Fulica americana/ardesiaca, Vanellus resplendens, Gallinago 

stricklandii jamesoni, Attagis gayi and Larus serranus. Anas discors and five species of 

Nearctic shorebirds have been recorded in small numbers. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Some minor disturbance from tourism. The wardening in the National Park is 

inadequate and there have been reports of illegal hunting. 

Research and conservation: Limnological studies have been carried out by Steinitz-Kannan et 

al. 

References: Colinvaux & Steinitz (1980); lUCN (1982); Steinitz-Kannan et al (1983) 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Paul Greenfield. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna de Colta (14) 

Location: r45'S, 78°44'W; 15 km southwest of Riobamba, Chimborazo Province. 

Area: 240 ha. 

Altitude: 3,420m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 12. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater Andean lake, up to 3.5m deep, created by a lava flow 

some 2,000 years ago. The lake is fed by several seasonal streams; it shows some annual 

fluctuations in water level according to local rainfall, and has been decreasing in size for 

several decades. 

Principal vegetation: Most of the lake is surrounded by dense stands of Scirpus californicus. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: The local Indians utilize the reeds for weaving handicrafts. 

Waterfowl: A variety of both highland and lowland species have been recorded, including nine 

species of Nearctic shorebirds, and up to 200 Anas discors. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known, other than a natural decrease in the water level. 

Research and conservation: Some limnological studies have been conducted. 

References: Chapman (1926); Steinitz-Kannan et al (1983) 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Paul Greenfield. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Lakes in the Cuenca area (15) 

Location: 2°50'S, 79''15'W; in the southern Andes of Ecuador, 30 km west of Cuenca, Azuay 

Province. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: c.4,000m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 12. 

Site description: Over 95 small glacial lakes, up to 100 ha in extent, and numerous ponds in the 

high Andes of southern Ecuador. Two small lakes in the Andes to the east of Cuenca, Laguna 

de Kingora near Sigsig, and Lago de Culebrillas on Cerro Yanaurco, are presumably similar. 

Principal vegetation: In the paramo zone. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Partly within the Cajas National Recreation Area (27,323 ha) established in 1977 

and redefined in 1979. The Recreation Area includes some 250 small lakes and ponds. 



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Land use: Recreation, particularly trout fishing. 

Waterfowl: A variety of high Andean waterfowl were recorded at Laguna de Kingora and Lago 

de Culebrillas at the end of the nineteenth century, but no information seems to be available on 

any of the lakes in this area since then. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The demands of Cuenca city for water pose a potential threat to many of the lakes. 

Research and conservation: The lakes are of considerable limnological interest, and the entire 

area has great potential for outdoor recreation and conservation education. 

References: Figueroa (1983); Ortiz (1983). 

Source: Miriam Steinitz-Kannan. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



The lower Rio Santiago and Rio Cayapas (16) 

Location: 1°12'-1''25'N, 78°5r-79°02'W; near San Lorenzo and Borbon, Esmeraldas Province. 

Area: 65,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-20m. 

Province and type: 8.3.1; 02, 08, 09 & 11. 

Site description: The estuarine system of the Santiago and Cayapas Rivers with extensive 

mangrove swamps; and meandering rivers, riverine marshes, and associated oxbow lakes and 

marshes in the nearby lowlands. The extent of the riverine marshes varies considerably 

according to rainfall. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps at the river mouths. In relatively undisturbed humid 

tropical forest. 

Land tenure: Partly state owned, and partly privately owned by indigenous groups. 

Protection: None. The Rio Cayapas rises in the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve in the 

Western Andes. 

Land use: Exploitation of timber, hunting, fishing (particularly for clams), and agriculture. 

There are extensive plantations of bananas, papayas and other tropical fruits around Borbon. 

Waterfowl: The waterfowl of the region are very poorly known, but most if not all of the 

species typical of the western humid tropical zone of Ecuador might be expected to occur. 

Species observed during a brief survey of the mangrove areas in March 1980 

included Pelecanus occidentalis, a variety of Ardeidae, several Nearctic shorebirds. Lams 

atricilla, L. pipixcan and Chlidonias nigra. Other species known to occur include Agamia 

agami, Heliornis fulica and Aramides wolfi. 

Other fauna: Over 10 Ospreys Pandion haliaetus were observed in March 1980. The sea 

turtle Chelonia mydas occurs on nearby beaches. 

Threats: Forest clearance and uncontrolled hunting. The larger mammals have been almost 

exterminated in the area. 

Research and conservation: Undoubtedly still a rich area for wetland species, but very poorly 

known. A thorough survey is clearly called for. 

References: Chapman (1926). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Paul Greenfield. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



The lower Rio Chone and Bahia de Caraquez (17) 

Location: OMO'S, 80°15'W; between the towns of Chone and Bahia de Caraquez, Manabi 

Province. 

Area: 5,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-20m. 

Province and type: 8.3.1; 02, 06, 07, 08, 09, 1 1 & 18. 

Site description: A slow-flowing river (Rio Chone) with associated oxbow lakes, marshes and 

swamp forest; and its estuary in Bahia de Caraquez, with tidal mudflats, mangrove swamps, 

and brackish coastal lagoons and marshes. 



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Principal vegetation: Extensive mangrove swamps and swamp forest. In a region of humid 

tropical to semi-arid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: A variety of waterfowl typical of the western lowlands of Ecuador were observed 

by Chapman in the 1920s, but no information has become available since then. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Wetland habitat is being lost to shrimp farming; there is contamination with pesticides 

used in the control of malaria; and offshore drilling for oil poses a potential threat of pollution. 

Research and conservation: The area is particularly important for its rich mangrove and 

estuarine communities. Some work has recently been done on the mangroves by the Escuela 

Superior Politecnica del Litoral, and a proposal was made by the Universidad Catolica in Quito 

and the Canadian Wildlife Service to carry out a wetland evaluation project in the region in 

1983/84. 

References: Chapman (1926). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela, Paul Greenfield and Nancy Hilgert. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b, 2c & 3a. 



Ecuasal Lagoons (18) 

Location: 2°17'S, 80°55'W; 8 km southeast of Salinas, Guayas Province. 

Area: Several hundred ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.19.4; 07. 

Site description: A complex of artificial saline lagoons with some associated saline marshes, 

near the sea coast. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None, but access to the area is partly restricted by the owners. 

Land use: Commercial extraction of salt. 

Waterfowl: An important area for a wide variety of shorebirds and Laridae, including 

seventeen Nearctic migrants. The commonest Nearctic shorebirds are Charadrius 

semi pal matus, Tringa melanoleuca, T. flavipes, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus. Arenaria 

interpres, Limnodromus griseus, Calidris alba, C. pusilla, C. minutilla and Steganopus tricolor 

(up to 1,000). Thirty pairs of Larus cirrocephalus were found breeding in July 1978, the first 

breeding record for Ecuador and the northernmost on the Pacific coast of South 

America. Himantopus himantopus is common, and Phoenicopterus chilensis has occurred as an 

occasional visitor. 

Other fauna: Pandion haliaetus and Falco peregrinus occur as non-breeding visitors. 

Threats: Hunting may be a problem. 

Research and conservation: Several avifaunal surveys have been conducted in the area in recent 

years, particularly by Greenfield and Ridgely. 

References: Marchant (1958); Ridgely & Wilcove (1979); Ridgely (1980). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela, Paul Greenfield and Nancy Hilgert. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



The Santa Elena Peninsula and Gulf of Guayaquil (19) 

Location: 1°20'-3°00'S, 79°30'-81°00'W; Guayas Province. 

Area: c.650,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-30m. 

Province and type: 8.19.4; 02, 03, 06, 07, 08, 09, 11, 12, 16, 17 & 18. 

Site description: A vast complex of slow-flowing rivers and associated marshes, freshwater 

lakes, swamp forest, seasonally flooded grassland, rice growing areas, and seasonally flooded 

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Ecuador 

arable land at the head of the Gulf of Guayaquil; and the estuarine systems of the Gulf with 

low-lying offshore islands, extensive intertidal sand and mud-flats, and mangrove swamps. 

The wetland habitat has been greatly reduced in extent and much fragmented by land 

reclamation for agriculture and urban development, and large areas have been converted into 

rice paddies, salt ponds and shrimp farms. The most important sites within this region are 

described separately below. 

Principal vegetation: Approximately 200,000 ha of mangrove swamps remain in the Gulf 

proper. 

Land tenure: Formerly largely state owned, but now the greater part is privately owned. 

Protection: Largely unprotected. There is a mangrove reserve of 35,042 ha (the 

Manglares-Churute Ecological Reserve, established in 1979) and a faunal and floral reserve at 

Cerro Churute, but these are poorly enforced. 

Land use: Urban development at Guayaquil and many smaller towns in the region; agriculture, 

particularly rice growing; shrimp farming; hunting; and fishing. There are now some 

50,000 ha of shrimp farms in the Gulf of Guayaquil; about half replaced mangrove swamps 

and the remainder were sited in "salitrales", low-lying salty areas with little vegetation. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for waterfowl of a wide variety of species, and 

probably one of the most important wintering areas for Nearctic shorebirds in South America. 

Over eighty species are known or thought to occur including many Ardeidae, Anatidae, 

shorebirds and Laridae, but no census data are available. 

Other fauna: Crocodylus acutus still occurs in the Babahoyo area, but it is now practically 

extinct. 

Threats: The destruction of the wetland habitat continues at a rapid rate as land is reclaimed 

for urban growth and agriculture. About one eighth of the mangroves have already been 

destroyed for shrimp farms, and this continues. There is a considerable amount of hunting, 

particularly of Anatidae and of birds thought to prey on shrimps. 

Research and conservation: Several avifaunal surveys have been conducted in the region, 

notably by Chapman (1926), Marchant (1956) and Felix Man-ging of the University of 

Guayaquil, but remarkably little work seems to have been done on other wildlife. 

References: Chapman (1926); Marchant (1958 & 1960); Paynter & Taylor (1977); Ortiz (1983). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela, Paul Greenfield and Felix Man-ging. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Abras de Mantequilla (19a) 

Location: l''30'S, 79°38'W; 10 km east of Vinces, Guayas Province. 

Area: c. 10,000 ha. 

Altitude: 30m. 

Province and type: 8.19.4; 12, 16 & 17. 

Site description: A complex of freshwater lakes and marshes, seasonally flooded savannas, and 

wet arable land; one of the few wetland areas still relatively undisturbed in the Santa Elena 

Peninsula. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned, with some private holdings. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Some agriculture and hunting. 

Waterfowl: Leveque recorded a variety of waterfowl typical of the lowlands of western 

Ecuador, but no work seems to have been done in the area since then. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: A remote area, difficult of access, and still relatively unspoiled. A 

thorough survey of the area should be carried out, and the possibility of establishing a reserve 

considered. 

References: Leveque (1964). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Felix Man-ging. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



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Ecuador 

Marshes between Santa Lucia and Daule (19b) 

Location: r45'S, 79°56'W; near Santa Lucia, between Guayaquil and Balzar, Guayas Province. 

Area: c. 10,000 ha. 

Altitude: 10m. 

Province and type: 8.19.4; 13, 16 & 17. 

Site description: A complex of freshwater ponds and marshes, seasonally flooded savanna, and 

wet arable land; on the east bank of the Rio Daule. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Some agriculture. 

Waterfowl: No recent information; 19th century ornithologists and Leveque recorded a variety 

of waterfowl typical of the region, including a number of Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Leveque (1964). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz and Clemencia Vela. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



The lower Rio Babahoyo and Rio Dauie (19c) 

Location: 2''05'S, 79°53'W; north of Guayaquil, Guayas Province. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.19.4; 09, 11 & 16. 

Site description: Slow-flowing rivers, riverine marshes, associated oxbow lakes, and large areas 

of seasonally flooded savanna at the confluence of the Babahoyo and Daule Rivers. After the 

unusually heavy rains in 1983, much of the area became a large shallow lake. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: The rivers are state owned; the adjacent lands are privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Hunting, fishing, and some wood-cutting. 

Waterfowl: 19th century ornithologists recorded a variety of waterfowl in the area, but there 

appears to be very little recent information. Byskov observed very large numbers of Ardeidae 

in October 1974, mainly Egretta alba and E. thula; and Steinitz-Kannan noted large 

concentrations of Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Ardeidae, Threskiornithidae and Anatidae in May 

1984, when the area was still extensively flooded as a result of heavy rains in 1983. 

Other fauna: Byskov recorded 400 Rostrhamus sociabilis in October 1974. The American 

Crocodile Crocodylus acutus still occurs in very small numbers near Babahoyo. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Byskov (1974). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela, Paul Greenfield, Miriam Steinitz-Kannan and Felix 

Man-ging. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Duran Marshes (19d) 

Location: 2°00'S, 79'53'W; north of Guayaquil, Guayas Province. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 5m. 

Province and type: 8.19.4; 13, 16 & 17. 

Site description: A complex of freshwater ponds and marshes, seasonally flooded grassland, 

rice paddies and wet arable land between the Rio Babahoyo and Rio Daule. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

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Ecuador 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Agriculture, particularly rice-growing; and hunting. 

Waterfowl: Species observed during brief surveys in recent years have included Podiceps 

dominicus, Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Bubulcus ibis, Butorides striatus, Egretta thula, E. alba. 

Dendrocygna bicolor, D. autumnalis. Anas bahamensis, A. discors, Aramus guarauna, Laterallus 

albigularis, Gallinula chloropus, Porphyrula martinica, Jacana jacana. Himantopus himantopus 

and four species of Nearctic shorebirds, Tringa solitaria, T. melanoleuca, T. flavipes and Actitis 

macularia. Anhima cornuta was last seen in the area by R. Ridgely in 1976. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Excessive hunting and general disturbance from human activities. 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela, Paul Greenfield and Felix Man-ging. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Estuary of the Rio Guayas (19e) 

Location: 2°25'S, 79°55'W; from Guayaquil south for 50 km, Guayas Province. 

Area: c. 150,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.19.4; 02, 06, 07, 08 & 16. 

Site description: An extensive estuarine system of several large rivers, with intertidal sand and 

mud-flats, saline marshes, mangrove swamps and numerous salt water channels and inlets. The 

surrounding savanna is extensively inundated during the rainy season. 

Principal vegetation: The dominant mangroves are Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa 

and Avicennia germinans. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 98% of the mangrove reserve is state 

owned. 

Protection: Part of the mangroves are included within the Manglares-Churute Ecological 

Reserve (35,042 ha) established in 1979, but there are insufficient funds for adequate 

protection. Other areas are unprotected. 

Land use: A great part of the region is now under urban development, with large industrial and 

housing developments spreading south from Guayaquil. Elsewhere, activities include fishing, 

shrimp farming, cutting of mangroves, and dumping of waste. There is a considerable amount 

of shipping in the estuary. 

Waterfowl: The estuary is known to be of very great importance both for resident species and 

for migratory shorebirds, but no adequate surveys have as yet been undertaken. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Areas around Guayaquil are being colonized and developed, and the wetlands are 

rapidly disappearing. Mangroves are being destroyed for shrimp ponds; there is serious 

pollution from shipping and industry; there is contamination with pesticides used in the control 

of malaria; some areas are being used as rubbish dumps; and there is considerable disturbance 

from hunting. 

Research and conservation: Despite the obvious importance of this estuarine system, little work 

seems to have been conducted on its animal and plant communities. Brosset, Leveque and 

Mills made some ornithological observations in the 1960s, and in recent years some 

investigations have been made by the University of Guayaquil and Greenfield, but the entire 

area clearly merits an in depth study. 

References: Leveque (1964); Brosset (1964); Mills (1967); Paynter & Taylor (1977); Leek (1980); 

lUCN (1982). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela, Paul Greenfield and Felix Man-ging. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b, 2c & 3a. 



Isla Puna (19f) 

Location: 2°50'S, 80°05'W; 70 km SSW of Guayaquil, Guayas Province. 
Area: c. 100,000 ha. 

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Ecuador 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.19.4; 03, 06 & 08. 

Site description: A large low-lying island in the estuary of the Rio Guayas, with fringing 

mangrove swamps and extensive areas of intertidal sand and mud-flats. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Almost unknown; a few species were recorded by Leveque including Eudocimus 

albus, Ajaia ajaja and Aramides axillaris, but the area must surely be of great importance for 

migratory shorebirds and Laridae. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Concessions have recently been granted for the destruction of mangroves. 

Research and conservation: Presumably a very important area, but as yet almost unknown. 

References: Leveque (1964). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela, Paul Greenfield and Felix Man-ging. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Wetlands in the Santa Rosa area (20) 

Location: 3''27'S, Vg^SS'W; 20 km south of Machala, El Oro Province. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.19.4; 03, 05, 06 & 12. 

Site description: A series of small freshwater lakes and marshes on the arid coastal plain of 

southwestern Ecuador, adjacent sandy beaches, and two offshore islands. La Plata and Salango. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: Within the Machalilla National Park. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Very poorly known. The area was visited briefly by Greenfield in August 1980 

and a wide variety of species was recorded including Mycteria americana, Eudocimus albus, 

Dendrocygna bicolor, D. autumnalis. Anas bahamensis, Laterallus albigularis and Gelochelidon 

nilotica. Burhinus superciliaris was found in the surrounding semi-desert. 

Other fauna: There are important sea turtle nesting beaches on the islands. 

Threats: There is a possibility that an oil terminal will be constructed on the islands. 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela, Paul Greenfield and Nancy Hilgert. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Saline ponds of the Galapagos Islands (21) 

Location: O'lO'N-TOO'S; 89°20'-91°40'W; in the Galapagos Islands, 1,000 km west of the 

Ecuadorean coast. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.44.13; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A number of small saline ponds, up to Im deep, behind sea beaches, with or 

without stands of mangroves; in the arid shrub and cactus zone on all the main islands in the 

archipelago. The ponds are flooded at the highest tides, and then gradually fall in level and 

increase in salinity as a result of seepage and evaporation. The principal ponds are as follows: 

Las Salinas, Puerto Villamil, Puerto de Jeli, Tercera Playa, Cuarta Playa, Quinta Playa and 

Puerto Fragata on Isabela; ponds on Rabida; El Sarten on Santiago; ponds on Bain Bridge; Punta 

Rocafuerte, Bahia Tortuga and Bahia Borrero on Santa Cruz; and Punta Cormorant and La 

Montura on Floreana. 



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Ecuador 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, 

Conocarpus erectus and Laguncularia racemosa; surrounding arid scrub and woodland 

with Prosopis juliflora, Parkinsonia aculeata, Bursera graveolans. Ipomoea pescaprae 

and Opuntia echios inermis. 

Land tenure: 97% of the land in the archipelago is state owned, the rest is private. 

Protection: Within the Galapagos National Park first established in 1936; Figueroa (1983) gives 

the area of the Park as 679,000 ha. 

Land use: Tourism in the National Park. 

Waterfowl: Over 50 species of waterfowl have been recorded, including 29 species of Nearctic 

shorebirds, but many of these have occurred only as rare vagrants. Resident breeding species 

include the following endemic subspecies: Pelecanus occidentalis urinator. Nyctanassa violaceus 

pauper. Butorides striatus sundevalli (possibly a distinct species), Ardea herodias cognata. Anas 

bahamensis galapagensis and Haematopus palliatus galapagensis (total population only about 

100 pairs). Other breeding species include Egretta alba. Phoenicopterus ruber (total population 

of 400-500 individuals confined to the salt ponds), Gallinula chloropus and Himantopus 

himantopus. Of the many Nearctic shorebirds which have been recorded, only Charadrius 

semipalmatus. Numenius phaeopus. Heteroscelus incanus, Arenaria interpres. Calidris alba 

and Lobipes lobatus occur in significant numbers. H. incanus occurs in large numbers on rocky 

shores, and it is clear that the Galapagos Islands constitute a major wintering area for this 

species. Anas discors is a regular winter visitor in small numbers. 

Other fauna: The ponds support an abundant invertebrate fauna, but lack mammals, reptiles 

and amphibians. 

Threats: Urban areas continue to expand, and there are increasing pressures on the National 

Park. Ponds near to human settlements, e.g. the ponds at Puerto Villamil, are particularly 

subject to disturbance. Tourism may cause disturbance at some ponds; the Master Plan for the 

National Park initially called for a maximum of 12,000 visitors per year, but this was increased 

to 20,000 in 1981. A constant danger is the deliberate or accidental introduction of new 

species which, through direct predation, competition, hybridization or the introduction of 

diseases, may threaten the endemic fauna. 

Research and conservation: A large amount of research has been carried out in the islands, and 

the small resident flamingo population has received a considerable amount of attention. The 

avifauna has been described in some detail by Harris. A Master Plan for the National Park has 

been produced, and if properly implemented, should secure the future of the rich endemic 

flora and fauna of the archipelago. 

References: Leveque et al (1966); Colinvaux (1968); Howmiller (1969); Leleup & Leleup (1970); 

Harris (1973 & 1974); Kramer (1973); Steinitz-Kannan (1979); Moore (1980); Moore & Toui de 

Roy (1980); Castro (1981); lUCN (1982); de Groot (1983); Figueroa (1983). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz and Clemencia Vela. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna EI Junco (22) 

Location: 0°55'S, 89°30'W; on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos Islands. 

Area: 5.7 ha. 

Altitude: 700m. 

Province and type: 8.44.13; 12. 

Site description: A small permanent freshwater lake, 6m deep, with paramo-like vegetation in 

the humid highlands of San Cristobal. A lake of great antiquity, and the only significant 

freshwater body in the Galapagos Islands. 

Principal vegetation: The aquatic vegetation includes the endemic species Micobia robinsoniana 

and Cyathea weatherbyana, and Azolla microphylla, Ludwigia peploides, Eleocharis mutata 

and Polygonum sp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Galapagos National Park (679,000 ha) established in 1936. 

Land use: Tourism. 

Waterfowl: Anas bahamensis galapagensis and Gallinula chloropus occur. 

Other fauna: No information. 



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Ecuador 

Threats: The lake is accessible by road, and visited by many tourists. There are some domestic 

livestock in the area, and the danger of introduction of exotic plants and animals is high. 

Research and conservation: Limnological studies have been conducted at the lake by 

Steinitz-Kannan et al. 

References: Colinvaux & Steinitz (1980); lUCN (1982); Steinitz-Kannan et al (1983). 

Source: Fernando Ortiz, Clemencia Vela and Carlos Valle. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3b. 



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FALKLAND ISLANDS 



INTRODUCTION 

by Andrew F. G. Douse 

The Falkland Islands are located about 550 km east of the tip of South America between 
latitudes 51° and 52° South, and longitudes 58° and 61° West. The population of about 2,500 
depends almost entirely on sheep farming for wool. Ranches are large and under thirty 
landowners manage the total of about 12,170km^. The islands are gently sloping with hills up 
to 700m, but the southern portion of East Falkland is low and level, rarely exceeding 90m. 

The climate is cold temperate with an annual mean temperature of 5.6°C and extremes 
from about -8 to 25. Annual rainfall varies from about 635 mm in the east to less than 405 
mm on West Falkland. The dominant vegetation is the grass Cortaderia pilosa and the low 
shrub Empetrum rubrum. Tussock grass Poa flabellata is now confined to small islands and 
other areas where sheep cannot graze. 

The wetland habitats have been described in some detail by Weller (1973). Except for a 
very small proportion of the total land area, the soil is blanket peat of variable thickness, and 
thus under the definition of wetlands in the Ramsar Convention, almost the whole of the 
Falklands can be termed wetland. However estuaries are very small and there are no large 
lakes or extensive marshes. Instead there is a very large number of shallow freshwater ponds, 
up to several hundred hectares in extent, marshes and streams scattered throughout the islands. 
The ponds are acid (pH mainly in the range 4.0 to 5.3) with sand or cley bottoms. Most ponds 
have beds of Myriophyllum and the alga Nitella, and some have marginal stands of the 
emergent spikerush Eleocharis melanostachys. Sea shores are mainly rocky; on exposed shores 
water worn strata have formed shelves exposed at low tide and with abundant marine algae. 
Sandy beaches fringe many bays, and there are some small coastal sand-bottomed ponds 
with Ruppia. 

The avifauna of the islands has been documented by Woods (1975), and more recently 
Standring (1982) has reviewed the status of the waterfowl. Amongst the numerous breeding 
waterfowl, there are endemic subspecies of the grebe RoUandia rolland and the night 
heron Nycticorax nycticorax, and an endemic species of steamer duck, Tachyeres brachypterus. 
Also of particular note is the large population of the Ruddy-headed Goose Chloephaga 
rubidiceps, a species now facing extinction in the remainder of its range in continental South 
America. Few Nearctic shorebirds reach the Falkland Islands, but one species, Calidris 
fuscicollis, does so in large numbers, while Calidris alba is not uncommon. 

Standring (1982) also notes that there are two endemic species of freshwater 
fishes, Aplochiton zebra and Galaxis maculatus. Both have suffered marked declines in recent 
years and have been supplanted in many waters as a result of the introduction of the Brown 
Trout Salmo trutta. 



Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

The Agricultural Research Centre, Port Stanley, carries out research into sheep husbandry, 
grassland improvement and veterinary matters. The research into the Upland 

Goose Chloephaga picta is undertaken on behalf of this organization. It is funded and run by 
the Overseas Development Administration in the United Kingdom. 

The Falkland Islands Trust, Port Stanley, is the only locally based conservation 
organization. It has responsibility for wildlife and objects of historical interest. 

The Falkland Islands Foundation, c/o World Wildlife Fund - UK, is a private foundation 
based in the United Kingdom and dedicated to nature conservation in the Falkland Islands. 
The Foundation owns or leases sixteen small tussock islands in the archipelago, and intends to 
acquire other important wildlife areas, particularly those under threat, as and when they 
become available. The Foundation also provides both the military and the schools with 
educational material on Falklands wildlife. The work of the Foundation has been described by 
Lyster (1984). 



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Falkland Islands 

Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

The ordinance governing the protection of wild birds and other animals dates from 1964, and is 
due for revision. However, such revision is not to the author's knowledge in preparation, nor 
is it likely to be for some time. In particular, no action has been taken by the Government of 
the United Kingdom or the Falkland Islands Government to implement the principles of the 
Ramsar Convention. Standring (1982) has made a variety of recommendations with respect to 
the application of the Ramsar Convention in the Falkland Islands, and it is to be hoped that 
these will be acted upon in the future. 

The legislation for the creation of reserves is included in Standring (1982) and a detailed 
critique is also given. Since most land is privately owned, there is little that the Falkland 
Islands Government can do, other than to enter into some voluntary agreement with 
landowners. However, in the last four years, the Government has purchased three farms from 
their respective owners and then resold them to individuals after subdivision into smaller 
"family units". The last farm to be purchased was Packe's Port Howard which incorporated the 
important waterfowl site Hawk's Nest Ponds. The Government agreed with the purchasing 
landowner that the ponds should be preserved in their natural condition and the Falkland 
Islands Trust has undertaken to carry out a systematic survey of the site and to provide advice 
for its conservation and development as a tourist attraction. Future land sales will however be 
direct, and it will therefore be difficult for the Government to obtain such agreements. 

The following reserves and sanctuaries have been established to date: 

Reserves 

Kidney Island and Cochon Island 

Flat Jason Island 

Bird Island 

Crown Jason Island 

Sea Dog Island and Arch Island 
Sanctuaries 

The Twins, off Carcass Island 

Low Island 

Beauchene Island 

Elephant Jason Island 

Middle Island 

Volunteer and Cow Bay 

Cape Dolphin 

Bleaker Island 

Stanley Common and Cape Pembroke 

In the case of development projects, such as the new airport at Mount Pleasant, the Falkland 
Islands Government can either obtain the advice of local scientists and naturalists, or employ a 
scientist to carry out an environmental impact assessment. The latter course was taken for the 
Mount Pleasant airport; Dr John Miles of the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology in the United 
Kingdom was contracted to make an impact assessment. The report (Miles, 1984) includes 
information relevant to at least two areas of importance to waterfowl: Bertha's Beach and Swan 
Inlet. The Government does not have its own conservation/environment officer despite the 
requirement for one pointed out by Lord Shackleton in his 1982 report. 

A programme of research is currently being undertaken into the ecology of the Upland 
Goose Chloephaga picta and its role as an agricultural pest. The research has been in progress 
since 1974 and is due to continue for at least another two years. The main theme at present is 
the effect of the geese on introduced reseeded pasture. Information is also being collected on 
habitat dispersion and it is hoped to obtain an accurate estimate of the population size. A 
banding programme was carried out in 1977-1979 involving the use of colour rings, metal rings 
and neck collars. Some banding is still in progress but at a much reduced level. Recent 
publications on this research include Harradine (1982), Summers (1979, 1983a, 1983b, in 
press-a & in press-b). Summers & Dunnet (1984) and Summers & Grieve (1982). 

Some work has been conducted on Chloephaga rubidiceps (Summers et al, in prep.), and 
there is a proposal to initiate a more detailed research programme on the species, but this has 
not as yet been confirmed. 

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Falkland Islands 

Recently, Dr P. Humphrey of the University of Kansas has undertaken field work on the 
endemic Falkand Islands Steamer Duck Tachyeres brachypterus as part of his research into 
steamer ducks in general. His research also touches on the status of the Falkland Islands Flying 
Steamer Duck T. patachonicus. 

The Falkland Islands Foundation has recently initiated a small-scale breeding bird survey 
by distributing survey forms to interested islanders and visitors. The results of this survey will 
be collated by Robin Woods and published in the Foundation's newsletter. A more detailed 
survey will be conducted when adequate funds and logistic support become available. 



Major Threats to Wetlands and Waterfowl 

In general, industrial development, pollution and hunting are not considered to be sources of 
pressure on wetland habitat or their waterfowl. The one possible exception to this is the new 
Mount Pleasant airport. The potential environmental problems associated with this 
development have been discussed by Miles (1984). 

The major industry of the Falkland Islands is sheep farming, and consequently any 
development of the farming sector may put pressure on some waterfowl habitat. At present, 
most sheep farms in the Falklands are operated on an extensive scale in which sheep are 
generally set stocked on natural pasture. However the present trend is towards subdivision and 
greater intensification. One of the main priorities of the Agricultural Research Centre is to 
investigate the potential for reseeding areas of natural pasture to provide high quality feed at 
particular times of the year. It is unlikely that more than about 5-10% of the total land surface 
would ever be reseeded and thus it is unlikely that the bird communities of the natural pastures 
would be seriously threatened. 

In developed countries, agricultural drainage schemes are a frequent source of pressure on 
wetland ecosystems. In the Falklands, such drainage schemes have been carried out on a very 
limited scale in the past, and are unlikely to become more widespread in the future. The areas 
involved would be small and unlikely to repay the investment in machinery and labour costs 
that would have to be met. 



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■184- 



Falkland Islands 



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■185- 



Falkland Islands 

WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on data sheets provided by Andrew F. G. Douse. 



Bertha's Beach and associated ponds (1) 

Location: 51°50'S, 58°20'W; southwest of Fitzroy Settlement, East Falkland. 

Area: 2,000 ha. 

Altitude: 5- 10m. 

Province and type: 7.4.9; 05, 12 & 13. 

Site description: A sandy beach backed by coastal sand dunes and a series of permanent small 

shallow freshwater ponds and marshes, occasionally icing over in winter. 

Principal vegetation: Eleocharis sp. 

Land tenure: Owned by the Falkland Islands Company. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: None. 

Waterfowl: The ponds appear to support most if not all of the Falkland breeding species, 

including the relatively uncommon Podiceps occipitalis. There is a large population 

of Charadrius falklandicus in the area, and substantial numbers of Calidris alba occur on the 

beach. Large numbers of Chloephaga picta feed on the short grassland behind the dunes. 

Other fauna: There are large penguin rookeries nearby. 

Threats: There is some tourist pressure, and potential threats from the extraction of sand from 

the beach and disturbance from the nearby airport. 

References: Miles (1984). 

Source: Andrew F. G. Douse. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Swan Inlet (2) 

Location: STSO'S, 58°35'W; southwest of Fitzroy Settlement, East Falkland. 

Area: 1,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 7.4.9; 01, 02, 10 & 19. 

Site description: A small coastal inlet and estuary of a fast-flowing river, with associated bogs. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: Owned by the Falkland Islands Company. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing for sea trout. 

Waterfowl: An important site for Cygnus melancoryphus; a large flock (up to 100 birds) is 

usually present. The birds moult there and many presumably breed. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Pollution from an oil jetty in nearby Mare Harbour, and some disturbance from 

tourism. 

References: Standring (1982). 

Source: Andrew F. G. Douse. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb. 



Bull Point (3) 

Location: 52°20'S, 59°20'W; south of North Arm Settlement, East Falkland. 

Area: 4,000-5,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-40m. 

Province and type: 7.4.9; 01, 04, 05, 12, 13 & 19. 



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Falkland Islands 

Site description: Sea bay with rocky and sandy shores and coastal sand dunes backed by a 

complex of permanent freshwater ponds, marshes and peat bogs. 

Principal vegetation: No details, but the area is noted for its rich native flora. 

Land tenure: Owned by the Falkland Islands Company. 

Protection: Protected by the North Arm Manager until 1984, but status now uncertain. 

Land use: Until recently none, but possibly now to be grazed. 

Waterfowl: Little studied, but the area is known to be an important site for Anatidae and 

shorebirds, with a diverse breeding waterfowl community. 

Other fauna: Gentoo Penguins Pygoscelis papua and Elephant Seals Mirounga leonina occur. 

Threats: None known. 

References: Standring (1982). 

Source: Andrew F. G. Douse. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Cow Bay, Volunteer Point and Seal Bay (4) 

Location: 5r23'S, 57°53'W; northeast of Johnsons Harbour, northeastern East Falkland. 

Area: 10,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-50m. 

Province and type: 7.4.9; 01, 04, 05, 06, 12, 13 & 19. 

Site description: Sea bay with rocky and sandy shores and intertidal mudflats, backed by 

coastal sand dunes and extensive area of small freshwater lakes, ponds, marshes and peat bogs. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: On a privately owned estate. 

Protection: Volunteer Point and Cow Bay are included in a Nature Sanctuary. 

Land use: Sheep grazing over most of the land. 

Waterfowl: There is a very diverse breeding community of Anatidae in the marshes, and the 

beaches and mudflats are important for shorebirds, notably Charadrius falklandicus, C. 

modestus and "wintering" Calidris fuscicollis. 

Other fauna: An important site for breeding sea-birds including three species of penguins. 

Elephant Seals Mirounga leonina also occur. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Andrew F. G. Douse. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3b. 



Cape Dolphin (5) 

Location: 51°20'S, 58°52'W; north of Port San Carlos, East Falkland. 

Area: 15,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-80m. 

Province and type: 7.4.9; 01, 04, 05, 12 & 13. 

Site description: Sea bay with rocky and sandy beaches and coastal sand dunes backed by a 

complex of freshwater lakes, ponds and marshes. 

Principal vegetation: Short grass communities with freshwater plant associations in the ponds. 

The Tussock Grass Poa flabellata and sandy grassland communities are of considerable botanic 

interest. 

Land tenure: Owned by Port San Carlos Ltd. and the Falkland Islands Company. 

Protection: There is a Nature Sanctuary at Cape Dolphin. 

Land use: Sheep grazing over a part of the land. 

Waterfowl: The area has an important breeding population of Anatidae and shorebirds. There 

are large populations of Chloephaga picta and C. rubidiceps, and a number of breeding pairs 

of Tachyeres patachonicus, a species very sparsely distributed in the islands. 

Other fauna: The area has breeding colonies of sea-birds, and rookeries of Elephant 

Seals Mirounga leonina and Southern Sea- lions Otaria flavescens. 

Threats: None known. 



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Falkland Islands 

Research and conservation: The fencing of the Nature Sanctuary to exclude sheep grazing has 
resulted in a recovery of the Tussock Grass communities. 
Source: Andrew F. G. Douse. 
Criteria for Inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Lake Sulivan (6) 

Location: 5r53'S, 60°10'W; north of Fox Bay, West Falkland. 

Area: 2,500 ha. 

Altitude: 0-80m. 

Province and type: 7.4.9; 12 & 19. 

Site description: Shallow freshwater lake, maximum depth 3m, with associated ponds and 

marshes, and areas of peat bog. Large areas of the marshes dry out in summer. 

Principal vegetation: Eleocharis sp and Myriophyllum sp. 

Land tenure: Owned by the Falkland Islands Company. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Sheep grazing. 

Waterfowl: Most if not all of the Falkland Anatidae breed on Lake Sulivan or in the 

surrounding marshes, including Cygnus melancoryphus, Anas sibilatrix and A. versicolor. The 

lake also supports a breeding population of Rollandia rolland and a colony of Sterna 

hirundinacea. 

Other fauna: Endemic fish species are known to be present. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Andrew F. G. Douse. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Hawk's Nest Ponds (7) 

Location: 51°48'S, 59°57'W; NNE of Fox Bay, West Falkland. 

Area: 500-1,000 ha. 

Altitude: 50m. 

Province and type: 7.4.9; 12, 13 & 19. 

Site description: Two small permanent freshwater lakes, numerous small ponds, their associated 

marshes and surrounding peat bogs. The lakes and marshes ice over occasionally in winter. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive areas of Eleocharis sp and Myriophyllum sp. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: The owners have agreed voluntarily to conserve the area. 

Land use: Sheep grazing in the surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: The. area has a particularly diverse breeding population of waterfowl and is one of 

the richest areas in the Islands. Of particular note is a colony of about 40 pairs of the 

endemic Nycticorax nycticorax cyanocephalus. 

Other fauna: Both endemic fish species Galaxius maculatus and Aplochiton zebra are common. 

Threats: None. 

Research and conservation: The fauna and flora of the area remain largely unmodified by 

man. The owners have agreed to fence off the area from sheep grazing, and a systematic 

survey is to be carried out. 

References: Standring (1982). 

Source: Andrew F. G. Douse. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



The eastern part of Pebble Island (8) 

Location: 51°19'S, 59°30'W; off the north coast of West Falkland. 
Area: 7,500 ha. 

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Falkland Islands 

Altitude: 0-20m. 

Province and type: 7.4.9; 01, 04, 05, 12 & 13. 

Site description: Rocky and sandy sea coasts, coastal sand dunes, and a complex of small 

freshwater lakes, ponds and marshes. The lakes are shallow (under 4m deep) and several dry 

out almost completely during the summer. 

Principal vegetation: Mainly Myriophyllum associations, with some Eleocharis sp. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Sheep and cattle grazing. 

Waterfowl: There is a very large and diverse breeding community of Anatidae, particularly 

around Green and Ship Harbour Ponds. There are some 50 pairs of Cygnus melancoryphus and 

significant numbers of Anas versicolor and Podiceps occipitalis. Both Chloephaga picta and C. 

rubidiceps are common, and Tachyeres patachonicus probably breeds. 

Other fauna: Substantial numbers of three species of penguin Spheniscidae breed in the area. 

Threats: Probably none. 

Research and conservation: It has been proposed that a study of the ecology of Chloephaga 

rubidiceps should be initiated on the island. 

Source: Andrew F. G. Douse. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb, 2b & 3a. 



Carcass Island (9) 

Location: 5ri6'S, 60°35'W; off the northwest coast of West Falkland. 

Area: 200-300 ha of wetlands an on island of 1,800 ha. 

Altitude: 0-200m. 

Province and type: 7.4.9; 03, 04, 05, 13 & 19. 

Site description: A small peat covered island with rocky and sandy beaches, sand dunes, and a 

number of small freshwater ponds and marshes. 

Principal vegetation: Mainly short grassland, with some extensive areas of Tussock Grass Poa 

flabellata. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: The owners protect the area voluntarily. 

Land use: Sheep farming. Tourism is being encouraged and is run successfully. 

Waterfowl: There is a large population of waterfowl in a nearly natural state, including a 

colony of 50 pairs of Nycticorax nycticorax cyanocephalus, a particularly dense breeding 

population of Chloephaga rubidiceps, and a number of pairs of Tachyeres patachonicus. 

Other fauna: The avifauna in general is very rich because of the absence of feral cats. The 

passerine populations are very dense, and the tameness of the birds is almost unique in the 

Falklands. There are large breeding colonies of penguins Spheniscidae and Sterna 

hirundinacea, and a colony of Elephant Seals Mirounga leonina. 

Threats: None. 

Source: Andrew F. G. Douse. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



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FRENCH GUIANA 



INTRODUCTION 

by Jean-Luc Dujardin 

French Guiana, an overseas Department of France, has an area of about 88,900km', and is the 
smallest country on the South American mainland. The land rises gradually from the coastal 
plain to the higher slopes and savannas about 80 km inland. The only significant relief consists 
of the Inini-Camopi and Maripasoula Camopi hills, with peaks above 800m. In the extreme 
south-west, the peneplain is dominated by a series of isolated rock outcrops (inselbergs), the 
legendary Tumuc-Humac Mountains, with peaks up to 700m. The country is very well 
watered, and about twenty rivers enter the Atlantic along the 320 km of coastline. The coastal 
plain is characterized by extensive mangrove forests, fresh to brackish swamps, and seasonally 
flooded savannas, interspersed with patches of swamp forest and humid tropical forest on 
higher ground. The bulk of the interior (80,000km') is still covered in relatively undisturbed 
tropical forest. The climate is tropical with very heavy rainfall; the rainy season is from 
November to July, although there is sometimes a short dry period in February and March. 

The total population of about 76,000 is almost entirely concentrated on the coastal plain, 
with over half in the city of Cayenne. There is a little agriculture, mainly rice growing, an 
industry involving the collection and pickling of the edible hearts of the palm Euterpe oleracea, 
and some shrimp farming on the coastal plain, while further inland the main activity is 
exploitation of forest resources. However, large tracts of the interior remain undisturbed 
except by hunters. Very large deposits of bauxite and kaolin have been discovered, and the 
exploitation of these is likely to increase greatly in the coming decades. 

The only important wetland areas in the country are along the coastal plain where human 
population pressures are greatest. Large tracts of the coastal swamps have already been 
destroyed for agriculture and shrimp farming, and plans for agronomic expansion are 
threatening many other accessible areas. However, the very extensive marshes of the Kaw 
area, Pointe Behague and the lower River Gyapock in the east remain difficult of access and 
under no immediate threat. 



Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

The governmental organization responsible for conservation in French Guiana (and also the 
French Antilles) is the Ministere de I'Environnement. However, in French Guiana this 
Ministry has to date been concerned only with agronomic development. The only organizations 
actively concerned with conservation are the Societe d'etude, de la protection et de 
I'amenagement de la nature en Guyane (SEPANGUY), and IBIS. Both societies are based in 
Cayenne, and have similar aims. SEPANGUY was established as a private conservation body 
in 1971, and is affiliated to the Societe pour I'etude, la protection et I'amenagement de la 
nature dans les regions inter-tropicales (SEPANRIT), based in Bordeaux, France. IBIS was 
established in 1983 and is a voluntary body concerned with the protection of wildlife. 

The research bodies active in fields relevant to nature conservation are the Office de la 
recherche scientifique et technique Outre-mer (ORSTOM), based in Paris and with an office in 
Cayenne, and the Institut scientifique et technique des peches maritimes (ISTPM), also with an 
office in Cayenne. 

The Office National des Forets (ONF) is primarily responsible for the management and 
exploitation of forests, and in France, manages forest reserves (reserves domaniales). It is 
likely that any future reserves in Guiana will first be established as forest reserves, and 
administered by ONF, but subsequent upgrading to some form of nature reserve will be 
necessary to ensure adequate habitat protection. 



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French Guiana 

Progress in Wetland Conservation 

No effective measures have as yet been taken to conserve wetlands or their wildlife in French 
Guiana. Numerous proposals have been made for the establishment of protected areas in the 
wetlands of the coastal plain, but none have been implemented. No less than eleven proposals 
for the creation of a reserve at Savane Sarcelle were submitted between 1971 and 1980, but 
these were abandoned in 1981 and a major rice growing project was initiated instead. 
However, the possibility of establishing a reserve somewhere in the coastal marshes of western 
French Guiana has not been entirely abandoned. A proposal was submitted in 1983 for the 
creation of a state reserve in the Marais de Kaw in the east, and it is anticipated that this 
proposal will have a better chance of success. 

Some legislation has been passed concerning the hunting of wildlife: the hunting laws list a 
variety of fully protected and partially protected species, and establish hunting seasons and bag 
limits. However, hunting permits do not exist, insurance is not obligatory, enforcement of the 
regulations is almost non-existent, and the lists of protected and partially protected species are 
totally inadequate and ignored. Thus species such as the Ciconiidae, Cracidae, Rallidae, 
Charadriidae, Scolopacidae and Psittacidae appear nowhere on the lists and can apparently be 
hunted year round. Hunting is very popular and widespread, not only for food but also for 
trophies and for feathers for the artificial flower industry. This industry was developed in the 
Sinnamary area but is now expanding and poses a serious threat to such colourful species 
as Eudocimus ruber. 

New hunting regulations are currently under study, but in the absence of any efficient 
means of control and with a lack of public awareness of the need to conserve wildlife, new 
regulations are unlikely to have any significant effect. 



Acknowledgements 

The author wishes to thank J. J. de Granville of ORSTOM, L. Sanite of SEPANGUY, and O. 
Tostain for their assistance in the preparation of this report and the following wetland accounts. 



■191- 



French Guiana 



FRENCH GUIANA 



Cayenne 




20 40 60 80 

I I \ I I 

Km 



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French Guiana 

WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on data sheets provided by Jean-Luc Dujardin. 

Savane Sarcelle (1) 

Location: 5°40'N, 53°45'W; 45 km ENE of St Laurent du Maroni. 

Area: 34,700 ha (14,700 ha west of the Mana Estuary, 20,000 ha to the east). 

Altitude: 0-lm. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 05, 07, 08, 12 & 13. 

Site description: A broad strip of seasonal fresh to brackish coastal lagoons and marshes, up to 
Im deep, with sandy beaches along the sea shore backed by mangroves. The marshes are 
flooded from the end of November to July, and dry out completely in September and October. 
Salinities range from 15 p.p.t. near the sea shore to 0.1 p.p.t. in the grassy marshes. 
Principal vegetation: There are five main plant communities: the Ipomoea pescaprae / 
Canavalia mahtima and Mariscus ligulahs / Sesuvium portulacastrum communities in the 
littoral zone; and the Eleocharis mutata / Avicennia germinans. Hydrocotyle umbellata / 
Jussieua leptocarpa and Montrichardia arborescens / Blechnum serrulatum communities in the 
marshes. The M. arborescens / B. serrulatum community accounts for about 70-80% of the 
marsh vegetation. 

Land tenure: Partly state owned, and partly owned by the communes of Mana and Iracoubo. 
Concessions for rice cultivation have been granted to two Dutch companies. 
Protection: None. 

Land use: Hunting, particularly during the period of construction of the Guianese Space Center 
at Kourou between 1968 and 1972. Large areas are now being developed for rice cultivation. 
Waterfowl: The data are very incomplete and no estimates of total populations are possible. 
However the area is known to be of great importance for a wide variety of breeding, passage 
and wintering species, and over 75 species of waterfowl have been recorded. Breeding species 
include Anhinga anhinga, Botaurus pinnatus. Ixobrychus exilis, Nyctanassa violacea. Egretta 
caerulea. E. tricolor. Mycteria americana, Dendrocygna autumnalis, Anas bahamensis, Cairina 
moschata, Aramus guarauna, Porphyrula flavirostris, Jacana jacana. Charadrius collaris, 
Himantopus himantopus and Sterna superciliaris. Tigrisoma lineatum, Cochlearius cochlearius, 
Euxenura maguari, Ajaia ajaja. Oxyura dominica. Rallus maculatus, Laterallus exilis, Heliornis 
fulica and Gallinago undulata probably breed, and Eudocimus ruber is a common non-breeding 
visitor. The area is extremely important for wintering Nearctic shorebirds; in an aerial survey 
in January/February 1982, Morrison recorded 413,000 shorebirds between the Surmame border 
and Cayenne (this site and site 2). The majority were Calidris sandpipers, but there were also 
large numbers of Numenius phaeopus. Limnodromus sp and Tringa melanoleuca/ flavipes. The 
area is also important for wintering Anas discors. 

Other fauna: The area is rich in birds of prey including Cathartes burrovianus, Rostrhamus 
sociabilis. Circus buffoni. Buteogallus aequinoctalis. B. urubitinga and wintering Pandion 
haliaetus and Falco peregrinus. The beaches between Les Hattes and Organabo are one of the 
most important localities known for breeding Leatherback Turtles Dermochelys coriacea. Other 
reptiles include Caiman crocodilus and Crotalus durissus dryinus. 

Threats: There is excessive hunting, with the almost systematic destruction of the wintering 
Anatidae, particularly Anas discors, and indiscriminate hunting of other species 
including Mycteria americana and Eudocimus ruber. Parts of the marshes are already being 
developed for rice cultivation, and the Direction d' Agriculture de Guyane has recently initiated 
a project for the polderization of a further 7,000 ha for rice production. The use of pesticides 
in nearby agricultural land is affecting some areas of marsh. 

Research and conservation: Since 1971, eleven proposals have been made for the establishment 
of reserves in the area, but no action has been taken to date. In November 1979, a public 
enquiry was held to discuss the establishment of a 31,000 ha reserve, but this was ultimately 
rejected in favour of a major rice growing project. The possibility of establishing a reserve 
remains; a particularly suitable area would be some 6,000 ha north of the Mana River between 
Mana and Kawana Point, and including the marshes of Farez Point, with nesting Ajaia ajaja 
and Mycteria americana. 



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French Guiana 

References: Rossignol (1972); Blancaneaux (1973); Condamin (1975); de Granville (1976 & 
1979); Fretey (1982); Morrison (1983a); Association departementale d'Urbanisme et 
d'Amenagement de La Guyana (?). 
Source: Jean-Luc Dujardin. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Coastal marshes of Sinnamary and Iracoubo (2) 

Location: 5°27'N, 53°00'W; 100 km northwest of Cayenne. 

Area: 55,000 ha (Kourou to Sinnamary 24,500 ha including 9,000 ha of mangroves; Sinnamary 

to Iracoubo 24,500 ha including 15,000 ha of mangroves; Iracoubo to Organabo 6,000 ha 

including 3,000 ha of mangroves). 

Altitude: 0-2m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 06, 07, 08, 09, 13 & 16. 

Site description: The estuaries of the River Sinnamary, River Iracoubo and numerous other 

smaller rivers, with intertidal mudflats and mangrove swamps; and a broad coastal strip of 

permanent and seasonal fresh to brackish marshes, up to 2m deep, behind a fringe of 

mangroves. Salinities are highest along the littoral zone and in the mangroves, and decrease 

progressively in the marshes. Maximum flooding of the marshes occurs in May and June, and 

by November, large areas are dry. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps and saline marshes with Avicennia germinans, 

Laguncularia racemose, Spartina brasiliensis and Crenea maritima; seasonally flooded marshes 

with Scirpus maritimus, Eleocharis mutata and Sporobolus virginicus; an herbaceous scrub zone 

dominated by Rhynchospora corymbosa, Montrichardia arborescens, Blechnum serrulatum. 

Dryopteris gongylodes and Pityrogramma calomelanos; and numerous scattered trees and 

shrubs, principally Chrysobalanus icaco and Pterocarpus officinalis. 

Land tenure: Mainly owned by the communes of Sinnamary and Iracoubo, but a part in the 

east is owned by the Guianese Space Centre. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Livestock rearing around Sinnamary, and rice cultivation in the region of Iracoubo. 

Intensive hunting for sport, food, the animal trade and the artificial flower industry. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl of a 

wide variety of species. Eudocimus ruber formerly nested in large numbers; in 1974, Condamin 

estimated the population at 6,000 pairs, but there has been a steady decline since then, and no 

evidence of nesting was found between 1981 and 1983. However, a colony of 300 pairs was 

located in the mangroves west of Kourou in July 1984. Ajaia ajaja also once nested, but is 

now only an occasional visitor. Species still breeding in the area include Nycticorax nycticorax, 

Nyctanassa violacea, Cochlearius cochlearius, Egretta caerulea, E. tricolor, E. thula and Ardea 

cocoi. An aerial census of Ardeidae and Threskiornithidae in April 1984 included 

4,700 Egretta thula, 4,350 E. caerulea, 2,600 E. tricolor, 465 E. alba and 2,100 Egretta ruber. 

Although much persecuted by hunters, Gallinago undulata, still occurs in small numbers in the 

coastal savannas. The area is particularly important for wintering Nearctic shorebirds; an aerial 

survey of this area and adjacent coasts in January/February 1982 located 413,000 shorebirds, 

mainly Calidris sandpipers. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: There is no direct threat to the mangroves or the marshes, but some elements of the 

avifauna are seriously threatened by intensive year round hunting. The taking of young birds 

for the animal trade, and the killing of species such as Eudocimus ruber and Psittacidae for 

their plumes for the local artificial flower industry have drastically reduced breeding 

populations. 

Research and conservation: Several proposals for the establishment of reserves have been made 

since 1972, but no action has been taken to date. It is essential that an effective reserve be 

created to protect the breeding colonies of herons and ibises, and that the exploitation of 

wildlife be strictly controlled, if the local extinction of several species is to be avoided. 

References: Condamin (1975); Lescure (1977); de Granville (1979); Morrison (1983a). 

Source: Jean-Luc Dujardin. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. - J 

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French Guiana 

Kaw Marshes (3) 

Location: 4°45'N, 52°10'W; 35 km southeast of Cayenne. 

Area: c. 100,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-6m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 06, 07, 08, 09, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The estuaries of the Mahury, Approuague and Kaw Rivers, with intertidal 

mudflats and mangrove swamps, and a vast area of fresh to brackish marshes, seasonally 

flooded savanna and swamp forest behind a wide mangrove littoral zone. The marshes are 

l-2m deep, and the salinity increases with depth. The savannas flood during the rainy season, 

and are dry from September to November. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps in the littoral zone are dominated by Avicennia 

germinans; the estuarine mangrove swamps include a mixture of Avicennia germinans, 

Rhizophora racemosa and the palm Euterpe oleracea. Other plant communities include 

herbaceous marshes; marshy savanna with Chrysobalanus icaco; swamp forest with Euterpe 

oleracea, Virola surinamensis and Chrysobalanus icaco; seasonally flooded savanna with 

Cyperaceae, Leersia hexandra and Echinochloa polystachya; and "islands" of humid tropical 

forest on old raised beaches. 

Land tenure: Partly state owned and partly owned by the communes of Roura and Regina. 

Protection: None at present. 

Land use: Cattle ranching and hunting in the vicinity of Kaw, and exploitation of the 

palm Euterpe oleracea on the banks of the River Approuague. The central portion of the 

marshes remains remote and undisturbed. 

Waterfowl: Poorly known because of the difficulties of access, but clearly of great importance 

for a variety of breeding and wintering species. Birds observed during a brief aerial survey in 

April 1984 included 2,100 Egretta caerulea. 1,000 Egretta tricolor, 2,350 Egretta thula, 220 

Egretta alba and 60 Eudocimus ruber. Other species recorded in the area and probably nesting 

include Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Anhinga anhinga, Botaurus pinnatus, Ixobrychus exilis, 

Tigrisoma lineatum, Mycteria americana, Cairina moschata, Porphyrula martinica, P. 

flavirostris, Jacana jacana, Phaetusa simplex and Rynchops niger. Opisthocomus hoazin nests 

along the lower Approuague and in the region of Kaw. The area is particularly important for 

wintering Nearctic shorebirds. 200,000 Calidris pusilla were observed in the Mahury estuary 

in November 1981, along with large numbers of ten other species of shorebirds and a variety of 

Laridae. 

Other fauna: The Black Caiman Melanosuchus niger occurs; the Kaw Marshes are one of the 

few areas in South America where very large individuals of this rare species can still be found. 

Threats: There are no immediate threats to the marshes. An attempt was made in the late 

1950s to polderize the western part near the Mahury estuary for agriculture, but this scheme 

was abandoned in 1967. However, a Dutch group is now planning to purchase 6,000 ha in this 

area for shrimp farming and various agricultural projects. With the recent expansion of the 

palm industry in the east, there has been a significant increase in hunting activities, and a 

permit has recently been granted for the exploitation of palms within the area currently being 

proposed for the establishment of a reserve. 

Research and conservation: A proposal for the establishment of a biological reserve has 

recently been deposited with the Office National des Forets. 

References: Condamin (1975); de Granville (1979 & 1983). 

Source: Jean-Luc Dujardin. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Polnte Behague and the lower River Gyapock (4) 

Location: 4°20'N, 51°45'W; 80 km southeast of Cayenne. 

Area: 148,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-6m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 06, 07, 08, 09, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The estuary of the Rio Oyapock on the Brazilian border, with intertidal 

mudflats and fringing mangroves; and a vast area of seasonally flooded savannas with small 

areas of permanent marsh, behind a broad coastal belt of mangroves. Surface waters are fresh 

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French Guiana 

to brackish, but the water is saline at depths of 0.5m near the coast and 1.5m in the interior. 

The savannas flood in the rainy season, and dry out between August and November. There is 

some rocky relief in the middle of the marshes, with forested hills rising to 340m. 

Principal vegetation: Mainly seasonally flooded savannas dominated by Chrysobalanus icaco 

and the palm Euterpe oleracea. Other plant communities include coastal mangrove swamps 

of Avicennia germinans; estuarine mangrove swamps with A. germinans, Rhizophora racemosa 

and Euterpe oleracea; herbaceous marshes; swamp forest with E. oleracea and Virola 

surinamensis; and gallery forest with Mauritia flexuosa. There is humid tropical forest on the 

hills. 

Land tenure: Partly state owned, and partly owned by the communes of Ouanary and Regina. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Hunting and fishing along the Ouanary and Courouaie Rivers; and exploitation of 

the palm Euterpe oleracea along the Approuague River in the west. There is no human activity 

in the greater part of the marshes. 

Waterfowl: Very little information is available for this remote area, but it is known to be 

important for a variety of Ardeidae and wintering Nearctic shorebirds. Birds observed during 

an aerial survey in April 1984 included 2,750 Egretta caerulea, 1,050 Egretta tricolor. 2.400 

Egretta thula, 95 Eudocimus ruber and 45 Ajaia ajaja. Opisthocomus hoazin breeds along the 

Courouaie and Approuague Rivers. The tidal muflats in the estuary of the Oyapock and at 

Pointe Behague are important for shorebirds. 

Other fauna: The isolated forested hills in the middle of the marshes have many colonies 

of Rupicola rupicola. Melanosuchus niger occurs in the marshes, and very large individualscan 

still be found. 

Threats: There are no threats to the greater part of the marshes at the present time. However, 

with expansion in the palm industry around Regina, there has been an increase in hunting 

activities in the west and along the Courouaie River. 

References: Condamin (1979); de Granville (1979). 

Source: Jean-Luc Dujardin. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



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GUYANA 

INTRODUCTION 

based on information provided by Lennox Bobb, Rhoeheit and Balram Singh 

Guyana lies on the north coast of South America and is bounded in the west by Venezuela, in 
the east by Suriname, and in the south by Brazil. The total area is approximately 214,970km^. 
The climate is humid tropical, with uniformly high temperatures (mean temperature in 
Georgetown 27°C), and an average annual rainfall of 2,000-2,500 mm. The main rainy season 
is from April to August, but there is a second peak between November and February, and the 
humidity remains high throughout the year. 

The country is divided into three main regions: a narrow coastal plain (less than 5% of the 
country); the forested interior (85%); and the upland savannas and mountains of the southwest 
(10%). The 320 km long coastal plain, although generally less than 12 km wide, supports 90% 
of the country's population of about 800,000. Early Dutch settlers drained many of the 
wetlands, and most of the central and eastern coastal plain is now intensively cultivated for 
sugar cane and rice. The plain is crossed by several great rivers such as the Essequibo, 
Demerara, Berbice and Corantyne, which rise in the interior. The hilly interior of the country 
rises gradually from the coast to the high plateau in the southwest. There is little human 
settlement or cultivation; the soils are poor and sandy, and most of the land remains under 
primary forest cover. The uplands of the southwest, including the Rupununi and Kanaku 
mountains, comprise a part of the Guiana Highlands, a region of rolling savannas and rocky 
peaks rising to over 2,000m. There is a small indigenous population now dependent mainly on 
cattle ranching. 

Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

The Parks Commission in the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources was originally the 
authority for identifying, establishing and managing national parks and reserves, but is now 
concerned only with recreation areas. The Wildlife Committee in the Ministry of Agriculture 
assumed responsibility for nature conservation, but since the death of its former chairman. 
Prof. Joseph Nilkes, the Committee has been concerned almost exclusively with trade in 
wildlife, especially Psittacidae. A proposal was made in 1979 to set up a Wildlife Unit in the 
Ministry of Agriculture with its own administrative and technical staff, but no progress has 
been made to date. 

In 1982, the National Science Research Council founded an Environmental Research Unit, 
and this is now the only organization primarily concerned with environmental conservation. Its 
major activity to date has been the collection of basic data. The Guyana National Museum, 
although not involved directly with conservation, has conducted some research on wildlife, and 
until 1980, published its results in the journal "Timehri". The Institute of Applied Science and 
Technology at the University of Guyana also conducts research on wildlife, and has a 
representative in the Wildlife Committee. 



Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

Legislation concerning parks and reserves dates from 1929, but only one national park has as 
yet been established, the Kaieteur National Park (11,655 ha) in the forested interior. Very 
comprehensive game laws were introduced in the 1970s. The Wild Birds Protection Act of 
1973 and its amendment of 1978 give complete protection to most birds, permitting open 
seasons for only a small number of game species, while the Fisheries Act of 1973 covers not 
only marine and freshwater fishes but also reptiles. Unfortunately, the game laws are largely 
ignored and trade in protected wildlife continues at a high level. However, there are strict 
controls on firearms and only some 200 licensed hunters in the country; thus shooting pressure 
in very light. 



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Guyana 

Little research has been conducted on wetlands and/or waterfowl, and most of this has been 
carried out by visiting biologists from abroad. Recent work has involved the following: 

a) Surveys of wintering shorebirds and terns Sterna spp along the coast, by the Canadian 
Wildlife Service and Manomet Bird Observatory (Blokpoel et al, 1982; Morrison et al, 1985; 
B. A. Harrington, pers. com.). 

b) Studies of Dendrocygna autumnalis and Rostrhamus sociabilis in coastal wetlands, by 
Bourne (1979, 1981 & in prep.) and Bourne & Osborne (1978). 

c) Surveys of breeding Eudocimus ruber and other Ciconiiformes in the coastal zone, by 
Spaans (1975a) and the World Working Group on Storks, Ibises and Spoonbills (C. Luthin, 
pers. com.). 

The Environmental Research Unit has recently acquired funding for a small research team to 
undertake a survey of Guyana's wetlands, and it is anticipated that this will be completed 
during the course of 1985. 



Major Threats to Wetlands and Waterfowl 

Nothing is known of the current threats to wetlands in Guyana. Sport hunting is not 
considered to pose a threat to waterfowl populations, but there is a considerable amount of 
subsistence hunting, and market hunting is reported to be on the increase. Migrant shorebirds 
and terns are commonly trapped for food along the coast, and this may be having a detrimental 
effect on some species, particularly Sterna hirundo and other terns (Blokpoel et al, 1982). 



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Guyana 

WETLANDS 

Insufficient information is available on the wetlands of Guyana for the identification of sites 
of special importance. The following brief accounts of wetlands in the three major regions of 
the country are based on information from Brian A. Harrington, David Willis and the literature. 

The Coastal Zone 

The shoreline of Guyana west of the Essequibo River is for the most part a narrow coral sand 
beach, of little importance for waterfowl. From the estuary of the Essequibo River east to the 
estuary of the Corantyne River on the Suriname border, there are tidal mudflats, sand flats and 
patches of mangrove swamp of considerable importance for a variety of Ciconiiformes and 
migrant shorebirds and Laridae. In an aerial survey of this eastern coast in February 1982, 
Morrison et al (1985) recorded 885 Eudocimus ruber and almost 27,000 shorebirds, 
mainly Pluvialis squatarola, Tringa melanoleuca/ flavipes, Limnodromus sp and Calidris spp. 
Spaans (1975a) found breeding colonies of Eudocimus ruber in the Mahaicony region in 1972 
(600 pairs) and 1976 (300 pairs), but no colonies were located in 1982 or 1983. An aerial 
survey of the entire coast in the summer of 1983 did however locate two large mixed colonies 
of Ardeidae; a colony of 2,000-3,000 pairs of- small herons and egrets 12 km east of the Abary 
River, and a colony of 100 pairs of Egretta alba and 500-1,000 pairs of small herons and egrets 
at the mouth of the Berbice River. Other birds recorded during this survey included 
30 Pelecanus occidentalis and 130 Ajaia ajaja near the estuary of the Essequibo River. In 
February 1984, there was a roost of several thousand Ardeidae of six species and a breeding 
colony of several hundred pairs of Nycticorax nycticorax, Bubulcus ibis and Egretta thula in the 
Botanic Gardens on the outskirts of Georgetown. 

Inland, the coastal plain is intensively cultivated, and there are few if any large natural 
wetlands remaining. However, the rice paddies and wet meadows provide rich feeding areas 
for many Ardeidae, Dendrocygna spp and migratory shorebirds. 

The Interior 

There are extensive tracts of swamp forest and riverine marshes in the forested interior of the 
country. The region of Lethem and Manari on the Brazilian border in the southwest is known 
to be particularly rich in wetlands. Here, along the Rio Tacutu, a tributary of the Rio Branco 
in the Amazon drainage, there are many small lakes and swamps important for waterfowl. 
Species recorded include Pilherodius pileatus, Jabiru mycteria. Dendrocygna viduata, 
Amazonetta brasiliensis, Porphyrula flavirostris, Rynchops niger and many migratory shorebirds 
(notably Bartramia longicauda and Micropalama himantopus) (D. Willis, pers. com.) 

The Grand Savanna 

The upland savanna of western Guyana is an extension of the Gran Sabana of eastern 
Venezuela. There are many small freshwater lakes and bogs throughout the region, but their 
importance for wildlife is unknown. 



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PARAGUAY 



INTRODUCTION 

by Nancy E. Lopez 

Paraguay occupies an area of 406,752km^ and, according to the 1982 census, has a population 
of some 3,563,000. 

The Rio Paraguay divides the country into two regions; the "Oriental" and the "Occidental". 
The Oriental region, which includes the Rio Paraguay and Alta Parana regions, is a rolling 
plain interrupted by hills and low mountain ranges with elevations ranging from 80m to 850m. 
The majority of Paraguay's population lives in this region. The Occidental region, which 
includes the Alto Chaco and the Bajo Chaco, is a vast alluvial plain at about 130m sloping 
gradually down to the Rio Paraguay in the east. 

The hydrological systems of Paraguay are part of the great basin of the Rio de La Plata. 
The Rio Parana aijd the Rio Paraguay are the most important rivers in this basin, both in terms 
of length and flow. Of the rivers flowing across the Paraguayan Chaco, one of the most 
important is the Pilcomayo, a shallow river with erratic course. In the basin of the Rio 
Paraguay, there are extensive wetland systems including the Pantanal Matogrosense, the Bajo 
Chaco, the seasonally flooded plains and swamps of the Yetyty, and the seasonally flooded 
plains and marshes of the eembucu. The Rio Pilcomayo feeds a zone of the Bajo Chaco 
known as the Estero de Patino, but this swamp can dry out during certain periods of the year 
because of the instability of the course of the Pilcomayo. 

Lago Ypacarai, Lago Ypoa and Laguna Vera are the most important lakes in the country; all 
three are fed by tributaries of the Rio Paraguay. 

In the Alto Chaco there are some temporary lagoons, but these have not been adequately 
surveyed. 

According to Hueck (1978), Paraguay has the following principal vegetation types: 

a) Deciduous and mesophytic subtropical forest; occurring throughout the mountainous areas 
and characteristically with trees 25-30m in height, dense undergrowth, and abundant lianas 
and epiphytes. 

b) Dry forest of the central Chaco; open xerophytic woodland with few trees over 20m in 
height and most with small leaves. Common species include Prosopis sp, Schinopsis 
sp, Aspidosperma sp and Bulnesia sarmentoi. Gallery forest and scrub occur along river 
courses. 

c) Dry to sub-humid forest of the eastern Chaco; principally palm savanna dominated by 
extensive open stands of the palm Copernica australis (Copernicia alba). 

d) Mesopotamian parkland; occurring along the edge of the Chaco where the water table is 
high and flooding is frequent. This is characterized by extensive marshes, wet savannas, 
gallery forest and scattered "islands" of forest and scrub. Agriculture has destroyed a large 
part of this type of vegetation. 

e) Cerrado; a vegetation type resembling savanna but with scattered trees, characterized by the 
presence of small trees, numerous shrubs and a ground cover of grasses and herbs. 

f) Campos limpios; open grassland alternating with belts and "islands" of forest. 

g) Pantanal vegetation; wet savannas inundated during the rainy season. 

h) Gallery forest; belts of forest of varying width along river courses, with species such 
as Salix humboldtiana and Tessaria integrifolia. The height of the trees ranges from 8-20m. 



Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

Governmental 

Ministerio de Agricullura y Ganaderia - Servicio Forestal Nacional: responsible for the 
management and administration of the national parks. 

Ministerio de Defensa Nacional: cooperates with the Servicio Forestal Nacional in the 
administration of the Parque Nacional Cerra Cora and other historical sites in the country, 
and is involved in the wardening of the Parque Nacional Teniente A. Enciso. 



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Paraguay 

Instituto de Bienestar Rural: subject to the agreement of other relevant institutions, this 

institute has the authority to designate national parks in areas of special geographical, 

historical or touristic interest and in areas of special importance for the preservation of 

fauna and flora. Once established as national parks, these areas are not transferable and 

can only be exploited for scientific, cultural and touristic purposes. 

Direccion General de Turismo: responsible for the conservation and improvement of the 

country's scenic attractions. 

Universidad Nacional de Asuncion - Instituto de Ciencias Basicas: responsible for 

conservation education at university level and for scientific research. 

Non-governmental 

Sociedad Paraguaya para Proteccion de la Naturaleza (PRONATURA): created in 1976 and 
dedicated to environmental education as a means to increase public awareness of the 
importance of natural resources and the need to conserve them. 

Others 

American Peace Corps: provides support through programmes of environmental education 
and research. 



Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

Nine protected areas have been established in Paraguay, and a further five are currently at the 
project stage. These are as follows: 

Parques Nacionales 

Defensores del Chaco (780,000 ha), established in 1975. 

Tinfunque (280,000 ha), established in 1966. 

Teniente A. Enciso (40,000 ha), established in 1980. 

Cerro Cora (5,538 ha), established in 1976. 

Ybycui (5,000 ha), established in 1973. 

Yacyreta (17,000 ha), in the project stage. 

Nueva Asuncion (96,000 ha), in the project stage. 
Reservas Nacionales 

Kuriy (2,000 ha), established in 1973. 
Bosques Protectores 

Jakuy (1,000 ha), established in 1975. 

Nacunday (1,000 ha), established in 1975. 

Caazapa (6,000 ha), established in 1976. (Currently named Parque Nacional Caaguazu). 

Cerro Guazu (10,000 ha), in the project stage. 

Cerro Cora (area unknown), in the project stage. 
Reservas Forestales 

Capiibary (9,000 ha), in the project stage. 

The majority of these protected areas include important tributary rivers and streams of the Rio 
Parana and Rio Paraguay. 

In the Plan Preliminar de Sistemas de Areas Nacionales Protegidas del Paraguay, prepared 
by SFN/MAG in 1983, the following proposals were made: 

a) to include the pantanal vegetation and humid forest as new units of conservation, under 
both private and state ownership; 

b) to protect the threatened ecosystem of the Pantanal Matogrosense; 

c) to include a sample of lakes in the system of protected areas; 

d) to conduct appropriate studies and establish protected areas as follows: 

a nature reserve or wildlife reserve under state or private ownership in the 

Mesopotamian parkland and humid forest in the departments of Misiones and/or 

Neembucu; 

a wildlife reserve under state or private ownership in the Lago Ypoa or Laguna Vera 

region; 



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Paraguay 

a multiple use zone and forest reserve in the Capiibary region, in the Department of San 
Pedro; 
e) to reclassify the Bosque Protector Nacunday as an Area Nacional de Recreacion.. 

Since 1977, the Servicio Nacional Forestal and the American Peace Corps have been carrying 
out a programme which includes national park planning, a forestry project, environmental 
education and a biological inventory. It is hoped that this programme will promote the 
development of an efficient and viable institutional base for the management of natural 
resources. The Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, the Cooperacion Suiza para el DesarroUo 
(COSUDE) and other organizations have given assistance in the planning of national parks. 
The forestry project was initiated in 1981 with a view to promoting an efficient system of 
forestry for improved land management, and has been carried out with the collaboration of the 
Servicio de Extension Agricola y Ganaderia, the Corporacion Tecnica Suiza and US-AID. 
Activities in environmental education have been conducted in conjunction with the Ministerio 
de Educacion y Culto and with the Centros Regionales de Educacion. The biological inventory 
began in 1980 and is currently compiling basic information on the taxonomy, ecology, 
distribution and natural history of the fauna and flora of Paraguay. The inventory includes 
wetlands and waterfowl, and is attempting to centralize all the information obtained by 
creating a National Museum of Natural History (the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural). 

In 1968, the Instituto de Ciencias Basicas at the Universidad Nacional de Asuncion began to 
conduct research on the ecology and pollution of the Lago Ypacarai basin, and this work 
continues. 



Major Threats to Wetlands and Waterfowl 

There are many threats to the principal wetlands and their avifauna in Paraguay. The most 
obvious are the uncontrolled destruction of forests and the drainage of natural wetlands for 
agriculture and livestock grazing. Another problem affecting wetlands is the high level of 
pollution from industrial waste. Uncontrolled sport hunting and the illegal trade in wildlife 
have affected the populations of some waterfowl, but no precise data are available on this. 



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Paraguay 



PARAGUAY 




100 

I I 

Km 



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Paraguay 



WETLANDS 



Site descriptions based on data sheets prepared by Nancy E. Lopez of the Servicio Forestal 
Nacional. The information on reptiles and amphibians was provided by Aida L. Aquino, and 
that on mammals by Len West. 



Pantanal Matogrosense (1) 

Location: 19°40'-21°40'S, 58°00'W; along the Brazilian border, Alto Paraguay Department. 

Area: 400,000 ha. 

Altitude: 96m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 09, 11, 12, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A continuation of the pantanal system of southwestern Brazil and southeastern 

Bolivia, extending south along the west bank of the Rio Paraguay to 70 km north of Puerto 

Casado. A vast area of humid palm savanna, with numerous small permanent freshwater lakes, 

streams and marshes; subject to inundation during the wet season (October to March) and with 

the flooding of the Rio Paraguay. Gallery forest and riverine thickets occur along the Rio 

Paraguay and permanent stream courses. 

Principal vegetation: Characteristic marsh vegetation includes species of Eichhornia, Azolla 

and Pistia, and various Cyperaceae; the palm savannas are dominated by the palm Copernicia 

australis. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Palms were formerly harvested for electricity poles. The area is very remote and 

difficult of access, but illegal hunters enter the area by boat. 

Waterfowl: Very poorly known, but certainly an important area for waterfowl characteristic of 

the pantanal. All three Ciconiidae and many Ardeidae and Threskiornithidae are common, 

and Phoenicopterus chilensis has been recorded as a non-breeding visitor. 

Other fauna: Little information. The Tapir Tapirus terrestris. Jaguar Leo onca, the 

bat Noctilio leporinus, the iguana Dracaena paraguayensis, and the caimans Caiman crocodilus 

and C. latirostris are known to occur. 

Threats: Illegal hunting may pose a threat to some species. 

Research and conservation: The need for a thorough faunal and floral survey of this important 

area is evident. 

Source: Nancy E. Lopez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Rio Paraguay (2) 

Location: 22°00'-27°15'S, 57°10'-58°30'W; between Puerto Caballo and Paso de Patria, central 

Paraguay. 

Area: 1,265 km of river. 

Altitude: 50-87m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2/8.21.4; 10 & 11. 

Site description: The relatively fast-flowing Rio Paraguay, with numerous sandy and muddy 

beaches and islands, and bordered with riverine forest; from the Brazilian border in the north 

to the Argentinian border in the south. The river level fluctuates widely, and at low water 

levels, extensive mud banks are exposed. 

Principal vegetation: In the dry to subhumid eastern chaco woodland zone, with some 

semi-deciduous and mesophytic forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: There are numerous towns and villages along the river, and there is a considerable 

amount of boat traffic. International conventions define the use of the Rio Paraguay for 

navigation. 



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( 



Paraguay 

Waterfowl: The sandy beaches and mud banks are important for a wide variety of passage and 

wintering waterfowl. Birds observed during a survey of part of the river in January 1984 

included 40,000 Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 1,000 Anhinga anhinga, 4,000 Ardea cocoi, 

300 Egretta alba, 200 Syrigma sibilatrix, 100 Mycteria americana, 20 Jabiru mycteria, 

100 Ajaia ajaja, 300 Amazonetta brasiliensis, and 15 species of Nearctic shorebirds. Winter 

visitors from the south include Coscoroba coscoroba, Cygnus melancoryphus and Netta 

peposaca, and Neochen jubata and Sarkidiornis melanotos have been recorded. 

Other fauna: Caiman crocodilus yacare and C. latirostris still occur along the river. 

Threats: Pollution from industry and human settlements along the river banks must be a 

problem, but the levels of pollutants in the river are as yet unknown. 

Research and conservation: There is a clear need for detailed studies of the riverine 

ecosystems, and the establishment of reserves in key areas. 

Source: Nancy E. Lopez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



The Pantanal of the Eastern Chaco (3) 

Location: 23°10'-25°10'S, 57°20'-60°00'W; west of the Rio Paraguay between Asuncion and 

Concepcion, Presidente Hayes Department. 

Area: 4,500,000 ha. 

Altitude: 100m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4; 09, 11, 12, 13 & 16. 

Site description: A vast area of seasonally flooded grassland and palm savanna, with numerous 

small permanent freshwater lakes, impoundments, and marshes; fed by tributaries of the Rio 

Paraguay. During the dry season, from April to August, most of the area dries out completely, 

but with the rains and flooding from the rivers, extensive areas are inundated to a depth of 

l-2m. 

Principal vegetation: The permanent marshes have an abundant growth of Eichhornia, Azolla 

and Pistia; the dominant palm of the savannas is Copernicia australis; and there are patches of 

riverine forest along the major stream courses. The region is within the dry to subhumid chaco 

woodland zone. 

Land tenure: Most of the area is privately owned in large estancias. 

Protection: The only protected area is the Tinfunque National Park (280,000 ha); although the 

park was established in 1966, no management plan has ever been produced for it. However, a 

number of the private landowners take an interest in conservation, and several prohibit hunting 

on their property. 

Land use: Cattle ranching. Much of the Copernicia australis has been cleared to provide more 

grazing land, and burning is common. Steel factories in Villa Hayes utilize timber from the 

chaco for fuel. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for waterfowl, particularly at the end of the dry 

season (July/August) when large concentrations of fish-eating birds congregate around the few 

remaining water bodies, and during the breeding season (September to March). About 70 

species have been recorded, the most abundant including Nycticorax nycticorax, Egretta thula, 

E. alba, Ardea cocoi, Mycteria americana, Euxenura maguari, Jabiru mycteria, Theristicus 

caudatus, Phimosus infuscatus, Dendrocygna autumnalis, Amazonetta brasiliensis, Cairina 

moschata, Jacana jacana and Vanellus chilensis. Other species occurring in significant 

numbers include Syrigma sibilatrix, Harpiprion caerulescens, Chauna torquata. Anas leucophrys, 

Sarkidiornis melanotos, Aramides ypecaha and a variety of Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: The area is very rich in birds of prey, with large populations of Cathartes 

burrovianus, Rostrhamus sociabilis and Busarellus nigricollis. Mammals include Chrysocyon 

brachyurus, Pteronura brasiliensis, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Myocastor coypus, Leo onca 

and Blastocerus dichotomus. Reptiles include Caiman crocodilus, C. latirostris, Hydromedusa 

tectifera and Hydrodynastes gigas. 

Threats: An expansion of ranching activities may reduce the extent of wetland habitat, and 

heavy hunting pressure may be threatening some species. 

Research and conservation: Detailed surveys with a view to the establishment of additional 

protected areas, and development of suitable land use plans are urgently required. 



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Paraguay 

References: Bertoni (1930); Short (1975 & 1976); lUCN (1982); Peris et al (in press.) 
Source: Nancy E. Lopez. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Lago Ypacarai (4) 

Location: 25°17'S, 57°20'W; 25 km east of Asuncion, Central Department. 

Area: 5,328 ha. 

Altitude: 64m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 12. 

Site description: A permanent shallow freshwater lake, up to 1.8m deep, with associated 

marshes in rolling hill country. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Eichhornia sp, Pistia stradotes, Cyperusgiganteus 

and Acrocomia total. The native forests of the surrounding area have been largely destroyed. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None at present. 

Land use: Cattle ranching; wood-cutting; water sports and other recreation; and some industry 

nearby. 

Waterfowl: Formerly an important area for waterfowl, but now the area is rather impoverished, 

presumably as a result of pollution and excessive disturbance. 

Other fauna: The Marsh Deer Blastocerus dichotomus apparently still occurs in the area along 

with Ozotoceros bezoarticus. Reptiles include Eunectes noteus, Hydrodynastes gigas, Phrynops 

geoffroanus and Hydromedusa tectifera. 

Threats: There is a serious pollution problem from effluents from several factories near the 

lake and domestic waste from housing along the shore. Native forests around the lake have 

been destroyed, and much of the shoreline is being developed for housing. 

Research and conservation: A commission has recently been established to afford protection to 

the lake and to reduce the level of pollution. Ypacarai is of particular interest in that it is one 

of the very few wetlands of its kind in the country. Limnological studies have been conducted 

by Gonzalez Romero and Arzamendia. 

References: Gonzalez Romero & Vera (1968); Gonzalez Romero & Arzamendia (1979 & 1983). 

Source: Nancy E. Lopez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Lago Ypoa (5) 

Location: 25°48'S, 57°28'W; 30 km west of Acahay, Central, Paraguari and Neembucu 

Departments. 

Area: 18,200 ha. 

Altitude: 100m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 12. 

Site description: A group of permanent freshwater lakes centered on Lago Ypoa, with 

extensive marshes, scattered palm groves and isolated patches of forest. The lakes are fed by a 

number of small streams, and the water levels fluctuate according to local rainfall. The lakes 

lie at the northern extremity of the great pantanal of southern Paraguay. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Cyperus giganteus and Eichhornia sp; and the 

palm Copernicia australis. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle ranching and some agriculture, mainly in the north and east; and some 

hunting. The southern part of the area is remote and little disturbed. 

Waterfowl: Poorly known, but apparently not very important for waterfowl. 

Other fauna: The area is an important centre for the rare Marsh Deer Blastocerus dichotomus, 

and the Maned Wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus is reported to occur. Reptiles include Eunectes 

noteus, Phrynops nasuta, Hydromedusa tectifera and at least one species of Caiman. 



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Paraguay 

Threats: Drainage for agriculture poses the most serious threat; there was a proposal to drain 
some 40,000 ha of wetlands in the area, but this was abandoned. A considerable amount of 
illegal hunting also takes place. 

Research and conservation: A proposal has been made to include Lago Ypoa and wetlands to 
the south in a Faunal Reserve, but no action has been taken to date. Further studies are 
required of this important lacustrine system. 
Source: Nancy E. Lopez. 
Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Pantanal de Neembucu (6) 

Location: 26°30'-27°20'S, 56°30'-58°30'W; southern Paraguay, in the Departments of 

Paraguari, Misiones and Neembucu. 

Area: 800,000 ha. 

Altitude: 65m. 

Province and type: 8.21.4; 09, 11, 12, 13 & 16. 

Site description: The pantanal of southern Paraguay, extending from the confluence of the 

Paraguay and Parana Rivers in the southwest to the region of Lago Ypoa in the north, and 

Ayolas on the Parana in the east. A vast complex of permanent and seasonal freshwater lakes 

and marshes, slow-flowing rivers and riverine marshes, and seasonally inundated grassland and 

palm savanna, with gallery forest along the permanent water courses. The water table is high, 

and extensive tracts of marsh along the Paraguay and Parana are permanent, but there are wide 

fluctuations in water level, and during the wet season, large areas of grassland and palm 

savanna are flooded to a depth of 0.5- Im. 

Principal vegetation: Lakes and ponds with species of Eichhornia, Azolla and Pistia; marshes 

with Cyperaceae; and palm groves of Copernicia australis. 

Land tenure: Privately owned in large estancias. 

Protection: No legal protection at present. On several estancias, hunting is prohibited. 

Land use: Cattle ranching; some agriculture; subsistence fishing; and sport and commercial 

hunting. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl, with all the 

characteristic pantanal species occurring. The area is however poorly known; no censuses have 

been undertaken, and the key sites have not as yet been identified. Some of the more 

interesting species occuring in the region include Jabiru mycteria, Harpiprion caerulescens, 

Coscoroba coscoroba, Cygnus melancoryphus, Neochen jubata, Sarkidiornis melanotos, 

Heleronetta atricapilla and a variety of Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Mammals include the Marsh Deer Blastocerus dichotomus and Maned 

Wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus\ and reptiles include Eunectes noteus, Hydrodynastes gigas, 

Phrynops geoffroanus and Hydromedusa tectifera. 

Threats: The area is at present relatively undisturbed, but potential threats include large scale 

drainage for ranching and agriculture, and increased human settlement with the construction of 

roads through the region. Excessive commercial hunting poses a threat to some species. 

Research and conservation: A proposal has been made to include Laguna Vera in the north in a 

Faunal Reserve, along with the nearby Lago Ypoa. There is a great need for detailed studies 

of the area while it remains in a relatively pristine condition, so that key areas can be 

protected, and any future development carried out on a rational basis. 

Source: Nancy E. Lopez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Rio Carapa (7) 

Location: 24°10'S, 54°37'W; 15 km west of Colonia Catuete, Canindeyu Department. 

Area: 150 km of river. 

Altitude: 350m. 

Province and type: 8.8.2; 10 & 11. 



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Paraguay 



Site description: A small fast-flowing tributary of the Rio Parana with many rapids, flowing 

through humid subtropical forest and dense bamboo thickets. The upper drainage is in cerrado 

country, with riverine forest, bogs and wet grassland along the stream courses. 

Principal vegetation: In an area of almost undisturbed humid subtropical forest. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Some agriculture and exploitation of forests. 

Waterfowl: The very rare Brazilian Merganser Mergus octosetaceus was observed on the Rio 

Carapa in February 1984 by Lopez; this constitutes the first record of the species in Paraguay 

for many years. The Rufous-faced Crake Laterallus xenopterus was recently discovered in an 

area of wet grassland only 50 km southwest of the upper Carapa drainage (Myers & Hansen, 

1980), and presumably occurs in the Carapa drainage. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: There is active colonization in the area. 

Research and conservation: There are now very few undisturbed riverine systems in this part 

of the continent, and species such as M. octosetaceus, dependent on clear-water rivers and 

streams, are becoming increasingly rare. The establishment of protected watersheds in this 

region is obviously a high priority. 

References: Myers & Hansen (1980). 

Source: Nancy E. Lopez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



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PERU 

INTRODUCTION 

based on information provided by Eric Cardich, Victor Pulido and Manuel Rios 

Peru is situated in west-central South America and has a coastline on the Pacific Ocean 
stretching for 3,080 km from the Ecuadorean border in the north to the Chilean border in the 
south. Its total area, including offshore islands and the Peruvian part of Lake Titicaca, is 
1, 285,2 16km^, and its population is currently estimated at 18,280,000. The country lies entirely 
within the Southern Hemisphere tropics and can be divided into three distinct regions, the 
Pacific, Andean and Atlantic. The main climatic zones are as follows: 

Pacific Region 

a) The tropical zone with three months of rainfall and a mean temperature of 24.3°C; in the 
extreme north of the coastal zone from the Ecuadorean border south to about 5°S. 

b) The arid subtropical zone with the little rainfall occurring during the austral winter, and 
mean temperatures ranging from 19-23°C; from the Rio Chira south to the Chilean border. 

Andean Region 

a) The Pacific slope with a climate transitional between that of the coast and that of the 
Andean puna. Mean temperatures range from 13-15°C, and rain falls during the austral 
summer; winters are dry and temperate. 

b) The Puna zone with a cold and humid climate, and frequent mists and snow on the higher 
mountains. 

c) Inter-Andean valleys with very varied climates, but generally with greater extremes in 
temperature and less rainfall than the puna; some of the deeper valleys have very little 
rainfall and support desertic vegetation. 

d) The cloud zone of the eastern Andes, at altitudes between 2,500 and 3,500m; temperatures 
are low and rainfall is high. 

e) The alpine zone, above 4,800m on the highest peaks of the Andes, south of latitude 8°S. 

Atlantic Region 

a) The upper humid forest zone, at altitudes between 500 and 2,000m; mean temperatures 
range from 21 to 28°C, rainfall is high (maximum 3,000 mm), and there is a dry season 
from July to September. 

b) The lowland humid forest zone, below 500m; mean temperatures are above 25°C, annual 
rainfall is in the region of 2,000 mm, and there is a well defined dry season during the 
austral winter. This is the typical climate of the Amazon lowlands throughout eastern Peru. 

The Pacific watershed comprises about 21.8% of Peruvian territory, the Atlantic watershed 
74.4%, and the Titicaca basin 3.8%. A recent inventory of lakes and dams in the Andean and 
Pacific regions of Peru by the Oficina Nacional de Evaluacion de Recursos Naturales identified 
12,201 water bodies, 3,896 in the Pacific drainage, 7,441 in the upper Atlantic drainage, 841 in 
the Titicaca basin and 23 in the Huarmicocha basin (ONERN, 1980). 

Parker et al (1982) recognize twenty-three major habitat types in Peru, ten of which are, or 
include, important wetland habitat. These are as follows: 

a) Humid low-lying forest. This includes seasonally inundated forest and permanently 
swampy forest, usually bordering rivers. Most flooding occurs during or just after the 
rainy season, from November to May. Fig trees Ficus spp are common in the seasonally 
flooded forest, and the palm Mauritia sp is characteristic of the swamps. Extensive stands 
of these palms are known as "aguajales". Seasonally flooded forest along the banks of the 
larger tributaries of the Amazon is often called "varzea". 



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b) Tropical savanna. Savanna with scattered shrubs and palms, especially Mauritia sp, subjet 
to flooding during the rainy season. This habitat is almost confined to a small area along 
the Rio Heath in extreme southeast Peru. 

c) Tropical rivers and their margins. Rivers with sandy or muddy shores, riverine thickets on 
newly formed sand banks with colonizers such as Salix sp and Tessaria sp, and later 
successional stages with Cecropia sp, Ficus sp, Erythrina sp, etc. Dense stands of the tall 
cane Gynerium sp are also typical of this habitat type, which is often called "zabolo". 

d) Oxbow lakes and their margins. Oxbow lakes are numerous along most of the meandering 
river course in the lowlands of eastern Peru. The aquatic vegetation includes floating mats 
of Paspalum sp, Eichhornia sp, Pistia sp and Victoria amazonica. As the lakes age, the 
marshes are invaded by shrubs and trees. 

e) Paramo. This is the humid grass-shrub association that borders the upper limits of the 
temperate forests in the Eastern Andes and in the Western Andes between Piura and 
Cajamarca. In areas free from fires and grazing, grasses such as Calamagrostris sp 
and Festuca sp can grow to a considerable height. Shrubs include species of Brachyotum, 
Gynoxys, Hesperolemes, Hypericum and Senecio, and bromeliads and ferns are conspicuous. 
Small lakes are scattered throughout the paramo, and bogs occur in poorly drained areas. 

f) Montane lakes, streams and marshes. There are three main types of lakes: shallow to deep 
glacial lakes and pools with relatively little fringing marsh vegetation; shallow lakes, some 
very large in size, with fringing marshes of Typha sp, Scirpus sp, etc; and shallowsaline 
lakes many of which are seasonal. 

g) Mangrove swamps. These occur only on the coast of Tumbes Department, at the southern 
limit of mangroves on the Pacific coast of South America. 

h) Coastal lagoons and marshes. These are scattered along the entire coastline; most are 
brackish and occur within a few hundred metres of the coast. Dominant aquatic plants 
include species of Typha and Scirpus. 

i) Coastal beaches and mudflats. Sandy shores characterize much of northern Peru, while 
rocky and sandy beaches alternate from central Peru to the Chilean border. There are only 
small areas of tidal mudflats, e.g. in the Bay of Paracas. Stretches of sea cliff and 
numerous rocky offshore islands provide nesting sites for many sea-birds. 

j) Coastal waters. The waters of the Humboldt Current are particularly important for 
sea-birds, notably the guano-producing Phalacrocoracidae and Sulidae. This cold current 
moving northward along the Peruvian coast turns out into the Pacific at the latitude of 
Talara, and warm-water sea-birds are found from there northward. 



Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

The following organizations are concerned with conservation and/or research in Peru: 

Institute Nacional Forestal y de Fauna (IN FOR): responsible for the establishment and 

management of protected areas. The Institute has been conducting research on resident and 

migratory birds at the Mejia Lagoons, and collaborates on numerous research projects with 

foreign institutions. 

Direccion General Forestal y de Fauna: responsible for hunting legislation and hunting 

seasons. 

Oficina Nacional de Evaluacion de Recursos Naturales (ONERN): responsible for 

conducting inventories of natural resources including wetlands. 

Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina: the Centro de Datos para la Conservacion (CDC) 

in the Departamento de Manejo Forestal gathers information on the natural ecosystems of 

Peru and identifies areas of importance for conservation. 

Museo de Historia Natural "Javier Prado": dedicated to the collection of biological 

specimens and taxonomic studies. 



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Peru 

Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos: dedicated to the collection of biological 
specimens and taxonomic studies. 

Asociacion Peruana para la Conservacion (APECO): a private organization dedicated to the 
conservation of nature. 



Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

The Sistema Nacional de Unidades de Conservacion includes four categories of protected areas: 
National Parks, National Reserves, National Sanctuaries and Historical Sanctuaries. The 
protected areas which include significant wetlands are as follows: 

Parque Nacional de Huascaran (340,000 ha), established in 1975. 

Parque Nacional de Mann (1,532,806 ha), established in 1973, and the Bosque Nacional de 

Manu (Manu National Forest), established in 1973. Both are included in a Biosphere 

Reserve (1,881,200 ha), established in 1977. 

Reserva Nacional de Junin (52,250 ha), established in 1974. 

Reserva Nacional de Pacaya-Samiria (2,080,000 ha), established in 1977. 

Reserva Nacional de Paracas (335,000 ha), established in 1975. 

Reserva Nacional de Salinas y Aguada Blanca (366,936 ha), established in 1979. 

Reserva Nacional de Tambopata (5,500 ha), established in 1977. 

Reserva Nacional del Titicaca (36,180 ha), established in 1978. 

Zona Reservada de las Lagunas de Mejia (890.6 ha), established in 1982. In 1984, the 

protected area was reduced to 690.6 ha, and designated as a Santuario Nacional. 

Recent and ongoing research projects involving wetlands and/or waterfowl include the 
following: 

a) Various studies at Mejia Lagoons (H. Blokpoel, T. Haig et al, R.A. Hughes, INFOR, J.P. 
Myers, V. Pulido, and US Fish and Wildlife Service). 

b) An inventory of lakes and dams in Peru (ONERN). 

c) An inventory of mangrove swamps in Peru (ONERN). 

d) A study of the ecology and migrations of Calidris alba (J. P. Myers et al). 

e) A study of the ecology and distribution of Sterna hirundo (H. Blokpoel et al). 

f) Avifaunal studies, especially research on Podicipedidae, at various Andean lakes (J. Fjeldsa). 

g) Studies of flamingos at Andean lakes (S.H. Hurlbert, T. Moreno et al). 
h) A variety of studies at Lake Junin by many researchers. 

i) Avifaunal studies along the Rio Manu (J. Terborgh, J. Fitzpatrick et al). 

j) Regular waterfowl censuses at Mejia Lagoons, Paracas National Reserve, Villa Marshes and 

Laguna El Paraiso (APECO). 
k) A complete inventory and evaluation of the diverse natural ecosystems of Peru (CDC). 



Major Threats to Wetlands and Waterfowl 

Threats common to a large number of wetlands in Peru are illegal and uncontrolled hunting, 
intensive grazing by domestic livestock, excessive felling of timber, and contamination with 
pesticides and other toxic substances. 

It has been calculated that only 34.8% of Peruvian territory is suitable for agricultural 
purposes, and thus one of the most serious threats to wetlands is drainage for agriculture or 
diversion of the water supply for irrigation purposes elsewhere. This is the case at Lake Junin 
where a plan exists to transfer water from the lake to the arid Pacific slope, at the Mejia 
Lagoons where a proposal has been made to drain one section of the protected area for 
agricultural land, and at every other coastal wetland. In some wetlands, fisheries projects are 
being carried out which involve management practices incompatible with the conservation of 
natural ecosystems and particularly their waterfowl. 



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Peru 



In the interior of Peru, and especially in the high Andes, there is a great risk of 
contamination from widespread mining activities, while in the forests of the Amazon lowlands, 
the main threat to many wetlands is disturbance from human activities such as hunting, fishing 
and the use of motor boats. 



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Peru 



PERU 




150 300 



Km 



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Peru 



WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on the following: data sheets provided by Eric Cardich and Victor 
Pulido of the Instituto Nacional Forestal, Manuel Rios and colleagues of the Centro de Datos 
para la Conservacion, Jon Fjeldsa and B. Anthony Luscombe; information provided by Robert 
A. Hughes, Stuart H. Hurlbert and Tomas Moreno; data extracted from an inventory of lakes 
and dams prepared by the Oficina Nacional de Evaluacion de Recursos Naturales (ONERN); 
and the literature. 



The Tumbes Mangroves (1) 

Location: 3°30'S, 80°25'W; 10 km northeast of Tumbes, Tumbes Department. 

Area: 8,044 ha. 

Altitude: 0-2m. 

Province and type: 8.19.4; 02, 05, 06, 07 & 08. 

Site description: The estuarine system of the Rio Tumbes, with extensive mangrove swamps, 

intertidal mudflats, sandy beaches and some saline flats. This is the southern limit of 

mangroves on the Pacific coast of South America. 

Principal vegetation: The dominant mangroves are Rhizophora mangle and Avicennia 

germinans, but there are also some Laguncularia racemosa and Conocarpus erectus. Also saline 

flats with halophytic vegetation. In the arid tropical zone. 

Land tenure: State owned, with some concessions to private individuals for shrimp farming. 

Protection: None at present. 

Land use: Fishing and shrimp farming. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of waterfowl occur, including several species which are rare 

elsewhere in Peru, and many species of Nearctic shorebirds. Characteristic species and local 

specialities include Pelecanus occidentalis, Fregata magnificens (up to 1,000), Nyctanassa 

violacea. Butorides striatus. Egretta caerulea, E. tricolor. Eudocirrius albus (up to 40), Ajaia 

ajaja. Charadrius collaris, Larus cirrocephalus and Gelochelidon nilotica. About twenty species 

of Nearctic shorebirds occur regularly, along with Larus atricilla, L. pipixcan, Child onias nigra 

and Sterna hirundo. 

Other fauna: The Osprey Pandion haliaetus is a common winter visitor. There are small 

populations of the otter Lutra anectens and American Crocodile Crocodylus acutus, both 

endangered species in Peru. The marine invertebrate fauna is especially rich and forms the 

basis of an important fishery. Important species include the gastropods Mytella guyanensis, 

Anadara tuberculosa and A. similia. Thirty-three species of Gastropoda, 24 species of 

Pelecipoda and 35 species of Crustacea have been recorded. 

Threats: The main threat to the area is the clearing of mangroves to provide space for shrimp 

farms, and felling for timber. This continues unabated, and over 300 ha were cleared in 1984. 

Other problems in the area include use of DDT to control mosquitos, excessive exploitation of 

lobsters and other shellfish, hunting of sea turtles, and tourist development. 

Research and conservation: A considerable amount of basic research has been conducted in the 

area, and a proposal was made in 1981 for the establishment of a protected area of 14,419 ha 

including all the mangrove areas and the adjacent coastal waters. However, no action has as 

yet been taken on this. The Oficina Nacional de Evaluacion de Recursos Naturales (ONERN) 

has recently completed a detailed study of the area and made a variety of recommendations 

concerning conservation and development in the region. 

References: Peiia (1970a & 1970b); Pulido & Gutierrez (1982); ONERN & Direccion General 

ITMITI (1983); Pulido & Yockteng (1983). 

Source: Eric Cardich and Victor Pulido. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



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I 



Peru 

Laguna Ramon Grande and Laguna Ramon Chico (2) 

Location: 5°30'S, 80°40'W; 30 km SSW of Piura, Piura Department. 

Area: 2,000 ha. 

Altitude: 20m. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 14. 

Site description: Two temporary saline lagoons in a desert area 20 km from the coast. 

Extensive flooding occurs at irregular intervals according to local rainfall. 

Principal vegetation: A desert region with sparse halophytic vegetation. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Large numbers of waterfowl occur when the lagoons are flooded, as was the case in 

1983 following exceptional rainfall associated with "El Nino" of that year. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3b. 



Virrila Estuary (3) 

Location: 5°50'S, 80°50'W; 75 km SSW of Piura, Piura Department. 

Area: 3,370 ha. 

Altitude: 0-2m. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 02, 05, 06 & 07. 

Site description: A tidal estuary and old arm of the Rio Piura, extending 35 km inland, with 

tidal mudflats, sandy beaches, coastal sand dunes and brackish marshes. Occasional flooding of 

the Rio Piura inundates the area with fresh water. 

Principal vegetation: Some brackish marshes with Scirpus sp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Traditional fishing and hunting. 

Waterfowl: An important estuary for migratory waterfowl, particularly Nearctic shorebirds and 

Laridae. A variety of Ardeidae occur, and Eudocimus albus, Ajaia ajaja and Phoenicopterus 

chilensis have been recorded. 

Other fauna: Large numbers of sea-birds occur in the inshore waters of the adjacent bay, and 

the Osprey Pandion haliaetus is a regular winter visitor. Up to 30 Otaria flavescens occuron 

the nearby Punta Agujas, and sea turtles, possibly Chelonia mydas, have been reported. 

Threats: There is a potential threat of contamination from a nearby oil terminal and from the 

fishing industry at Parachique, at the mouth of the estuary. There is some illegal hunting of 

sea-lions, and destruction of birds' nests by fishermen. 

Research and conservation: The "Plan Maestro de Manejo Forestal para el Noroeste del Peru" 

includes a provisional proposal for the establishment of a protected area at the estuary. 

References: Peterson (1975); CEPID (1981); Leo et al (1981). 

Source: Eric Cardich, Victor Pulido, Centro de Datos para la Conservacion and B. Anthony 

Luscombe. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna de Medio Mundo and Laguna San Felipe (4) 

Location: 10°56'S, 77°40'W; 20 km north of Huacho, Lima Department. 

Area: L. Medio Mundo 206 ha; L. San Felipe 200 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lm. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 05 & 07. 



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Peru 

Site description: Two slightly brackish coastal lagoons, up to 2m deep, with associated fresh to 

brackish marshes, and adjacent sandy beaches. The lagoons receive their water from seepage 

and run-off from nearby irrigated land. This area is one of only three coastal wetlands 

remaining in the Department of Lima. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Typha angustifolia, Hydrocotyle, Potamogeton, Wolffia, 

Equisetum, Scirpus, Cyperus, Sesuvium portulacastrum, various Gramineae, Salicornia and many 

algae. 

Land tenure: L. Medio Mundo is state owned; L. San Felipe is privately owned. 

Protection: None, but the owner of Laguna San Felipe controls that area effectively. 

Land use: Traditional fishing, duck hunting, reed-cutting for a local basket-making industry, 

livestock grazing and recreation; agriculture in the surrounding areas. Laguna de Medio 

Mundo was formerly used as a shrimp raising pond. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of species have been recorded including breeding Podylimbus 

podiceps. Anas bahamensis (up to 200) and Gallinula chloropus (up to 900), and many wintering 

Nearctic shorebirds. The commoner shorebirds include Charadrius semipalmatus, Tringa 

flavipes, Calidris alba and Steganopus tricolor. 

Other fauna: Fishes include Bryconamericus peruanus, Lebiasina bimaculata, Dormitator 

latifrons, Mugil cephalus and Pygidium pmctulalum; and the iguana Tropidurus peruvianus 

occurs. 

Threats: Laguna de Medio Mundo is under serious threat of drainage for agriculture, and the 

wetland is already being polluted by pesticide run-off from adjacent cultivated land. There is 

increasing urban development in the area, and considerable disturbance from hunters. 

Research and conservation: Laguna de Medio Mundo and its fauna and flora have been 

described in some detail by Tovar. 

References: Dourojeanni et al (1969); Tovar (1977); Pulido (1983b). 

Source: Eric Cardich, Victor Pulido, Centro de Datos para la Conservacion and B. Anthony 

Luscombe. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Laguna Playa Chica and Laguna El Paraiso (5) 

Location: 11°12'S, 77°36'W; 10 km south of Huacho, Lima Department. 

Area: 4,440 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lm. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 05, 07 & 13. 

Site description: A complex of shallow brackish coastal lagoons, up to 1.5m deep, and brackish 

and freshwater marshes situated behind a sea beach. Water levels are influenced by the tides, 

seepage and run-off of freshwater from nearby irrigated land. Laguna El Paraiso is an 

artificial wetland, created in 1973 by agricultural run-off. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Typha sp and halophytic vegetation. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but the wetland is in a no hunting zone. 

Land use: Traditional, commercial and sport fishing; some pisciculture; illegal hunting; tourist 

recreation; and grazing of livestock. 

Waterfowl: Fifty-five species of waterfowl have been recorded, including 22 Nearctic 

shorebirds and a wide variety of gulls and terns Laridae. Resident species include Podilymbus 

podiceps. Rollaridia rolland, several Ardeidae, Anas bahamensis (almost 1,000 present in late 

1984), A. cyanoptera. Rallus sanguinolentus . R. limicola. Fulica americana/ ardesiaca, 

Charadrius vociferus and C. alexandrinus. Eudromias ruficollisis a winter visitor from the 

Andes. 

Other fauna: The Osprey Pandion haliaetus and Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus are regular 

non-breeding visitors, and a wide variety of Humboldt current sea-birds occur offshore. 

Threats: The main threats are pesticide run-off from adjacent irrigated land, and excessive 

disturbance from illegal and indiscriminate hunting. 

Research and conservation: The avifauna has been described in some detail by Castro; the 

Panamerican Shorebird Program has conducted censuses; and various proposals for the 

conservation and management of the area have been made. 

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Peru 

References: Ministerio de Agricultura (1980a & 1980b); Pulido (1983b); Castro (1984). 

Source: Eric Cardich, Victor Pulido, Centro de Datos para la Conservacion, and B. Anthony 

Luscombe. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Villa Marshes (6) 

Location: 12°13'S, 77°01'W; 20 km south of Lima, Lima Department. 

Area: 500 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 05, 07 & 12. 

Site description: A complex of permanent shallow fresh and brackish ponds and marshes, 

shallow impoundments used for irrigation, and halophytic steppe behind an ocean beach. 

Water levels fluctuate widely, and are lowest during the dry summer months (December to 

March). 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Typha sp and Scirpus sp; and halophytic steppe with 

scattered palms. 

Land tenure: A mixture of public and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle grazing; reed-cutting for basket-making; recreation, particularly along the 

beach; and some hunting. There is some irrigated agricultural land and extensive suburban 

development, including a country club and golf course, nearby. 

Waterfowl: Most of the waterfowl typical of the coastal wetlands of Peru have been recorded. 

Common residents include Podilymbus podiceps, Rollandia rolland, Ixobrychus exilis, Bubulcus 

ibis, Butorides striatus, Egretta caerulea, Anas cyanoptera, Rallus sanguinolentus. Gallinula 

chloropus and Charadrius vociferus. At least 17 Nearctic shorebirds have been recorded, the 

commoner species including Charadrius semipalmatus. Numenius phaeopus, Tringa melanoleuca, 

T. flavipes, Actitis macularia, Calidris alba, C. pusilla, C. mauri, C. minutilla and Steganopus 

tricolor. Larus pipixcan occurs in enormous numbers in the austral summer; Sterna hirundo is a 

common non-breeding visitor; and Anas discors has occurred. Wanderers from the high 

Andeans have included Anas flavirostris, A. puna and Vanellus resplendens. 

Other fauna: There is a small resident population of the Peruvian Thick-knee Burhinus 

superciliaris on the adjacent steppe, and Pandion haliaetus and Falco peregrinus are regular 

non-breeding visitors. Humboldt current sea-birds are abundant along the adjacent coast. 

Threats: The principal threat is the reclamation of land for housing development and recreation 

facilities. The marsh is used as a dump for domestic waste; there is some pollution from 

domestic sewage; and there is excessive disturbance from recreation activities in the 

surrounding areas. 

Research and conservation: Despite intense human activity in the area and proximity to the 

suburbs of Lima, the area remains rich in wildlife, and many species have in fact benefitted 

from the construction of ornamental ponds and runoff of waste irrigation water. The marshes 

and beach are a popular bird-watching area for visitors to Lima; the avifauna is well known, 

and some bird banding has been carried out. The site has excellent potential for the creation 

of a small multiple use conservation area with emphasis on nature oriented recreation and 

education. 

Source: B. Anthony Luscombe. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Puerto Viejo Marshes (7) 

Location: 12''32'S, 76°45'W; south of Chilca, 70 km south of Lima, Lima Department. 

Area: 1,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 05 & 07. 



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Peru 

Site description: A complex of shallow saline lagoons and marshes behind a sea beach, and 

almost encircled by the coastal foothills of the Andes. The water surface is much reduced 

during the summer months (December to March). 

Principal vegetation: Scirpus marshes and halophytic steppe. 

Land tenure: A mixture of private and public ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle grazing; chicken farming; sport hunting; sport fishing; reed-cutting for 

basket-making; and beach recreation. 

Waterfowl: Not well known, but apparently similar to other coastal wetlands of 

Peru. Podilymbus podiceps, RoUandia rolland. Anas bahamensis and A. cyanoptera are known 

to breed, Anas discors, Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea and Rynchops niger have occurred as 

non-breeding visitors, and the very local Laterallus jamaicensis has been recorded. A wide 

variety of Nearctic shorebirds occur on passage and during the austral summer, the commoner 

species including Numenius phaeopus, Tringa melanoleuca. T. flavipes and Actitis macularia. 

Other fauna: Burhinus superciliaris occurs on adjacent steppe; and Pandion haliaetus and Falco 

peregrinus occur as non-breeding visitors. 

Threats: The wetland is under imminent threat from a development project for holiday homes 

and beach recreation, and surveying work has already commenced. 

Research and conservation: One of the larger coastal wetlands in central Peru and still with 

large populations of waterfowl. Its proximity to Lima makes it an ideal site for wetland 

research and conservation education, but unless measures are taken in the near future, the site 

will be lost to development. 

Source: B. Anthony Luscombe. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Agua Santa Marshes (8) 

Location: 13°41'S, 76"'12'W; north and east of Pisco, lea Department. 

Area: 2,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-1 50m. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 05, 07, 10, 11 & 13. 

Site description: A complex of seasonal ponds and marshes along the lower Rio Pisco from the 

Andean foothills to the coast, and a group of permanent fresh to brackish lagoons and marshes 

behind a sea beach near the river mouth. The riverine marshes are flooded from April to 

December or January; surface water disappears by late summer, but the ground remains boggy. 

Principal vegetation: Coastal lagoons with submergent vegetation including Zanichellia 

sp; Scirpus marshes; and halophytic steppe. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Grazing of domestic livestock; some sport and subsistence hunting. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of waterfowl typical of coastal Peru have been recorded,! 

particularly in the coastal marshes which provide excellent feeding habitat for Ardeidae and' 

shorebirds. Resident species include Podilymbus podiceps, RoUandia rolland (up to 100), Anas 

cyanoptera, Laterallus jamaicensis, Gallinula chloropus, Charadrius vociferus and C. 

alexandrinus. Other regular visitors which may breed include Egretta caerulea, E. thula, E. 

alba. Anas georgica and Larus cirrocephalus. Winter visitors from the Andes include Plegadis 

ridgwayi and Eudromias ruficollis; common Nearctic migrants include Pluvialis squatarola. 

Tringa melanoleuca, T. flavipes, Arenaria interpres, Limnodromus griseus, Calidris alba 

and Larus pipixcan. 

Other fauna: Falco peregrinus is a regular non- breeding visitor. The coastal lagoons have 

exceptionally high populations of crustaceans and small fishes Mugil sp. 

Threats: There have been several unsuccessful attempts in the past to reclaim the marshes for 

agriculture, and the threat remains. 

Research and conservation: Some studies have been conducted on Nearctic shorebirds, 

including an analysis of pesticide residues in prey species of Falco peregrinus. 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa and B. Anthony Luscombe. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



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Wetlands in Paracas National Reserve (9) 

Location: 13°50'S, 76°17'W; 15 km southwest of Pisco, lea Department. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown; 16 km of shoreline in Paracas Bay. 

Altitude: National Reserve 0-786m. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 01, 04, 05 & 06. 

Site description: The coast of the Paracas National Reserve is primarily rocky, with high sea 

cliffs, and boulder and shingle beaches. However, in Paracas Bay there is a large area of tidal 

mudflats, and long sandy beaches. 

Principal vegetation: Marine algae, with beds of Ulva spp in Paracas bay; some Distichlis 

spicata and Sesuvium portulacastrum close to the sea shore. In a region of true desert, almost 

devoid of vegetation. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Paracas National Reserve (335,000 ha including 217,500 ha of coastal 

waters), established in 1975. 

Land use: Traditional fishing, collection of marine algae for food and fuel, and tourism. 

Waterfowl: One of the richest areas for waterfowl and sea-birds on the Peruvian coast, best 

known for its sea-bird colonies (on the offshore Ballestas Islands), non-breeding flock 

of Phoenicopterus chilensis (up to 150), and wide variety of Nearctic shorebirds. Residents and 

local migrants include Podiceps major. Anas bahamensis, Haematopus palliatus, H. ater, 

Charadrius vociferus, C. alexandrinus, Larus cirrocephalus and Rynchops niger. Over 20 

species of Nearctic shorebirds have occurred: a census in March 1982 included 169 Pluvialis 

squatarola, 354 Charadrius semipalmatus, 101 Tringa flavipes, 75 Limnodromus griseus, 

1,228 Calidris pusilla, 2,495 C. mauri and 1,491 C. alba, plus smaller numbers of ten other 

species. The area is also interesting for the number of vagrants which have been recorded. 

Other fauna: The Marine Otter Lutra felina. South American Sea-lion Otaria flavescens and 

Southern Fur Seal Arctocephalus australis are common; and the sea turtles Chelonia rttydas 

and Dermochelys coriacea occur. The Osprey Pandion haliaetus is a common winter visitor. 

Threats: The main threat to the area is pollution from chemical industries and fish factories in 

towns along the nearby coast. A serious pollution incident occurred in early 1984, and resulted 

in the death of a large number of marine and shore birds. There is some disturbance from 

both subsistence and commercial fishing in the Reserve, and the exploitation of salt deposits 

could pose a threat. 

Research and conservation: The fauna and flora have been well studied and documented, and a 

Master Plan has been prepared for the Reserve (Tovar & Rios, 1979). Ongoing investigations 

include studies of the flamingos, shorebirds and wintering Sterna hirundo population. 

References: Koepcke (1964); Grimwood (1967); Koepcke & Koepcke (1968); Ministerio de 

Agricultura (1971); Rios & Dourojeanni (1972); Rios (1974); Tovar & Rios (1979); lUCN 

(1982); Myers & McCaffery (1984). 

Source: Eric Cardich, Victor Pulido, and Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna Tilimaco and Laguna Pucchun (10) 

Location: 16°37'S, 72°44'W; southwest and west of Camana, Arequipa Department. 

Area: 110 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lm. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 05, 07 & 13. 

Site description: A complex of brackish lagoons and marshes, and freshwater marshes behind a 

sea beach. Until the mid 1970s, this was the largest coastal wetland system in southern Peru, 

but major drainage schemes for agriculture have greatly reduced the extent of natural wetland 

habitat and this is now very fragmented. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Typha sp; grassland with Distichlis sp; and sand dune 

vegetation. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Agriculture including rice growing, reed-cutting, livestock grazing and hunting. 

Formerly one of the most important duck hunting areas in coastal Peru. 

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Waterfowl: Formerly even more important for waterfowl than the Mejia Lagoons to the south, 

but with the destruction of a large part of the wetland habitat in the late 1970s, the number of 

birds using the area has fallen considerably. Even so, a wide variety of species was observed 

during a brief survey of one part of the marshes in April 1984, and clearly the area is still of 

considerable importance. Observations included 25 Rollandia rolland, 100 Egretta thula, 40 

Egretta caerulea, 30 Egretta tricolor. 1.000 Anas cyanoptera, 150 A. bahamensis, 75 A. georgica, 

1.000 Gallinula chloropus. 150 Tringa flavipes, 6 Larus cirrocephalus and thousands of L. 

pi pi xc an. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Drainage of the remaining wetland habitat presumably continues. 

Research and conservation: There is an urgent need for a complete survey of the area to 

determine the importance of the remaining wetland habitat and the possibilities for protection. 

Source: Centre de Datos para la Conservacion and R.A. Hughes. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b. 



Lagunas de Mejia (11) 

Location: 17°09'S, TTSO'W; 20 km southeast of Mollendo, Arequipa Department. 
Area: 1 ,000 ha. 
Altitude: 0-3. 5m. 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 05, 07 & 13. 

Site description: A complex of brackish lagoons and marshes behind a sea beach, with nearby 
small freshwater ponds and marshes fed by springs. The lagoons receive their water from the 
Rio Tambo, from seepage of sea water, and from run-off from nearby irrigated land. The 
average depth is under a metre; the maximum about 3m. It seems that there has always been 
some wetland habitat in this area, but in the 1940s, the diversion of water from the Rio Tambo 
for irrigation purposes and the ensuing run-off resulted in a great increase in the size of the 
lagoons. However, plans to drain the area for agriculture were implemented at the end of the 
1970s, and by late 1981, the main lagoons were completely dry. The spring-fed marshes along 
the base of the escarpment to the north remained unaffected by this drainage. The public 
outcry following the drainage led to the establishment of a reserve in January 1982, and the 
successful reflooding of the area. The heavy rains associated with "El Nino" in 1983 brought 
water levels back to normal and even higher. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Scirpus americanus, Typha angustifoUa, Salicornia 
fruticosa, Potamogeton sp, Hydrocotyle bonariensis. Equisetum bogotense and algae of the 
genera Chara, Enteromorpha, Spyrogira and Chlorella; grassy areas with Paspalum sp, Disticklis 
spicata and Pennisetum sp. 
Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: A reserve of 890.6 ha was established in January 1982; in 1984, this was decreased 
in size to 690.6 ha, and upgraded to a National Sanctuary. The Sanctuary includes the main 
lagoons, but does not include the important spring-fed marshes to the north, or the extensive 
sand beach to the south of the Rio Tambo. 

Land use: Grazing of domestic livestock; shrimp fishing in the lagoons; illegal hunting; and 
agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: The Mejia Lagoons constitute the most significant area of wetland habitat along 
more than 1,000 km of coast in southern Peru and northern Chile. As such, they are of great 
importance as a migration staging area for a wide variety of migratory waterfowl. In addition, 
the lagoons are an important breeding area for many species, some of which reach the southern 
extremity of their Pacific coastal range at Mejia, while one, Fulica rufifrons, reaches its 
northern limit there. The area is also interesting for the variety of high Andean species which 
has occurred, particularly in years of drought on the altiplano. Even the flightless Giant 
Coot Fulica gigantea has appeared. Over 85 species of waterfowl have been recorded, 
including 39 species of shorebirds. Peak counts in recent years have included 300 Egretta 
thula, 90 E. caerulea. 340 Bubulcus ibis, 200 Phoenicopterus chilensis, several thousand Anas 
bahamensis, 1,000 A. georgica, several thousand A. cyanoptera, 10,000 Gallinula chloropus, 5,000 
Fulica americana/ ardesiaca, 600 Pluvialis squatarola, 1,000 Calidris bairdii, 3,000 C. alba, 560 
Micropalama himantopus. 3.000 Steganopus tricolor, many thousands of Larus pipixcan and 
550 Sterna hirundo. The adjacent beach system, which extends for 25 km to the south, is also 

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extremely important for migratory shorebirds, and supports one of the highest densities 

of Calidris alba hitherto discovered. 

Other fauna: Pandion haliaetus and Falco peregrinus are regular winter visitors. The adjacent 

coastal waters are important for feeding sea-birds. 

Threats: Drainage and reclamation for agriculture continue in surrounding areas, and the 

pumping of water from the main drainage canal has significantly increased seepage rates from 

the northern lagoon. There is heavy overgrazing in the area and some pollution from 

pesticides. Hunting, although now illegal, is on the increase, and reed-cutting causes 

considerable disturbance to nesting birds. 

Research and conservation: The avifauna of the lagoons is very well known; Hughes has made 

regular observations since 1953, and a large number of ornithologists and bird-watchers have 

visited the area since 1980. Ongoing investigations include studies on the Nearctic shorebirds, 

particularly Calidris alba, and wintering Sterna hirundo. Several general studies have been 

conducted, and a variety of proposals for the management and development of the reserve have 

been produced. 

References: Hughes (1970, 1976, 1979, 1980 & 1984); Tallman et al (1978); Arellano et al 

(1980); Pulido & Gutierrez (1980); Myers (1982a & 1982b); Pulido (1982a, 1983a, 1983b, in 

press-a & in press-b); Commission on Ecology (1983); Haig et al (1983). 

Source: Eric Cardich, Victor Pulido, Centro de Datos para la Conservacion, and R. A. Hughes. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Ite Lagoons (12) 

Location: 17°54'S, 70°58'W; 45 km southeast of Ilo, Tacna Department. 

Area: c.500 ha. 

Altitude: Om 

Province and type: 8.24.7; 05 & 07. 

Site description: A complex of shallow saline lagoons and marshes interconnected by narrow 

channels, behind a sea beach near the mouth of the small Locumba River. This is the last 

significant lagoonal system for 800 km from southern Peru to north-central Chile. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes of Scirpus sp with a little Typha sp. Irrigated cultivation nearby. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: A variety of waterfowl typical of coastal Peru were recorded during brief surveys 

in December 1982 and July 1984, including 50 Egretta thula, 200 Anas bahamensis, 1,000 A. 

cyanoptera, 3,000 Gal I inula chloropus, and small numbers of eight species of Nearctic 

shorebirds. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: There is serious pollution from waste from nearby copper mines. 

Source: R. A. Hughes. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b. 



Crisnejas Lakes (13) 

Location: 6°41'-6''59'S, 78°18'-78''30'W; 20-50 km NNE of Cajamarca, Cajamarca Department. 

Area: 9,000 ha. 

Altitude: 3,580-4,060m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: About 45 small freshwater Andean lakes, including Mamacocha, Mishacocha, 

Lucmacocha and Alforja Cocha, and surrounding Andean bogs, in the upper basins of the 

Llaucano, Maranon and Crisnejas Rivers, mainly above 3,850m. The lakes vary in size from 

1-20 ha. One of the few significant lacustrine systems in the northern Andes of Peru. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

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Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Laguna Pelagatos and the Conchucos Lakes (14) 

Location: 8°05'-8°29'S, 77°40'-78°00'W; 10-30 km east and northeast of Cabana, Ancash 

Department. 

Area: c.7,500 ha of lakes in a region of 50,000 ha. 

Altitude: 3,500-4,660m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: About 150 small freshwater Andean lakes and surrounding areas of bog, 

mainly above 4,000m, in the upper watersheds of the Rio Santa (Pacific slope) and Rio 

Maranon (Atlantic slope). Laguna Pelagatos (200 ha), to the north of the main group of lakes, 

is the largest; most of the others are between 5 and 80 ha in extent. The largest lacustrine 

system in the high Andes of northern Peru. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Laguna Lauricocha, Laguna Conococha 
and lakes in the Cordillera Huayhuash (15) 

Location: 10°00'-10°35'S, 76°40'-77°I7'W; 60 km northwest of Cerro de Pasco, Departments of 

Huanuco, Lima and Ancash. 

Area: c. 10,000 ha. 

Altitude: 3,845-4,970m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: Approximately 200 small freshwater lakes and associated bogs in the high 

Andes of the Cordillera Huayhuash and Cordillera Raura, in the upper watersheds of the 

Pativilca, Huaura, Maraiion and Huallaga Rivers. Laguna Lauricocha (650 ha, 3,845m) and 

Laguna Conococha (180 ha, 3,990m) are the largest, and also the lowest in elevation. The 

majority are between 10 and 150 ha in extent, and over 4,400m in elevation. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Grazing of domestic livestock, and some hunting. 

Waterfowl: Thousands of waterfowl have been observed at Laguna Conococha, including 

several species at the northern limit of their distribution in the Andes (T.A. Parker III, pers. 

com.). Particularly noteworthy are several hundred Fulica gigantea and significant populations 

of Chloephaga melanopiera and Lophonetta specularioides. Other common breeding birds 

include Rollandia rolland, Podiceps occipitalis. Anas georgica and A. puna. No informationis 

available on the other wetlands. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Laguna Conococha is being increased in size with the construction of a dam. 

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References: ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centre de Datos para la Conservacion and Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Laguna Acucocha, Laguna Punrun and nearby lakes (16) 

Location: 10°40'-1I°00'S, 76°24'-76°40'W; in the Andes west of Cerro de Pasco, Departments 

of Pasco and Lima. 

Area: c. 10,000 ha, including L. Acucocha (600 ha) and L. Punrun (2,000 ha). 

Altitude: 4,300-4,700m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: Some 200 freshwater lakes and associated bogs in the high Andes to the 

northwest of Lake Junin. Laguna Punrun (2,000 ha) and L. Acucocha (600 ha) are much the 

largest; the others are mainly bewteen 10 and 70 ha in extent. 

Principal vegetation: At Laguna Punrun, there are beds of submergent Myriophyllum sp 

and Chara sp, with some Potamogeton strictus. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Only L. Punrun seems to have been surveyed. This appears to be mainly a staging 

area for waterfowl during the dry season, when birds are forced to leave the smaller lakes in 

the area. In October 1977, Fjeldsa observed a variety of high Andean species including 

130 Rollandia rolland, 37 Plegadis ridgwayi, 70 Chloephaga melanoptera,&0 Lophonetta 

specularioides, 400 Fulica americana/ ardesiaca, 13 F. gigantea (nesting), and a large number 

of Nearctic shorebirds of the genus Calidris. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: ONERN (1980). 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Laguna Chacaycancha and Laguna Cutaycocha (17) 

Location: lO'Sl'S, 76°03'W; north of Carhuamayo, near the north shore of Lake Junin, Junin 

Department. 

Area: 400 ha. 

Altitude: 4,330m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12. 

Site description: Two permanent freshwater lakes, Chacaycancha (230 ha) and Cutaycocha 

(150 ha), on the puna, with extensive shallows and abundant aquatic vegetation. During the 

wet season, the marshes between the two lakes flood, creating a single wetland of 400 ha. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive beds of submergent Chara sp, with some Myriophyllum sp; 

shallow marshes with Juncus sp and tall tussocks of Deschampsia sp. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Very little disturbance; only a few families live near the lakes. 

Waterfowl: In November 1983 and February 1985, Fjeldsa observed a variety of Andean 

waterfowl including breeding Nycticorax nycticorax, Fulica gigantea (10-15 pairs), and Larus 

serranus. 

Other fauna: Fishes of the genus Orestias are plentiful, and the giant 

amphibian Batrachophrynus macrostomus, endemic to the Junin basin, is common. 

Threats: None apparent. 

Research and conservation: The lakes, although small, appear suitable for the establishment of 

a second population of the flightless Puna Grebe Podiceps taczanowskii. A programme of 

introduction was initiated by Fjeldsa in February 1985 with the translocation of four grebes 

from Lake Junin to Laguna Chacaycancha. 

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Source: Jon Fjeldsa. 
Criteria for inclusion: 2b. 



Lake Junin (18) 

Location: 10°51'-ll°irS, 76°00'-76°15'W; northwest of Junin, Junin Department. 
Area: Lake and marshes 29,945 ha; seasonally flooded grassland 10,000 ha. 
Altitude: 4,080m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12, 13, & 16. 

Site description: A large permanent freshwater lake, up to 12.7m deep, fed by 12 rivers and 20 
streams; several nearby small lakes and ponds; extensive freshwater marshes; and up to 
10,000 ha of seasonally flooded puna grassland. Because of regulation for hydroelectric power, 
the lake level has fluctuated by 2m or more in recent years; at high levels the area of open 
water is about 14,500 ha, and there are fringing beds of emergent vegetation up to 6 km wide. 
Principal vegetation: Submergent vegetation including Spyrogira sp, Chara fragilia, 
Potamogeton spp, Myriophyllum elatinoides, Elodea potamoyeto and Utricularia sp; floating 
vegetation including Spirodella sp, Azolla filiculoides and Lemna sp; emergent vegetation 
including Scirpus californicus, Juncus andecolus, Hydrocotyle bonariensis, Rumex peruanus, and 
species of Carex and Polygonum; and seasonally flooded grassland with Eleocharis 
sp, Calamagrostis rigescens and Distichia muscoides. 
Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Junin National Reserve (52,250 ha) established in 1974. 
Land use: Traditional fishing; reed-cutting for animal feed and handicrafts; heavy grazing of 
wet pastureland by sheep, cattle and llamas; illegal hunting and collection of birds' eggs for 
human consumption; and generation of hydroeleclricity at a dam in the extreme northwest of 
the lake. Some 6,000 people live in small villages around the lake. Large areas of the marshes 
are regularly burned to improve the grazing. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for both breeding and wintering waterfowl; very well 
known and well documented. The lake has an endemic grebe Podiceps taczanowskii and the 
marshes are the only known locality for the recently described subspecies of the Black 
Rail Laterallus jamaicensis tuerosi. A number of complete censuses of the waterfowl have 
been attempted; censuses in 1977-1979 suggested populations of about 300 Podiceps 
taczanowskii, 3,500-4,000 Rollandia rolland, several hundred Nycticorax nycticorax, 
8,000 Plegadis ridgwayi, 8,000-10,000 Anas flavirostris, up to 50,000 A. puna, 6,000 A. 
georgica, 2,000-3,000 Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea, thousands of Rallus sanguinolentus, at 
least 50,000 Gallinula chloropus, 15,000 Fulica americana/ardesiaca and 3,000 Larus 
serranus. Phoenicopterus chilensis nested in the mid 1970s and again in 1984, but in most years 
only non-breeders are present (up to 5,000). Up to 1,000 Chloephaga melanoptera occur as 
non- breeding visitors during the dry season. Anas discors is a regular visitor in small numbers, 
and twelve species of Nearctic shorebirds have been recorded. Of these, the most abundant 
are Pluvialis dominica, Tringa melanoleuca, T. flavipes. Calidris bairdii and Steganopus 
tricolor, which occurs in tens of thousands in the northern winter. The waterfowl surveys have 
been summarized by Harris (1981) and Fjeldsa (1983b). Observations by Fjeldsa in October 
1983 and February 1985 suggest that the combination of drought and increased use of water 
for hydroelectric power has resulted in mass starvation of Rollandia rolland and a considerable 
reduction in numbers of Anatidae, Fulica americana/ardesiaca and possibly also Podiceps 
taczanowskii. 

Other fauna: There is an abundant fish population in the lake, including Salmo gairdnieri, 
Pygidium oroyae, Orestias elegans, O. agasii, O. empyraeus and Astroblepus praeolierum. 
Amphibians include Batrachophrynus macrostomus, B. brachydactylus, Gastrotheca peruana, 
Pleurodema marmorata and Bufo spinulosus. Vicugna vicugna, Odocoileus virginianus 
and Hippocamelus antisensis occur in the area. 

Threats: The most important threats to the lake system are pollution from mining activities in 
the surrounding hills, and a proposed scheme to raise the level of the lake to divert water to the 
Pacific slope and provide an additional water supply for Lima (the Mantaro Water Transfer 
Project). Present plans involve cutting off the polluted Rio San Juan and increasing the level 
of the lake, which may be disastrous for cattle ranching in the area but could improve 
conditions for the endemic Podiceps taczanowskii. Since Lake Junin would have a small 

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catchment area without the Rio San Juan, it is unclear whether the high water level could be 
maintained. The grasslands around the lake are heavily overgrazed by domestic livestock, but 
this may be harmful to only a few species and is a prerequisite for the maintenance of 
shorebird habitat. Other disturbances include the burning of marsh vegetation, reed-cutting, 
waterfowl hunting and the collection of birds' eggs, but these are not thought to have any very 
harmful effects. About 700 people are involved in hunting and egg-collecting. 
Research and conservation: Lake Junin has been well studied and documented. Recent work 
has concentrated on the ecological impact of the Mantaro Water Transfer Project, and on the 
possibility of establishing a second population of Podiceps taczanowskii on nearby lakes 
(Laguna Chacaycancha and Laguna Cutaycocha, site 17). 

References: Morrison (1939); Ortiz de la Puente (1952); Gill (1964); Dourojeanni et al (1968); 
Binnie & Partners (1975); Petterson (1977); Harris (1980, 1981 & 1982); Fjeldsa (1981b, 1981d, 
1982a, 1983a, 1983b, 1983c & undated); Tovar & Rios (1981 & 1982); Chuquichaico (1982); 
lUCN (1982); Pulido (1983b). 

Source: Eric Cardich, Victor Pulido, Centre de Datos para la Conservacion and Jon Fjeldsa. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Marcapomacocha Lakes (19) 

Location: 1 r00'-ir26'S, 76°17'-76°30'W; in the high Andes southwest of Lake Junin, 

Departments of Pasco and Junin. 

Area: c. 10,000 ha. 

Altitude: 4,300-4,700m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: About 175 small to medium sized freshwater lakes in the high Andes, with 

associated marshes, numerous small rivers and streams, and Andean bogs; mainly at elevations 

between 4,400 and 4,600m. Some of the lakes are shallow, with abundant aquatic vegetation; 

others are deep oligotrophic lakes of glacial origin. The largest lakes are Laguna 

Marcapomacocha (440 ha), L. Huaroncocha (1,000 ha), L. Yanamachay, L. Lacsacocha, L. 

Quimacocha, L. Naticocha, L. Shegui and L. Trapiche. The shallow lakes show marked 

seasonal fluctuations in water level. 

Principal vegetation: Many of the lakes have beds of Myriophyllum sp and Chara sp; locally 

there is some Potamogeton illinoiensis. Distichia sp dominates in the mountain bogs. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: The waters of some of the lakes are utilized in mining activities, and there is some 

grazing of domestic livestock and hunting in the area. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for Chloephaga melanoptera, Lophonetta specularioides 

and Fulica gigantea; 130 of the latter were found at L. Marcapomacocha in November 1983, 

and 140 in the L. Huaroncocha/L. Shegui area in October 1977. Podiceps occipitalis, Oxyura 

jamaicensis ferruginea and Fulica americana/ ardesiaca are common on some lakes. The rare 

Diademed Sandpiper-Plover Phegornis mitchellii occurs on bogs at high elevations. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Excessive hunting and manipulation of water levels may pose a threat at some lakes. 

References: ONERN (1980); Fjeldsa (1981d). 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa and Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



The Huarmicocha Lake System (20) 

Location: 12°32'-12°50'S, 75°24'-75°35'W; 70 km southeast of Huancayo, Departments of 

Lima, Junin and Huancavelica. 

Area: 5,120 ha of lakes. 

Altitude: 4,450-4,770m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 



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Site description: A group of about 50 small freshwater lakes and associated streams and bogs in 

the high Andes. The principal lakes are Laguna Huarmicocha (340 ha), L. Huichicocha 

(860 ha), L. Acchicocha (320 ha) and L. Chuncho (420 ha). 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



The Orcococha and Choclococha Lake System (21) 

Location: 13°05'-13°27'S, 75°02'-75°17'W; 95 km west of Ayacucho, Huancavelica Department. 

Area: c. 8,000 ha of lakes. 

Altitude: 4,450-4,900m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: A group of about 80 small to medium-sized freshwater lakes, and associated 

streams and bogs in the high Andes, mainly above 4,500m. The principal lakes are Laguna 

Agnococha (430 ha), L. San Francisco (300 ha), L. Orcococha (1,500 ha), L. Choclococha 

(1,540 ha) and L. Caracocha (380 ha). 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Livestock grazing. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Pollution from nearby mining activities and manipulation of water levels by damming 

are affecting some lakes. 

References: ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Laguna Pacucha and the Pachachaca Lakes (22) 

Location: 13°36'-13°55'S, 73°05'-73°20'W; 40 km west of Abancay, Apurimac Department. 

Area: Laguna Pacucha 768 ha; Pachachaca Lakes in an upland area of 40,000 ha. 

Altitude: L. Pacucha at 3,100m; Pachachaca Lakes at c. 4, 300m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: Laguna Pacucha is a freshwater lake surrounded by agricultural land in an 

inter- Andean valley. The Pachachaca Lakes are a group of some 150 freshwater lakes (up to 

100 ha in extent) with associated bogs on a high plateau of 40,000 ha, about 20 km southeast 

of L. Pacucha. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing, livestock grazing and agriculture around L. Pacucha. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: There is a considerable amount of human disturbance around L. Pacucha. 

References: ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 

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Huacarpay Lakes (23) 

Location: 13°37'S, 7r44'W; 28 km ESE of Cusco, Cusco Department. 

Area: 500 ha. 

Altitude: 3,170m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12. 

Site description: Three small freshwater lakes with extensive interconnecting marshes in the 

valley of the upper Rio Vilcanota. The wetland has a variety of aquatic habitats including a 

relatively deep open water lake, shallow lakes and ponds with abundant emergent vegetation 

and muddy areas, extensive reed beds, and wet grassland. 

Principal vegetation: Abundant submergent aquatic vegetation, and extensive marshes of Typha 

sp and Scirpus sp. In a region of cultivated plains and arid stony hillsides with some thorn 

scrub. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Grazing by domestic livestock, reed-cutting, sport fishing and recreation. There is a 

small country club on the shore of one lake. 

Waterfowl: The varied wetland habitats support a wide variety of Andean waterfowl and 

Nearctic shorebirds. The commoner species include Rollandia rolland, Plegadis ridgwayi, Anas 

puna, A. cyanoptera, Oxyura jamaicensis- ferruginea, Gallinula chloropus, Fulica 

americana/ ardesiaca and Vanellus resplendens. The Torrent Duck Merganetta armata is 

common on the nearby Rio Vilcanota. 

Other fauna: The area has a very rich passerine fauna. 

Threats: Disturbance from water sports at the weekends. 

Research and conservation: The area possesses a variety of Andean wetland ecosystems and 

abundant wildlife, and is only 30 minutes by paved road from Cusco city. It is a favourite 

bird-watching locality for visitors to Cusco, and would provide an ideal site for a wildlife 

sanctuary and conservation education centre. 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa, R. A. Hughes and Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna Sibinacocha (24) 

Location: 13°55'S, 7r01'W; 110 km ESE of Cusco, Cusco Department. 

Area: 2,494 ha. 

Altitude: 4,865m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 14. 

Site description: A high Andean lake of unknown salinity, with many ponds, bogs and 

mountain streams in the vicinity. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centre de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



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Pomacanchi, Asnacocha and Pampa Marca Lakes (25) 

Location: 14°00'-14°08'S, 71°27'-7r33'W; 75 km southeast of Cusco, Cusco Department. 

Area: 3,400 ha. 

Altitude: 3,660-3,785m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12. 

Site description: A group of four fresh to slightly brackish lakes, Laguna Pomacanchi 

(2,220 ha), L. Asnacocha (310 ha), L. Pampa Marca (780 ha) and L. Acopia (70 ha), in a 

cultivated Andean valley in the upper drainage of the Rio Vilcanota. The lakes are relatively 

deep, and subject to wide fluctuations in water level. 

Principal vegetation: Beds of submergent Chara. Potamogeton and Myriophyllum; and marshes 

with Scirpus and Juncus. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Livestock grazing and agriculture in the surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: An important area for waterfowl, particularly as a refuge in the dry season when 

the smaller lakes in the area dry out. Large numbers of birds were present in December 1983, 

including over 3,500 Rollandia rolland, 175 Podiceps occipitalis, 210 Phoenicopterus chilensis, 

530 Anas puna, 310 Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea and 8,500 Fulica americana/ ardesiaca. A 

few Fulica gigantea were also present. 

Other fauna: Fishes include Orestias spp, Salmo gairdnieri and Basilichthys bonariensis. 

Threats: The Ministry of Agriculture has plans to raise the water level in L. Pampa Marca to 

avoid drought in adjacent agricultural land. There is heavy overgrazing of the reed beds at L. 

Pomacanchi, and a potential threat of pollution from domestic sewage at L. Acopia. 

References: Hurlbert (1978); ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion and Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b. 



Laguna Languilayo (26) 

Location: 14°26'S, 71°17'W; 130 km southeast of Cusco, Cusco Department. 

Area: 5,408 ha. 

Altitude: 3,960m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12. 

Site description: A large freshwater lake with extensive marshes to the northeast, in a 

cultivated Andean valley in the upper drainage of the Rio Vilcanota. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Livestock grazing and agriculture in the surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Laguna Sallahu (Saracucho) (27) 

Location: 14°3rS, 69°36'W; between Putina and Cuyocuyo, Puno Department. 

Area: A few hundred ha. 

Altitude: 4,380m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12. 

Site description: A freshwater lake and associated marshes in the high Andes, subject to some 

seasonal fluctuations in water level. 

Principal vegetation: Submergent beds of Myriophyllum and Chara. 

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Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Some sheep grazing in the area. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for the Giant Coot Fulica gigantea; 50 individuals were 

observed in December 1983. Other breeding species include Podiceps occipitalis, Lophonetta 

specularioides and Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



The Yaurlhuiri Lakes (28) 

Location: 14°31'-14M2'S, 73°31'-73°58'W; 25 km east of Puquio, Ayacucho Department. 

Area: 3,200 ha of lakes in an area of 6,500 ha. 

Altitude: 4,350-4,500m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: A group of about 25 small freshwater lakes and associated bogs in the high 

Andes. The principal lakes are Laguna Yaurihuiri (780 ha), L. Parccococha (340 ha), L. 

Sahuaccocha (280 ha) and L. Apinaccocha (460 ha). 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Laguna Yaurihuiri is the most northerly breeding locality of Phoenicopterus 

chilensis known. The entire area is very important for breeding waterfowl, the commoner 

species including Rollandia rolland. Podiceps occipitalis, Chloephaga melanoptera, Lophonetta 

specularioides. Anas flavirostris, A. puna, A. georgica, Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea, Gallinula 

chloropus, Fulica americana/ ardesiaca and F. gigantea. 

Other fauna: Vicugna vicugna and Hippocamelus antisensis occur in the area. 

Threats: Several main roads traverse the area, and some of the lakes have been dammed. 

References: ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b. 



Lago de Parinacochas (29) 

Location: 15°17'S, 73°42'W; between Pullo and Incuyo, Ayacucho Department. 

Area: 6,700 ha. 

Altitude: 3,273m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 14. 

Site description: A large shallow brackish lake and marshes in a closed basin in the western 

Andes. At low water levels, wide expanses of salt-encrusted mud are exposed. The salinity is 

5.6 p.p.t. 

Principal vegetation: Beds of submergent and floating vegetation including Potamogeton sp 

and Enteromorpha sp; marshes with Typha sp. In a region of dry puna grassland. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Traditional fishing, hunting, reed-cutting, and livestock grazing. There is some 

agriculture nearby. 

Waterfowl: A very important lake for flamingos and Anatidae. Up to 4,500 Phoenicopterus 

chilensis occur as non-breeding visitors, and Phoenicoparrus andinus and P. jamesi have been 

recorded in small numbers. The duck population has been estimated at over 10,000, 

mainly Lophonetta specularioides. Anas flavirostris and A. puna. Other common species 



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include Rollandia roUand, Podiceps occipitalis. Plegadis ridgwayi, Chloephaga melanoptera 

and Fulica gigantea. At 3,273m, Parinacochas is the lowest known breeding site for F. 

gigantea. 

Other fauna: Apparently there are no fish in the lake, but there is a rich invertebrate fauna. 

The Vicuna Vicugna vicugna and Guanaco Lama guanacoi occur in the area. 

Threats: Excessive hunting is reported to be a problem. 

Research and conservation: The establishment of a protected area was suggested in the 1950s 

when the area was first surveyed. However, except for a few censuses of flamingos, little work 

has been carried out since then, and a further survey is clearly required. 

References: Koepcke & Koepcke (1952); Hurlbert (1978 & 1982); Hurlbert & Keith (1979). 

Source: Eric Cardich, Victor Pulido and Centre de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna Ananta (30) 

Location: 15°22'S, 70°5rW; 100 km northwest of Puno, Puno Department. 

Area: 1,600 ha. 

Altitude: 4,795m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: A freshwater lake of 1,250 ha, several smaller lakes nearby and associated 

bogs in the high Andes. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

References: ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Laguna Lagunillas (31) 

Location: 15°43'S, 70°42'W; 75 km west of Puno, Puno Department. 

Area: 5,090 ha. 

Altitude: 4,160m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: A large permanent oligosaline lake and marshes in the high Andean puna zone 

with surrounding bogs (bofedales). 

Principal vegetation: Beds of Myriophyllum. Zanichellia and Potamogeton strictus extending to 

up to 2,500m offshore; some submergent Chara and Elodea. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Livestock grazing on the lake shore. 

Waterfowl: A very important breeding area for waterfowl. Breeding birds observed by Fjeldsa 

in December 1977 included 100 Rollandia rolland, 700-800 Podiceps occipitalis, 700-800 

Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 150-200 Nycticorax nycticorax. 100 Chloephaga melanoptera, 200 

Lophonetta specularioides. 200 Anas flavirostris, 500-600 A. puna, 1,000 A. georgica, 250 

Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea, 1,300-1,500 adult and 850-1,000 young Fulica gigantea, 

60-70 Charadrius alticola and 1,000 Larus serranus. Also present were 500 Phoenicopterus 

chilensis, a few Phoenicoparrus andinus, 6,000 Fulica americana/ardesiaca, thousands 

of Calidris bairdii and 200 Larus pipixcan. 



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Other fauna: An abundant fish population including Orestias sp, Odonthstes sp and Salmo 

gairdnieri; the toad Telmatobius culeus escomeli; and a rich invertebrate fauna including the 

endemic snail Littoridina saracochae. 

Threats: There is a little disturbance from the collection of birds' eggs for human consumption. 

Research and conservation: An important area well deserving of further study. 

References: ONERN (1980); Fjeldsa (1981a & 1981d). 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa, Centro de Datos para la Conservacion, and R. A. Hughes. 

Criteria for inclusion: Ic, 2b & 3a. 



Laguna Saracocha (32) 

Location: 15M6'S, 70°37'W; 65 km west of Puno, Puno Department. 

Area: 1,470 ha. 

Altitude: 4,145m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: A permanent very slightly brackish lake and marshes in the high Andean puna 

zone, with surrounding bogs (bofedales). The maximum depth of the lake is 75m. 

Principal vegetation: Some Scirpus marshes. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: The main Puno to Arequipa Highway passes along the edge of the lake. 

Waterfowl: Very close to Laguna Lagunillas, and with a similar bird fauna, including a large 

breeding population of Fulica gigantea. Up to 205 Phoenicopterus chilensis have been recorded 

as non-breeding visitors. 

Other fauna: Fishes include Orestias sp and Salmo gairdnieri. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: No detailed surveys appear to have been conducted, despite the 

lake's accessibility. 

References: Hurlbert (1978); ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion and R. A. Hughes. 

Criteria for inclusion: Ic. 



Laguna Umayo (33) 

Location: 15°44'S, 70°12'W; 20 km northwest of Puno, Puno Department. 

Area: Lake 2,940 ha, flood zone 15,500 ha. 

Altitude: 3,820m. 

Province and type: 8.47.14; 12 & 16. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake, up to 40m deep, with fringing marshes, and a 

large area of seasonally flooded puna grassland, in the Titicaca basin. The lake is linked to 

Lake Titicaca by the Illpa River, and must at one time have been a part of that lake. Water 

levels reach their lowest between July and September. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive beds of submergent Lilaeopsis, Elodea, Potamogeton, Chara 

and Myriophyllum elatinoides; marshes with Scirpus riparius. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Hunting, fishing, livestock grazing and intensive harvesting of reeds. There are 

several small villages and some agriculture in the area; and a considerable amount of tourism to 

the Inca burial mounds on a peninsula in the lake (Sillustani). 

Waterfowl: A very rich lake for breeding waterfowl typical of the Titicaca basin, and with a 

large population of the local Short-winged Grebe Rollandia micropterum. In December 1977, 

Fjeldsa observed 300 Rollandia rolland, 700 R. micropterum, 1,300 Podiceps occipitalis, 

100 Nycticorax nycticorax, over 1,000 ducks of five species, 400 Gallinula chloropus, 

700 Fulica americana/ ardesiaca and several thousand Nearctic shorebirds (Tringa melanoleuca, 

T. flavipes, T. solitaria, Calidris bairdii and C. melanotos). Up to 500 Phoenicopterus chilensis 

have occurred as non-breeding visitors, Theristicus (c.) branickii occurs on the surrounding 

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grassland, and Anas platalea has been recorded. 

Other fauna: The fishes include Salmo gairdnieri, Odonthestes bonariensis and Orestias spp. 

Threats: Over-harvesting of the aquatic vegetation may become a problem, and there is some 

pollution from nearby villages. Birds' eggs are collected for human consumption, and many 

grebes are drowned in fishing nets. 

Research and conservation: Easy access from Puno, considerable archeological interest, and a 

rich bird fauna make this lake an excellent site for a nature sanctuary/national monument. 

References: Hurlbert (1978); Fjeldsa (1981d). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion, Jon Fjeldsa and R. A. Hughes. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Marshes of the Rio Ayaviri (34) 

Location: 14°40'-14°55'S, TOMS'-TO'SO'W; between Ayaviri and Santa Rosa, Puno Department. 

Area: 40 km of river. 

Altitude: 3,880m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 10 & 16. 

Site description: A fast-flowing river, some associated marshes, and a large adjacent area of 

seasonally flooded puna grassland. The greater part of the area dries out completely during the 

dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Mainly short grass, with large areas of Festuca and Juncus. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle grazing. 

Waterfowl: An important feeding area for waterfowl; in November/December 1977 and 

December 1983, Fjeldsa observed large numbers of Nycticorax nycticorax. Plegadis ridgwayi, 

Chloephaga melanoptera. Anas flaviroslris. A. georgica and Vanellus resplendens. Theristicus 

(c.) branickii was also present in small numbers, and the area appeared very suitable for a 

variety of Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Laguna Arapa and Taraco wetlands (35) 

Location: 15°15'S, 69°52'W; between Taraco and Huancane, northwest of Lake Titicaca, Puno 

Department. •; 

Area: 33,800 ha. 

Altitude: 3,810m. 

Province and type: 8.47.14; 09, 11, 12 & 16. 

Site description: Laguna Arapa (16,300 ha) is a permanent shallow freshwater lake with 

extensive marshes, bounded by hills to the north. The lake drains into the Rio Ramis, which 

meanders across the plains to the south, unites with the Rio Carabaya, and eventually flows 

into Lake Titicaca. During the summer rains, the river overflows and floods up to 17,500 ha 

of puna grassland, almost connecting L. Arapa with Lake Titicaca. Some small ponds, patches 

of marsh and damp meadows remain through the dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Beds of Myriophyllum and Lemna in L. Arapa and permanent ponds; 

marshes with Scirpus californicus. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Livestock grazing, reed-cutting, and agriculture. 



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Waterfowl: An important breeding area for some species, and a very important feeding area for 

waterfowl breeding around Lake Titicaca and for Nearctic shorebirds. Breeding species 

include Rollandia rolland (thousands), R. micropterum (on L. Arapa and L. 

Cupisco), Nycticorax nycticorax (up to 400), Plegadis ridgwayi (up to 1,300), a variety of 

Anatidae, Gallinula chloropus (many thousands), and Fulica americana/ ardesiaca. Up to 

1,000 Phoenicopterus chilemis have been recorded and Theristicus (c.) branickii occurs in the 

area. Counts of shorebirds have included several thousand Tringa melanoleuca and T. flavipes, 

and several hundred Calidris bairdii. C. melanotos, Micropalama himantopus, Steganopus 

tricolor and Himantopus himantopus. 

Other fauna: The fishes include Salmo gairdnieri, Odonthestes bonariensis and Orestias spp. 

Threats: Large areas of the seasonally flooded grassland are being converted to agricultural 

land. . 

References: Fjeldsa (198 Id). 

Source: Jon Fjeldsa, R. A. Hughes and Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Lake Titicaca (36) 

Location: 15°40'S, 69°40'W; on the Peruvian/Bolivian border, Puno Department. 

Area: Entire lake 830,000 ha; about 460,000 ha in Peru. 

Altitude: 3,810m. 

Province and type: 8.47.14; 12 & 16. 

Site description: A large permanent freshwater lake, up to 272m deep, on a high Andean 

plateau; with several islands, extensive areas of emergent aquatic vegetation and adjacent areas 

of seasonally inundated puna grassland. The water level fluctuates by about one metre, and 

reaches its maximum at the end of the rainy season (November-March). There is a particularly 

large area of marsh near Puno (28,000 ha), which extends up to 12 km out into the lake. 

Principal vegetation: The submergent vegetation includes Elodea sp and various algae; the 

floating vegetation includes species of Lemna, Azolla, Chara and Myriophyllum; and the 

dominant emergent is Schoenoplectus tatora. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: 36,180 ha are protected within the Titicaca National Reserve, established in 1978. 

The Reserve is in two separate sections; the Ramis area (7,030 ha) at the northern tip of the 

lake, and the Puno section (29,150 ha) near the town of Puno. 

Land use: Traditional fishing, hunting, reed-cutting, grazing of livestock on the lake shore and 

on seasonally flooded grassland, tourism and transportation. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for Andean waterfowl and Nearctic shorebirds. The 

commoner resident species include Rollandia rolland, R. micropterum. Phalacrocorax olivaceus. 

Nycticorax nycticorax, Plegadis ridgwayi, Chloephaga melanoptera, Anas flavirostris, A. 

georgica. A. puna, A. cyanoptera, Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea, Gallinula chloropus, Fulica 

americana/ ardesiaca, Vanellus resplendens, Charadrius alticola, Himantopus himantopus 

and Larus serranus. Up to 5,000 Phoenicopterus chilensis have been recorded as non-breeding 

visitors. The most abundant Nearctic shorebirds are Pluvialis dominica, Tringa melanoleuca, T. 

flavipes, Calidris bairdii, C. melanotos and Steganopus tricolor. 

Other fauna: The fish fauna includes many species of Orestias, Pygidium sp, Odonthestes 

bonariensis and the introduced Salmo gairdnieri. Amphibians include Bufo spinulosus, 

Gastrotheca marsupiata and three species of Telmatobius. 

Threats: There is a considerable amount of pollution in the Puno area from domestic sewage 

and boat traffic, and excessive utilization of reeds for building, boat construction and 

handicrafts. Hunting and the collection of birds' eggs may be a problem in some areas, and 

many grebes are known to drown in fishing nets. 

Research and conservation: A variety of limnological studies and fisheries investigations have 

been carried out, and a master plan has been prepared for the National Reserve. The avifauna 

of the lake is well known, but very few census data are available. 

References: Matos (1957); Barreda (1970); Tovar (1971); Dourojeanni (1975); Rivera Concha 

(1977); Hurlbert (1978); Acosta (1979); CEPID (1979); Universidad Nacional Agraria (1979); 

Fjeldsa (1981d). 



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Source: Eric Cardich, Victor Pulido, Jon Fjeldsa and Centre de Datos para la Conservacion. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna Salinas (37) 

Location: 16°2rS, 7ri2'W; 40 km east of Arequipa, Arequipa Department. 

Area: 7,100 ha. 

Altitude: 4,295m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: A large semi-permanent and very shallow hypersaline lake in a high Andean 

basin, with numerous small freshwater springs and bogs (bofedales) around its perimeter, and 

extensive bare salt flats at low water levels. The water level fluctuates greatly from year to 

year depending on the local rainfall, and in drought years the lake dries out completely except 

for some small spring-fed pools. Such was the case during the drought of 1982 and 1983, but 

the heavy rains in early 1984 rapidly filled the lake to its maximum level. In most years, levels 

reach their highest in April or May, and from September to January most of the basin is dry. 

Principal vegetation: Bofedales with Oxychloe andina, and dry puna grassland with species 

of Festuca, Parastrephia and Astragalus. The lake itself is devoid of macrovegetation. 

Land tenure: Owned by local Indian communities. 

Protection: Within the Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve (366,936 ha) established in 

1979. 

Land use: Some exploitation of salt deposits. Livestock grazing and a little traditional farming 

in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: A very important lake for flamingos, with all three Andean species occuring in 

large numbers at times of high water levels. As water levels fall and salinities 

increase, Phoenicoparrus jamesi predominates. As many as 20,000 flamingos have been 

observed on several occasions. Phoenicopterus chilensis and Phoenicoparrus jamesi are certainly 

much commoner than P. andinus, but detailed breakdown by species has rarely been possible. 

Many other high Andean waterfowl occur in smaller numbers, including Recurvirostra andina, 

and Steganopus tricolor is at times common. Thinocorus orbignyianus is common on the 

bofedales, and Attagis gayi occurs in the surrounding hills. 

Other fauna: Vicugna vicugna and Hippocamelus antisensis occur in the Reserve. 

Threats: None known. 

References: Kahl (1975); Hurlbert (1978); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Centre de Datos para la Conservacion, R. A. Hughes and Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3a. 



Laguna Suches (38) 

Location: 16''56'S, 70°24'W; 125 km SSW of Puno, Tacna Department. 

Area: 1,560 ha. 

Altitude: 4,452m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake, up to 12m deep, and marshes with surrounding 

bogs (bofedales) in the high Andes. The lake is the source of the Rio Locumba. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of arid puna grassland. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: The water is used by a nearby town and mine. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for high Andean species, including Podiceps occipitalis 

(hundreds), Chloephaga melanoptera, Anas puna, Fulica gigantea (hundreds), Recurvirostra 

andina. Thinocorus orbignyianus and Attagis gayi. Up to 200 Phoenicopterus chilensis have 

been recorded as non-breeding visitors. 

Other fauna: The puna around the lake is one of the few areas in Peru where the Puna 

Rhea Pterocnemia pennata tarapacensis still occurs. 

s 



Threats: No information. 

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Peru 



References: Hurlbert (1978). 

Source: R. A. Hughes and Centre de Dates para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: Ic & 2a. 



Laguna Vizcacha (39) 

Location: 16°53'S, 70°14'W; 20 km west of Laguna de Loriscota, Moquegua Department. 

Area: 865 ha. 

Altitude: 4,575m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 12 & 19. 

Site description: A permanent lake, up to Im deep, and surrounding bogs (bofedales), in the 

high Andes between Laguna de Loriscota and L. Suches. The lake is normally fresh, but 

becomes saline during periods of drought. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Up to 640 Phoenicopterus chilensis, 200 Phoenico parvus andinus and 740 P. jamesi 

have occurred as non-breeding visitors. There are large populations of Chloephaga 

melanoptera and other Anatidae, and Steganopus tricolor is a common migrant. 

Other fauna: Salmo gairdnieri has been introduced into the lake. 

Threats: No information. 

References: Hurlbert (1978); ONERN (1980). 

Source: T. Moreno and Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb. 



Laguna de Loriscota (40) 

Location: 16°52'S, 70°02'W; 110 km southwest of Puno, Puno Department. 

Area: 3,450 ha. 

Altitude: 4,663m. 

Province and type: 8.36.12; 14 & 19. 

Site description: A permanent saline lake, up to 2.6m deep, with surrounding bogs (bofedales) 

in the high Andes. A salinity of 10.4 p.p.t. has been recorded. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Small numbers of flamingos have been recorded on several occasions, and about 

590 Phoenicopterus chilensis, 1,230 Phoenicoparrus andinus and 75 P. jamesi were present in 

early February 1985. Other waterfowl present at this time included 400 Chloephaga 

melanoptera, 600 other Anatidae, 200 Calidris bairdii and 1 ,000 Steganopus tricolor. 

Other fauna: The Puna Rhea Pterocnemia pennata tarapacensis still occurs in the area. There 

are no fish in the lake. 

Threats: The entire lake is being drained as part of a water development project. 

References: Hurlbert (1978). 

Source: R. A. Hughes, Stuart Hurlbert, T. Moreno and Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb. 



Laguna Aricota (41) 

Location: 17°22'S, 70°19'W; 75 km north of Tacna, on the Pacific slope of the Andes, Tacna 

Department. 

Area: 1,450 ha. 

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Altitude: 2,800m. 

Province and type: 8.37.12; 12. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake in a deep Andean valley on the arid Pacific 

slope; one of the very few lakes at mid-elevations on the Pacific slope of southern Peru and 

northern Chile. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: The lake has been dammed to provide water for irrigation and there is some mining 

in the area. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Research and conservation: Possibly a very interesting lake because of its unique situation. A 

thorough survey is urgently required, particularly in view of the possible detrimental effects of 

the damming and mining activities. 

References: ONERN (1980). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Lakes and marshes along the lower Rio Pastaza (42) 

Location: 3°18'-4°56'S, 76°12'-76°50'W; the lower Rio Pastaza to its confluence with the Rio 

Maranon, Loreto Department. 

Area: 200 kms of river; area of marshes unknown. 

Altitude: 180-220m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 11, 12 & 18. 

Site description: A complex of freshwater lakes, marshes, oxbow lakes, riverine marshes, and 

swamp forest along the lower Rio Pastaza, a large slow-flowing river meandering through 

humid tropical forest. The largest lakes are Laguna Rimachi (300 ha) on the west bank of the 

Pastaza, and Laguna Papayacu, near the confluence of the Pastaza and Maranon. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive areas of "varzea" forest, i.e. successional stages of riverine 

forest subject to seasonal flooding. In a region of humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Research and conservation: A remote and little known area. 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Wetlands in Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve (43) 

Location: 5°00'S, 74°30'W; between the Rio Maranon and the Rio Ucayali, Loreto Department. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 125-800m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 11, 12 & 18. 

Site description: A extensive alluvial plain in a depression in the lower basins of the Rio 

Maraiion and Rio Ucayali; wetland habitats include slow-flowing meandering rivers with 

sandbanks and associated riverine forest and marshes, over 150 oxbow lakes of between 100 

and 500 ha in area, and large tracts of seasonally inundated swamp forest. 

Principal vegetation: "Varzea" forest and humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 



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Protection: Within the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve (2,080,000 ha) established in 1977 and 

increased to its present size in 1982. 

Land use: Traditional hunting, fishing and slash-and-burn cultivation by indigenous groups 

living in the Reserve. 

Waterfowl: Very poorly known, but it can be assumed that most if not all of the characteristic 

waterfowl of the western Amazon basin occur. Birds observed during a two day boat journey 

down the Ucayali in November 1974 included large numbers of Phalacrocorax olivaceus. Ardea 

cocoi, Mycteria americana, Anhima cornuta, Rynchops niger, Phaetusa simplex and Sterna 

superciliaris. 

Other fauna: The Reserve has a very rich and diverse fauna and flora. Mammals include Inia 

geoffrensis, Sotalia fluviatilis and Trichechus inunguis, and reptiles include Caiman crocodilus, 

Melanosuchus niger, Podocnemis unifilis, P. expansa and Testudo denticulata. Over 40 

Ospreys Pandion haliaetus were observed in a two day boat journey down the Rio Ucayali in 

November 1974. 

Threats: Wardening of the Reserve is reported to be totally inadequate, and there is 

uncontrolled hunting and habitat destruction by settlers along the river banks. 

Research and conservation: An extremely rich area for wildlife and a National Reserve, and 

yet very poorly known. 

References: Hoffman & Ponce (1968); Byskov (1974); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Flood plain of the Rio Ucayali (44) 

Location: 6°00'-8°00'S, 74°42'-75°10'W; along the Rio Ucayali, south of the Pacaya-Samiria 

National Reserve, Loreto Department. 

Area: c.630,000 ha. 

Altitude: 150m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 11, 12 & 18. 

Site description: A large slow-flowing meandering river with sand banks, over 130 oxbow lakes 

of more than 25 ha in area, several larger freshwater lakes and marshes including the Laguna 

Inuria and L. Chioa complex (1,600 ha), and a large area of seasonally inundated swamp forest. 

Principal vegetation: Humid tropical forest, with large tracts of "varzea" forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information; presumably similar to that of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Source: Centro de Datos para la Conservacion. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Laguna de Yarinacocha (45) 

Location: 8°19'S, 74°35'W; 5 km northwest of Pucalpa, Ucayali Department. 

Area: 1,667 ha. 

Altitude: 150m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 11 & 18. 

Site description: A particularly large oxbow lake of the Rio Ucayali, with associated marshes 

and swamp forest. 

Principal vegetation: Humid tropical forest, "varzea" forest, and bamboo thickets. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but hunting is prohibited. 

Land use: Traditional fishing, boat transport and tourism. The lake is used as a landing strip 

for sea- planes. 



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Peru 

Waterfowl: Thirty-five species of waterfowl have been recorded including most species typical 

of oxbow lakes and swamp forest of the Amazon basin. The commoner species 

include Anhinga anhinga. Butorides striatus, Anhima cornuta, Opisthocomus hoazin. Aramides 

cajanea, Laterallus fasciatus. Jacana jacana and Phaetusa simplex. Other species typical of this 

habitat include Pilherodius pileatus, Tigrisoma lineatum, Cochlearius cochlearius, Cairina 

moschata. Heliornis fulica and Eurypyga helias. The rare Zebrilus undulatus has also been 

recorded. 

Other fauna: Over 400 species of birds have been recorded in the area, including all five South 

American kingfishers Alcedinidae and a wide variety of birds of prey associated with marsh 

and riverine habitats. Mammals include Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris. 

Threats: Continuing human settlement and the associated forest clearance are affecting the 

region as a whole, and there is some illegal hunting. 

Research and conservation: The avifauna of the Yarinacocha area has been well documented. 

References: Pearson (1971); O'Neill & Pearson (1974); O'Neill (1978). 

Source: Eric Cardich and Victor Pulido. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Wetlands in Manu National Park (46) 

Location: 11°30'-13°00'S, 71°00'-72°20'W; in the Provinces of Manu and Paucartambo, 

Departments of Madre de Dios and Cusco. 

Area: Area of wetlands unknown. 

Altitude: 240-4,500m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1/8.35.12; 09, 10, 11 & 18. 

Site description: The whole of the hydrographic catchment area of the Rio Manu and part of 

the catchment of the Alto Madre de Dios. Wetland habitats include clear fast-flowing 

mountain rivers and streams in humid temperate and subtropical forest; and wide slow-flowing 

rivers with beaches and sand banks, and associated oxbow lakes, marshes and swamp forest, in 

humid tropical forest. There are some 13 large oxbow lakes and 100 beaches along the Rio 

Manu from Cocha Cashu to its confluence with the Alto Madre de Dios. Cocha Cashu is an 

oxbow lake of 34 ha near the research station in the Park. 

Principal vegetation: The full spectrum of humid forest and riverine habitat types from the 

edge of the paramo at over 4,000m to lowland Amazon forest at 240m. The oxbow lakes have 

an abundant growth of floating and emergent vegetation. 

Land tenure: State owned, with some indigenous groups living in the area. 

Protection: Within the Manu National Park (1,532,806 ha) and Manu National Forest, 

established in 1973. Part of the National Park, the National Forest, and some adjacent lands 

were designated as a Biosphere Reserve of 1,881,200 ha in 1977. 

Land use: Most of the area is still in pristine condition. Rational use of timber is permitted in 

the National Forest, and there is some traditional agriculture and stock raising in the buffer 

zone of the Biosphere Reserve. 

Waterfowl: The waterfowl of the lower Rio Manu and Cocha Cashu area have been well 

documented; 47 species have been recorded including most species typical of Amazonia, 

e.g. Anhinga anhinga. Tigrisoma lineatum. Pilherodius pileatus. Agamia agami. Mesembrinibis 

cayennensis, Anhima cornuta. Neochen jubata. Cairina moschata. Opisthocomus hoazin. Aramides 

cajanea. A. calopterus, Porphyrula martinica, Heliornis fulica, Eurypyga helias, Jacana jacana, 

Hoploxypterus cayanus. Charadrius collaris. Phaetusa simplex. Sterna superciliaris 

and Rynchops niger. Eight species of Nearctic shorebirds have been recorded in small numbers 

on passage. The avifauna of the temperate and subtropical portions of the Park is much less 

well known, and no information is available on the waterfowl. 

Other fauna: In terms of species diversity, the forests of Manu constitute one of the richest 

areas hitherto known in the world. The avifauna alone probably exceeds 850 species. In 

addition to the true waterfowl, about 70 species are restricted to riverine and lacustrine 

habitats, particularly the "varzea" forests. Mammals and reptiles associated with the wetland 

habitats include Tapirus terrestris, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris. Caiman crocodilus. 

Melanosuchus niger, Platemys platycephala and Podocnemis unifilis. 

Threats: There is a potential threat of interference from oil exploration in the Park in the 

future. 

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Peru 

Research and conservation: A wide variety of biological investigations are being conducted 

from the research station at Cocha Cashu, and a management plan for the Park has been 

produced. 

References: Tosi (1960); Dourojeanni (1968 & 1973); Tovar (1970); Hoffman & Ponce (1971); 

Ruiz (1979); Terborgh & Fitzpatrick (1979); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Eric Cardich and Victor Pulido. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Wetlands in the Tambopata Wildlife Reserve (47) 

Location: 12°50'S, 69°18'W; 30 km southwest of Puerto Maldonado, at the confluence of the 

Rio Tambopata and Rio La Torre, Madre de Dios Department. 

Area: c. 1,000 ha. 

Altitude: 250m. 

Province and type: 8.5.1; 09, 11 & 18. 

Site description: A good example of a typical west Amazonian riverine system, with 

slow-flowing rivers with beaches and sand banks, riverine thickets, oxbow lakes and marshes 

with stands of Mauritia palms, forest streams, and extensive areas of low-lying poorly drained 

forest subject to inundation during the rainy season (November to April). 

Principal vegetation: In a relatively undisturbed area of humid tropical forest. The riverine 

thickets are dominated by species of Cecropia and Erythrina, and Gynerium cane. 

Land tenure: State owned, but managed by a private company with tourist interests (Peruvian 

Safaris, S. A.). 

Protection: The area was declared a Wildlife Reserve of 5,500 ha in 1977, but there has never 

been any wardening by Government personnel. 

Land use: Wildlife oriented tourism and scientific research. There is a small hotel in the 

Reserve. 

Waterfowl: Over 50 species of waterfowl have been recorded in the Reserve, but only about 20 

are breeding residents, and densities are low. The commoner breeding species include Anhinga 

anhinga, Pilherodius pileatus, Tigrisoma lineatum, Mesembrinibis cayennensis. Anhima cornuta, 

Cairina moschata, Opisthocomus hoazin, Aramides cajanea, Laterallus melanophaius, Heliornis 

fulica, Eurypyga helias, Jacana jacana and Hoploxypterus cayanus. The rare Zebrilus 

undulatus has been recorded on a number of occasions, and there is probably a small resident 

breeding population in the Reserve. A variety of Ardeidae and Rallidae occur as wet season 

visitors, and eight species of Nearctic shorebirds have been recorded in small numbers on 

migration. 

Other fauna: Over 540 species of birds have been recorded in the 5,500 ha Reserve; many of 

these, including a number of birds of prey and five species of Alcedinidae, are depedent on the 

wetland habitats. There is a rich mammalian and reptilian fauna including Hydrochoerus 

hydrochaeris, Pteronura brasiliensis, Tapirus terrestris, Caiman crocodilus and Melanosuchus 

niger. 

Threats: There is some illegal hunting and felling of valuable timber in the Reserve, and 

constant pressure from settlers along the river banks. 

Research and conservation: Detailed investigations on the fauna and flora of the Reserve are 

continuing. Repeated efforts have been made to extend the reserve to include both banks of 

the Rio Tambopata, and it is understood that some progress is now being made. 

References: Davis et al (1980); Donahue (1981); lUCN (1982); Parker (1982). 

Source: Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Rio Heath and Pampas de Heath (48) 

Location: 12°53'S, 68°54'W; on the Peruvian/Bolivian border 50 km southeast of Puerto 
Maldonado, Madre de Dios Department. 
Area: 5,000 ha of seasonally flooded grassland. 
Altitude: 160m. 

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Province and type: 8.5.1; 16. 

Site description: Several "islands" of seasonally flooded grassland surrounded by forest on the 

west bank of the Rio Heath. These pampas are the most northern incursion of the extensive 

Beni savannas of northern Bolivia, and constitute the only example of this habitat type in 

Peru. The pampas are characterized by very humid soils and expanses of grasses and sedges 

with small groves of palms and other trees. Gallery forest extends along the streams and is 

continuous with the surrounding humid tropical forest. Flooding occurs from October to June. 

Principal vegetation: Grasses, sedges and groves of Mauritia palms. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Some livestock grazing by the indigenous Huarayo Indians. Parts of the grassland 

are burned annually to improve the grazing. 

Waterfowl: The area has apparently only been surveyed once, in the dry season of 1977, and its 

importance for waterfowl is unknown. Two species of Rallidae Porzana albicollis 

and Micropygia schomburgkii were recorded for the first time in Peru. 

Other fauna: During their survey in June/July 1977, Graham et al recorded 17 species of birds 

new for Peru. 

Threats: No information. 

Research and conservation: A proposal has been made for the creation of a reserve in the area. 

A thorough survey of the area during the wet season is called for. 

References: Graham et al (1980). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b. 



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i 



SURINAME 

INTRODUCTION 

by Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans, in cooperation with Muriel Held 

Suriname is located on the northern coast of South America and is bounded in the west by 
Guyana, in the east by French Guiana, and in the south by Brazil. The total area is 
approximately 163,000km*. The country lies just north of the equator, between 2° and 6° 
north, and the climate is humid tropical under the influence of the northeast trade winds. 
Temperatures are uniformly high (average of 27°C in Paramaribo), and rain falls throughout 
the year (average annual precipitation of 2,200 mm in Paramaribo). However, four seasons can 
be distinguished: a short dry season in February and March; a long rainy season from April to 
August; a long dry season from September to November; and a short rainy season in December 
and January. 

Ninety-five per cent of the population of 350,000 is concentrated in and around the capital 
of Paramaribo and in smaller settlements on the coastal plain. There are only small scattered 
settlements of Amerindians and Bush-negroes (descendants of runaway slaves) along the rivers 
of the interior, and large tracts of the country are uninhabited. About eighty-five per cent of 
the land remains covered with undisturbed tropical rain forest. 

Geologically the country can be divided into four regions: the young coastal plain; old 
coastal plain; savanna belt or Zanderij landscape; and interior, or crystalline basement. 

a) The young coastal plain (1,620,000 ha; 0-4m above mean sea level) is approximately 8 km 
wide in the east and broadens to 50 km wide in the west. It consists of Holocene marine 
swamp clays, which in places are dissected by sand and shell ridges. The coastal zone is 
comprised of vast tidal mudflats, some narrow sandy beaches, and mangrove swamps. 
Inland, the coastal fringe is bordered by shallow saline and brackish lagoons and swamps 
with some mangrove forests. Further inland the marshes become fresh, and there are 
patches of swamp forest dominated by Erythrina glauca, and mixed dryland forests on 
sandy ridges. The five major wetland areas of this zone, totalling 325,000 ha, are all of 
international importance as wintering and staging areas for migratory shorebirds and 
breeding areas for various Ardeidae and Anatidae. 

b) The old coastal plain (430,000 ha; 4-1 Im above mean sea level) is approximately 20 km 
wide, and consists of swamp clays of marine origin and sand ridges of both marine and 
riverine origin. The ridges diminish in size from east to west, and are absent in the 
Nanni-Maratakka area and neighbouring Guyana. There are various types of grassy 
swamp, swamp forest and dryland forest similar to those of the young coastal plain, but in 
addition there are large areas of ombrogenous peat swamp. The extensive tracts of wetland 
habitat in this zone remain very poorly known. 

c) The savanna belt, or Zanderij landscape (1,000,000 ha; ten to several tens of metres above 
mean sea level) is a dissected plain consisting of coarse sands and loams and is characterized 
by white sand savannas. The zone is covered with xerophytic and mesophytic dryland and 
swamp forests, and dry to very wet grass and shrub savannas. Wetland habitat occurs only 
in small scattered patches. 

d) The interior, or crystalline basement (13,200,000 ha; 30- 1,230m above mean sea level) is a 
dissected peneplain sloping gently up to about 300m above sea level in the south, and with 
ranges of hills up to 1,230m. The almost uninhabited lowlands are covered with primeval 
humid tropical forest, interrupted only by small patches of savanna, exposed rocky 
outcrops, and patches of marsh forest along the rivers and creeks. At higher elevations, 
sub-montane forests are found on deep soils, and xerophytic forests and shrubbery on 
shallow soils. Apart from the riverine and creek systems, the only significant wetlands in 
this zone are the huge recently constructed Brokopondo Lake and the Sipaliwini Savanna. 



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Suriname 

Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

Several governmental and non-governmental organizations are involved in the conservation and 
research of wetlands and their wildlife in Suriname. Some changes have recently been made in 
the responsibilities of the various organizations concerned, and the situation is still under 
review. The principal organizations and their current responsibilities are as follows: 

The Nature Conservation Commission is the advisory body for the government on matters 

concerning nature conservation, including hunting legislation and the establishment of 

nature reserves, and is the scientific authority for CITES in Suriname. 

The Interdepartmental Working Group Ecology Western Suriname is the scientific authority 

for ecological research in western Suriname; it was established to monitor the ecological 

consequences of the planned Western Suriname Hydroelectric Project. Plans exist to extend 

the authority to cover the entire country. 

The Pesticides Working Group, set up under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, 

Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, and working in collaboration with the Central 

Laboratory, is the advisory body for the government on matters concerning the legislation 

and use of pesticides. 

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy is the authority responsible for the Game 

Law and for wildlife management within the Game Protection Area. The Ministry is 

currently involved in a revision of the Game Law and Game Resolution. 

The Forest Service, in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, is the authority for 

the Forestry Law; it is responsible for managing forest reserves, and for management, 

control and research in natural areas including wetlands. 

The Nature Conservation Division, a department of the Forest Service, is the authority for 

the Nature Conservation Law. It is responsible for the management of nature reserves, 

nature conservation research and education, and wildlife management including hunting 

control. It is also the management authority for CITES in Suriname. 

The Fisheries Department, in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, 

is the authority for the Fish Protection Law and the Law on Sea Fishery. It is responsible 

for fisheries research and management, and control of fishing. 

The Foundation for Nature Conservation in Suriname (STINASU) is a semi-governmental 

foundation responsible for nature tourism and education, fund-raising for conservation, 

and the sea turtle ranching project. It conducts research on sea turtles on behalf of the 

Forest Service. 

The Hydraulic Research Institute, in the Ministry of Public Works, Telecommunication and 

Construction, conducts hydrological research and investigations on water quality. 

The Bureau for Public Health, in the Ministry of Public Health, conducts ecological 

research in wetlands, on vectors such as insects and snails. 



Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

The Nature Protection Law of 1954, formulated by the Nature Conservation commission, 
provided the legal basis for the establishment of nature reserves. Since 1954, nine reserves 
have been established, totalling 3.5% of the surface of Suriname. Management of the nature 
reserves has been entrusted to the Forest Service; in all cases there is a restriction on 
exploitation. 

In 1969, the Foundation for Nature Preservation in Suriname (STINASU) was established 
by the Nature Conservation Division to stimulate, coordinate and finance scientific 
investigations in the reserves, and to distribute information at various levels, primarily for 
national education and publicity purposes. Promoting tourism within the nature reserves is 
now one of STINASU's major functions. 

The Suriname forest policy is based on the Forest Law of 1947 which provides the legal 
base for the establishment of Forest Reserves. A proposal has recently been made for a 
revision in this law. 

Wildlife legislation and law enforcement came into force with the Game Law of 1954. The 
latest amendment of the Game Resolution dates from 1970, but a revision has been proposed 
and is expected to come into force in the near future. The present legislation applies only to 
northern and western Suriname and to the Brokopondo storage basin and surrounding areas, 

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Suriname 

while the new resolution will cover the entire country. In the southern region, hunting of 
game species will be possible throughout the year, with no bag limits or possession limits. 

Of the nine existing nature reserves, three are important wetland areas: Wia-Wia Nature 
Reserve (36,000 ha); Coppename River Mouth Nature Reserve (12,000 ha); and Sipaliwini 
Nature Reserve (100,000 ha). The establishment of a further six nature reserves has been 
recommended by the Nature Conservation Commission and Forest Service. Four of these 
contain large wetland areas: Nanni (46,000 ha); Peruvia (32,000 ha); Kaboerikreek (65,000 ha); 
and Upper Coesewijne (25,000 ha). In addition, proposals have been made for the 
establishment of two large Special Management Areas. One of these would include the coastal 
estuarine zone (310,000 ha), with its extremely important mudflats, beaches, sand ridges, 
mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and swamps. The zone has a high natural production of 
marine and freshwater fishes and shrimps, and is very important for both resident and 
migratory waterfowl. As a special management area, the zone could be managed in a way 
which would guarantee the high natural production of the area. Any changes in management 
would then have to be weighed against their effects on natural production. The other proposed 
special management area (1,150,000 ha) would include the planned man-made lakes in western 
Suriname, and would allow measures to be taken to protect the rivers and lake basins. 
However, it now seems unlikely that any major dam building projects will be implemented in 
the near future, and if this is the case, this special management area will not be designated. 

A number of land use plans have been prepared and approved, and others are in 
preparation. As a result of the recent economic recession, however, a number of projects have 
been halted or slowed down, and it is expected that some plans will be reviewed and changed 
when the economy improves. The Planning Law, formulated in 1973, has not as yet been 
officially enforced, and this has held up the designation of Special Management Areas. Other 
development plans include an increase in agricultural production, particularly in the 
northwestern part of the country, which would involve, among other things, the conversion of 
natural swamps into rice fields and the construction of water storage basins for irrigation in the 
dry season. 

A considerable amount of research relevant to the conservation of wetlands and their 
wildlife has been conducted in Suriname. Some of the most important investigations are listed 
below. 

a) Extensive studies were conducted in the 1960s on the oceanography, geomorphology, 
sedimentology, primary production and zoology of the coastal waters of Suriname and the 
other Guyanas. 

b) Several studies have been conducted on the geology, geomorphology and pedology of the 
coastal plain (Augustinus, 1978; Pons, 1966; Veen, 1970), and detailed studies are being 
carried out by the Soil Mapping Division of the Ministry of Public Works, 
Telecommunication and Construction, in relation to agricultural development plans. 

c) Macrobenthic investigations in the intertidal zone have been carried out at Weg naar Zee 
and Totness by Swennen et al (1982), and at Coppenamepunt by W. van Stockum 
(unpublished). A general hydrological monitoring programme is being conducted in the 
coastal zone by the Hydraulic Research Institute, and in 1982 and 1983, D. H. Resida 
carried out an investigation on the key factors affecting natural production in the Bigi Pan 
wetlands. Further inland, Leentvaar (1975, 1979) and Leentvaar et al (1976) have 
completed hydrobiological and hydrological studies in the Brokopondo Lake, and 
Sevenhuijsen (1977) has conducted a hydrological survey in the Nanni swamp. 

d) Various floral investigations have been carried out, notably by Lindeman (1953) and 
Teunissen (1978a, 1978b) in the north, and Van Donselaar (1965, 1968) and Oldenburger et 
al (1973) in the savanna regions. 

e) Numerous avifaunal investigations have been carried out, particularly by F. Haverschmidt 
from the 1940s to the 1970s, and by G. F. Mees in the 1960s and 1970s. Surveys of 
breeding colonies of Ciconiiformes were initiated in the 1960s by de Vries (1966) and 
Haverschmidt (1967), and these have been continued and expanded (Spaans, 1975a & 1975b; 
Spaans & de Jong, 1982; de Jong & Spaans, in press). Studies on waterfowl in recent years 
have included research on feeding ecology (Spaans et al, 1978); habitat selection (Swennen 
& Spaans, in press); the status and distribution of Ciconiiformes, Anatidae, shorebirds and 
Laridae (Harrington & Leddy, 1982b; Morrison, 1983a & 1983b; Spaans, 1975a, 1975b, 
1978a, 1978b & 1984; Spaans et al, 1978; and Spaans & de Jong, 1982); and the biometry 
and moult patterns of shorebirds (Spaans, 1976, 1979 & 1980). 

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f) Bird banding studies were initiated in the 1960s by Haverschmidt who banded Eudocimus 
ruber nestlings in the coastal zone. Over 17,000 Nearctic shorebirds were banded by A. L. 
Spaans and P. van der Wielen between 1970 and 1980. 

g) A considerable amount of research has been conducted on sea turtle, fish and shrimp 
populations, particularly by the Fisheries Department. Recent studies include work on the 
shrimp and fishes in estuaries and lagoons by Engel (1981); work on offshore fish 
populations by the German Technical Cooperation Project; and work on the ecology of 
riverine fishes by R. P. Vari. Schulz (1975) conducted a comprehensive study of sea turtles 
nesting on the beaches of Suriname, and this work has been continued by various 
researchers. 

h) A variety of pesticide research projects were carried out in coastal areas during the 1970s 
(Vermeer et al, 1974; Spaans, 1982 & in press; R. Fyffe, B. H. J. de Jong & K. Mohadin, 
unpublished). Mohadin and Tjon Lim Sang (1980) conducted an ecological inventory of 
northern Saramacca District which included an assessment of the threats from pesticides on 
the Coppename River Mouth Nature Reserve. 



Major Threats to Wetlands and Waterfowl 

Most of the wetlands of Suriname remain relatively undisturbed, and some are virtually 
inaccessible. No serious threats exist at the present time, but future development plans are 
likely to increase the pressures on many wetlands. Agricultural activities are mostly 
concentrated in the coastal zone, where some swamps have been and are being converted into 
arable land, especially for rice culture. Increasing agricultural activity has resulted in an 
increase in the application of pesticides, and this could become a serious threat in the future. 
The construction of roads and dykes has caused some changes in the hydrology of certain 
wetlands, and this has affected their vegetation and overall ecology. 

No species of waterfowl is thought to be endangered in Suriname, but hunting, the illegal 
collection of eggs and young of herons, storks and ibises (all protected by law), and the 
catching of ducklings, put pressure on some species in certain areas. 



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SURINAME 




50 100 

_l I 

Km 



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WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on data sheets provided by Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans, and 
subsequently published in de Jong & Spaans (1984). 

Bigi Pan and Wageningen Swamps (1) 

Location: 5°55'N, 56°45'W; east of Nickerie River mouth, north of Wageningen, and west of 

Burnside, Nickerie and Coronie Districts. 

Area: 55,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The estuary of the River Nickerie and coast to the east, with extensive 

intertidal mudflats and mangrove swamps; bordered inland by a broad belt of shallow fresh to 

hypersaline lagoons, marshes and mangrove swamps, and a large area of seasonally inundated 

grassland and swamp forest. Large areas of swamp dry out completely during the long dry 

season. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps dominated by Avicennia germinans; halophytic 

vegetation with Sesuvium portulacastrum and Batis maritima\ brackish short grass swamps 

with Eleocharis mutata; marshes with Typha angusti folia; and swamp forest with Erythrina 

glauca. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned with some private holdings. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but within the Game Protection Area in which hunting is 

controlled. 

Land use: Hunting, fishing, grazing of livestock, rice cultivation, and extraction of sand along 

the sea beach. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl of a 

wide variety of species (68 species recorded). Common breeding species include Podilymbus 

podiceps, Nycticorax nycticorax (500 pairs), Nyctanassa violacea (2,000 pairs), Cochlearius 

cochlearius (750 pairs), Egretta caerulea (5,000 pairs), E. tricolor (4,000 pairs), E. thula (1,500 

pairs), E. alba (1,500 pairs), Ardea cocoi (1,500 pairs), Eudocimus ruber (4,500 pairs in 1984, 

and up to 10,500 pairs in the early 1970s), Dendrocygna autumnalis (over 1,000 pairs). Anas 

baharnensis (over 1,000 pairs), Cairina nioschata, Aramus guarauna. Rallus longirostris. 

Araniides cajanea. Porphyrula martiuica, Jacana jacana and Himantopus himantopus (100s of 

pairs). Non-breeding visitors include over 2,000 Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 1,750 Mycteria 

americana, 70 Jabiru mycteria, 1,000 Larus atricilla, several thousand Gelochelidon nilotica, 

over 1,000 Sterna superciliaris, and 5,000-10,000 Rynchops niger. 

Very large numbers of Nearctic shorebirds occur on migration and in winter. Recent estimates 

of the most abundant species are as follows: Pluvialis squatarola 2,000; Charadrius 

semipalmatus 4,000; Numenius phaeopus 1,000; Tringa flavipes 50,000; T. melanoleuca 

12,000; T. solitaria 1,000s; Actitis macularia over 10,000; Catoptrophorus semipalmatus 

15,000; Arenaria interpres over 5,000; Limnodromus griseus 30,000; Calidris pusilla 

750,000-1,000,000; C. mauri 1,000s; C. minutilla 10,000; C. fuscicollis 10,000; 

and Micropalama himantopus 1 ,000s. Anas discors is also abundant on migration and in winter, 

and over 10,000 have been recorded. 

Other fauna: Birds of prey include Pandion haliaetus, Rostrhamus sociabilis and Buteogallus 

aequinoctalis, and the deer Odocoileus virginianus occurs. The area is a very important nursery 

ground for coastal fishes and crustaceans. 

Threats: There is illegal expansion of agriculture into the area and some illegal hunting. 

Agricultural activities in adjacent areas have resulted in changes in salinity in the swamps, and 

may cause some contamination from pesticide run-off. 

Research and conservation: A number of avifaunal surveys have been carried out, and a 

preliminary study on the productivity of the Bigi Pan area has recently been completed by D. 

H. Resida. The area will be included in the proposed "Special Management Area" which is 

being considered for much of the coastal zone of Suriname and which if implemented would 

allow special protection measures to be imposed in areas of importance for wildlife. 



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References: Lindeman (1953); Spaans (1975b); Schulz (1976a); Augustinus (1978); Baal (1981); 
Morrison (1983a & 1983b); de Jong & Spaans (in press). 
Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Coppenamebank (2) 

Location: 5°50'N, 56°10'W; between Burnside and the mouth of the Coppename River, Coronie 

District. 

Area: 15,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 & 13. 

Site description: A stretch of 60 1cm of coastline west from the estuary of the Coppename 

River, with broad intertidal mudflats and fringing mangrove swamps bordered inland by a belt 

of fresh to hypersaline swamps and patches of swamp forest. Large parts of the swamps dry 

out during the long dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Aviceimia germinans; and marshes with Cyperus 

articulatus and Typha angustifolia. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned with some private holdings. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but within the Game Protection Area in which hunting is 

controlled. 

Land use: Hunting, fishing, the cultivation of coconuts, and the rearing of bees. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for breeding waterfowl, with almost the same species as site 

1, but in smaller numbers. Over 10,000 Egretta caerulea and up to 10,000 E. tricolor have been 

observed. Eudocimus ruber does not breed, but thousands feed in the area. The tidal mudflats 

are particularly important for passage and wintering Nearctic shorebirds. Peak estimates have 

included 2,000 Pluvialis squatarola, 2,000 Charadrius seriiipalmatus, 1,000 Numenius phaeopus, 

25,000 Tringa flavipes, 5,000 T. nielanoleuca, over 1,000 Actitis macularia, 

5,000 Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, over 5,000 Arenaria interpres, 20,000 Limnodromus griseus 

and 250,000 Calidris pusilla. Up to 1,000 Larus atricilla and 5,000 Rynchops niger have 

occurred as non-breeding visitors. 

Other fauna: Thousands of Orange-winged Parrots Amazona amazonica roost in the 

mangroves. The coastal fringe constitutes an important nursery ground for many fishes and 

crustaceans. 

Threats: Agricultural expansion in adjacent areas has caused changes in the hydrology of the 

region. There is some contamination with pesticides from agricultural land to the south, and 

some illegal hunting, particularly of Eudocimus ruber and shorebirds. 

Research and conservation: A number of bird censuses have been conducted along the coast. 

The area will be included in the proposed "Special Management Area" which if implemented 

would allow special protection measures to be imposed. 

References: Lindeman (1953); Schulz (1976a); Augustinus (1978); Baal (1981); de Jong & Spaans 

(in press). 

Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Coppename River Mouth and the Weg naar Zee area (3) 

Location: 5°55'N, 55°30'W; between the mouths of the Coppename River and Suriname River, 

Saramacca District. 

Area: 100,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: Approximately 100 km of coast between the estuaries of the Coppename and 

Suriname Rivers, with broad intertidal mudflats and fringing mangrove swamps, bordered 



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inland by a belt of shallow fresh to hypersaline lagoons and swamps, areas of seasonally 

flooded grassland, and patches of swamp forest. Large parts of the swamps dry our during the 

long dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans\ fresh to brackish marshes 

with Cyperus articulatus and Typha angusti folia; and patches of swamp forest. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned with some private holdings. 

Protection: The western part is included within the Coppename Mouth Nature Reserve 

(12,000 ha) established in 1966. The entire area is in the Game Protection Area in which 

hunting is controlled. 

Land use: Hunting, fishing, grazing of livestock and rice-growing. The suburbs of Paramaribo 

adjoin the eastern extremity of the swamps. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl, with almost 

the same species as sites 1 and 2. Breeding birds include up to 250 pairs of Nycticorax 

nyclicorax, 1 ,500 pairs of Nyctanassa violacea, 500 pairs of Cochlearius cochlearius, 4,000 pairs 

of Egretta caerulea, 3,000 pairs of E. tricolor, and 1,000 pairs of E. thula. Up to 4,000 pairs 

of Eudocimus ruber have bred in recent years, with the exceptional total of 6,200 pairs in 

1984. Non-breeding visitors include up to 200 Phoenicopterus ruber, 1,500 Larus atricilla and 

10,000 Rynchops niger. 

The coastal mudflats are particularly important for passage and wintering Nearctic shorebirds. 

Peak estimates have included 2,500 Pluvialis squatarola, 2,500 Charadrius semi pal matus, 

1,500 Numenius phaeopus, 10,000 Tringa melanoleuca, 50,000 T. flavipes, 

10,000 Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, over 5,000 Arenaria interpres, 50,000 Limnodromus 

griseus and 750,000 Calidris pusilla. 

Other fauna: Thousands of Amazona amazonica roost in the mangroves. The 

manatee Trichechus manatus has been reported, and the coastal fringe constitutes an important 

nursery ground for many fishes and crustaceans. 

Threats: Urbanization and the expansion of agricultural activities are the principal threats. 

There is some illegal hunting and contamination with pesticides. 

Research and conservation: A number of avifaunal surveys and censuses have been carried out, 

and the Coppename Mouth Nature Reserve is well documented. The entire area will be 

included in the proposed "Special Management Area" which if implemented would allow special 

protection measures to be imposed. The area has good potential for nature tourism and 

conservation education. 

References: Teunissen (1972); Schulz (1976a); Augustinus (1978); Spaans (1978a); Baal (1981); 

de Jong & Spaans (in press). 

Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Braamspunt, Matapica and Motkreek areas (4) 

Location: 5°57'N, 54°55'W; east of the mouth of the Suriname River and north of the lower 

Commewijne River, Commewijne District. 

Area: 65,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The estuary of the Suriname River and approximately 50 km of coast to the 

east, with mud banks, sandy beaches and extensive mangrove swamps, bordered inland by a 

complex of shallow fresh to hypersaline lagoons and swamps, areas of seasonally inundated 

grassy marshes, and patches of swamp forest. Large areas of the swamps dry out during the 

long dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Beach vegetation with Ipomoea pescaprae and Canavalia maritima; 

mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans and Rhizophora mangle; halophytic vegetation 

with Sesuvium portulacastrum and Batis maritima; and marshes with Eleocharis mutata. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned with some private holdings. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but included within the Game Protection Area in which 

hunting is controlled. 

Land use: Hunting, fishing, extraction of sand from inland ridges, and some public recreation 

around Matapica. Agricultural activities in the area are decreasing. 

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Suriname 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl, 
comparable in importance with site 1 and with almost the same species. Large concentrations 
of Ardeidae occur, and up to 1,500 pairs of Egretta alba and 1,500 pairs of Ardea cocoi breed. 
Other breeding species include Anhinga anhinga. Ajaia ajaja. Jabiru mycteria, Dendrocygna 
autumnalis (over 1,000 pairs). Anas bahamensis (over 1,000 pairs), Charadrius collaris, C. 
wilsonius and Himantopus himantopus. Mycteria americana has bred (400 pairs in 1970), and 
up to 2,550 birds have been recorded. Other non-breeding visitors include over 
10,000 Eudocimus ruber, hundreds of Gelochelidon nilotica and Sterna superciliaris, and 
thousands of Rynchops niger. 

The area is particularly important for passage and wintering Nearctic shorebirds. Peak 
estimates have included 2,000 Pluvialis squatarola, 3,000 Charadrius semipalmatus, 
1,000 Numenius phaeopus, 20,000 Tringa melanoleuca, 100,000 Tringa flavipes, thousands 
of Tringa solitaria, over 10,000 Actitis macularia, 10,000 Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, over 
5,000 Arenaria inter pres, 15,000 Limnodromus griseus, over 1,000 Calidris canutus, over 
1,000 Calidris alba, 500,000 Calidris pusilla, tens of thousands of Calidris minutilla 
and Calidris fuscicollis, and over 10,000 Micropalama himantopus. Anas discors is common in 
winter, and over 10,000 have been recorded. 

Other fauna: Birds of prey include Pandion haliaetus and Buteogallus aequinoctalis. The 
dolphin Sotalia guianensis occurs in the Suriname River, and the sea turtles Chelonia mydas. 
Dermochelys coriacea and Lepidochelys olivacea nest along the beaches. The estuarine waters 
and coastal swamps are important nursery grounds for many fishes and crustaceans. 
Threats: Heavy hunting pressure poses the only threat at present. 

Research and conservation: A number of avifaunal surveys and censuses have been carried 
out. The area will be included in the proposed "Special Management Area" which if 
implemented would allow special protection measures to be imposed. The area has good 
potential for nature tourism and conservation education. 

References: Spaans (1975b, 1978a & 1978b); Schulz (1976a); Augustinus (1978); Spaans et al 
(1978); Baal (1981); de Jong & Spaans (in press). 
Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Wia-Wia and Galibi (5) 

Location: 5°55'N, 54°20'W; west of the Marowijne River and north of Moengo, Marowijne 

District. 

Area: 90,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The estuary of the River Marowijne and approximately 80 km of coast to the 

west, with broad intertidal mudflats and fringing mangrove swamps; bordered inland by a belt 

of shallow fresh to hypersaline lagoons and swamps, areas of seasonally flooded savanna, and 

swamp forest. Large areas of the swamps dry out during the long dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans; swamps with Eleocharis 

mutata, Cyperus articulatus, C. giganteus and Typha angusti folia; and swamp forest 

with Erythrina glauca. Mixed xerophytic woodland on sandy ridges. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: 36,000 ha are included in the Wia-Wia Nature Reserve established in 1961, and 

4,000 ha in the Galibi Reserve established in 1969. Other parts are unprotected. 

Land use: Hunting and fishing. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl, with 

almost the same species as site 1. Breeding birds include up to 500 pairs of Nycticorax 

nycticorax, 2,000 pairs of Nyctanassa violacea, 750 pairs of Cochlearius cochlearius, 1 ,000 pairs 

of Bubulcus ibis, 6,000 pairs of Egretta caerulea, 5,000 pairs of E. tricolor, 2,000 pairs of E. 

thula and 12,600 pairs of Eudocimus ruber. Phoenicopterus ruber is a regular non-breeding 

visitor, and up to 2,400 have been recorded. Other non-breeding visitors include up to 

1,000 Larus atricilla and over 10,000 Rynchops niger. 

The area is extremely important for passage and wintering Nearctic shorebirds. Peak estimates 



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have included 2,000 Pluvialis squatarola, 4,000 Charadrius semipalmatus, 1,000 Numenius 

phaeopus, 6,000 Tringa melanoleuca, 50,000 T. flavipes, thousands of Actitis macularia, 

15,000 Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, over 5,000 Arenaria interpres, 50,000 Limnodromus 

griseus and 2,000,000 Calidris pusilla. 

Other fauna: The dolphin Sotalia guianensis occurs in the Marowijne River, and Caiman 

crocodilus in the marshes. The beaches at Wia-Wia and Eilanti are important nesting areas for 

the sea turtles Chelonia mydas. Dermochelys coriacea and Lepidochelys olivacea. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: A number of avifaunal surveys and censuses have been carried out, 

and the tegion is of considerable anthropological interest. The area will be included in the 

proposed "Special Management Area" which if implemented would allow special protection 

measures to be imposed throughout. 

References: Lindeman (1953); Kloos (1971); Spaans (1975b); Schulz (1976a); Augustinus (1978); 

Baal (1981); Morrison (1983a & 1983b); de Jong & Spaans (in press). 

Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Nanni Swamp (6) 

Location: 5°35'N, 56°55'W; south of Nickerie, Nickerie District. 

Area: 270,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lOm 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 09, 11, 13, 16, 18 & 19. 

Site description: Alluvial plains between the Corantijn and Maratakka Rivers, south of the 

Nickerie rice-growing area; with slow-flowing rivers, riverine marshes, freshwater swamps, 

large areas of swamp forest, ombrogenous peat swamps and scattered palms. Large areas of the 

swamps dry out in the long dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Herbaceous swamps with Cyperus giganteus and Typha angusti folia; 

ombrogenous peat swamps with Lagenocarpus guianensis; swamp forest with Pterocarpus 

officinalis, Erythrina glauca, Virola surinamensis and Triplaris surinamensis; and dryland 

forests with Carapa procera. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but within the Game Protection Area in which there is some 

control on hunting. 

Land use: Impoundments and canals have been constructed to provide water for the irrigation 

of rice growing areas to the north. Other activities include forestry, burning of peat, and bird 

catching (principally for Oryzoborus crassirostris). 

Waterfowl: The waterfowl of the freshwater swamps and swamp forests of the coastal plain of 

Suriname are poorly known and no quantitative data are available. However, over 75 species 

have been recorded, and these habitats may be important for many Ardeidae and Rallidae. 

Resident species characteristic of this zone include Anhinga anhinga, Botaurus pinnatus, 

Ixobrychus exilis, Tigrisoma lineatum. Pilherodius pileatus. Cochlearius cochlearius, 

Mesembrinibis cayennensis, Cairina moschata. Oxyura dominica, Opisthocomus hoazin (only 

known from western Suriname), Aramus guarauna. Aramides axillaris. A. cajanea, Porzana 

albicollis, P. flaviventer, Laterallus viridis. Porphyrula martinica. Heliornis fulica, Eurypyga 

helias and Jacana jacana. A wide variety of Nearctic shorebirds have been recorded on 

migration and in winter in cultivated areas. 

Other fauna: The area is rich in Psittacidae, particularly macaws Ara spp, and it is one of the 

few localities in Suriname where Oryzoborus crassirostris still occurs in significant numbers. 

The manatee Trichechus manatus and Spectacled Caiman Caiman crocodilus also occur. 

Threats: The principal threat is the gradual loss of wetland habitat with the expansion of 

agricultural activities in the north. The effects of water storage and canalization projects on 

the wetlands are unknown. 

Research and conservation: Much of the area remains poorly known. It has considerable 

archeological interest, and potential for nature tourism and sport fishing. 

References: Teunissen (1976, 1978a & 1978b); Vari (1980). 

Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 

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Coronie Swamp and surrounding areas (7) 

Location: 5°40'N, 56°20'W; south of Burnside and Totness, and east of Wageningen, Districts 

of Nickerie, Coronie and Saramacca. 

Area: 300,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 09, 11, 13, 16, 18 & 19. 

Site description: Alluvial plains between the Nickerie and Coppename Rivers; with 

slow-flowing rivers, riverine marshes, extensive freshwater marshes, seasonally flooded 

grassland, swamp forest, ombrogenous peat swamps and palm forest. Large areas of the 

marshes dry out in the long dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Grassy marshes; ombrogenous peat swamps with Lagenocarpus guianensis; 

swamp forest with Pterocarpus officinalis and Triplaris surinamensis; and palm swamps 

with Mauritia flexuosa. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned, with some small private holdings. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but within the Game Protection Area in which there is some 

control on hunting. 

Land use: In the northern parts, cultivation of rice in low-lying areas and cultivation of 

peanuts and coconuts on sandy ridges. Elsewhere, forestry, hunting, some fishing, and the 

capture of birds, particularly Amazona amazonica, for the pet trade. 

Waterfowl: See description in site 6. 

Other fauna: The area is rich in Psittacidae. Mammals include Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris 

and Tapirus terrestris, and the Spectacled Caiman Caiman crocodilus occurs. 

Threats: The principal threats are the expansion of agricultural activities in the north, and a 

project in the planning stage to construct a water storage basin in Coronie Swamp. 

Research and conservation: The area has considerable archeological interest, and potential for 

nature tourism and sport fishing. A proposal has been made for the establishment of a 

32,000 ha nature reserve at Peruvia; this would include all the major plant communities of the 

region. 

References: Spaans (1973); Teunissen (1978a & 1978b). 

Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Coesewijne River and surrounding areas (8) 

Location: 5°40'N, 55°40'W; south of the Saramacca River, 70 km WSW of Paramaribo, 

Saramacca District. 

Area: 200,000 ha. 

Altitude: 5-25m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 09, 11, 13, 16, 18 & 19. 

Site description: Alluvial plains along the Coesewijne River, south of the Saramacca River and 

east of the Coppename River. Wetland habitats include slow-flowing rivers, riverine marshes, 

freshwater marshes, seasonally flooded grassland, large areas of swamp forest, palm forest, and 

ombrogenous peat swamps. Large areas of the marshes dry out in the long dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Ombrogenous peat swamps with Lagenocarpus guianensis; swamp forest 

with Virola surinamensis, Pterocarpus officinalis and Triplaris surinamensis; and palm swamps 

with Mauritia flexuosa. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned, with some small private holdings. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but within the Game Protection Area in which there is some 

control on hunting. 

Land use: Some agricultural activities in the northern parts; elsewhere, forestry, hunting and 

fishing. 

Waterfowl: See description in site 6. 

Other fauna: The area is rich in Psittacidae, particularly Ara ararauna. Mammals 

include Pteronura brasiliensis and Trichechus manatus, and the Spectacled Caiman Caiman 

crocodilus occurs. 

Threats: Plans exist for the construction of a water storage dam on the Coesewijne River for 

irrigation of a proposed rice-growing area. 

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Research and conservation: The area has considerable potential for outdoor recreation, 
including nature tourism and sport fishing. A proposal has been made for the establishment of 
a 25,000 ha nature reserve along the Coesewijne River. 
References: Teunissen (1978a & 1978b). 
Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 
Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Area south of Paramaribo (9) 

Location: 5°30'N, 55°15'W; 30 km south of Paramaribo, Para District. 

Area: 50,000 ha. 

Altitude: 5-25m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 09, 11, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: Alluvial plains between the Saramacca and Suriname Rivers, with 

slow-flowing rivers, riverine marshes, and large areas of freshwater swamp, seasonally flooded 

grassland, and swamp forest. Large areas of the marshes dry out in the long dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Eleocharis intersticta, and swamp forest. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state, local government and private ownership, with concessions for 

mining. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but within the Game Protection Area in which there is some 

control on hunting. 

Land use: Bauxite mining; hunting; fishing; agriculture; and forestry. 

Waterfowl: See description in site 6. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The main threat is the progressive loss of wetland habitat to urban expansion, 

agriculture and mining activities. 

Research and conservation: Because of its proximity to Paramaribo city, the area has excellent 

potential for outdoor recreation, nature tourism and conservation education. 

References: Teunissen (1978a). 

Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Commewijne River and surrounding areas (10) 

Location: 5°40'N, 54°53'W; 40 km southeast of Paramaribo, Districts of Commewijne and 

Suriname. 

Area: 100,000 ha. 

Altitude: 5-25m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 09, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: Alluvial plains between the Commewijne and Suriname Rivers, with 

slow-flowing rivers, freshwater marshes, seasonally flooded grassland, and large areas of 

swamp forest and palm forest. Large areas of the marshes dry out in the long dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Swamp forest with Virola surinamensis; and palm forests with Mauritia 

flexuosa. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned, with some small private holdings, particularly along the 

northern fringe, and concessions for forestry. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but parts of the wetland are included within the Game 

Protection Area in which there is some control on hunting. 

Land use: Some agricultural activities in the northern parts; plantations of citrus fruits, coffee, 

and cacao along the Suriname River. 

Waterfowl: See description in site 6. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Pteronura brasiliensis and Trichechus manatus; and the 

Spectacled Caiman Caiman crocodilus is common in Cassewinica creek. 

Threats: The main threat may be a gradual loss of wetland habitat to agricultural expansion. 



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Suriname 

Research and conservation: The area has considerable archeological interest, and potential for 
nature tourism and general outdoor recreation. A proposal has been made for the establishment 
of a 35,000 ha nature reserve at Copie in the south. This would also include adjacent areas of 
savanna. The entire area will be included in the Game Protection Area. 
References: Teunissen (1978a & 1978b). 
Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 
Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



River Perica and River Cottica areas (11) 

Location: 5°45'N, 54°35'W; west of Moengo, Districts of Commewijne and Marowijne. 

Area: 50,000 ha. 

Altitude: 5- 10m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 09, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: Alluvial plains along the Perica and Cottica Rivers, with freshwater swamps, 

seasonally flooded grassland with scattered shrubs, and swamp forest. Large areas of the 

marshes dry out in the long dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with scattered Plerocarpus officinalis bushes; and swamp forest 

with Virola surinamensis and Erythrina glauca. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned, with some small private holdings and concessions for forestry 

and mining. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but parts of the wetland are included within the Game 

Protection Area, and there is some control of hunting along the main roads and rivers. 

Land use: Agriculture; bauxite mining; hunting; and forestry, including plantations. 

Waterfowl: Probably similar to other sites in this region (sites 6-10), but very poorly known. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Plans for agricultural development may threaten the area in the future. 

Research and conservation: The entire area will be included within the Game Protection Area. 

References: Teunissen (1978a). 

Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Wanekreelc and surrounding areas (12) 

Location: 5°40'N, 54°10'W; north of Albina and west of Galibi, Marowijne District. 

Area: 70,000 ha. 

Altitude: 5-12m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 09, 11, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: Alluvial plains between the Coermitobo and Marowijne Rivers; with 

slow-flowing rivers, riverine marshes, freshwater swamps, seasonally flooded cley savannas, 

large areas of ombrogenous peat swamps, palm swamps and swamp forest. Large parts of the 

marshes dry out in the long dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Ombrogenous peat swamps with Lagenocarpus guianensis; palm swamps 

with Mauritia flexuosa; wet savannas; and mixed swamp and dry land forests. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned, with concessions to village communities. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Subsistence farming by Indian communities; hunting; and forestry. 

Waterfowl: Probably similar to other sites in this region (sites 6-11), but very poorly known. 

This is one of the few areas in Suriname where Anhima cornuta might occur. 

Other fauna: The area supports a very large population of Amazona amazonica, and is known 

to be rich in wildlife generally. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: The area has some archeological interest, and potential for nature 

tourism, sport fishing and canoeing. A proposal has been made for the establishment of a 

50,000 ha nature reserve at Wanekreek, which would include the southeastern part of the 



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wetland and some adjacent savanna areas. The entire area will be included in the Game 

Protection Area. 

References: Teunissen (1978a & 1978b). 

Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Brokopondo Lake (13) 

Location: 4°45'N, 55°05'W; 120 km south of Paramaribo, Brokopondo District. 

Area: 160,000 ha. 

Altitude: 45m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 15, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A large water storage reservoir constructed in the 1960s, with forested islands 

and surrounding areas of seasonally flooded savanna and swamp forest. The basin is relatively 

shallow, and the level fluctuates seasonally by 2-3m. There are large areas of dead trees 

standing in shallow water around the edges of the dam. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of humid tropical forest (mixed evergreen forest) with open 

savanna areas. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: No habitat protection. The shores of the lake are in the Game Protection Area in 

which hunting is controlled. 

Land use: Fishing; and a little recreation. 

Waterfowl: The lake is not as yet particularly important for waterfowl, but this may change as 

it matures. A variety of species have been recorded but no quantitative data are available. 

Species include Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Ardea cocoi, Agamia agami, Mesembrinibis 

cayennensis, Aramides axillaris, A. cajanea, Porphyrula flavirostris, Heliornis fulica, Eurypyga 

helias and Jacana jacana. Several species of Nearctic shorebirds have been observed in small 

numbers on migration. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: The development of the lake and its ecosystems are of considerable 

hydrological and limnological interest, and there is a fisheries potential. 

References: Leentvaar (1973 & 1975); Leentvaar et al (1976); Van der Heide (1982). 

Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3b. 



Sipaliwini Savanna (14) 

Location: 2°00'N, 56°05'W; 425 km south of Paramaribo, on the border with Brazil, Nickerie 

District. 

Area: 100,000 ha. 

Altitude: 300-770m. 

Province and type: 8.28.10; 09, 10, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: An open savanna area with several slow-flowing and fast-flowing rivers and 

streams, some permanent freshwater marshes, large areas of seasonally flooded grassland, and 

patches of swamp forest. 

Principal vegetation: Herbaceous swamps; wet and dry savanna communities; gallery forest 

along water courses; isolated patches of mixed hydrophytic and xerophytic forests; and rocky 

outcrops with Clusia spp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: The area comprises the Sipaliwini Nature Reserve (100,000 ha) established in 1972. 

Land use: Some hunting by the local indians; burning of the grassland; and trapping of song 

birds, particularly Oryzoborus crassirostris. 



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Suriname 

Waterfowl: No quantitative data are available. Species recorded include Pilherodiuspileatus. 

Agamia agami, Mycteria americana, Euxenura maguari, Jabiru mycteria, Mesembrinibis 

cayennensis. Aramides axillaris. A. cajanea, Porzana albicollis, Laterallus viridis, Porphyrula 

martinica, Heliornis fulica, Eurypyga helias, and Rynchops niger. A variety of Nearctic 

shorebirds have been observed on migration. 

Other fauna: The area constitutes the northernmost extension of the campos of eastern Brazil, 

and has an avifauna typical of that region. Mammals include Myrmecophaga iridactyla 

and Odocoileus virginianus; and there is an extremely rich fish fauna. The 

amphibian Dendrobates azureus is endemic to the area. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: The area is of considerable biogeographical, geological and 

archeological interest, and has potential for small-scale nature tourism. 

References: Van Donselaar (1968); Mees (1968); Hoogmoed (1969a & 1969b); Oldenburger et al 

(1973); Riezebos (1979). 

Source: Ben H. J. de Jong and Arie L. Spaans. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



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TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 

INTRODUCTION 

by Carol James, Nadra Nathai-Gyan and Geddes Hislop 

Trinidad and Tobago are the most southerly of the Caribbean chain of islands, with Trinidad 
lying only 12 km from the mainland of South America near the Orinoco Delta, and Tobago 
34 km northeast of Trinidad. The twin island nation comprises an area of 5,123km^, with 
Trinidad accounting for 4,828km^. Both islands lie between 10° and 12°-north, and between 
60° and 62° west. Trinidad is relatively flat except for three mountain ranges which cross it 
from east to west; the mountains in the Northern Range are the highest, and attain a maximum 
elevation of 940m. Numerous rivers drain these upland areas and traverse alluvial plains lying 
between the ranges. Most end in coastal swamps, marshes or lagoons. In contrast to that of 
Trinidad, the topography of Tobago is rugged, with a mountain ridge running in a 
northeast-southwest direction for nearly two-thirds of the length of the island, and rising to 
576m. There is a small area of coastal plain in the southwest which contains the only wetland 
habitat of any significance on the island. There are several small offshore islands, particularly 
off northwest Trinidad and to the northeast of Tobago. 

The climate is humid tropical, with uniformly high temperatures and an annual rainfall in 
excess of 2,000 mm. There are two main seasons; a long rainy season from late May to 
December interrupted by a short dry season in late September and October, and a long dry 
season from January to May. The islands lie on the very edge of the hurricane zone, and rarely 
experience hurricane or storm force winds. 

The total population of Trinidad and Tobago is estimated to be 1,149,300, with 1,106,300 in 
Trinidad and 43,000 in Tobago. Sixty per cent of this population live in settlements classified 
as urban, and forecasts indicate that this proportion will increase substantially. More than 90% 
of Trinidad's population reside and work in the west coastal area and this factor, coupled with 
the siting of large industrial complexes, manufacturing concerns and large scale agricultural 
developments, has subjected the area to tremendous pressures. 

Land use practices vary with quality of soil, topography and areas of mineral deposits. 
Economically significant deposits of oil and natural gas exist in the southern lowlands, the Gulf 
of Paria and off the east coast; and there is a natural asphalt lagoon of 45 ha at La Brea in the 
south. Approximately 3,000km^ remain under forest or other natural vegetation; tree crops 
account for 860km^, and agriculture, principally the production of sugar cane, and livestock 
rearing account for a further 830km^. The manufacturing sector is dominated by oil and sugar 
refining, and much of the activity related to these is located in west-central and southwest 
Trinidad. 

The most important wetland areas are mangrove swamps, fresh to brackish coastal lagoons, 
and swamps and swamp forest in the flood plains of the larger rivers and low-lying coastal 
areas. The Draft National Physical Development Plan of 1978 classified these areas as 
unsuitable for cultivation and recommended that they be left under indigenous forest cover. 
The swamps and swamp forests comprise approximately 16,000 ha in Trinidad and 58 ha in 
Tobago. Reservoirs of significance for waterfowl are located at Navet in the Central Range, at 
Caroni-Arena in the Northern Range, and at the Pointe-a-Pierre Oil Refinery. 

The two most important wetlands for waterfowl are the Caroni and Nariva Swamps. 
Between them they contain representatives of all the wetland plant communities and waterfowl 
species found in Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, both swamps are important nursery 
grounds for marine fisheries, and the Caroni Swamp is particularly important for wildlife 
related tourism. 



Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

Governmental organizations 

Forestry Division. Ministry of Agriculture. Lands and Food Production. The Forestry 
Division is primarily responsible for the protection and management of Forest Reserves, 
several of which include important wetland areas. However, with the recent acquisition of 



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a small staff of trained biologists, the Forestry Division has begun to conduct faunal 

research. 

Institute of Marine Affairs. This is an independent research organization set up by the 

government in 1976 with the assistance of UNDP. Its major role is to conduct research on 

the marine environment and watershed areas which affect this. 

Fisheries Division. This division conducts research on the biology, ecology and exploitation 

of fishes in all the major wetlands and in the coastal zone of the Gulf of Paria. 

Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago. This society, set up by an Act of Parliament, 

is dedicated to the study of the indigenous fauna and is responsible for the Emperior Valley 

Zoo in Port-of-Spain, which has attracted some 150,000 paying visitors annually since 1982. 

Chaguaramas Development Authority. The authority, established by an Act of Parliament, is 

responsible for management of the entire northwest peninsular of Trinidad. A Park 

Planner is responsible for research on flora and fauna in the area and for advising the local 

authorities on conservation matters. 

Non-governmental organizations 

The University of the West Indies. The Zoology Department and the Department of 

Biological Sciences have undertaken a number of wetland research projects at Nariva and 

Caroni Swamps since the late 1960s. 

Trinidad Field Naturalist Club. This is the oldest conservation organization in Trinidad 

dating back to 1891 and with a current membership of 400 persons. Although the 

predominant role of the Club has always been the education of its members, important 

issues dealing with the misuse of natural resources or with development proposals which 

conflict with the principle of wise utilization of resources have, from time to time, been 

brought successfully to the attention of resource planners. 

Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust. This private non-profit organization, set up in 1966, 

manages a wildlife sanctuary and small collection of captive birds, mainly waterfowl, at 

Pointe-a-Pierre, and conducts studies on indigenous species. Conservation education is 

given high priority, and the Trust has made considerable progress in increasing the 

awareness of the general public, particularly school children, to wildlife conservation issues 

in Trinidad and Tobago. 

Asa Wright Nature Centre. This private organization manages a nature reserve in the Arima 

Valley of the Northern Range. Although no extensive wetland habitat exists in the nature 

reserve, refuge and feeding are provided for many wetland species normally resident at 

Caroni Swamp, 5-10 km to the south. 

Trinidad Naturalist Magazine. This is a private commercial enterprise which recognized 

the need to educate the public on natural history and conservation issues, and since its 

inception in the mid 1970s has published a number of important articles on wetland flora 

and fauna. 



Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

Several laws of the country affect, either directly or indirectly, the status and protection of 
wetland habitat and its wildlife. Those of major importance include the Forest Act which 
provides for the proper management and control of Forest Reserves; the Conservation of 
Wildlife Act which provides for the declaration of wildlife sanctuaries, protected animals, 
hunting seasons and a system for the issuance of licenses and permits; and the Marine Areas 
(Preservation and Enhancement) Act which provides for the protection of flora and fauna in 
restricted areas. Other legislation covers the exploitation of fishes, crustaceans and sea turtles; 
the control of oil pollution; the prevention of pollution of fresh waters; and the regulation of 
irrigation and reclamation schemes. Trinidad became a signatory to the Convention on 
International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in April 1984. 

Thirteen Wildlife Sanctuaries exist in Trinidad and Tobago, and two of these are within the 
major wetlands areas of Caroni and Nariva. In addition, 37 Forest Reserves have been 
demarcated. The fauna in Wildlife Sanctuaries receive total protection all year round, but in 
; Forest Reserves animals may be hunted during the six months open season. Under a proposed 
I "System of National Parks and other protected areas" prepared by the Forestry Division in 
conjunction with the Organization of American States, recommendations were made to set aside 
61 areas in Trinidad and Tobago for nature conservation and preservation. Management and 

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Trinidad & Tobago 

development plans were prepared for several areas including Caroni Swamp. The Government 
agreed in principle to the overall system, but no legislation has as yet been enacted. Thus plans 
to develop Caroni and Nariva Swamps as National Parks, and Fishing Pond, Icacos Basin and 
Godineau Swamp as Nature Conservation Reserves, have not been implemented. 

Over the years, various studies by international consultants on land use of wetlands have 
been commissioned, but as far as is known, no concrete plans for development have been 
initiated. The Draft National Physical Development Plan (1978) recognizes the existence of 
ecologically sensitive areas such as swamps and recommends careful planning for proposed 
developments. 

A considerable amount of research has been conducted on the nation's wetland ecosystems. 
Some of the principal studies have included the following: 

a) A detailed study of the biological associations, hydrology, resource exploitation and 
potential land use of Nariva Swamp; by the University of the West Indies (Bacon et al, 
1979). 

b) Ecological studies and floral investigations at Caroni Swamp; by Bacon (1970) and 
Ramcharan (1980) respectively. 

c) A socio-economic study of the wetland resources of Caroni Swamp; by Ramdial (1980). 

d) A study of the ecological impact of a project to divert the Couva River on the mangrove 
swamps and fishery in Carli Bay; by the Institute of Marine Affairs (Mutunhu, 1984). 

e) Research on the wetlands of Trinidad with special reference to the energetics of mangroves 
and inventory of the fauna; by the Institute of Marine Affairs (Ramcharan et al, 1983). 

f) Censuses of Eudocimus ruber populations; by the Forestry Division in collaboration with the 
World Working Group on Storks, Ibises and Spoonbills. 



Major Threats to Wetlands and Waterfowl 

Wetlands in Trinidad and Tobago are under threat from an expanding human population. 
Pressure for space, pressure for industrial, agricultural and housing developments, and the 
resulting pollution from such activities are the major threats to all coastal wetlands. Urban and 
suburban sprawl are particularly severe on the west coast, and have already accounted for the 
loss of wetlands at Westmoorings, Cocorite, Sealots and Laventille. 

Land reclamation for rice cultivation has occurred on the landward side of many coastal 
wetlands, but in recent years the incursion of salt water at Caroni, Rousillac and South 
Oropuche has resulted in the abandonment of some areas previously cultivated. Caroni remains 
under threat because of schemes to dredge channels in the swamp in an attempt to control 
severe flooding in nearby low-lying agricultural and residential areas. The dredging would 
seriously affect the hydrology of the swamp, and would offer only a temporary solution to the 
flooding since the causal factors have not been corrected. These are related to the siltation of 
water courses resulting from deforestation of hillsides and extensive quarrying activities in the 
Caroni watershed. 

Proposals by private businesses to develop salt water shrimp farming at Nariva and fish 
ponds at Nariva and Caroni have been received by the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and 
Food Production. Advice was sought from the FAO, but their consultant's findings have not as 
yet been made available. The Forestry Division has registered strong reservations against the 
total transformation of intact wetland habitat for agricultural development or aquaculture, and 
has suggested as an alternative the use of degraded habitats such as mangrove swamps close to 
industrial or residential areas, or abandoned quarry sites. 

Inland reservoirs still offer potentially good habitat for most waterfowl because these areas 
are protected from activities which will reduce the availability or acceptability of water for 
human consumption. 



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I 



TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 



Port of Spain 



TRINIDAD 



Trinidad & Tobago 




Scarborough 



TOBAGO 






i_ 



Km 



50 



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Trinidad & Tobago 



WETLANDS 



Site descriptions based on a report prepared by Carol James, Nadra Nathai-Gyan and Geddes 
Hislop of the Forestry Division (James et al, 1984), and data sheets provided by Eugene K. 
Ramcharan of the Institute of Marine Affairs. 



Caroni Swamp (1) 

Location: 10°35'N, 61°28'W; 3.5 km southeast of Port of Spain, Trinidad. 

Area: 5,611 ha (formerly 14,000-15,000 ha including flood plain). 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 03, 07, 08, 09 & 16. 

Site description: An estuarine and coastal mangrove system with large brackish to saline 

lagoons, extensive mangrove swamps, and seasonally inundated brackish marshes and grassland 

on its landward fringes. The maximum depth of the channels is 9-lIm, the level fluctuating 

with the tides. Seasonal marshes flood to a depth of Im during the rainy season (June to 

November). There is an extensive network of ditches throughout the swamp; relicts of 

drainage projects attempted on several occasions since the early 1930s, but subsequently 

abandoned. Large areas of the adjacent fresh to brackish marshes have however been 

reclaimed for agriculture. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Rhizophora mangle. Avicennia germinans 

and Laguncularia racemosa in that order of abundance; marshes with species of Eleocharis. 

Cyperus, Typha, Acrostichum, Eichhornia. Pistia and Lemna. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned; with 3,197 ha in a Forest Reserve, 1,540 ha in State Lands, 

and 874 ha privately owned. 

Protection: Largely within a State Forest Reserve, patrolled daily by Forestry Wardens. 

197.6 ha in the north of the swamp have been made into a Bird Sanctuary. A Wildlife 

Sanctuary of 7,900 ha created in 1936 was decommissioned in 1982. Hunting is prohibited 

throughout the area during the general close season (1 April to 31 October). 

Land use: Intensive fishing and the harvesting of crabs and oysters; hunting from November to 

March; nature tourism; and agriculture, industrial development, highway construction and 

dumping of rubbish in peripheral areas. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for a variety of waterfowl, and particularly the Scarlet 

Ibis Eudocimus ruber, which formerly nested in large numbers. Unfortunately, because of 

considerable hunting pressure and disturbance from tourists, the birds have not bred since the 

1970s, and numbers feeding and roosting in the swamp have declined to a few thousands (2,450 

in early 1984). Other common species include Pelecanus occidentalis, Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 

Bubulcus ibis. Butorides striatus. Egretta caerulea. E. tricolor, E. alba. Dendrocygna autumnalis. 

Rallus longirostris. Gallinula chloropus and Larus atricilla. Anas discors. Ardea herodias and a 

variety of Nearctic shorebirds are common on migration and in winter; and Ajaia ajaja is a 

regular non-breeding visitor. 

Other fauna: About 140 species of birds have been recorded in the area, and the endemic 

subspecies of the Straight-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus picus altirostris is apparently 

confined to the swamp. The Osprey Pandion haliaetus is a common winter visitor. The 

mammalian fauna includes the Silky Anteater Cyclopes didactylus didactylus and Crab-eating 

Racoon Procyon cancrivorus cancrivorus; reptiles include Caiman crocodilus. The wetland 

supports a thriving fishery, both offshore and in the swamp. Fishes include Megalops 

atlanticus and species of Mycteroperca. Mugil. Lutjanus. Caranx. Anchoa and Hycengraulis. 

The crab Ucides cordatus is still harvested commercially, but the oyster Crassostrea 

rhizophorae, which was formerly abundant, has been depleted through improper harvesting. 

Other crab species include Aratus pisonii and Uca spp. 

Threats: The swamp is seriously threatened by a number of factors. There is a serious 

pollution problem from run-off of fertilizers and pesticides, industrial waste and domestic 

sewage; peripheral areas are being reclaimed for housing, industrial development, road 

construction and rubbish tips; there is excessive disturbance from tourists visiting the 

Sanctuary, excessive hunting during the open season, and a considerable amount of illegal 

hunting in the close season and in the Bird Sanctuary; the shellfish populations are being 

overexploited; and there is marine pollution along the coastal fringe. 

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Trinidad & Tobago 

Research and conservation: The Caroni Swamp has been the focus of a number of activities 
concerning research, education, recreation and agriculture. In addition to its importance for 
wildlife, the swamp is of great value as a fish spawning ground, and attracts thousands of 
tourists each year. A proposal has been made to give National Park status to the entire area, 
and a management plan has been drawn up, but no action has as yet been taken. The swamp 
has been nominated as a potential Ramsar Site in anticipation of the Government ratifying that 
Convention. 

References: Bacon (1970, 1971 & 1975); Ramdial (1975 & 1980); Forestry Division & OAS 
(1979); Thelen & Faizool (1980); lUCN (1982); Lambert (1983); ffrench & Ramcharan (1984). 
Source: Carol James, Nadra Nathai-Gyan, Geddes Hislop and Eugene K. Ramcharan. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



South Oropuche Swamp (2) 

Location: 10°12'N, 6r32'W; 8 km southwest of San Fernando, between Freeman Bay and 

Mosquito Creek, Trinidad. 

Area: 5,642 ha. 

Altitude: l-5m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 07, 08, 13 & 17. 

Site description: An estuarine system with a shallow brackish lagoon, up to 1.5m deep, behind 

a sand bar, tidal mangrove swamps, and fresh to brackish marshes on the landward fringe. A 

large part of the marshes has been converted into rice paddies. The water level in the marshes 

fluctuates by Im, reaching its maximum between June and November. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa 

and Rhizophora mangle; and marshes with species of Eleocharis and Ipomoea. 

Land tenure: State owned, with large areas leased to rice growers. 

Protection: 92 ha are within a Forest Reserve which is patrolled by Game Wardens on a weekly 

basis. The remainder is unprotected. 

Land use: Agriculture, principally rice growing; petroleum exploration; hunting of waterfowl; 

and fishing. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for waterfowl, with five mixed colonies of Ardeidae 

including 500 pairs of Egretta thula and 1,000 pairs of E. alba. There are also important 

breeding populations of Dendrocygna bicolor and D. autumnalis. Eudocimus ruber occurs in 

small numbers as a non-breeding visitor. 

Other fauna: Pandion haliaetus occurs in winter, and there is a small population of Caiman 

crocodilus. The wetland is used extensively as a nursery and feeding ground for many species 

of commercially important fishes, and offshore there is an extensive bank which is the focus of 

a thriving fishing industry. Crabs include Cardisoma guanhumi and Uca spp. 

Threats: The many threats to the swamp include pollution from agrochemicals and an oil 

pipeline which runs through the area; increased sedimentation; reclamation for agriculture; 

squatting by illegal settlers; the dumping of rubbish; coastal erosion; and fires in the dry season. 

Research and conservation: Proposals for the conservation of the area have been drawn up by 

the Institute of Marine Affairs. 

References: ffrench & Ramcharan (1984); Ramcharan (1984); Ramcharan et al (1983). 

Source: Carol James, Nadra Nathai-Gyan, Geddes Hislop and Eugene K. Ramcharan. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2c & 3a. 



Roussillac Swamp (3) 

Location: 10°14'N, 6r36'W; 7 km northeast of Point Fortin, Trinidad. 

Area: 496 ha. 

Altitude: 0-25m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 05, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A permanent brackish tidal lagoon separated from the sea by a sand bar, and 

with extensive mangrove swamps. Fluctuations in water level are relatively slight. 



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Trinidad & Tobago 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa 

Rhizophora mangle and Nymphaea ampla. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned, with 34 ha in private lands. 

Protection: Largely included in a Forest Reserve of 443 ha in which hunting is prohibited, but 

active protection is limited. 

Land use: Agriculture; grazing of livestock; hunting; fishing; and the harvesting of crabs. 

Waterfowl: Poorly known. Species recorded include Jacana jacana and Porphyrula martinica. 

Other fauna: The crab Ucides cordatus and the catfish Hoplosternum littorale form the basis of 

a local fishery. 

Threats: General disturbance from human activities; squatting by illegal settlers; and oil 

pollution. 

Research and conservation: A proposal has been made for the proper management of the area 

by the Institute of Marine Affairs. 

References: Ramcharan et al (1983). 

Source: Carol James, Nadra Nathai-Gyan and Geddes Hislop. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2c & 3a. 



Los Blanquizales Swamp (4) 

Location: 10°05'N, 61°47'W; 18.5 km WSW of Point Fortin, Trinidad. 

Area: 1,085 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 06, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A permanent brackish tidal lagoon, up to 2m deep, with intertidal mudflats, 

mangrove swamps and brackish marshes. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps; marshes with Eleocharis intersticta, E. mutata. 

Acrostichum aureum, Monlrichardia arborescens and Heliconia psittacorum. Agricultural land 

and forests on the landward side. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Protected under the State Lands Act, but the regulations are not properly enforced. 

Land use: Agriculture; illegal settlement; and hunting. 

Waterfowl: Poorly known. Species recorded include Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Butorides striatus, 

Egretta alba. Dendrocygna bicolor. Aramus guarauna and Jacana jacana. 

Other fauna: The parrots Ara manilata and Amazona amazonica occur in the area. Crabs 

include Aratus pisonii and Uca spp. 

Threats: General disturbance from human activities; squatting by illegal settlers; agricultural 

practices causing changes in the hydrology of the area; and pollution from agrochemicals. 

Research and conservation: Proper management plans should be developed for the area, and 

illegal squatting and agricultural encroachment prevented. 

References: Ramcharan et al (1983). 

Source: Carol James, Nadra Nathai-Gyan and Geddes Hislop. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Icacos Basin (5) 

Location: 10°04'N, 6r54'W; 30.5 km WSW of Point Fortin, Trinidad. 

Area: 330 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A complex of permanent brackish lagoons, up to 2.5m deep, mangrove 

swamps and brackish marshes, with relatively stable water levels. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa 

and Rhizophora mangle; marshes with Eleocharis sp, Acrostichum aureum, Paspalum 

fasciculatum and Heliconia psittacorum. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Protected under the State Lands Act, and patrolled by Game Wardens. 



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Trinidad & Tobago 

Land use: A small amount of agriculture, and some grazing of livestock. 

Waterfowl: Poorly known. Species recorded include Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Butorides striatus, 

Egretta caerulea, E. tricolor, E. thula, E. alba, Dendrocygna bicolor and Vanellus chilensis. 

Other fauna: Caiman crocodilus occurs. 

Threats: There is a small amount of coastal erosion in the area, and overgrazing by domestic 

livestock. 

Research and conservation: Management proposals have been made by the Institute of Marine 

Affairs. The area has good potential for studies on plant succession. 

References: Ramcharan et al (1983). 

Source: Carol James, Nadra Nathai-Gyan and Geddes Hislop. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Nariva Swamp (6) 

Location: 10°23'N, 6r04'W; 16 km SSE of Sangre Grande, on the east coast of Trinidad. 

Area: 6,234 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 07, 08, 09, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A permanent brackish lagoon with extensive mangrove swamps, separated 

from the sea by two parallel sand bars, and a large area of fresh to brackish swamps, swamp 

forest and seasonally flooded marshes. The level of the lagoon is influenced by the tides by 

way of river channels and possibly subsurface seepage; salinities range from 4-25 p.p.t. The 

area includes the largest freshwater herbaceous swamp in Trinidad. The seasonal marshes flood 

to a depth of Im between June and November, leaving islands of higher ground with humid 

tropical forest. 

Principal vegetation: Beach scrub with Coccoloba sp; mangrove swamps with Rhizophora 

mangle and Avicennia germinans; permanent herbaceous swamps with Montrichardia 

arborescens and Cyperus giganteus; marshes with Eleocharis mutata. Cyperus giganteus. C. 

odoratus and Phragmites sp; swamp forest with Pterocarpus officinalis, Carapa sp and Bactris 

sp; and islands of humid tropical forest with Roystonea oleracea, Mauritia setigera and Euterpe 

oleracea. 

Land tenure: Almost entirely state owned, with 6.1 ha under private ownership. 

Protection: 1,554 ha of forested high ground jutting out into the swamp are protected in the 

Bush Bush Game Sanctuary, established in 1968, and 40 ha are included within the Ortoire 

Nariva Windbelt Forest Reserve. The remainder of the area and thus almost all of the wetland 

habitat is unprotected. 

Land use: Agriculture, grazing of livestock, forestry, hunting, fishing, bird trapping for the pet 

trade, and recreation. 

Waterfowl: An important area for a variety of waterfowl including Anhinga anhinga, several 

Ardeidae, Dendrocygna autumnalis, Aramus guarauna and Jacana jacana. 

Other fauna: Over 170 species of birds have been recorded in the swamp. The Blue and 

Yellow Macaw Ara ararauna formerly occurred, but now appears to have been exterminated as 

a result of excessive trapping for the pet trade. Ara manilata is still fairly numerous. 

Mammals include the manatee Trichechus manatus, Cebus albifrons and Alouatta seniculus; and 

reptiles include Caiman crocodilus and Eunectes murinus. The wetland supports a large 

population of the catfish Hoplosternum littorale, which forms the basis of a thriving fishery. 

Crabs include Cardisoma guanhumi, Ucides cordatus and Aratus pisonii, and the freshwater 

conch Pomacea urcens occurs. 

Threats: Many threats have been identified including illegal squatting; the reclamation of land 

for agriculture and clandestine cultivation of cannabis; illegal grazing of domestic livestock in 

the Game Sanctuary; exploitation of the forests for timber; overfishing; illegal hunting 

including the use of gun-traps; and excessive trapping of birds for the pet trade. 

Research and conservation: Because of the uniqueness of the physical conditions, the wetland 

supports a diverse fauna and flora with many species which are found nowhere else in 

Trinidad. The swamp has significant potential for research, education and recreation, and 

some studies have already been made on the biological resources. It has been proposed that the 

entire area be made into a Wildlife Sanctuary or National Park, and that it be designated a 

Ramsar Site when the Goverment ratifies that Convention. 

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Trinidad & Tobago 

References: Bacon et al 1979; Ramcharan (1980 & 1984); Thelen & Faizool (1980; lUCN 
(1982); Lambert (1983); ffrench & Ramcharan (1984). 

Source: Carol James, Nadra Nathai-Gyan, Geddes Hislop and Eugene K. Ramcharan. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



North Oropuche Swamp (Fishing Pond) (7) 

Location: 10''37'N, 61°03'W; 10 km east of Sangre Grande, Trinidad. 

Area: 1,220 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 07, 08, 09, 16 & 17. 

Site description: The estuary of the River Oropuche and a seasonal shallow brackish lagoon, up 

to 50 cm deep, with mangrove swamps, bordered inland by seasonally inundated grassland and 

areas of rice cultivation. The lagoon and surrounding marshes dry out completely during the 

dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans and Rhizophora mangle; 

seasonal marshes with Eleocharis mulala and Acrostichum aureum. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned, with 322 ha in private lands. 

Protection: 900 ha are included in the Manzanilla Windbelt Forest Reserve (939 ha); the 

remainder is unprotected. 

Land use: Agriculture, cattle ranching, fishing and the harvesting of crabs. 

Waterfowl: Poorly known; species recorded include Tigrisoma lineatum, Egretta caerulea, E. 

tricolor, E. thula and Jacana jacana. 

Other fauna: The manatee Trichechus manatus occurs in the river, and Eunectes murinus has 

been recorded. Fishes include Hoplosternum littorale, Rivulus hartii and Polycentrus 

schomburgkii; and crabs include Aralus pisonii, Cardisoma guanhumi and Uca sp. 

Threats: The principal threat is the reclamation of land for agriculture. 

Research and conservation: Some research has been conducted in the area by the Forestry 

Division. The wetland should be declared a Wildlife Sanctuary, at least for the duration of the 

close season (April to October). 

Source: Carol James, Nadra Nathai-Gyan and Geddes Hislop. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Kilgwyn Swamp (8) 

Location: ir09'N, 60°48'W; 9 km WSW of Scarborough, near the southwestern tip of Tobago. 

Area: 12 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A permanent brackish lagoon with fringing mangrove swamps, separated from 

the sea by a sand bar. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Rhizophora mangle and Laguncularia racemosa; 

and halophytic grasses. Coconut plantations inland. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: No legal protection, but hunting is prohibited and access restricted by the owners. 

Land use: Grazing of livestock; dumping of rubbish; fishing; and harvesting of crabs. 

Waterfowl: An important area for Anas bahamensis, with a breeding population of about 30 

birds. Other species present include Nyctanassa violacea. Butorides striatus and Egretta 

caerulea. 

Other fauna: The crabs Cardisoma guanhumi, Aratus pisonii and Uca sp. 

Threats: Human disturbance; overgrazing by domestic livestock; and infilling with rubbish. 

Research and conservation: One of the few wetlands on Tobago, and the only significant 

land-locked lagoon. The rubbish tip should be relocated, and the area given better protection. 

References: Thelen & Faizool (1980). 

Source: Carol James, Nadra Nathai-Gyan and Geddes Hislop. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 

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I 



Trinidad & Tobago 

Buccoo Reef and Bon Accord Lagoon (9) 

Location: 11°10'N, 60°5rW; 12 km WSW of Scarborough, at the southwestern tip of Tobago. 

Area: 650 ha. 

Altitude: 0-2m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 01, 05, 07 & 08. 

Site description: Buccoo Reef is an arc of reef enclosing a sand-bottomed bay, 2m deep, with a 

single channel connecting to the open sea, and with some fringing mangroves. Bon Accord 

Lagoon (34 ha) lies at the east end of the reef, between Sheerbird Point and Pigeon Point, and 

is partly land-locked by a sand bar. There are extensive mangrove swamps along its eastern and 

southern shores. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps of Rhizophora mangle with some Laguncularia 

racemosa on the landward fringes; extensive beds of Thalassia sp in the bay. Coconut 

plantations inland. 

Land tenure: Buccoo Reef is state owned; Bon Accord Lagoon is privately owned. 

Protection: The reef and surrounding waters were designated as a restricted area in 1966, and 

have been protected as a strict nature reserve. Bon Accord Lagoon is not legally protected, but 

the owners prohibit hunting and restrict access. 

Land use: Tourism., particularly visits to the reef in glass-bottomed boats; fishing; harvesting of 

crabs; and livestock grazing. 

Waterfowl: Species recorded in the area include Pelecanus occidenlalis, Nycticorax nycticorax, 

Nyctanassa violacea. Butorides striatus, Egretta caerulea, E. thula and Gallinula chloropus. All 

have small and vulnerable populations on Tobago. 

Other fauna: There is a rich and varied marine fauna associated with the reef, and there are 

very well developed stands of living coral. The fauna of Bon Accord Lagoon includes the 

crabs Cardisoma guanhumi. Aratus pisonii and Uca sp, and the tree oyster Isognomon alatus. 

Threats: Plans to build a tourist hotel and marina were abandoned because of potential 

ecological damage to the mangrove ecosystem, but the threat of reclamation for hotel 

development persists. Bon Accord Lagoon suffers from excessive disturbance from recreation 

activities, and overgrazing by domestic livestock. 

Research and conservation: The area is particularly important for marine life, and presents an 

ideal opportunity for studies of the relationships between offshore coral reef and mangrove 

ecosystems. A number of studies have been carried out on the structure of the reefs, 

sedimentation and water movements, and the value of the mangrove forest in protecting the 

coastline from hurricane damage is now appreciated. A reduction in the level of grazing along 

the shores of Bon Accord Lagoon has been proposed. 

References: Wood (1964); Goreau (1967); Thelen & Faizool (1980); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Carol James, Nadra Nathai-Gyan and Geddes Hislop. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



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URUGUAY 



INTRODUCTION 

by Raul Vaz-Ferreira 

Uruguay has an area of I76,215km^ and a population of nearly three million. The country 
borders on the Atlantic Ocean (220 km of coastline), the Rio de La Plata (460 km) and Rio 
Uruguay (480 km). There are some 3,500 sq. km of lakes, lagoons and dams, and some 3,500 
to 4,000 sq. km of permanent and temporary marshes, the largest being those situated in the 
east and northeast of the country. Overall, it has been estimated that wetlands make up about 
3.6% of the territory of Uruguay. 

Of the 400 or so species of birds occurring in Uruguay, 175 (44%) are aquatic or 
semi-aquatic; these include 28 species of Sphenisciformes and Procellariiformes. There are 
about 200 species of fishes in the lakes, marshes and rivers; these belong mainly to the 
Siluriformes and Cypriniformes, and many are of commercial importance. All 36 species of 
amphibians known from Uruguay inhabit wetlands for at least a part of their life cycle, and 
several of the reptiles are dependent on wetlands, namely five species of freshwater turtle, 
three snakes and the caiman Caiman latirostris. The latter is now in danger of extinction in 
Uruguay. Of the mammals associated with wetlands, three are trapped for their fur and 
constitute important natural resources. These are the La Plata Otter Lutra platensis, 
Coypu Myocastor coypus and Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris. 

There are over one hundred wetlands in Uruguay which clearly require investigation and 
which have some scientific and/or economic importance. This inventory considers only twelve 
of these. Most are relatively large wetlands for which at least some information exists on the 
avifauna. However, the inventory also includes some sites near Montevideo which would be 
particularly suitable for research purposes and where it is known that a formerly abundant 
avifauna has been adversely affected by human activities such as industrial pollution, drainage 
and exploitation. The inventory has been compiled from existing information, either 
unpublished material in the possession of the contributors or published material in the 
literature, and no new information has been sought. 



Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

A large number of institutions are directly or indirectly concerned with conservation in 
Uruguay, and some thirty official services are involved. Those most directly concerned with 
wetland conservation are as follows: 

Governmental 

Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca 

Direccion de Suelos: this has carried out surveys of wetlands. 

Division Uso y Mane jo del Agua. 

Industries Loberas y Pesqueras del Estado: this is responsible for the exploitation of 

fisheries resources in state owned water bodies. 

Inslituto Nacional de Pesca. 

Direccion de Contralor Legal (Departamento de Fauna): this is responsible for ensuring 

that the hunting regulations and wildlife preservation laws are being enforced. Its 

activities are assessed by a Commission made up of representatives of all the institutions 

concerned with these matters. 
Ministerio de Defensa Nacional 

Servicio de Parques del Ejercito. 

Servicio de Remonta. 
Ministerio de Educacion y Cultura 

Inslituto Nacional para la Preservacion del Medio Ambiente: this is concerned with 

general problems relating to the environment and coordinates the activities of its many 

constitutent bodies in the field of environmental conservation. The Institute is also 

responsible for CITES and respresents ICBP in Uruguay. 



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Uruguay 

Universidad de la Republica: the Facultad de Agronomia and Facultad de Humanidades 
y Ciencias provide courses relating to environmental protection, and particularly to the 
protection of habitats, fauna and flora. The Departamento de Zoologia de Vertebrados 
in the Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias periodically holds courses which specialize 
in the preservation of habitats, particularly wetlands. It also conducts research on 
aquatic mammals, waterfowl, amphibians and freshwater fishes. The Departamento de 
Limnologia at the same Faculty carries out limnological investigations and studies of 
pollution in the basin of the Rio Santa Lucia. The Departamento de Oceanografia 
coordinates a major programme of marine sciences (Programa de Ciencias del Mar) 
which includes some topics relating to freshwater systems. 

Museo Nacional de Historia Natural: this has published various works on the avifauna of 
Uruguay. 

Ministerio de Transporte y Obras Publicas 

Administracion de las Obras Sanitarias del Estado: this is in charge of reservoirs 
supplying water for domestic consumption, some of which are of biological importance. 
Direccion de Hidrografia. 

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores 

Direccion de Intereses Maritimos y Fluviales. 

Departamento de Organizaciones Internacionales y Medio Ambiente: this is concerned 

with conventions on habitat preservation, migratory species, etc. 

Municipal Authorities 

Non-governmental 

Sociedad Zoologica del Uruguay: this holds monthly meetings for the presentation of 
scientific works, and publishes a bulletin. It has created a conservation group which 
undertakes projects relating to the conservation of natural habitats. 

Centra de Investigacion y Promocion Franciscano y Ecologico: the activities of this Centre 
include, among other things, the promotion of conservation projects involving wetlands and 
their aquatic fauna. 



Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

A large number of areas in Uruguay have been given some form of protection. Those under 
state ownership are known as National Parks, and there are now about one hundred such areas 
in the country. Protected areas incorporating wetlands or with wetlands in close proximity 
include the following: 

Parque Nacional Arequita (965 ha). Department of Lavalleja. 

Parque Nacional de Cabo Polonio (6,324 ha). Department of Rocha. 

Parque Nacional de Aguas Dulces (200 ha). Department of Rocha. 

Parque Nacional de Santa Teresa (3,288 ha). Department of Rocha; close to extensive 

marshes and Laguna Negra, and administered by the Servicio de Parques del Ejercito. 

Parque Nacional de San Miguel (2,295 ha). Department of Rocha; administered by the 

Servicio de Parques del Ejercito. 

The Islas de Lobos, under the direction of the Industrias Loberas y Pesqueras del Estado, are in 
effect protected areas, since the only exploitation permitted by this institute is that of the seals, 
all other wildlife being protected. 

The open waters of Laguna de Castillos, an area of about 400 ha, have been declared a 
reserve, and this is administered by the Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca. 

In 1982, the Consejo de Estado de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay approved the Ramsar 
Convention, and in May 1984, the instrument of ratification was deposited with UNESCO. 
Wetlands in eastern Uruguay were designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of 
International Importance. The area designated includes the lowlands of the Departments of 
Cerro Largo, Trienta y Tres and Rocha between 32°00'S and 34°30'S, the adjacent Atlantic 
coast, the valleys of the water courses which flow into Laguna Merin and the Atlantic, and the 
nearby marshes. 

With regard to research on wetlands and waterfowl, there has been no bird banding 
programme to date in Uruguay, although foreign banded birds have been recovered in the 

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Uruguay 

country. The study of waterfowl began with the present inventory, but several research 
projects were carried out on other wetland topics before this. These include the following: 

a) A study of changes in the vertebrate fauna, especially waterfowl, at Salto Grande Dam 
during the flooding of the lake (Palerm, 1977; Vaz-Ferreira et al, 1980 & 1983). This work 
was coordinated by the Departamento de Zoologia Vertebrados at the Facultad de 
Humanidades y Ciencias, and the Comision Tecnica Mixta de Salto Grande. 

b) A study of the productivity and biology of the Coypu Myocastor coypus in the marshes of 
Uruguay, carried out under an agreement between FAO and the Institute Nacional para la 
Preservacion del Medio Ambiente (FAO, 1980). 

c) An analysis of normal parameters and pollution levels in the basin of the Rio Santa Lucia, 
carried out by the Departamento de Limnologia at the Facultad de Humandidades y 
Ciencias, and the Instituto Nacional para la Preservacion del Medio Ambiente. 

d) Studies of the biology of Caiman latirostris, carried out by the Departamento de Zoologia 
Vertebrados at the Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias. 

e) Studies of temporary freshwater wetlands and their fauna, carried out by the Departamento 
de Zoologia Vertebrados at the Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias. 



Major Threats to Wetlands and Waterfowl 

The major threats to wetlands and their wildlife in Uruguay are as follows: 

a) The drainage of marshes; this has increased in recent years because of the growing interest 
in converting wetlands into agricultural and pasture land, and particularly in transforming 
wetlands into areas with controlled flooding suitable for rice-growing. 

b) The use of pesticides in rice-growing areas. 

c) The killing of waterfowl thought to be responsible for crop damage. 

d) Illegal hunting and the slaughter of wildlife by ill-educated individuals. 

e) The excessive and highly selective capture of wildlife, including species with very small 
populations, for both national and foreign zoological collections. 



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Uruguay 



URUGUAY 




30 60 90 120 

I i I I I 

Km 



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Uruguay 



WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on data sheets prepared by Raul Vaz-Ferreira, Eduin Palerm, Mario D. 
Huertas, Francisco D. Rilla and Federico Achaval. These authors wish to thank the following 
for their assistance: Andres Palerm, Enrique Gomez-Haedo, Alfredo Gepp, Daniel Panario, the 
Instituto Nacional para la Preservacion del Medio Ambiente, and the Direccion de Contralor 
Legal del Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca. 



Arazati Marshes and Rio Santa Lucia (1) 

Location: 34°41'S, 56°43'W; 60 km WNW of Montevideo, San Jose Department. 

Area: 90,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-20m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 02, 05, 07, 09, 1 1 & 13. 

Site description: The estuarine coast of the Rio de la Plata, with saline and freshwater ponds 

and marshes, sandy beaches and coastal sand dunes; the estuary of the Rio Santa Lucia; and 

riverine marshes along the lower Rio Santa Lucia. 

Principal vegetation: An abundant growth of submergent, floating and emergent aquatic 

vegetation, with extensive Scirpus marshes; sand dune vegetation and plantations of Pinus 

and Eucalyptus along the coast. 

Land tenure: The coast and Santa Lucia River are state owned (fiscal); the remainder is 

privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Traditional fishing and sport fishing, hunting, recreation and forestry; cattle 

ranching, agriculture and some settlements and industry in nearby areas. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl have been recorded, 

including many Ardeidae, Anatidae and shorebirds. 

Other fauna: The area is especially rich in wetland associated passerines including the two 

reedhaunters Limnornis curvirostris and Limnoctites rectirostris. The mammals, which are well 

documented, include Hydrochoerus, hydrochaeris, Lutreolina crassicaudata and Ctenomys 

torquatus. 

Threats: Pollution, excessive disturbance from recreation and hunting, burning of marsh 

vegetation, and expansion of forestry activities are all causing problems. 

Research and conservation: Inventories of the fauna have been conducted by the Facultad de 

Humanidades y Ciencias. 

Source: Eduin Palerm and Mario D. Huertas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Pando and Tropa Vieja Marshes, and adjacent coastal zone (2) 

Location: 34°46'S, 55°53'W; 20 km northeast of Montevideo, Canelones Department. 

Area: 4,400 ha. 

Altitude: 0-4m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 02, 05, 07, 09, 11, 12 & 13. 

Site description: A complex of slow-flowing rivers and riverine marshes; permanent and 

seasonal freshwater lakes and marshes; and estuarine system of the Arroyo Pando and Arroyo 

Tropa Vieja, with tidal salt marshes, sandy beaches and coastal sand dunes. There are wide 

fluctuations in water levels according to local rainfall, and most of the marshes dry out in 

summer, but the Laguna del Cisne is over 5m deep and permanent. 

Principal vegetation: The most abundant aquatic plants are species of Ludwigia, Canna, Lemna, 

Pistia. Paspalum, Salvinia and Eichhornia, and the dominant emergents Eryngium sp, Panicum 

prionitis, Cortaderia selloana, Typha sp, Scirpus californicus, S. gigaiiteus. Zizaniopsis sp 

and Juncus spp. There are thickets with species of Salix, Baccharis, Acacia and Erythrina in 

the marshes and along the rivers, and plantations of Pinus spp and Acacia longifolia in the 

south. 

Land tenure: Mainly privately owned, in small parcels; the coast is state owned. 

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Uruguay 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Traditional, sport and commercial fishing; hunting; forestry; beach development for 

recreation; and extraction of sand and subsequent creation of artificial lagoons. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl occur, 

including Podiceps major (up to 50), Cygnus melancoryphus (up to 70), several species of 

Nearctic shorebirds, and large numbers of gulls and terns Laridae. 

Other fauna: The Coypu Myocaslor coypus occurs, and a wide variety of amphibians have been 

recorded. 

Threats: A general increase in land use, particularly hunting, recreation and forest clearance, 

continues to destroy the natural habitat. A fire recently destroyed a large part of the woodland 

and plantations in the south of the area. 

Research and conservation: A number of faunal and floral surveys have been conducted by the 

Department of Vertebrate Zoology at the Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias. 

Source: Mario D. Huertas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Marshes of the Arroyo Solis Grande (3) 

Location: 34°46'S, 55°26'W; 70 km east of Montevideo, Canelones Department. 

Area: 4,500 ha. 

Altitude: 0-20m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 02, 05, 07, 09 & 11. 

Site description: A slow-flowing meandering river with associated freshwater marshes, 

brackish to saline estuarine marshes, tidal salt marshes, coastal sand dunes and sandy beaches. 

The riverine marshes are partly seasonal, and are much reduced in extent by the end of the dry 

season. 

Principal vegetation: The marsh vegetation includes Paspalum quadrifarium, Panicum prionitis, 

Cortaderia selloana and species of Scirpus, Zizaniopsis, Juncus, Typha, Eryngium, Eichhornia. 

Salvinia and Pistia. Shrubs include Erythrina cristagalli and species of Salix and Acacia, and 

there are plantations of Pinus and Eucalyptus spp. 

Land tenure: Mainly privately owned, in small parcels; the coast is state owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Traditional, sport and commercial fishing; hunting; recreation; beach development; 

and forestry. Cattle ranching and agriculture in neighbouring areas. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of breeding, passage and wintering species have been recorded, 

including many Anatidae, Nearctic shorebirds and Laridae. 

Other fauna: The Coypu Myocastor coypus occurs and there is a rich amphibian fauna in the 

area. 

Threats: A general increase in land use, particularly drainage for development and illegal 

hunting, is resulting in the progressive degradation of the area. 

Research and conservation: Faunal surveys have been conducted. 

Source: Mario D. Huertas and Francisco D. Rilla. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Arroyo Maldonado and Laguna del Sauce (4) 

Location: 34°50'S, 55°04'W; 1 1 km northwest of Punta del Este, Maldonado Department. 

Area: 18,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-2m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 01, 03, 05, 09, 11 & 12. 

Site description: A sea bay with sandy beaches, coastal sand dunes, and two small offshore 
islands (Islas de Lobos); a slow-flowing river (Arroyo Maldonado) with oxbow lakes and 
riverine marshes; and the nearby Laguna del Sauce, a permanent shallow freshwater lake (up to 
2.1m deep) with surrounding marshes. 



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Uruguay 

Principal vegetation: Typical coastal vegetation including Spartina ciliata. Panicumracemosum, 

Androtrychum trygium, Dodonaea viscosa and Hydrocotyle sp. The lake has abundant floating 

vegetation and marshes of Scirpus sp. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Sport hunting and fishing; water sports on Laguna del Sauce; general tourism and 

recreation; and urban sprawl from Punta del Este and Barra de Maldonado. Plantations 

of Pinus and Eucalyptus spp have been established to fix the sand dunes. The seals on Islas de 

Lobos are periodically exploited for their skins. 

Waterfowl: Particularly important for migratory shorebirds and Laridae. Several Nearctic 

shorebirds are common, including Pluvialis dominica, Tringa spp, Calidris fuscicollis and C. 

melanotos. At certain times of the year, large numbers of gulls Lams spp and other sea-birds 

congregate around the seal colonies on the offshore islands. 

Other fauna: There are colonies of the sea-lion Otaria flavescens and fur seal Arctocephalus 

australis on Islas de Lobos. Other mammals include Myocastor coypus. Scapteromys tumidus, 

Holochilus brasiliensis and Ctenomys pearsoni. 

Threats: The marsh vegetation is being destroyed by the reclamation of land for development; 

and domestic animals are being introduced into the area. 

Research and conservation: Basic faunal inventories have been conducted. 

Source: Francisco D. Rilla. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna Jose Ignacio and Laguna Garzon (5) 

Location: 34°49'S, 54°38'W; 25 & 30 km east of San Carlos, Maldonado Department. 

Area: Laguna Jose Ignacio 1,800 ha; Laguna Garzon 1,300 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 07. 

Site description: Two shallow brackish coastal lagoons and associated marshes separated from 

the sea by a sand barrier, and periodically connected with the sea. Water levels are subject to 

wide fluctuations. 

Principal vegetation: The aquatic vegetation includes abundant Eichhornia sp and Scirpus sp. 

The adjacent coastal sand dunes have been planted with Pinus pinaster and Eucalyptus spp. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing, hunting, recreation and extraction of sand. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of breeding, passage and wintering species have been recorded, 

particularly Ardeidae, Threskiornithidae, shorebirds and Laridae. The commoner species 

include Phimosus infuscatus (up to 250), Plegadis chihi (up to 1,000), Calidris fuscicollis and 

Larus maculipennis. Up to 200 Calidris canutus have been observed at Laguna Jose Ignacio. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Myocastor coypus. Scapteromys tumidus, Holochilus brasiliensis, 

and Ctenomys pearsoni; and there is a rich reptile and amphibian fauna. 

Threats: Tourist development, forest clearance and forest fires are destroying the surrounding 

areas. Wind-blown sand is gradually filling in the lakes and the aquatic vegetation is spreading 

and reducing the open water areas. 

Research and conservation: Basic faunal and floral surveys have been conducted. 

Source: Francisco D. Rilla. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Laguna de Rocha (6) 

Location: 34°40'S, 54°17'W; 17 km west of La Paloma, Rocha Department. 

Area: 9,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 12, 16 & 19. 



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Site description: A large shallow coastal lagoon, up to 3m deep, separated from the sea by a 

sand barrier, with surrounding areas of acidic marshes, peat bogs and seasonally flooded 

grassland and palm savanna. The water levels fluctuate considerably, and large areas of marsh 

dry out in summer. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with species of Scirpus. Typha, and Juncus. Paspalum 

quadrifarium, Panicum prionitis, Cortaderia selloana and Eichhornia spp, and other floating 

aquatics; palm savannas with the palm Butia capitaia and Erythrina cristagalli; thickets oiSalix 

and Acacia; and plantations of Pinus and Eucalyptus. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state (fiscal) and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Sport hunting and commercial hunting of coypus, capybara, caiman and rheas; 

fishing; forestry; rice-growing; and tourist recreation. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of species including Podiceps major, Ajaia ajaja, Cygnus 

melancoryphus (up to 500) and several Nearctic shorebirds, notably Calidris fuscicollis. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Myocastor coypus. Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris. Scapteromys 

tumidus. Holochilus magnus, H. brasiliensis and Ctenomys pearsoni. The caiman Caiman 

latirostris occurs, but is very scarce. 

Threats: There is a considerable problem with pesticide run-off from neighbouring rice-fields; 

and some mammals and birds are being over-exploited. 

Research and conservation: Basic faunal and floral surveys have been conducted, but the area 

has excellent potential for wildlife research, and the establishment of a reserve with 

appropriate facilities should be encouraged. There is an urgent need for a management plan to 

permit rational utilization of the wildlife resources of the area. 

Source: Francisco D. Rilla. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Laguna de Castillos and Arroyo Valizas (7) 

Location: 34°20'S, 53°55'W; 12 km southwest of Castillos, Rocha Department. 

Area: 10,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 09, 12, 13 & 16. 

Site description: A permanent shallow brackish lake, up to 5m deep, and marshes, with 

extensive areas of seasonally flooded grassland and palm savanna. Water levels fluctuate 

considerably, and large parts of the marshes dry out in summer. At high water levels, the lake 

overflows into the sea through the Arroyo Valizas. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with abundant Eichhornia. Pistia. Scirpus and Typha; seasonally 

flooded grassland and savannas with Butia capitata and Erythrina cristagalli; sand dune 

vegetation nearby. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: A National Park and Reserve of 8,000 ha were established at Laguna de Castillos in 

1966, but these include only the open waters of the lake, and not the surrounding marshes. 

Some of the marshes and the coastal dunes to the southeast are included within the Costa 

Atlantica National Monument (14,250 ha) established in 1942. The entire area is part of a 

large Ramsar site designated in May 1984. 

Land use: Sport fishing; hunting, particularly for Coypu and Capybara; and forestry. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of waterfowl occur, including up to 100 Chauna torquata and 

80 Cygnus melancoryphus. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Lutra platensis. Myocastor coypus, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, 

Lutreolina crassicaudata, Ctenomys pearsoni and Holochilus brasiliensis. 

Threats: There is excessive hunting and fishing, and the nearby woods are being destroyed by 

fires and indiscriminate felling. 

Research and conservation: The National Park and Reserve should be extended to include the 

surrounding marshes, and the regulations better enforced. 

Source: Francisco D. Rilla. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



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Laguna Negra and Santa Teresa Marshes (8) 

Location: 34°00'S, 53°40'W; 20 km northeast of Castillos, Rocha Department. 

Area: 21,500 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 07, 13, 16 & 19. 

Site description: A large permanent coastal lagoon, up to 7m deep, with extensive freshwater 

marshes, peat bogs, and large areas of seasonally flooded grassland and palm savanna. There is 

very poor drainage in the area and a high accumulation of organic material. At high water 

levels, Laguna Negra overflows into the Santa Teresa marshes via the Arroyo Los Indios. 

These marshes then drain into Laguna Merin via the Arroyo San Miguel. There is occasionally 

some icing in winter. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with species of Scirpus. Typha and Eichhornia; seasonally flooded 

grassland and savanna with Butia capitata. Erythrina cristagalli and Acacia sp. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state (fiscal) and private ownership. 

Protection: The nearby Santa Teresa National Park (3,228 ha), established in 1927, includes a 

strip of coastal scrub, sand dunes and Atlantic coast to the east of Laguna Negra. The lake and 

all the associated marshes are included in a large Ramsar site designated in May 1984. 

Land use: Some hunting and fishing; rice-growing in nearby areas; and tourism and recreation 

in the Santa Teresa National Park. 

Waterfowl: An important area for breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl of a wide range 

of species. The commoner species include Egretta thula, Plegadis chihi, Chauna torquata, Anas 

versicolor, Fulica leucoptera, Vanellus chilensis and Larus maculipennis. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Lutra platensis, Myocastor coypus, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, 

Scapteromys tumidus, Holochilus magnus, H. brasiliensis and Ozotoceros bezoarticus. 

Threats: Drainage of the wetlands and reclamation of land for agriculture pose the most serious 

threats. Other problems include excessive hunting and fishing, burning, and disturbance from 

tourist recreation. 

Research and conservation: Now that this wetland has been designated under the Ramsar 

Convention, reserves should be created and a management plan developed for the area. 

Source: Francisco D. Rilla. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Laguna Merin and San Miguel Marshes (9) 

Location: 32°40'-33°50'S, 53°10'-53°45'W; 70 km east of Treinta y Tres, Rocha and Treinta y 

Tres Departments. 

Area: 350,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-20m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 07, 09, 13, 16, 17 & 19. 

Site description: Laguna Merin is a coastal lagoon, up to 10m deep and 330,000 ha in extent, 

spanning the Uruguayan/Brazilian border. Approximately 100,000 ha of the lagoon lie in 

Uruguay. The lagoon margins are mainly haid sand and mud, with little emergent vegetation, 

but there are very extensive freshwater marshes, shallow freshwater lagoons and 

impoundments, peat bogs, and areas of seasonally flooded grassland and palm savanna to the 

west and south. Numerous canals have been dug to facilitate the drainage of the marshes, and 

large areas are under rice cultivation. The main rivers flowing through the marshes into 

Laguna Merin are the Tacuari, Olimar and San Luis. Soils are generally peaty with high acidity. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Eichhornia, Pistia, Scirpus californicus, S. giganteus. Typha 

and Zizaniopsis bonaerensis; seasonally flooded grassland and savanna with Butia capitata 

and Erythrina cristagalli. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state (fiscal) and private ownership. 30% of the Biosphere Reserve 

is state owned. 

Protection: No adequate legal protection. 200,000 ha are included within the Banados del Este 

Biosphere Reserve established in 1976. The entire area, along with Laguna de Castillos, 

Laguna Negra and the Santa Teresa Marshes, was designated as a Ramsar site in May 1984. 

Land use: Rice-growing in many areas; hunting; utilization of water for irrigation; and some 

tourist recreation. 



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Uruguay 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl. A 

brief survey of a small part of the marshes in October 1983 revealed 53 species of waterfowl 

including 550 Egretta thula, 35 Euxenura maguari, at least 25,000 Plegadis chihi, 250 Chauna 

torquata, 14 species of Anatidae, three species of Fulica, over 300 Himantopus himantopus, and 

very large numbers of Larus maculipennis. A concentration of 240 Heteronetta atricapilla was 

particularly noteworthy. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Lutra platensis, Myocastor coypus, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris. 

Ctenomys pearsoni and Holochilus brasiliensis. 

Threats: The wetlands continue to be drained for cattle ranching, although there is an 

increasing tendency in the area towards rice-growing and pesticides are being used. Excessive 

commercial hunting of fur-bearers has resulted in a drastic decline in numbers of the 

important species, and the industry is dying out. Disturbance from tourist recreation is causing 

problems in some areas. 

Research and conservation: Undoubtedly the most important wetland area for waterfowl and 

aquatic furbearers in Uruguay. It is to be hoped that with Ramsar designation, steps will be 

taken to create appropriate reserves and develop an overall wetland conservation strategy foi" 

the region. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: Francisco D. Rilla. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Salto Grande Dam (10) 

Location: 30°5rS, 57°50'W; on the Rio Uruguay, 14 km north of Salto, Salto and Artigas 

Departments. 

Area: 78,000 ha. 

Altitude: 35m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 09, 11, 15 & 16. 

Site description: A large dam on the Rio Uruguay, 120 km long and up to 35.5m deep; 

completely filled by 1979. The water level fluctuates by up to 6m, exposing large areas of mud 

at low water, and flooding extensive areas of grassland at high water. There are riverine 

marshes along the Rio Uruguay as it enters the dam, and marshes in shallow bays. 

Principal vegetation: Some floating aquatic vegetation, Scirpus marshes, and seasonally flooded 

grassland. There is still some native forest and scrub in the area, with the endemic Bambusa 

tacurusu. 

Land tenure: Most of the land is owned by the Comision Tecnico Mixta de Salto Grande; the 

remainder is under a mixture of private and municipal ownership. 

Protection: No habitat protection. Hunting has been prohibited, but control is inefficient. 

Land use: Fishing and pisciculture; hunting of Coypu and Capybara; forestry; cattle and sheep 

grazing; and cultivation, particularly of sugar cane. 

Waterfowl: For a dam, unusually rich in waterfowl, with large numbers of Podiceps major, 

Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Anhinga anhinga, several species of Ardeidae, Mycteria americana, 

Phimosus infuscatus, Plegadis chihi, Chauna torquata, Dendrocygna viduata (tens of 

thousands), Amazonetta brasiliensis, Aramides ypecaha, Fulica armillata, Jacana jacana, 

Vanellus chilensis, Himantopus himantopus and Larus maculipennis. Eight species of Nearctic 

shorebirds have been recorded in small numbers. 

Other fauna: Approximately 100 species of fishes have been recorded, some of the more 

important ecologically being the Characoidae, two species of Poecilidae, and one species of 

Jenynsidae. Species that are exploited commercially include Salminus maxillosus, Hoplias 

malabaricus, Prochilodus platensis, Leporinus spp, and various species of Doradidae. 

Twenty-two species of amphibians have been recorded, including Leptodactylus ocellatus, L. 

chaquensis and Bujo paracnemis; and seven aquatic reptiles, including Caiman latirostris. 

Mammals include Lutra platensis, Pteronura brasiliensis, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Myocastor 

coypus and Ozotoceros bezoarticus. 

Threats: The main threat to the area is run-off of pesticides used in rice-growing in nearby 

areas. Duck hunting is not excessive, but the Capybara and caiman are heavily persecuted. 

Forestry operations in the area are destroying the native forests and replacing them with 

plantations of exotic species. 

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Uruguay 

Research and conservation: Detailed studies of the fauna of the dam were carried out by 
Vaz-Ferreira and Achaval between 1979 and 1982. A proposal for the establishment of a 
reserve was put forward some years ago, but no action has been taken to date. 
References: Palerm (1977); Vaz-Ferreira et al (1980 & 1983). 
Source: Raul Vaz-Ferreira and Federico Achaval. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Esteros de Farrapos and islands in the Rio Uruguay (11) 

Location: 32°50'S, 58°05'W; on the Rio Uruguay between Fray Bentos and San Javier, Rio 

Negro Department. 

Area: 35,000 ha. 

Altitude: 5m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 10, 11 & 16. 

Site description: A complex of interconnecting river channels, islands, riverine marshes and 

oxbow lakes along a 55 km stretch of the Rio Uruguay, with adjacent areas of seasonally 

flooded grassland. The water level in the river fluctuates considerably according to rainfall, 

and about 30% of the marshes dry out in the dry season. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with Scirpus spp; seasonally flooded grassland; and dense riverine 

thickets, particularly on the islands, with a very diverse native flora. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned, with some private holdings. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Wood-cutting and hunting; cattle ranching and agriculture in the surrounding land. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of species have been recorded, including significant numbers 

of Plegadis chihi, Dendrocygna viduata. Aramus guarauna and Rynchops niger. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Lutra platensis, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Myocastor coypus 

and Holochilus magnus; amphibians include Leptodactylus ocellatus and L. mystacinus; and 

reptiles include Chrysemys dorbignyi. 

Threats: The riverine thickets are being destroyed for fuel; there is a considerable amount of 

illegal hunting of furbearers and waterfowl; and overgrazing is causing a problem. Much of 

the area is being considered for conversion into rice fields and other agricultural land. 

Research and conservation: The area is primarily important for its very rich and diverse 

riverine flora which comprises an ecosystem now found almost nowhere else in Uruguay. The 

area is still relatively inaccessible, and as most of the land is state owned, the establishment of 

a reserve should not prove difficult. Only preliminary studies have been conducted, and 

further research is called for. 

Source: Mario D. Huertas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



Rincon del Bonete Dam and the Rio Negro Marshes (12) ■ 

Location: 32°40'S, 56°00'W; 65 km north of Durazno, Departments of Tacuarembo and 

Durazno. 

Area: 150,000 ha. 

Altitude: 100m. 

Province and type: 8.32.11; 09, 11, 15 & 16. 

Site description: A very large dam on the Rio Negro, with numerous small rivers and streams 

entering along its very indented shoreline; riverine marshes along the Rio Negro; and large 

areas of seasonally flooded grassland. The water level fluctuates according to control at the 

dam, and wide expanses of mud are exposed at low water. 

Principal vegetation: Relatively little aquatic vegetation in the dam itself, but extensive areas 

of riverine marsh with Scirpus sp, wet grassland, and native woodland. 

Land tenure: The dam is state owned; the marshes and surrounding land are privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: The dam is used to produce hydroelectricity; also hunting, fishing, ranching and 

agriculture, and a little forestry. ' 



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Uruguay 

Waterfowl: Poorly known, but clearly important for Phalacrocorax olivaceus. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Excessive hunting, disturbance from fishing, and replacement of native woodlands 

with plantations of exotic species. 

Research and conservation: The area is poorly known and requires further study. 

Source: Raul Vaz-Ferreira and Mario D. Huertas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



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VENEZUELA 



INTRODUCTION 

by Douglas Figueroa and Andres Eloy Seijas 

Venezuela is situated in northern South America; it has an area of 912,050km^, a Caribbean 
coastline of 2,800 km, and a population of almost 14 million. 

The country can be divided into four regions: (a) the highlands of the Sierra Nevada de 
Merida (an extension of the Andes) in the northwest, and the coastal ranges in the north; (b) 
the lowlands of Maracaibo; (c) the extensive plains of the Llanos de Orinoco; and (d) the 
highlands of the Guyana Shield in the southeast. 

Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

Governmental 

Ministerio del Ambiente y de los Recursos Naturales Renovables (MARNR). 

Direccion General de Informacion e Investigacion del Ambiente (Direccion de Suelos, 

Vegetation y Fauna; Servicio Nacional de Fauna Silvestre). 

Direccion General Sectorial de Administracion del Ambiente (Direccion de Asignacion de 

Recursos; Division de Flora y Fauna). 
Universidad Central de Venezuela (Instituto de Zoologia Tropical). 
Universidad del Zulia. 

Universidad Nacional Experimental de Los Llanos Occidentals "Ezequiel Zamora" 
(UNELLEZ). 

Universidad "Simon Bolivar". 
Universidad de los Andes. 

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnologicas. 
Universidad de Oriente. 

Non-governmental 

Fundacion para la Defensa de la Naturaleza (FUDENA). 

Sociedad Venezolana de Ciencias Naturales. 

Fundacion Polar. 

Sociedad Conservacionista Audubon de Venezuela. 

Fundacion Phelps. 

Sociedad de Ciencias Naturales La Salle. 

Activities in wildlife conservation in Venezuela are governed by the Protection of Wildlife Law 
passed in 1970. The Ministerio del Ambiente y de los Recursos Naturales Renovables is the 
Ministry responsible for research, planning and administration concerning the conservation of 
wildlife resources. The National Executive, acting through this Ministry, passes resolutions 
which give legal status to conservation measures such as hunting seasons and hunting 
regulations. 

Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

At present, there are ten categories of legally protected areas or areas under special control in^ 
Venezuela. Some of these, such as Cuare, Chiriguare and Isla Aves Faunal Refuges, were 
created primarily with a view to protecting wetlands and their waterfowl. However, there are ; 
many other protected areas in Venezuela which include large areas of wetland habitat and' 
provide a legal basis for the conservation of these habitats. 



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Venezuela 
The following protected areas include significant wetlands: 

Refugios de Fauna 

Cuare (11,825 ha), established in 1972. 

Isla Aves (4 ha), established in 1972. 

Estero de Chiriguare (44,500 ha), established in 1974. 
Parques Litorales 

Laguna de los Patos (20 ha), established in 1978. 

Punta Delgada (25 ha), established in 1978. 
Reservas Forestales 

Guarapiche (370,000 ha), established in 1961 and 1963. 

El Caura (5,134,000 ha), established in 1968. 

Rio Tocuyo (47,640 ha), established in 1969. 
Parques Nacionales 

Canaima (3,000,000 ha), established in 1962 and 1975. 

Archipielago Los Roques (225,153 ha), established in 1972. 

Mochima (94,935 ha), established in 1973. 

Laguna de la Restinga (10,700 ha), established in 1974. 

Laguna de Tacarigua (18,400 ha), established in 1974. 

Aguaro-Guariquito (569,000 ha), established in 1974. 

Morrocoy (32,090 ha), established in 1974 and 1975. 

Yapacana (320,000 ha), established in 1978. 

Duida-Marahuaca (210,000 ha), established in 1978. 

Peninsula de Paria (37,500 ha), established in 1978. 

El Tama (139,000 ha), established in 1979. 
Monumentos Nacionales 

Laguna de Las Marites (3,674 ha), established in 1974. 

Laguna de Urao (36 ha), established in 1979. 

Chorreras las Gonzalez (126 ha), established in 1980. 
Reservas Hidraulicas 

Zona Sur del Lago de Maracaibo (880,000 ha), established in 1974. 
Reservas de Fauna 

Cienagas de Juan Manuel, Aguas Blancas y Aguas Negras (227,795 ha), established in 
1975. 
Lotes Boscosos 

Rio Guanipa (168,470 ha), established in 1975. 

A considerable amount of research has been conducted on the wetlands and waterfowl of 
Venezuela, particularly by the Servicio Nacional de Fauna Silvestre, the Instituto de Zoologia 
Tropical at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, the Universidad del Zulia, the Universidad 
Nacional Experimental de Los Llanos Occidentales "Ezequiel Zamora", the Fundacion para la 
Defensa de la Naturaleza, and the Sociedad Conservacionista Audubon de Venezuela. Most of 
the work has focussed on the wetlands of the western and central coastal zones and the llanos, 
and very little work has been carried out in the Orinoco Delta and at wetlands in Amazonas 
and Bolivar states. Major research projects recently completed or still on-going include the 
following: 

a) Research on the wetlands and waterfowl of the Lago de Maracaibo area, including Cienaga 
de los Olivitos, by Clark L. Casler and Jose R. Lira of the Universidad del Zulia. 

b) Research on the effects of the "modulo" system on wetland fauna and flora in the llanos of 
Apure, by the Instituto de Zoologia Tropical and James A. Kushlan of the University of 
Miami. 

c) A study of the mangrove ecosystems of Venezuela, by FUDENA. 

d) Research on colonially nesting Ardeidae and Threskiornithidae in the western llanos, by C 
Ramo and B. Busto of UNELLEZ. 

e) Research on Ciconiidae in the llanos, by Betsy Trent Thomas. 

f) A study of the status and distribution of Eudocimus ruber in Venezuela, and development 
of a programme for its conservation; part of a much larger international programme 
coordinated by the World Working Group on Storks, Ibises and Spoonbills, and involving 
many organizations and individuals in Venezuela. 

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Venezuela 

g) A study of the status, diet and migratory patterns of Phoenicopterus ruber and its habitat 

coastal Venezuela, by Miguel Lentino, the Sociedad Conservacionista Audubon de 

Venezuela and FUDENA. 
h) A study of the Anatidae of Venezuela, by Francisco Gomez Dallmeier. 
i) Banding studies of tree-ducks Dendrocygna spp in the llanos, by the Servicio Nacional de 

Fauna Silvestre. The banding programme was initiated in 1981 to study the movements of 

the birds and effects of hunting on the population. Approximately 15,000 individuals had 

been banded by the end of 1984. 
j) Censuses of shorebirds in coastal Venezuela by the Canadian Wildlife Service, International 

Shorebird Survey (Manomet), and Servicio Nacional de Fauna Silvestre. 
k) Shorebird studies in Sucre, by Raymond McNeil of the University of Montreal. 
1) A study of the large terns Sterna spp in coastal Venezuela, by the Canadian Wildlife Service 

and Universidad del Zulia. 
m) A study of populations of Caiman crocodilus and Crocodylus acutus in the north coastal 

region of Venezuela, by the Servicio Nacional de Fauna Silvestre. 
n) Studies of crocodile populations in Bolivar, by the Universidad de Guanare and Florida 

State Museum, 
o) Limnological studies at Lago de Valencia, by W.M. Lewis, Jr. and F.H. Weibezahn. 



Threats to Waterfowl Populations 

Resident and migratory waterfowl are being affected by a variety of pollutants in different 
areas. For example, Lago de Valencia is polluted by industrial waste, Lago de Maracaibo by 
oil spills, and wetlands in irrigated areas by pesticides. The hunting of certain species with low 
population levels has been prohibited for an indefinite period. 



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Venezuela 



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Venezuela 



WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on data sheets provided by Andres Eloy Seijas of the Servicio Nacional 
de Fauna Silvestre, Allen B. Altman, Clark Casler, Mary Lou Goodwin, James A. Kushlan, 
Miguel Lentino, Jose R. Lira, Glenda Medina, Luis Gonzalo Morales, Ramon Rivero and Betsy 
Trent Thomas; and contributions from Francisco Gomez Dallmeier and Marie Noel de Visscher. 

Laguna de Cocinetas (1) 

Location: ITSO'N, 7r20'W; on Guajira Peninsula, extreme northwestern Venezuela, Zulia 

State. 

Area: 1,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A permanent shallow saline lagoon with an extensive fringe of mangroves, 

connected to the sea through a narrow channel. The maximum depth of the lagoon is 2m, and 

the tidal rise and fall at the mouth about 70 cm. The lagoon is in the process of drying out. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans. Laguncularia racemosa, 

Conocarpus erectus and Rhizophora mangle; some beds of Thalassia sp. In a region of 

semi-arid tropical scrub. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Reportedly a protected area, but details of protection unknown. 

Land use: A remote area, almost undisturbed by human activities. 

Waterfowl: Poorly known; birds observed during a brief visit in March 1983 included 

many Pelecanus occidentalis. Egretta tricolor and E. alba, and smaller numbers of Nyctanassa 

violacea, Eudocimus ruber, Ajaia ajaja. Dendrocygna autumnalis, Haematopus palliatus and 

several species of Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Pandion haliaetus was observed in March 1983. 

Threats: There is a gradual loss of mangroves partly as a result of the natural drying out of the 

lagoon, and partly because of wind blown sand. It has been necessary to dredge the channel to 

maintain communication with the sea. 

Research and conservation: Although reportedly protected, the area is poorly known, and 

clearly merits further study. 

Source: Andres Eloy Seijas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Gran Eneal (2) 

Location: ITIO'N, 7r55'W; between Sinamaica and Paraguaipoa, 60 km northwest of 

Maracaibo, Zulia State. 

Area: 15,800 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A large complex of permanent shallow brackish to saline lagoons and marshes 

with extensive mangrove swamps, inland from a coastal sand dune system. There are slight 

fluctuations in water level with the tides. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps, and some marshes with Typha sp. In a region of 

semi-arid tropical scrub. 

Land tenure: Owned by the local Municipalities. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Subsistence hunting and fishing on a small scale; cutting of reeds for the production 

of handicrafts; cultivation of coconut palms; and tourist recreation. The area is the last refuge 

of the Paraujano Indians. 



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Waterfowl: An important area for a wide variety of species, particularly Nearctic shorebirds. 
Resident species include Anhinga anhinga, Egretta caerulea, E. tricolor, Mycteria americana, 
Plegadis falcinellus, Aramus guarauna, Jacana jacana, Charadrius collaris and Himantopus 
himantopus. Non-breeding visitors include Egretta rufescens, Ardea herodias, Eudocimus ruber, 
Phoenicopterus ruber (up to 100), Anas discors, many shorebirds, Larus atricilla, Gelochelidon 
nilotica and Hydroprogne caspia. The area is particularly important for wintering Calidris 
mauri and Micropalama himantopus. 

Other fauna: Pandion haliaetus is a winter visitor. The manatee Trichechus manatus is reported 
to occur in the area, and otters Lutra sp have been observed. 

Threats: There has been some dyke building in the marshes for the cultivation of coconut 
palms, and there is disturbance from fishermen and tourist recreation, particularly water sports. 
Research and conservation: A variety of avifaunal studies have been conducted in the area. 
References: Casler & Lira (1979); Lira (1979 & in press); Lira & Casler (1979a & 1979b); 
Hoogesteijn & Boede (1980); Galue & Nucette (1982); Blokpoel et al (in prep). 
Source: Jose R. Lira and Clark Casler. 
Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Caimare Chico (3) 

Location: 11°22'-11°08'N, 7r48'-7r57'W; east of Paraguaipoa and Sinamaica, 60 km 

northwest of Maracaibo, Zulia State. 

Area: 16,300 ha. 

Altitude: 0-20m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 05, 06 & 08. 

Site description: A large area of intertidal mudflats, sandy beaches and coastal sand dunes, 

with some mangrove swamps, east of the Gran Eneal marshes (2). 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Rhizophora sp; flats with species of Batis 

and Sporobolus; dunes with Cactaceae. 

Land tenure: Owned by the local Municipalities. 

Protection: No special protection, but the construction of buildings on the beaches is prohibited. 

Land use: Commercial fishing, harvesting of snails, and tourist recreation. 

Waterfowl: A very important feeding area for many species. The commoner residents 

include Pelecanus occidentalis, Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Egretta rufescens, E. thula, Haematopus 

palliatus and Charadrius collaris. Phoenicopterus ruber is a regular non-breeding visitor, and 

up to 2,500 have been recorded (July 1983). The area is of special importance for wintering 

Nearctic shorebirds, with large numbers of Pluvialis squatarola, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, 

Arenaria interpres, Calidris canutus and C. alba. A variety of Laridae are common year round, 

and large numbers of terns, mainly Sterna maxima and Hydroprogne caspia overwinter. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: A variety of tourist development projects may have adverse effects on the area in the 

future; and there is some disturbance from fishermen. 

Research and conservation: Several avifaunal investigations have been carried out. 

References: Casler & Lira (1979); Lira & Casler (1979a); Blokpoel et al (in prep). 

Source: Jose R. Lira and Clark Casler. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3a. 



Cienagas de Juan Manuel, Aguas Blancas 
and Aguas Negras and adjacent areas (4) 

Location: 9°20'N, 72°15'W; 100 km southeast of Machiques, Zulia State. 

Area: 500,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-20m. 

Province and type: 8.3.1; 07, 09, 11, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A vast complex of fresh to brackish lagoons and marshes, slow-flowing rivers 

and riverine marshes, seasonally flooded alluvial plains and patches of swamp forest to the west 

of Lago de Maracaibo. Water levels reach a maximum of 1.2-2.0m in June-November, and are 

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at their lowest in January-March. The lagoons closest to Lago de Maracaibo are brackish; 

those further inland are fresh. 

Principal vegetation: Fresh and brackish marshes, seasonally inundated grassland and palm 

savanna, riverine thickets, gallery forest and swamp forest. 

Land tenure: The Wildlife Reserve is state owned. 

Protection: The Cienagas de Juan Manuel, Aguas Blancas and Aguas Negras are included 

within a Wildlife Reserve of 227,795 ha, established in 1975. The remainder is unprotected. 

Land use: Ranching, agriculture and some exploitation of timber. Less than 10% of the 

Wildlife Reserve has been modified by human activities. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for resident waterfowl. Over 40 species have been recorded 

including Anhinga anhinga. Ixobrychus exilis. Tigrisoma lineatum. Nyctanassa violacea, 

Pilherodius pileatus. Cochlearius cochlearius, all three Ciconiidae, Mesembrinibis cayennensis, 

Eudocimus ruber, Ajaia ajaja. Anhima cornuta (common), Chauna chavaria (abundant), all three 

species of Dendrocygna, Cairina moschata, Aramus guarauna. Rallus nigricans (the only known 

locality in Venezuela), Heliornis fulica and Jacana jacana. The large population of Chauna 

chavaria is particularly noteworthy. This species is restricted in Venezuela to the plains south 

and west of the Lago de Maracaibo, and reaches its highest densities in the Wildlife Reserve. 

Other fauna: The otter Lutra enudris and the jaguar Leo onca still occur insmall numbers in 

the Wildlife Reserve. 

Threats: Destruction of natural habitat, particularly on the higher ground, for agriculture; 

drainage of lagoons for pasture land; and some illegal hunting. 

Research and conservation: The marshy plains to the south and v/est of Lago de Maracaibo are 

unique in Venezuela for their close faunal and floral affinities to the lowlands of the Rio 

Magdalena in northern Colombia. Some preliminary investigations have been conducted in the 

area, but further study is required. 

References: lUCN (1982); Seijas (1984). 

Source: Andres Eloy Seijas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Cienaga de los Olivitos (5) 

Location: 10°52'N, 7r25'W; 40 km northeast of Maracaibo, Zulia State. 

Area: 33,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-7m. 

Province and type: 8.18.4; 02, 05, 07 & 08. 

Site description: An estuarine system with sandy beaches and coastal sand dunes (1,885 ha), 

saline lagoons and salt flats (7,000 ha), brackish lagoons and marshes (20,000 ha), and 

mangrove swamps (4,115 ha). The wetland includes one of the largest natural salt flats along 

the entire north coast of South America. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, 

Conocarpus erectus and Rhizophora mangle. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Some traditional fishing, and occasional wood-cutting. The area is very remote and 

virtually unaffected by human activities. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for a wide variety of waterfowl; over 45 species have been 

recorded in preliminary surveys, and another 15 or so probably occur. The commoner resident 

species and local migrants include Pelecanus occidentalis (up to 1 ,800), Phalacrocorax olivaceus. 

Nycticorax nycticorax. Butorides virescens, Egretta caerulea, E. tricolor, E. thula, E. alba, Ardea 

cocoi, Mycteria americana, Eudocimus albus, E. ruber, Ajaia ajaja, Aramides axillaris and\ 

Rynchops niger. Phoenicopterus ruber is an abundant visitor, and may have bred in the area. 

Over 4,700 were present in January and July 1983. The commoner Nearctic migrants 

include Egretta rufescens, Butorides v. virescens. Anas discors, Pluvialis squatarola, Numenius 

phaeopus, Tringa melanoleuca, T. flavipes, Actitis macularia, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, 

Arenaria interpres, Limnodromus griseus, Calidris canutus (up to 200 in September), C. alba, C. 

mauri, C. minutilla, Larus atricilla, and various terns Gelochelidon, Hydroprogne and Sterna 

spp. 1,300-1,800 Hydroprogne caspia and Sterna maxima were observed in January 1983. 

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Other fauna: Small numbers of the manatee Trichechus manatus and American 
Crocodile Crocodylus acutus occur in the area; both are threatened species in Venezuela. 
Threats: A state-owned company for the extraction of salt owns salt ponds to the south, and 
may wish to expand into the Cienaga de los Olivitos in the future. Also the petroleum industry 
has expressed interest in exploration for oil in the area. In September 1984, the Military used 
the area for target practice involving bombing from the air, and apparently the Army plans to 
use this area for maneuvers in the future . 

Research and conservation: A number of avifaunal surveys have been carried out, and Casler 
and Lira have conducted a detailed study of the area. At the III Congreso Venezolano de la 
Conservacion, a recommendation was made to the Government that the area be declared a 
Wildlife Refuge. Under adequate protection, the area might prove suitable as a breeding site 
for flamingos. 

References: Rodriguez (1973); Casler & Lira (1979 & 1983); Lira & Casler (1979a & 1979b); 
Galue & Nucette (1982); Blokpoel et al (in prep). 
Source: Jose R. Lira and Clark Casler. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna de Boca de Cano (6) 

Location: 12°02'N, 69°50'W; between El Supi and Tiraya, 70 km NNW of Coro, Falcon State. 

Area: 50 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A permanent shallow brackish lagoon, up to 1.5m deep, connected to the sea 

by a shallow channel, and largely surrounded by mangrove swamps. The lagoon is connected 

by a system of canals to a salt pan used for the commercial exploitation of salt. There are 

slight tidal fluctuations in water level. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans and Rhizophora mangle. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None at present. 

Land use: Subsistence fishing and tourist recreation. Commercial exploitation of salt at nearby 

salt pans. 

Waterfowl: Thirty-five species have been observed in preliminary surveys, including Egretta 

rufescens, Eudocimus albus, E. ruber, Dendrocygna autumnalis, Rallus longirostris, Charadrius 

wilsonius, Phaetusa simplex, Rynchops niger and twelve species of Nearctic 

shorebirds. Phoenicopterus ruber occurs as a non-breeding visitor at the nearby salt pans; 200 

were present in January 1983, and 470 in July 1983. 

Other fauna: The mangroves are an important roost for the dove Zenaida auriculata; an 

estimated 60,000 birds were using the roost in July 1981. Pandion haliaetus is a winter visitor. 

Threats: There is increasing disturbance from tourist recreation and salt extraction activities in 

the surrounding areas. 

Research and conservation: The creation of a wildlife refuge is currently under consideration. 

References: Ochoa & Ospino (1981); Ospino & Rivero (1981). 

Source: Andres Eloy Seijas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Boca de Hueque and Salinas de Sauca (7) 

Location: ir25'N, 68°57'W; 75 km east of Coro, Falcon State. 

Area: Boca de Hueque 5,000 ha; Salinas de Sauca 10,400 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 02, 07 & 08. 

Site description: The estuarine system of the Rio Hueque, with extensive mangrove swamps; 

and a large area of salt pans, the Salinas de Sauca, to the east. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps dominated by Avicennia germinans and Rhizophora 

mangle. In a region of dry tropical woodland. 

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Land tenure: Thought to be state owned. 

Protection: The mangrove area is protected by Presidential decree. 

Land use: Cultivation of coconut palms in nearby areas, and extraction of salt at the Salinas de 

Sauca. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of species have been recorded including Mycteria americana, 

Eudocimus ruber, Rallus longirostris, Himantopus himantopus and a number of Nearctic 

shorebirds. Phoenicopterus ruber occasionally occurs in very large numbers on the Salinas de 

Sauca; 3,000 were present in October 1981, 2,930 in February 1982 and 540 in January 1983. 

3,550 Anas americana were observed in February 1982. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: The creation of a wildlife refuge at Boca de Hueque is currently 

under study. 

References: Caballero & Rivero (1981); Morrison et al (1985). 

Source: Andres Eloy Seijas. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3a. 



The Jatira-Tacarigua Dams (8) 

Location: ir04'N, 68°25'W; near El Tocuyo de la Costa, 30 km NNW of Tucacas, Falcon State. 

Area: Jatira 150 ha; Tacarigua 550 ha. 

Altitude: 6m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 15. 

Site description: Two small freshwater dams connected by a canal 200m long; Jatira is up to 2m 

deep and has abundant aquatic vegetation; Tacarigua is up to 6m deep and has less vegetation. 

The water levels fluctuate considerably with the seasons. 

Principal vegetation: Floating beds of Eichhornia sp, and patches of Chara sp in shallow areas. 

The surrounding hills are covered with dry, mainly deciduous, scrub (matorral). 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Protected by the state. 

Land use: The dams supply water to the towns of El Tocuyo de la Costa and Chichiriviche, and 

are used for irrigation. Sport hunting, principally for Dendrocygna spp, is important at Jatira. 

Waterfowl: Over fifty species of waterfowl were recorded by Rivero between April 1982 and 

April 1984. Peak counts included 300 Egretta alba, 200 Mycteria americana, 80 Mesembrinibis 

cayennensis, 18 Ajaia ajaja, 600 Dendrocygna bicolor, 2,000 Dendrocygna autumnalis, 

200 Anas bahamensis, 500 Anas discors, 300 Gallinula chloropus, and lOOJacana jacana. 

Several hundred Phoenicopterus ruber were present at most times, and almost 1,400 were 

recorded in September 1982. Other species included Ixobrychus involucris. Euxenura maguari, 

Jabiru mycteria, Phimosus infuscatus, Sarkidiornis melanotos, Oxyura dominica, Porzana 

flaviventer, Fulica caribaea and seven species of Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Caiman crocodilus and the turtle Pseudemys scripta are abundant, and there is a 

small population of Crocodylus acutus. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: Regular avifaunal surveys were carried out by Rivero between 

April 1982 and April 1984. 

Source: Ramon Rivero and Andres Eloy Seijas. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3a. 



Wetlands in the Cuare Wildlife Refuge (9) 

Location: 10°55'N, 68°20'W; southeast of Chichiriviche, Falcon State. 

Area: 8,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 01, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A shallow sea bay, up to 2m deep, bordered in most parts by mangrove 

swamps, and a large area of seasonally flooded brackish lagoons and marshes. The marshes 

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flood to a depth of about 30 cm during the rainy season, and dry out completely in the dry 

season (January to March). 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps; and flats with halophytic vegetation dominated 

by Batis maritima. In an area of dry thorn and cactus scrub. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Cuare Wildlife Refuge (11,825 ha) established in 1972. 

Land use: Some illegal hunting, fishing and harvesting of oysters; tourist recreation; and in 

recent years, illegal squatting by people from the nearby town of Chichiriviche. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important wetland for a wide variety of both breeding species and 

Nearctic migrants. Over 85 species of waterfowl have been recorded. Peak counts in recent 

years have included 100 Podilymbus podiceps, 340 Pelecanus occidentalis, 500 Phalacrocorax 

olivaceus, 600 Bubulcus ibis, 260 Egretta caerulea, 300 Egretta tricolor, 1,200 Egretla thula, 500 

Egretta alba, 280 Mycteria americana, 400 Eudocimus ruber, 100 Plegadis falcinellus, 2,000 

Anas americana, 60,000 Anas discors, 400 Anas clypeata, 200 Pluvialis squatarola, 100 

Charadrius semipalmatus, 1,000 Tringa melanoleuca, 1,000 Tringa flavipes, 1,200 Calidris 

pusilla, 800 Calidris mauri, 1,000 Calidris minutilla, 750 Micropalama himantopus, 500 

Himantopus himantopus, 55 Chlidonias nigra, 165 Gelochelidon nilotica and 570 Rynchops 

niger. Phoenicopterus ruber is a regular non-breeding visitor, often numbering in the 

thousands. The highest count in recent years was 5,400 in January 1983. Other species of 

particular note include Egretta rufescens, Cochlearius cochlearius, Ajaia ajaja, Aramus 

guarauna, Rallus wetmorei, Aramides axillaris, Porzana flaviventer, Fulica caribaea, and, in the 

surrounding areas, Burhinus bistriatus. 

Other fauna: A few Crocodylus acutus occur in the bay. 

Threats: The principal threat to the area is the expansion of the town of Chichiriviche: 

squatters are invading the refuge; large tourist hotels are being constructed nearby; domestic 

sewage is being dumped directly into the bay; pesticides, particularly D.D.T., have been used 

extensively in surrounding areas; and a petrochemical plant to the east discharges mercury 

directly into the sea. The refuge is poorly wardened; there are no game guards and no notices, 

and there is some illegal hunting. There are many roads in the refuge, and tourist pressure is 

high. 

Research and conservation: The avifauna of the Wildlife Refuge has been well documented, 

and the flamingo population has received considerable attention. This is clearly one of the 

most important coastal wetlands in Venezuela, and every effort should be made to ensure that 

the integrity of the refuge is maintained. 

References: Medina (1972); de Boer & Rooth (1976); de Visscher (1976); Seijas et al (1981); 

lUCN (1982). 

Source: Andres Eloy Seijas and Mary Lou Goodwin. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Wetlands in Morrocoy National Park (10) 

Location: 10°47'-10°49'N, 68°09'-68''22'W; northeast of Tucacas, Falcon State. 

Area: 32,090 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 01, 03, 07 & 08. 

Site description: An extensive shallow tidal lagoon with broad fringe of mangrove swamps, 

numerous mangrove covered islands, and some bare saline flats. The depth varies from a few 

cm to several metres, and the salinity ranges from 23-35 p.p.t. The water level fluctuates by a 

few cm with the tides. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps dominated by Rhizophora mangle; and marine beds 

of Thalassia testudinum. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Comprises the Morrocoy National Park (32,090 ha) established in 1974. 

Land use: Tourism and some illegal fishing. 



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Waterfowl: An important area for breeding and wintering waterfowl, but few census data are 
available. Breeding species include Bubulcus ibis, Egretta tricolor, Egretta thula and Egretta 
alba. Up to 100 Eudocimus ruber are present year round, and Euxenura maguari, Jabiru 
mycteria, Ajaia ajaja and Phoenicopterus ruber occur as non-breeding visitors. Up to 
3,000 Anas discors and several species of Nearctic shorebirds have been recorded in winter. 
Other fauna: There is a large breeding colony of Fregata magnificens on an island in the 
centre of the Park. The Park constitutes an important refuge for marine fauna, and includes 
coral reef areas. A few Crocodylus acutus and sea turtles, principally Chelonia mydas, occur in 
the Park. 

Threats: The principal threat is very heavy pressure from tourism, which is uncontrolled and 
causes considerable disturbance to breeding birds. There are also problems with the dumping 
of waste and general litter. 

Research and conservation: It is imperative that plans be drawn up to reconcile tourism in the 
Park with the conservation of nature. 
References: de Visscher (1976); lUCN (1982). 
Source: Andres Eloy Seijas. 
Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Rio Yaracuy Delta (11) 

Location: 10°35'N, 68°17'W; 10 km northwest of Moron, Yaracuy State. 

Area: 10,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-6m. 

Province and type: 8.18.4; 02, 07, 08, 09 & 12. 

Site description: A complex of fresh to brackish iagoons and marshes, mangrove swamps, and 

seasonally inundated alluvial plains in the delta of the Rio Yaracuy. There is some tidal 

influence near the mouth of the river. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps; Pterocarpus woodland, and marshes with Typha sp. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Water is taken from the delta to supply a large paper mill nearby. There is some 

subsistence hunting and illegal bird trapping, particularly for species of Amazona and Ara 

(Psittacidae). Ranching and agriculture, principally for sugar cane, in the surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of species have been recorded including Tigrisoma lineatum, 

Nyctanassa violacea, Cochlearius cochlearius, Phimosus infuscatus, Ajaia ajaja, Anhima cornuta. 

Dendrocygna autumnalis, Cairina moschata and Aramus guarauna, but no census data are 

available. 

Other fauna: The delta supports an important population of Crocodylus acutus, and Leo onca 

and Tapirus terrestris occur in the area. There are large populations of Psittacidae, 

including Ara chloroptera, A. severa and Amazona ochrocephala. 

Threats: Deforestation, drainage of the lagoons, and dredging of the river constitute the main 

threats. 

Research and conservation: The creation of a wildlife refuge in the delta is currently under 

study. 

Source: Ramon Rivero and Andres Eloy Seijas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Laguna de Turiamo (12) 

Location: 10°28'N, 67''51'W; 25 km east of Puerto Cabello, northern Aragua State. 

Area: 1,600 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lm. 

Province and type: 8.18.4; 07, 08 & 10. 

Site description: A permanent shallow brackish coastal lagoon, up to Im deep, with fringing 

mangroves, separated from the sea by an old coral barrier 2-3m high. The water level 

fluctuates by 40-50 cm, reaching a peak in December/January and dropping to a low in April. 



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Salinities vary from 7-9 p.p.t. in January to 16 p.p.t. in April. The lagoon is fed by several 

fast-flowing streams from the nearby hills. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove svi^amps dominated by Avicennia germinans; deciduous forest in 

the nearby hills. 

Land tenure: State ov^'ned. 

Protection: In the northern part of Henri Pittier National Park (107,800 ha) established in 

1937. Public use of the Turiamo area is restricted because of the presence of a naval base 

nearby. 

Land use: Subsistence fishing on a very small scale, and some tourism. 

Waterfowl: Species recorded include Pelecanus occidental is. Nyctanassa violacea. Egretta 

caerulea, Egretta tricolor. Ardea cocoi. Mycteria americana. Eudocimus ruber. Ajaia ajaja. Anas 

bahamensis, Himantopus himantopus (nesting), and a variety of Nearctic shorebirds. A single 

Southern Pochard Netta erythrophthalma erythrophthalma was observed in the area in April 

1984. 

Other fauna: The lagoon supports a small population of Crocodylus acutus. 

Threats: None known. 

References: Schafer & Phelps (1954). 

Source: Andres Eloy Seijas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Archipielago Los Roques National Park (13) 

Location: 1 r42'-12°04'N, 66°30'-67°40'W; an archipelago 130 km off the north-central coast 

of Venezuela. 

Area: 225,153 ha. 

Altitude: 0-120m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 03 & 08. 

Site description: An archipelago of numerous small islands and cays with fringing mangroves 

and extensive coral reefs. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans and Rhizophora mangle; 

beds of the sea-grass Thalassia testudinum in the surrounding seas. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Constitutes the Archipielago Los Roques National Park (225,153 ha) established in 

1972. 

Land use: Subsistence fishing. There is a Biological Station on Dos Mosquines Cay. 

Waterfowl: The islands support breeding colonies of several species of waterfowl and sea-birds 

including Sula leucogaster. Fregata magnificens, Egretta tricolor. Egretta rufescens and Sterna 

albifrons. Catoptrophorus semipalmatus has been found nesting, and small flocks 

of Phoenicopterus ruber occasionally visit the islands. 

Other fauna: The surrounding waters support a rich and varied marine fauna including sea 

turtles. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: A considerable amount of research has been conducted on both the 

marine and the terrestrial fauna of the Park. 

References: Phelps & Phelps (1950); Phelps (1975); Yibirin et al (1975); lUCN (1982). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna de Tacarigua (14) 

Location: 10''11'-10°20'N, 65°41'-65°57'W; 30 km southeast of Higuerote, Miranda State. 
Area: 12,500 ha. 
Altitude: 0-2m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 05, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A permanent shallow saline lagoon, up to 1.5m deep, with extensive mangrove 
wamps, separated from the sea by a series of sand barriers 25 km long, and connected to the 

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sea by a tidal channel. The lagoon receives water from several streams and small rivers, 
notably Rio Guapo and Rio Cupira, and there is some seasonal fluctuation in water level. 
Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, 
Conocarpus erectus and Rhizophora mangle; sand dune vegetation with Cocos nucifera; and dry 
tropical woodland to the south. 
Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Laguna de Tacarigua National Park (18,400 ha) established in 1974. 
Land use: Subsistence and commercial fishing; some illegal wood-cutting and hunting; and 
cattle ranching nearby. The area is of great importance for tourism. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of waterfowl have been recorded including Pelecanus occidentalis 
(breeding), Anhinga anhinga, Nyctanassa violacea, Cochlearius cochlearius, Egretta caerulea, E. 
tricolor, Mycteria americana, Eudocimus ruber, Ajaia ajaja, Rallus longirostris, Aramides 
axillaris, Himantopus himantopus, Phaetusa simplex, Rynchops niger and several Nearctic 
shorebirds. The lagoon is an important feeding area for Phoenicoplerus ruber, and up to 2,050 
have been observed, but the birds are much disturbed by tourist activities. 
Other fauna: There is an abundant fish fauna, and a small population of Crocodylus acutus. 
Threats: The main threat is the serious disturbance caused by intensive tourist development in 
the area and recreation activities, including the use of power boats, on the lagoon. A resort 
developer recently destroyed a large portion of mangroves adjacent to the park with 
indiscriminate use of agent orange, and construction activities have affected the mangroves in 
various channels entering the lagoon. In January 1984, the lagoon was almost devoid of birds. 
Research and conservation: The lagoon has been well studied and documented. There is now 
an urgent need for some control to be exerted on tourist development and related activities in 
and around the Park. 

References: Martin (1949); Waibezahn (1949); MOP (1957); Luengo (1969); Bulhosa (1971); 
Gamboa et al (1971); Zoppi (1974); Garcia (1977); Rodriguez (1977); Chacartegui & Baldy 
(1978); INPARQUES (1979a & 1979b); Sutherland (1980); UNESCO (1980 & 1981); Delgado, J. 
(1981); MARNR (1981b & 1983); Okuda (1981); lUCN (1982); Rodriguez & Alarcon (in prep). 
Source: Andres Eloy Seijas. 
Criteria for inclusion: lb, 2a & 3a. 



Golfo de Unare (15) 

Location: 10°05'N, 65°20'W; 30 km west of Puerto Piritu, Anzoategui State. 
Area: 4,750 ha. 
Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 05, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A permanent saline coastal lagoon with mangrove swamps and muddy areas, 
separated from the sea by a sand barrier. The water level is rather stable. 
Principal vegetation: Mangroves. 
Land tenure: No information. 
Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing, and tourist recreation. 
Waterfowl: A very important area for a wide variety of species, particularly Phoenicoplerus 
ruber and Nearctic migrants. One of the main feeding areas for P. ruber on the Venezuelan 
coast, with usually at least 400 birds present and occasionally up to 2,000 (e.g in December 
1983). Residents and local migrants include up to 250 Pelecanus occidentalis, 
20,000 Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 150 Egretta tricolor, 400 Anas bahamensis, 50 Charadrius 
collaris, 50 Himantopus himantopus and 350 Rynchops niger. 

Nearctic migrants include up to 75 Ardea herodias, 800 Anas discors, 500 Pluvialis squatarola,\ 
2,000 Charadrius semipalmatus, 30 Limosa haemastica, 80 Tringa melanoleuca,\ 
300 Limnodromus griseus, 150 Calidris canutus, 500 Calidris alba, 75,000 Calidris 
pusilla/mauri, 2,175 Larus atricilla and 400 Sterna hirundo, plus smaller numbers of an 
additional eleven species of shorebirds. 
Other fauna: No information. 



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Threats: The area is under considerable pressure from tourist development, and a main 

highway has recently been constructed along the edge of the lagoon where the flamingos feed. 

There is a great deal of disturbance from fishermen and motor boats, and the area is subject to 

heavy hunting pressure. 

Research and conservation: Detailed bird censuses were carried out in 1983 by Altman. 

Source: Allen B. Altman and Mary Lou Goodwin. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3a. 



Laguna de Piritu (16) 

Location: 10°04'N, 65°08'W; west of Puerto Piritu, Anzoategui State. 

Area: 2,600 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 05, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A permanent saline coastal lagoon with some mangrove swamps, separated 

from the sea by a long sand barrier, and with a broad connection to the sea. 

Principal vegetation: Mangroves. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing, some livestoclc grazing and tourist recreation; generally rather little 

disturbance. 

Waterfowl: A very important feeding area for Phoenicopterus ruber, 5,000 were present in 

March 1981, and four censuses between January 1983 and May 1984 gave estimates of between 

3,240 and 4,500 birds. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Some of the mangroves are being destroyed by cattle, and there is a little disturbance 

from tourist recreation. 

Research and conservation: There is little demographic pressure in the area, and with some 

restrictions on grazing and controls on recreation activities, this lagoon might be preserved as 

one of the least spoiled coastal wetlands in central Venezuela. 

References: Morrison et al (1985). 

Source: Mary Lou Goodwin. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3a. 



Laguna de la Restinga (17) 

Location: 10°57'N, 64°05'W; on the central plain of Isla de Margarita, Nueva Esparta State. 

Area: 1,600 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 05, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A permanent shallow saline lagoon with over 1,000 ha of mangrove swamps 

and surrounding saline flats, separated from the sea by a sand barrier, and connected via a tidal 

channel. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, 

Conocarpus erectus and Rhizophora mangle; halophytic vegetation with Sporobolus virginicus 

and Batis maritima; surrounding areas with arid tropical scrub. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Laguna de la Restinga National Park (10,700 ha) established in 1974. 

Land use: Tourist recreation and some wood-cutting. 

Waterfowl: A variety of Ciconiiformes have been reported, and the area is known to be 

important for migratory shorebirds, but no census data are available. 155 Phoenicopterus ruber 

were observed in January 1983. 

Other fauna: There is a very rich invertebrate fauna associated with the roots of Rhizophora 

mangle including economically important species such as Crassostrea sp, and also a diverse fish 

fauna including Hippocampus sp. 



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Threats: There is a considerable amount of disturbance from recreation activities, notably 
motor-cycling; hundreds of birds are killed each year by the high tension power lines running 
along the sand barrier; and there is some pollution, illegal hunting, and cutting of trees. 
Research and conservation: A variety of general faunal and floral investigations have been 
carried out in the Park. 

References: Fernandez et al (1940); Yepez (1%3); Scura & Carpi (1981); lUCN (1982). 
Source: Andres Eloy Seijas. 
Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna de las Marites (18) 

Location: 10°55'N, 63°57'W; on the southeast coastal plain of Isla de Margarita, Nueva Esparta 

State. 

Area: 2,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A permanent shallow saline lagoon with 900 ha of open water, 940 ha of 

mangrove swamps, and surrounding saline flats; connected to the sea by a narrow channel. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, 

Conocarpus erectus and Rhizophora mangle; surrounding plains with dry thorn scrub. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Laguna de las Marites Natural Monument (3,674 ha) established in 1974. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: Species mentioned in the literature include Nycticorax nycticorax, Eudocimus ruber, 

Ajaia ajaja and many species of shorebirds. Species recorded during a short visit in June 1981 

include Pelecanus occidentalis (breeding), Phalacrocorax olivaceus. Butorides striatus. Egretta 

caerulea, E. tricolor, E. alba and Ardea herodias. 

Other fauna: There is a small population of the American Crocodile Crocodylus acutus (the 

only population on Isla de Margarita), and a great variety of fishes and marine invertebrate life 

in the lagoon. 

Threats: Some illegal hunting of Crocodylus acutus. 

Research and conservation: General faunal and floral investigations have been carried out in 

the Natural Monument. 

References: Fernandez et al (1940); Yepez (1963); MARNR (1980a & 1981a); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Andres Eloy Seijas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Salina de Coche (19) 

Location: 10°47'N, 63°59'W; on Isla de Coche, Nueva Esparta State. 

Area: 450 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 05 & 07. 

Site description: A permanent hypersaline lagoon, up to 30 cm deep, surrounded by sandy 

beaches. 

Principal vegetation: Only some algae. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Commercial exploitation of salt. 

Waterfowl: Known to be a very important area for migratory shorebirds, but few data are 

available. Resident species in the area include Pelecanus occidentalis, Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 

Egretta tricolor, Haematopus pallialus and Larus atricilla; migrants include many shorebirds 

and Chlidonias nigra. Sterna albifrons and Rynchops niger. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Disturbance from the exploitation of salt, a nearby airport, and urban development. 



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References: Yepez (1963); Lentino (1983b). 
Source: Miguel Lentino. 
Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna de Chacopata (20) 

Location: 10°40'N, 63°47'W; on the Araya Peninsula, 45 km ENE of Cumana, Sucre State. 

Area: 700 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 01 & 08. 

Site description: A shallow sea bay with fringing mangrove swamps. 

Principal vegetation: Mangroves. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing, harvesting of molluscs and crustaceans, and tourist recreation. 

Waterfowl: A breeding area for Pelecanus occidentalis and a very important feeding area for 

both local and Nearctic migrants, and particularly Phoenicopterus ruber. Four censuses of P. 

ruber between January 1983 and May 1984 ranged from a low of 890 in May 1984 to a high of 

2,000 in February 1983. Other species present year round include Mycteria americana, 

Eudocimus ruber and Ajaia ajaja. Migrants include Egretta rufescens, Ardea herodias, Anas 

discors, 15 species of Nearctic shorebirds, and a variety of gulls and terns Laridae. 

Other fauna: According to local reports, sea turtles are common on the nearby beaches of the 

Araya Peninsula. 

Threats: Overfishing and uncontrolled hunting; disturbance from tourism; and mortality of 

birds, including flamingos, striking high tension power lines at a nearby electricity plant. 

There is a proposal to construct a bridge to Isla de Margarita and this could seriously affect the 

area, but the project has been suspended because of economic difficulties. 

References: Medina & Rengel (1979); Lentino (1983a). 

Source: Miguel Lentino and Glenda Medina. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3a. 



Laguna de Campona (21) 

Location: 10°32'N, 63°35'W; on the isthmus of the Araya Peninsula, 75 km east of Cumana, 

Sucre State. 

Area: 800 ha. 

Altitude: 20m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 12. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake and marshes, subject to slight seasonal 

fluctuations in water level. 

Principal vegetation: Aquatic vegetation includes Montrichardia sp and Scirpus sp. In a region 

of dry tropical forest. 

Land tenure: A mixture of private and state ownership. 

Protection: No legal protection, but the owners (UDO) protect the area to some extent. 

Land use: Fishing; ranching and agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: Little information available; species known to occur include Anhinga anhinga, 

Nycticorax nycticorax. Cochlearius cochlearius. Egretta caerulea, Eudocimus ruber, Ajaia ajaja, 

Aramus guarauna, Jacana jacana and Vanellus chilensis. Anas discors occurs in winter. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The lake is being reduced in size because of the utilization of its waters in various 

irrigation projects; there is some contamination with pesticides; and cattle trample the marsh 

vegetation. 

Research and conservation: The lake merits further study as it constitutes one of the few 

freshwater lakes in the coastal lowlands of northern Venezuela. 



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References: Medina (1979b); Lentino (1983a). 
Source: Miguel Lentino and Glenda Medina. 
Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Golfo de Parla (22) 

Location: 10°20'N, 62°50'W; 70 1cm NNE of Maturin, Sucre State. 

Area: 45,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-20m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 01, 02, 06, 08, 09, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A shallow sea bay and estuarine system of several slow-flowing rivers, with 

extensive intertidal mudflats and mangrove swamps, areas of seasonally inundated grassland 

and palm savanna, and swamp forest. The tidal rise and fall exceeds one metre. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps, particularly well developed; swampy grassland; palm 

savanna; and swamp forest. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and municipal ownership. 

Protection: A large part of the mangroves are included within the Guarapiche Forest Reserve 

(370,000 ha), established in 1961 and 1963, but the mangroves are not being exploited at this 

site. 

Land use: Commercial and subsistence fishing. 

Waterfowl: Little information available, but the extensive intertidal mudflats are known to be a 

very important feeding area for Eudocimus ruber, and presumably numerous shorebirds. 

Resident species include Pelecanus occidentalis, Anhinga anhinga, Ardea cocoi, Cairina 

moschata, Aramides axillaris and Eurypyga helias. Anas discors occurs in winter. 

Other fauna: The manatee Trichechus manatus has been recorded. 

Threats: There are no immediate threats to the area. 

Research and conservation: Very little work seems to have been conducted in the area. 

Source: Andres Eloy Seijas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Rio San Juan Estuary (23) 

Location: 10°05'N, 62°50'W; 50 km northeast of Maturin, on the border between Sucre and 

Monagas States. 

Area: 100,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-25m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 08, 09, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The estuarine system of the Rio San Juan, with extensive mangrove forests 

along the river channels, fresh to brackish swamps, permanently and seasonally inundated 

savannas, and swamp forest. Tidal fluctuations are unusually high. 

Principal vegetation: Very well developed mangrove forest with trees up to 40m high, 

including pure stands of Rhizophora spp, Avicennia germinans and Laguncularia racemosa, and 

mixed stands of all these; swamps with Mauritia palms; permanently flooded savannas 

with Acrostichum sp; and swamp forest with a relatively high heterogeneity. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Guarapiche Forest Reserve (370,000 ha) established in 1961 and 1963. 

Forestry exploitation is permitted through concessions to private companies. 

Land use: The company Tamavenca has a concession for commercial exploitation of the 

mangrove forests. 

Waterfowl: Little information available, but known to be an important breeding area for a 

variety of species, and one of the most important sites for Eudocimus ruber on the Venezuelan 

coast. Resident species include Pelecanus occidentalis, Anhinga anhinga, Tigrisoma lineatum, 

Nyctanassa violacea, Syrigma sibilatrix, Mycteria americana, Cairina moschata, Aramides 

axillaris and Eurypyga helias. 

Other fauna: The Osprey Pandion haliaetus occurs as a winter visitor. Mammals include Leo 

onca, Trichechus manatus and Tapirus terrestris. 

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Threats: Excessive exploitation of the forestry resources and oil pollution could become serious 

problems in the future. 

Research and conservation: There should be better control over forestry activities so that these 

do not affect the integrity of the region as a whole. 

References: Bermudez (1960); Tamavenca (1971); Canales & Zelwer (1978). 

Source: Andres Eloy Seijas, Ramon Rivero and Glenda Medina. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb, 2a, 2b & 3a. 



The Orinoco Delta (24) 

Location: 8°25'-10°00'N, 60°20'-62°30'W; in the Territorio Federal Delta Amacuro. 

Area: 3,000,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-20m. 

Province and type: 8.4.1; 02, 08, 09, 11, 16 & 18. 

Site description: The delta of the Orinoco River: a vast mosaic of mangrove swamps, 

permanent fresh to brackish swamps with groves of palms, seasonally flooded grassland and 

palm savanna, swamp forest, and higher ground with tropical evergreen forest, all interwoven 

with an intricate network of river channels. Water levels fluctuate with the flood cycle of the 

Rio Orinoco, and salinities vary from fresh in the west to brackish in the extreme east. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Avicennia sp, Conocarpus erectus, Laguncularia 

racemosa and Rhizophora mangle; marshes with Paspalum repens, Eichhornia azurea, 

Montrichardia arborescens. Gynerium sagittatum and species of Ipomoea, Heliconia 

and Calathea; and palm swamps and savannas with the palms Manicaria saccifera, Astrocaryum 

aculeatum and Mauritia flexuosa. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: The human population is very low throughout the area, and agricultural activities are 

of little significance. The indigenous Warao Indians hunt, fish and harvest crustaceans for 

local consumption. Forestry is relatively important: two companies exploit the palm Euterpe sp 

on a commercial basis, and there is some exploitation of mangroves. 

Waterfowl: Little information is available, but it is clear that the delta is of very great 

importance for a wide variety of resident and migratory species. During aerial surveys in July 

1983 and July 1984, several large breeding colonies of Egretta alba, Ardea cocoi and Eudocimus 

ruber were located. 450 pairs of E. ruber were found in 1983, and 1,280 in 1984. Over 

90 Ajaia ajaja were also observed in 1983. During an aerial survey in January/February 1982, 

85,000 shorebirds were observed; most were small Calidris sandpipers, the bulk probably C. 

pusilla. A ground survey of some mangrove areas in July 1983 recorded over 25 species of 

waterfowl including Pelecanus occidentalism Anhinga anhinga, Tigrisoma lineatum, Nyctanassa 

violacea, Egretta tricolor, Dendrocygna autumnalis, Cdirina moschata, Opisthocomus hoazin, 

Eurypyga helias, Phaetusa simplex and Sterna superciliaris. Large breeding colonies of P. 

occidenlalis were located along the northern end of the delta in February 1982. 

Other fauna: The manatee Trichechus manatus is known to occur in the delta. 

Threats: There is uncontrolled exploitation of the mangroves in some areas, and illegal 

exploitation of wildlife both for food and for the animal trade. The main threat however is the 

drilling for oil just off the coast, which could result in a serious oil pollution problem. 

Research and conservation: Because of its size and the difficulties of access, the Orinoco Delta 

remains one of the least well known regions of Venezuela. At the same time, it remains one of 

the least disturbed. 

References: Beebe (1909); Zahl (1950); Spaans (1975a); Medina (1979a); Morrison (1983a); 

Novoa (1983); Morrison et al (1985). 

Source: Glenda Medina, Ramon Rivero and Andres Eloy Seijas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



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Paramo de Tama (25) 

Location: 7°26'N, 72°21'W; 22 km southeast of Las Delicias, Tachira State. 

Area: 10,000 ha. 

Altitude: 2,600-3,250m. 

Province and type: 8.33.12; 10, 13 & 19. 

Site description: An area of wet paramo in the high Andes of western Venezuela, with 

permanent freshwater ponds and marshes, peat bogs, wet grassland and fast-flowing mountain 

streams. 

Principal vegetation: Paramo vegetation with Espeletia spp, Chusquea spencei, Puya sp, 

bromeliads and ferns; very humid elfin forest and montane cloud forest in surrounding areas. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned, with some private holdings. 

Protection: Within El Tama National Park (139,000 ha) established in 1979. 

Land use: Livestock grazing; agriculture, particularly coffee growing, elsewhere in the Park. 

Waterfowl: Merganetta armata colombiana occurs on the streams, and Gallinago nobilis in the 

bogs. The latter is known in Venezuela only from this area. 

Other fauna: A wide variety of Andean animal and plant species occur in Venezuela only in 

this region. Ten species of birds are known only from the Park, and a further eleven are 

confined to the Park and neighbouring areas of Tachira and Zulia States. 

Threats: Overgrazing of the peat bogs by domestic livestock. 

Research and conservation: One of the few significant high Andean wetland areas in 

Venezuela; relatively well studied and documented. 

References: Ewel et al (1976); Mondolfi (1976); Parrish (1976); Vuilleumier & Ewert (1978); 

Vuilleumier (1979); Lentino (1980); lUCN (1982). 

Source: Miguel Lentino. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Laguna de Mucubaji and nearby lakes (26) 

Location: 8°47'N, 70°50'W; 40 km northeast of Merida, Merida State. 

Area: Laguna de Mucubaji 40 ha; other lakes 22 ha. 

Altitude: 3, 500-3, 700m. 

Province and type: 8.34.12; 10, 12 & 19. 

Site description: A group of four small permanent freshwater lakes of glacial origin in the 

paramo zone, with associated peat bogs and fast-flowing mountain streams. The three small 

lakes are Laguna Negra (12 ha), L. de los Patos (4 ha) and L. La Canao (6 ha). 

Principal vegetation: Paramo vegetation characterized by Espeletia spp, grasses and small 

clumps of Polylepis sericeax, and with Hypericum spp, Aciachne pulvinata, and species 

of Senecio, Jamesonia, Arenaria, Lupinus, Alchemilla, Fuchsia and Vaccinium. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: In the Sierra Nevada National Park (190,000 ha) established in 1952. 

Land use: Tourism and sport fishing. 

Waterfowl: Resident breeding species include Anas flavirostris, Merganetta armata 

and Gallinago stricklandii jamesoni. A variety of species have been recorded as visitors, 

including Phalacrocorax olivaceus. Anas discors, Tringa solitaria and Actitis macularia. 

Other fauna: The Park has a rich mammalian fauna including the Spectacled Bear Tremarctos 

ornatus. 

Threats: There is a considerable amount of tourist pressure in the Park, and reafforestation 

with species of Pinus is changing the landscape. 

Research and conservation: One of the few lacustrine systems in the high Andes of Venezuela; 

well studied and documented. 

References: Ewel et al (1976); Parrish (1976); Vuilleumier & Ewert (1978); Vuilleumier (1979); 

IUCN(1982). 

Source: Miguel Lentino. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



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Camatagua Dam (27) 

Location: 10°50'N, 67°00'W; near Camatagua, Aragua State. 

Area: 7,600 ha. 

Altitude: 300m. 

Province and type: 8.17.4; 09 & 15. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater reservoir, upto 60m deep, fed by slow-flowing rivers; 

in the high llanos. At low water levels, muddy islands are exposed. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of dry tropical forest. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: Within the Special Protection Zone of the Rio Guarico Basin (40,200 ha) 

established in 1975. 

Land use: Sport hunting and fishing; public recreation; ranching in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area, particularly for species of Ardeidae. Breeding species 

include Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Nyctanassa violacea. Pilherodius pileatus, Cochlearius 

cochlearius, Bubulcus ibis, Butorides striatus, Egretta alba, Aramides cajanea, Eurypyga helias 

and Jacana Jacana. Oxyura dominica is a regular visitor, and Anas discors, Tringa solitaria 

and Actitis macularia are common on migration. 

Other fauna: Caiman crocodilus and a few Crocodylus intermedins occur in the dam. 

Threats: There is a considerable amount of disturbance from sport hunting and fishing, and 

access is unrestricted. Forest fires are a problem in surrounding areas. 

Source: Mary Lou Goodwin. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b. 



The Llanos (28) 

Location: 6°00'-9°00'N, 63°00'-7rOO'W; central Venezuela, north of the Orinoco River. 
Area: c24,000,000 ha in total, including c. 18,000,000 ha of savanna and 6,000,000 ha of 
semideciduous forest, gallery forest and cultivation; over 10,000,000 ha of wetlands. 
Altitude: 30-200m. 

Province and type: 8.27.10; 09, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 & 18. 

Site description: The llanos of Venezuela are bounded to the south by the Guyana Shield, to 
the west by the northern Andes, to the north by the coastal cordillera, and to the east by the 
Orinoco Delta. Ramo & Busto recognize four distinct zones: (1) the relatively hilly eastern 
llanos of Anzoategui and Monagas (4,000,000 ha); (2) the rolling central llanos of Guarico and 
Cojedes (7,150,000 ha); (3) the alluvial plains of the western llanos in Portuguesa and Barinas 
(5,100,000 ha); and (4) the southern llanos of Apure (7,450,000 ha) characterized by extensive 
inundation during the rainy season. The principal wetland areas are in zone 4, and the 
southern parts of zones 2 and 3. They comprise a complex of slow-flowing rivers and streams; 
associated permanent oxbow lakes, riverine marshes and swamp forest; permanent and seasonal 
freshwater lakes, ponds and marshes; and large areas of seasonally inundated grassland and 
palm savanna. In some areas, extensive systems of dyked impoundments or "modulos" have 
been constructed to retain water in the dry season. In normal years, flooding occurs from June 
to November, and vast areas of savanna are inundated to a depth of 0.5- 1.5m. By March, most 
areas are dry. Three important areas in the llanos which have received a considerable amount 
of attention are described separately below. 

Principal vegetation: Seasonally inundated grasslands dominated by Hymenachne amplexicaulis, 
Leersia hexandra and Paspalum repens; marshes with Eleocharis intersticta; lakes and ponds 
with Eichhornia crassipes and species of Neptunia and Salvinia; swamps with the 
palms Mauritia minor and M. flexuosa ("morichales"); gallery forest along the permanent water 
courses; and grassland with the Llanos Palm Copernicia tectorum. 

Land tenure: Much of the llanos are privately owned in large ranches (up to 90,000 ha), but 
there are many small holdings, and large areas are state owned. 

Protection: 569,000 ha of the central llanos in Guarico State are included in the 
Aguaro-Guariquito National Park, established in 1974. This includes all or parts of various 
ranches, and in default of government enforced protection, ranching and agricultural activities 
continue as before. 44,500 ha of the western llanos in Portuguesa State are included in the 
Estero de Chiriguare Wildlife Refuge, established in 1974 (see 28a). The remainder of the 

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llanos has no legal protection. However, some land owners have taken a considerable interest 
in practical conservation, and manage their properties with full regard for the conservation of 
nature. 

Land use: The principal activity throughout the region is cattle ranching on large estancias. 
There is a considerable amount of subsistence agriculture, particularly the cultivation of rice, 
in some areas; and commercial fishing, sport fishing, game cropping (particularly Capybara), 
and sport hunting are important locally. On one ranch of 78,000 ha near Mantecal in Apure, a 
population of 44,000 Capybara supports an annual harvest of about 8,000 animals. 
Waterfowl: The wetland areas of the Venezuelan llanos possess an extremely rich and diverse 
waterfowl community which has been very well documented. Over 70 species occur; most are 
residents, and many occur in huge numbers. The main breeding species are Anhinga anhinga, 
Tigrisoma lineatum. Nycticorax nycticorax, Pilherodius pileatus, Syrigma sibilatrix, Cochlearius 
cochlearius, Egretta caerulea, E. thula, E. alba, Ardea cocoi, all three Ciconiidae, Theristicus 
caudatus, Cercibis oxycerca, Mesembrinibis cayennensis. Phimosus infuscatus, Eudocimus ruber, 
Plegadis falcinellus, Ajaia ajaja, Anhima cornuta, all three Dendrocygna, Neochen jubata, 
Amazonetta brasiliensis, Sarkidiornis melanotos, Cairina moschata, Oxyura dominica, 
Opisthocomus hoazin, Aramus guarauna, Porphyrula martinica, P. flavirostris, Heliornis fulica, 
Eurypyga helias, Jacana jacana, Vanellus chilensis, Hoploxypterus cayanus, Burhinus bistriatus. 
Phaetusa simplex. Sterna superciliaris and Rynchops niger. Anas discors is a fairly common 
winter visitor, and 16 species of Nearctic shorebirds occur on passage or in winter. 

In an extensive aerial survey in July 1983, C. Ramo and B. Busto located 100 breeding 
colonies of Ardeidae and Threskiornithidae in the llanos; 45 of these colonies held over 3,000 
pairs of birds, and the largest held over 32,000 pairs. Almost 65,000 pairs of Eudocimus ruber 
were located, in 22 colonies. Egretta alba were nesting in 62 colonies, Bubulcus ibis/Egretta 
thula in 60, Ardea cocoi in 39, Anhinga anhinga in 23, Euxenura maguari in 15, 
and Phalacrocorax olivaceus in 8. Over 5,500 Mycteria americana, 185 Jabiru mycteria and 
208 Ajaia ajaja were observed during the survey. 

Other fauna: The mammalian fauna is very rich and there are particularly high densities of 
Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and the deer Odocoileus virginianus. The Spectacled 
Caiman Caiman crocodilus is abundant (e.g. an estimated 15,000 on one ranch of 78,000 ha 
near Mantecal, Apure), and the Orinoco Crocodile Crocodylus intermedius and 
turtle Podocnemis expansa occur in small numbers. Fishes include Cichla ocellaris, Colossoma 
macropomus, Electrophorus electricus and Hemisorubium platyrhynchus. 

Threats: Human population increase continues to put more and more pressure on this marginal 
habitat which is only really suitable for low density cattle ranching. The principal threat in 
many areas at the present time is uncontrolled hunting both for food and for the animal trade. 
Research and conservation: There is an urgent need for the Government to take the necessary 
steps to control the irrational exploitation of wildlife, and to establish additional protected 
areas. Two areas particularly worthy of special protection are the Arismendi area in Barinas 
State, and the Elorza area in Apure State. More private land owners should be encouraged to 
adopt a conservation oriented approach to the management of their estancias; and the potential 
values of rational game cropping and organized nature tourism should be investigated further. 
References: Ramia (1967); Bruzual (1976); Ramia & Morales (1978); Casler et al (1979 & 1981); 
Gomez Dallmeier (1979); Pinowski & Morales (1979 & 1981); Thomas (1979); Pinowski et al 
(1980); Seijas & Ramos (1980); Morales et al (1981); Zoppi & Michelangelli (1981); Gomez 
Dallmeier & Rylander (1982); lUCN (1982); Morales (1982 & in press); Morales & Leon (1982); 
Ramo & Busto (1982a & in press); Bruzual & Bruzual (1983); de Visscher (1983); Madriz 
(1983); Ramo & Ayarzaguena (1983); Aguilera Prieto (in press); Breymeyer et al (in press); 
Kushlan et al (in press). 

Source: Luis Gonzalo Morales, Betsy Trent Thomas and Andres Eloy Seijas. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Estero de Chiriguare Wildlife Refuge and surrounding areas (28a) 

Location: 8°35'N, 68°45'W; in the western llanos, 120 km southeast of Guanare, Portuguesa 

State. 

Area: 50,000 ha. 

Altitude: 50-55m. 

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Venezuela 

Province and type: 8.27.10; 09, 11, 13 & 16. 

Site description: A complex of slow-flowing rivers and streams; riverine marshes; permanent 

and seasonal freshwater lakes, ponds and marshes; and large areas of seasonally inundated 

savannas, flooding to a maximum depth of 2m during the rainy season (May to November). 

Principal vegetation: Freshwater marshes, savanna with scattered Copernicia palms, gallery 

forest and secondary scrub. 

Land tenure: The Wildlife Refuge is state owned; other areas are privately owned. 

Protection: 44,500 ha included within the Estero de Chiriguare Wildlife Refuge, established in 

1974. The remainder is unprotected. 

Land use: Commercial and sport fishing, principally on the Rio Guanare; cattle ranching; 

subsistence agriculture, particularly the cultivation of rice, using a combination of traditional 

and modern methods. 

Waterfowl: A very rich area for waterfowl characteristic of the llanos. Over 40 species have 

been recorded, the great majority residents. These include Anhinga anhinga, Tigrisoma 

lineatum, Pilherodius pileatus, Syrigma sibilatrix, Mycteria americana, Jabiru mycteria, Cercibis 

oxycerca, Mesembrinibis cayennensis. Eudocimus ruber, Ajaia ajaja, Anhima cornuta, 

Dendrocygna bicolor, D. autumnalis, Neochen jubata, Amazonetta brasiliensis, Cairina moschata, 

Oxyura dominica, Opisthocomus hoazin, Aramus guarauna, Porphyrula martinica, Eurypyga 

helias and Jacana jacana. 

Other fauna: Mammals include Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and Leo onca; reptiles 

include Caiman crocodilus and Eunecles murinus; and fishes included the commercially 

harvested Colossoma macropomus. 

Threats: The extent of ranching and agriculture in the Wildlife Refuge has not diminished 

since its creation. The felling of timber both for fuel and for construction, and uncontrolled 

fishing are the principal threats at present. 

References: Ramia (1967); Paz et al (1975); lUCN (1982). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Esteros de Mantecal (28b) 

Location: 7°35'N, 69°10'W; near Mantecal, Apure State. 

Area: Unknown. 

Altitude: 75-78m. 

Province and type: 8.27.10; 09, 11, 12, 13, 15 & 16. 

Site description: An area of shallow freshwater lakes, ponds and marshes, and surrounding 

seasonally inundated savanna in the heart of the southern llanos. An extensive system of 

impoundments (modules) has been developed to conserve water supplies and prolong the period 

of inundation to improve grass production for beef cattle. The impoundents range in size from 

under 1 ha to 50 ha; they reach a maximum depth of 2m when fully flooded, and retain water 

for ten months of the year. 

Principal vegetation: See site 28; Leersia sp grows along the embankments of the modulos,and 

species of Hymenachne, Eleocharis and Luziola in the ponds. 

Land tenure: Mainly privately owned. Some areas are owned by the local municipality, and a 

Modulo Experimental Area near Mantecal is state owned. 

Protection: No legal protection; but wildlife is protected on some ranches on the private 

initiative of the land owners, e.g. at Hato El Frio (78,000 ha) east of Mantecal. 

Land use: The principal and almost the only economic activity in the region is cattle ranching, 

but some land owners are successfully "farming" and cropping Capybaras Hydrochoerus 

hydrochaeris. 

Waterfowl: A particularly rich part of the llanos for waterfowl, with the full range of species 

listed under site 28. During a brief visit to El Frio Ranch in January 1984, 56 species of 

waterfowl were observed, including 65 Tigrisoma lineatum. 150 Nycticorax nycticorax, 25 

Cochlearius cochlearius. 950 Bubulcus ibis. 290 Egretta thula. 530 Egretta alba. 90 Mycteria 

americana. 45 Euxenura maguari. 10 Jabiru mycteria, 30 Theristicus caudatus, 370 Phimosus 

infuscatus. 355 Eudocimus ruber, 145 Plegadis falcinellus, 135 Ajaia ajaja, several 



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Venezuela 

thousand Dendrocygna viduata, 10,000-20,000 moulting Dendrocygna autumnalis, 20 Neochen 
jubata, 280 Amazonetta brasiliensis, 60 Sarkidiornis melanotos, 26 Cairina moschata, 30 Oxyura 
dominica, 5 Eurypyga helias, over 2,000 Jacana jacana, 440 Vanellus chilensis, 185 Himantopus 
himantopus, 65 Phaetusa simplex and eight species of Nearctic shorebirds. There are few areas 
in South America where such an abundance and diversity of waterfowl can be seen so easily. 
Other fauna: Birds of prey are conspicuous; Cathartes burrovianus, Rostrhamus sociabilis. 
Circus buffoni. Buteogallus urubitinga and Busarellus nigricollis are common residents in the 
marshes, and Pandion haliaetus is a common winter visitor (e.g. 17 at El Frio ranch in January 
1984). Common mammals include Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris. White-tailed 
Deer Odocoileus virginianus and Crab-eating Fox Cerdocyon thous; reptiles include Caiman 
crocodilus (abundant), Podocnemis vogli and Eunectes murinus; and fishes include species 
of Serrasalmus, Hoplias, Hoplerythrinus, Hoplosternum, Aslronotus and Eigenmannia. 
Threats: Excessive hunting is a problem in many areas, but the principal threat is the general 
spread of human population and gradual transformation of the environment. 
Research and conservation: The area is of particular interest because of the considerable 
amount of base-line research which has already been completed, particularly by the Institute of 
Tropical Zoology at the Central University of Venezuela. Studies currently underway include 
an assessment of the impact of the modulo system on the avifauna, an evaluation of the effects 
of hunting during the dry season, and a study of breeding colonies and roosts of Ardeidae, 
Ciconiidae and Threskiornithidae. 

References: Ramia (1974); Gomez (1976); Bulla & Miranda et al (1980); Bulla & Pacheco et al 
(1980); Pinowski et al (1980); Ramos et al (1981); Hernandez et al (1981); Morales et al (1981); 
Kushlan et al (1982 & in press). 

Source: James A. Kushlan, Luis Gonzalo Morales and Derek A. Scott. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Masaguaral Ranch (28c) 

Location: 8°3rN, 67°35'W; 45 km SSE of Calabozo, Guarico and Apure States. 

Area: 3,400 ha. 

Altitude: 63m. 

Province and type: 8.27.10; 09, 11, 12, 13 & 16. 

Site description: A typical ranch of tl e central llanos, with less extensive flooding and fewer 

permanent water bodies than areas further to the south in Apure State. The two small rivers 

(Rio Guarico and Caiio Caracol) which ;!ow through the ranch are reduced to a series of small 

pools by the end of the dry season. 76% of the area is grassland with scattered palms and small 

clumps of trees; the remainder is gallery forest. A number of small lakes and marshes are kept 

flooded through the dry season by pumping. Extensive flooding occurs during the rainy season 

(May to October). 

Principal vegetation: Grassland with the palm Copernicia tectorum; dry tropical woodland;and 

gallery forest. 

Land tenure: A privately owned ranch. 

Protection: No legal protection, but maintained as a private faunal and floral reserve since the 

early 1950s. 

Land use: Cattle ranching, at low density. 

Waterfowl: The ranch has a very diverse avifauna including most typical llanos species (54 

species of waterfowl recorded). Of particular interest are the breeding colonies of Ardeidae, 

and large concentrations of Anatidae. Peak counts have included 400 Dendrocygna bicolor, 

15,000 Dendrocygna viduata, 10,000 Dendrocygna auiumnalis, 250 Sarkidiornis melanotos 

and 50 Cairina moschata. Up to 29 pairs of Euxenura maguari, 6 pairs of Jabiru mycteria and 

several pairs of Anhima cornuta nest on the ranch, and Aramides cajanea, Eurypyga helias 

and Burhinus bistriatus are common. Small numbers of Anas discors occur in winter. 

Other fauna: Over 250 species of birds have been recorded on the ranch. Common mammals 

include Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, Cerdocyon thous and Odocoileus virginianus; and Caiman 

crocodilus is abundant. 

Threats: None. 



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Venezuela 

Research and conservation: A small research facility has been provided by the owners, and a 

number of faunal and floral investigations have been completed or are in progress. The 

avifauna has been particularly well documented (Thomas, 1979); and the ranch has become a 

popular port of call for wildlife tours. 

References: Thomas (1979). 

Source: Betsy Trent Thomas and Derek A. Scott. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Guri Dam (29) 

Location: 7°30'N, 62°50'W; 90 km southeast of Ciudad Bolivar, Bolivar State. 

Area: 400,000 ha when fully flooded. 

Altitude: 180m. 

Province and type: 8.27.10; 15. 

Site description: A large reservoir recently constructed on the Rio Caroni, below its confluence 

with the Rio Paragua. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None at present. 

Land use: Generation of hydroelectricity. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Research and conservation: A large wetland reserve is being established at the dam. It will be 

interesting to study the development of the wetland fauna at this enormous dam in an area 

devoid of large natural wetlands. 

Source: Andres Eloy Seijas. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Rio Caura (30) 

Location: 6°00'N, 64°15'W to 7°40'N, 65°00'W; south of the Rio Orinoco, western Bolivar State. 

Area: c.250 km of river. 

Altitude: 30-350m. 

Province and type: 8.27.10; 09 & 11. 

Site description: The lower 250 km of the Rio Caura from the region of Salto las Pavas to its 

confluence with the Rio Orinoco; a slow-flowing river with sand banks, riverine marshes and 

riverine forest. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: A significant population of the endangered Orinoco Crocodile Crocodylus 

intermedius was located by an expedition from Guanare University and Florida State Museum 

in 1981. During a study in 1982, over 70 sightings were made, and three nesting beaches 

located. This may constitute the last viable population of C intermedius in the wild anywhere. 

Threats: Plans exist to build a hydroelectric dam on the river near Salto las Pavas; and 

increasing human settlement in the area could threaten the small and vulnerable crocodile 

population. 

Research and conservation: The University of Guanare and Florida State Museum are 

conducting studies on the crocodile population with a view to developing a management plan to 

conserve the species. 

References: Anon (1982); Franz et al (1982). 

Source: See references. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a. 

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COUNTRY REPORTS 
Central America 



BELIZE 



INTRODUCTION 

by Dora VVeyer 

Belize is a small Central American nation bordered on the north and northwest by Mexico, and 
on the west and south by Guatemala. Formerly a British dependency, it achieved full 
independence in 1981. With an area of some 23,000 km^ and a population of only about 
150,000, the population density is the lowest in Central America. 

The climate is tropical with a poorly defined rainy season from mid May to mid January. 
The coastlands are low and swampy with extensive mangrove swamps and both fresh and saline 
lagoons. In the north the land is low and flat, with large tracts of pine savanna and hardwood 
forest, but in the west and southwest there is a heavily forested mountain massif rising to over 
1,000 m. The coastal waters are generally shallow, and there is an almost continuous line of 
reefs and cays 22 to 90 kms offshore, stretching the full length of the country. This is the 
largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Much of the country remains virtually undisturbed by man. There has been very little 
agricultural activity until recently, and the selective logging methods employed in the past were 
not, on the whole, too destructive. The Maya Mountains in the south are extremely rugged and 
large parts remain inaccessible. Unfortunately, in the last few years the influx of refugees 
from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras has severely increased the rate of destruction of 
habitat and the illegal killing of wildlife. 



Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

The Government agency involved with the conservation of wetlands and their wildlife in Belize 
is the Department of Forestry, with headquarters in Belmopan. The only non-governmental 
institution involved is the Belize Audubon Society. 



Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

Interest in the conservation of wildlife is just beginning, due primarily to the work of the 
Belize Audubon Society. However, Government officials are now becoming cognizant of the 
need for conservation of natural resources, and the upper classes of society are more and more 
evincing an interest in the country's fantastic wealth of game and non-game species. 

Government passed two laws in November 1981 of importance to wildlife and wildlands 
conservation. The first law laid the legal groundwork for the establishment of national parks 
and wildlife refuges. Half Moon Cay Reserve was the first result of that legislation, and 
Crooked Tree Wildlife Reserve followed in December 1984. This last includes eight lagoons, 
the incoming creeks, and some 16-24 kms of Black Creek, a forested creek draining six of the 
lagoons, and emptying into the Belize River. The Crooked Tree area is critical to waterfowl 
during the dry season. Its status as a protected refuge for these birds (and reptiles and 
mammals) is being made possible by funding from the Wildwings Foundation of New York 
City. 

The second legislation passed in November 1981 was a revision of the game laws. These 
new laws forbid the taking of all waterbirds with the exception of migrant ducks. 

Like many other countries in the region, Belize is suffering severe economic restraints. 
Despite the best efforts of Government, it has been impossible to finance the game wardens 
and administrative personnel necessary for running a wildlife refuge or enforcing the game 
laws. Therefore all monies for such undertakings must come from outside help. 

The Belize Audubon Society has been trying, through a weekly five minute radio 
programme and through the schools and public communications, to build up a social and 
cultural change of thought as regards wildlife of all kinds. To date, this programme has been 
only partially effective, and has particularly failed with the rural population which does most 
of the illegal hunting, many rural families depending on wild game for their protein. Much of 



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Belize 

the reason for this failure has been lack of money for printing and for transportation to get out 
to the schools. Recently, the Government education department has been able to cooperate 
more fully in getting materials published and out to the rural schools. WWF Norway is 
donating funds for rural wildlife education, and RARE, now under the aegis of WWF-US, is 
donating posters and financing a continuing workshop course for one of Belize's leading 
teachers and for an employee of the Fisheries Department. 

Very little research has been conducted on the wildlife of Belize, particularly in areas away 
from the central and most densely populated part of the country. The author and colleagues 
have conducted a number of avifaunal surveys of wetlands throughout the country since the 
late 1960s, and in recent years aerial surveys have been conducted by the Belize Audubon 
Society, with the support of the W.W. Brehm Fund in the Federal Republic of Germany. The 
aerial surveys have concentrated on the status of the Jabiru Jabiru mycteria, an endangered 
species in Central America. Other recent research relevant to wetlands has included a study of 
the status of Morelet's Crocodile Crocodylus moreletii by Abercrombie et al (1980). 

The lUCN is assisting the Government of Belize in the development of a national 
conservation strategy (Hunkeler, 1983), and the U.S. Agency for International Development 
funded a Country Environmental Profile which was published in 1984. 



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} 



Belize 




50 



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Belize 

WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on data sheets provided by Dora Weyer of the Belize Audubon Society 

Marshes along the lower Rio Hondo (1) 

Location: 18°05'-18°30'N, 88°22'-88''45'W; along the Mexico/Belize border from Yo Creek to 

the river mouth, Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. 

Area: Unknown; c.60 km of river. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 09, 11 & 18. 

Site description: A slow-flowing river in the lowlands, bordered by extensive swamp forests 

subject to inundation during the rainy season. 

Principal vegetation: Swamps with forested hammocks, and swamp forest; in a region of 

semi-humid forest. 

Land tenure: Various; the State owns all areas below high water mark. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Primitive agriculture and subsistence hunting. There are several villages on higher 

ground in both countries, and two villages on Albion Island at the edge of the swamp. The 

region was formerly occupied by Mayans. 

Waterfowl: Poorly known; Aramus guarauna is common, and Dendrocygna autumnalis 

and Cairina moschata are reported to occur. During an aerial survey in April 1984, a pair 

of Jabiru mycteria was found nesting just south of San Antonio on Albion Island, but no 

colonies of Ardeidae were located. 

Other fauna: The area is reportedly still very rich in wildlife. Leo onca and Tapirus bairdii 

occur, and crocodilians, probably both Crocodylus acutus and C. moreletii, are common. The 

Central American Otter Lutra anectens presumably occurs. 

Threats: The only threat at present seems to be excessive hunting. 

Research and conservation: A poorly known area which is difficult of access and remains 

relatively undisturbed. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Marshes along the lower New River (2) 

Location: 18''15'-18°22'N, 88°25'W; SSW of Corozal town, Corozal District. 

Area: Unknown; c.35 km of river. 

Altitude: l-2m. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 08, 09, 11, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: An extensive and almost impenetrable complex of forested swamps, 

freshwater marshes, mangrove swamps and seasonally flooded plains along the lower Newj 

River; flooding to a depth of 3-4m during the rainy season. 

Principal vegetation: Semi-humid forest, mangrove swamps and high grass and Scirpus marshes. 

Land tenure: Mostly state owned (up to the high water mark), with some private holdings in 

drier areas. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cultivation of sugar cane in cleared areas. There is one sugar mill in the immediate 

area at Libertad, and another up river at Tower Hill. 

Waterfowl: Poorly known; species likely to be present in significant numbers include Tigrisoma , 

mexicanum, Cochlearius cochlearius. Dendrocygna autumnalis, Cairina moschata, Rallus \ 

longisrostris, Aramides axillaris, A. cajanea, Porzana flaviventer and Laterallus ruber. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The main threat is pollution from the sugar mills, which discharge oil and bagasse 

effluent into the river. 



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Belize 

Research and conservation: The area is inaccessible by road, and has never been properly 

surveyed. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Shipstern Lagoon and Shipstern Cay (3) 

Location: IS^IS'N, 88°07'-88°10'W; in northeastern Corozal District. 

Area: Lagoon 4,200 ha; Cay 1 ha. 

Altitude: 0-3m. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 01, 03, 07, 08 & 12. 

Site description: A large shallow fresh to brackish coastal lagoon, up to 3m deep, with fringing 

marshes and mangrove swamps, subject to tidal influence and flooding during the rainy 

season. The lagoon is almost fresh at its inland end, and brackish near the coast. Shipstern 

Cay is a small offshore island with mangrove swamps in the adjacent shallow sea bay. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps dominated by Rhizophora mangle, and grassy marshes. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing; fishermen occasionally collect eggs and young birds from the breeding 

colony on Shipstern Cay. 

Waterfowl: Shipstern Lagoon was formerly the site of a large colony of Egretta alba 

and Mycteria americana, but this was abandoned in 1982. In 1984, there were about 54 pairs 

of E.alba and 12 pairs of Phalacrocorax olivaceus nesting on two small cays in the 

lagoon. Rallus longirostris occurs in the mangroves. Shipstern Cay still holds 200 pairs 

of Eudocimus albus (the second largest colony in Belize), 12 pairs of Egretta rufescens 

(two-thirds of the Belize population), and 10 pairs of E. tricolor. 

Other fauna: About 50 pairs of White-winged Doves Zenaida asiatica were nesting at Shipstern 

Lagoon in 1982. This species is rare elsewhere in Belize. 

Threats: Persecution of the breeding colony of egrets and storks at Shipstern Lagoon resulted 

in its abandonment in 1982; there is some persecution at the colony at Shipstern Cay, eggs and 

young birds being taken for sale in Chetumal in Mexico. There is some pollution from the 

pulp plant in Chetumal, and this is likely to pose an increasing threat to inshore waters. 

Research and conservation: Several avifaunal surveys have been conducted by Dora Weyer. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b, 2c & 3a. 



Lagoons and marshes near High Bluff (4) 

Location: 18°06'N, 88°07'W; inland from High Bluff on the coast south of Shipstern Lagoon, 

Corozal District. 

Area: c.2,500 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A permanent brackish coastal lagoon and extensive marshes, with several 

mangrove cays; subject to tidal fluctuations. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps and grassy marshes. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing and hunting. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for Ciconiiformes; up to 100 pairs of Egretta alba,300 

pairs of Mycteria americana and 2 pairs of Ajaia ajaja (the only breeding birds in Belize) have 

nested, along with small numbers of Phalacrocorax olivaceus. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The only threat seems to be excessive hunting. 



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Belize 

Research and conservation: Aerial surveys of breeding birds were conducted by Dora Weyer 

and Ford Young between 1972 and 1977, and again in 1984. The breeding populations of 

waterfowl have decreased in recent years as a result of persecution. It is essential that this 

formerly important breeding site be protected while some birds continue to use it. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b, 2c & 3a. 



Cays west of Ambergris Cay (5) 

Location: 17°57'N, 88°06'W to 18°04'N, 87°57'W; five small cays west of Ambergris Cay in the 

northern Barrier Reef. 

Area: Under 4 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 01, 03 & 08. 

Site description: Five mangrove covered cays in a shallow sea bay (Bahia Chetumal) within the 

coastal barrier reef. The cays are as follows: Cayos Pajaros (two small cays, each less than 

100m across); Cayo Rosario; Mosquito Cay; and Savannah Cay. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps with Rhizophora mangle. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: None, other than the occasional raiding of birds' nests by fishermen. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for Ciconiiformes, with some cormorants and pelicans. 

Breeding species include Pelecanus occidentalis (7 nests on Cayos Pajaros in 

1984), Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Egrelta caerulea, E. tricolor, E. rufescens (4-5 nests on Cayos 

Pajaros in 1984), Eudocimus albus (large colonies on Cayos Pajaros and Cayo Rosario in 1969, 

but no birds nesting in 1984), and Ajaia ajaja (a large colony on Cayo Rosario in 1969, but no 

birds in 1984). Phalacrocorax auritus probably nests on Mosquito Cay, and Cochlearius 

cochlearius probably nests near Savannah Cay. 

Other fauna: The Osprey Pandion haliaetus nests on Cayo Rosario, and the bay supports a very 

rich marine fauna. 

Threats: The breeding colonies of waterfowl are much persecuted by fishermen for food, and 

the populations are now greatly reduced in size. 

Research and conservation: Aerial and boat surveys were conducted by Dora Weyer and Ford 

Young between 1969 and 1975, and again in 1984. Unless the cays are given some protection 

in the near future, their breeding birds will disappear. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b, 2c & 3a. 



Bennett's Lagoon (6) 

Location: 17°58'N, 88''10'W; on the coast 50 km north of Belize City, Corozal District. 

Area: 400 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A brackish coastal lagoon with several mangrove covered cays, and 

surrounding mangrove swamps and brackish marshes; subject to tidal influence. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps and grassy marshes. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Some hunting, but otherwise little disturbed. 

Waterfowl: Birds observed during surveys in February and April 1984 included 50 breeding 

pairs of Egretta alba, 200 breeding pairs of Mycteria americana, a number of Rallus ' 

longirostris and a few Aramus guarauna. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: There is some persecution of the breeding birds. 



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.h 



Belize 

Research and conservation: Several aerial surveys have been conducted by Dora Weyer, Ford 
Young and Martin Meadows. 
Source: Dora Weyer. 
Criteria for inclusion: 2c. 



Northern River Lagoon (7) 

Location: 17°52'N, 88°13'W; on the coast 40 km north of Belize City, Belize District. 

Area: 800 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A large brackish coastal lagoon with surrounding brackish marshes and a few 

mangrove covered cays; subject to tidal influence. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps and grassy marshes. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Some fishing, but otherwise very little disturbed. 

Waterfowl: Birds observed during aerial surveys in February and April 1984 included 140 

breeding pairs of Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 80 breeding pairs of Egretta alba, and 200 

wintering Fulica americana. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Some disturbance from fishermen. 

Research and conservation: Aerial surveys were conducted by Dora Weyer, Ford Young and 

Martin Meadows in 1984. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2c & 3a. 



Crooked Tree Lagoon (8) 

Location: ITMS'N, 88°32'W; 45 km northwest of Belize City, Orange Walk and Belize Districts. 

Area: 8,000-10,000 ha, possibly more. 

Altitude: 15m. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 09, 11, 12 & 18. 

Site description: A complex of permanent and seasonal, shallow freshwater lakes and marshes, 

some very shallow, drying out in the dry season (March to May), and others up to 3m deep, 

retaining water throughout most dry seasons. Several creeks drain into and out of the lakes, 

and extensive areas of the surrounding swamp forests flood during the rainy season. The area 

includes Calabash Pond, Revenge Lagoon, Crooked Tree Lagoon, Western Lagoon, Poorhaul 

Creek Lagoon, Spanish Creek Lagoon, Southern Lagoon, Mexico Lagoon, Jones Lagoon and 

almost the entire length of Black Creek to the Belize River. 

Principal vegetation: Abundant submergent aquatic vegetation in the lagoons; extensive shrub 

borders to the lagoons; forests of Haematoxylum campechianum (the only large stands 

remaining in Belize); mixed pine savannas with some hardwoods; and hardwood forest, 

particularly along Black Creek. 

Land tenure: Largely state owned, including all land below high water mark. There are some 

private holdings, and large areas under disputed ownership. 

Protection: The greater part of the basin, including all the lagoons listed in the site description, 

has been included in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Reserve, established in December 1984. 

Land use: The area was the centre of the logwood Haematoxylum campechianum industry in 

the 19th century, but there is now little forestry in the area. There is some cattle ranching near 

Crooked Tree village, and an important fishery, particularly during the dry season. There is 

also some hunting and sport fishing by tourists and "weekend" hunters from Belize City. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for waterfowl, and critical habitat during the dry 

season, when birds concentrate in very large numbers around the permanent lagoons. 

Seventy-four species of waterfowl have been recorded. Peak numbers have included many 

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thousands of Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 32 Tigrisoma mexicanum, 70 Nycticorax nycticorax, 400 
Cochlearius cochlearius. 200 Butohdes virescens, 200 Egretta caerulea, 100 E. tricolor, 1.000 E. 
thula, 2.600 E. alba, 22 Ardea herodias, 1.000 Mycteria americana. 24 Jabiru mycteria (the 
entire Belize population), 2.000 Eudocimus albus. 34 Ajaia ajaja, 1.000 Anas discors. 32 
Cairina moschata. 2,000 Aramus guarauna, 1,000 Fulica americana. 160 Himantopus himantopus 
and 125 Hydroprogne caspia. The rare Agamia agami has been recorded along the forested 
creeks in the reserve. 

Breeding species include Phalacrocorax olivaceus. Anhinga anhinga. Cochlearius cochlearius, 
Bubulcus ibis. Egretta thula, E. alba. Jabiru mycteria (one pair), Aramus guarauna, a variety of 
Rallidae, Heliornis fulica. Jacana spinosa (abundant), and Himantopus himantopus. 
Twenty-seven species of Nearctic shorebird have been recorded on migration and in winter, 
including up to 800 Tringa flavipes. 70 T. solitaria, 70 Limnodromus griseus, 100 Calidris 
fuscicollis and 250 C. melanotos. 

Other fauna: The area is very rich in wildlife. About 260 species of birds have been recorded, 
including 99 species of Nearctic migrants. Birds of prey are common; up to 34 Lesser 
Yellow- headed Vultures Cathartes burrovianus have been observed in spring and some may 
breed. Other breeding species include Pandion haliaetus, Leptodon cayanensis, Rostrhamus 
sociabilis, Buteogallus anthracinus. B. urubitinga and Busarellus nigricollis. Mammals include 
the Central American Otter Lutra anectens, and reptiles include Crocodylus moreletii and all 
the species of freshwater turtle known from Belize. The lagoons are famous for their large 
tarpon Megalops atlantica. 

Threats: A major highway has recently been constructed within a few kilometres of the lagoon, 
providing all-weather access to the area and resulting in a great increase in hunting activities 
and other forms of disturbance. A farm-to-market road is now being constructed through the 
area. 

Research and conservation: Numerous avifaunal surveys were conducted in the area by Dora 
Weyer and colleagues of the Belize Audubon Society between 1968 and 1984, but access has 
always been difficult during the dry season when the birds are conecntrated here, and 
comprehensive counts at that season have been impossible. 
Source: Dora Weyer. 
Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Burrell Creek Lagoon (9) 

Location: 17°35'N, 88°26'W; on Burrell Creek, 26 km WNW of Belize City, Belize District. 

Area: 2 ha. 

Altitude: 3-4m. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 12 & 18. 

Site description: A small freshwater lake and marshes, 2-3m deep, and surrounding swamp 

forest, subject to seasonal flooding. Burrell Creek drains pasture land upstream. 

Principal vegetation: In a region of humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: Land below high water mark is state owned; adjacent dry lands are owned by 

Tennessee Agriculture Ltd. 

Protection: No legal protection, but present and past owners of surrounding land have afforded 

the lake some protection. 

Land use: Occasional hunting and fishing. 

Waterfowl: There is a small breeding colony of Cochlearius cochlearius (15-20 nests), andthe 

area is excellent habitat for the rare Agamia agami. 

Other fauna: Lutra anectens, Tapirus bairdii and Crocodylus moreletii are known to occur. 

Threats: The nearby village of Burrell Boom is expanding towards the lake shore. 

Research and conservation: Several avifaunal surveys have been conducted by Dora Weyer r 

since 1969. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



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Belize 

Mussel Creek (10) 

Location: IT-SS'N, 88°28'W; 15 km west of Burrell Boom, Belize District. 

Area: Unknown; c.30 km of creek. 

Altitude: 4m. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 09, 11 & 18. 

Site description: A slow flowing river with associated riverine lakes and marshes, meandering 

through swamp forest. The river is subject to seasonal flooding, and can reach a depth of 

5-6m. It rises in Cox, Mucklehany and Cook's Lagoons, and flows into the Belize River. 

Principal vegetation: Riverine marshes, swamp forest with patches of wild cane, and humid 

tropical forest. 

Land tenure: Areas below high water mark and much of the shoreline are state owned; 

elsewhere there are several small privately owned farms. 

Protection: None, but at the request of the Belize Audubon Society, the Government has put 

up signs prohibiting shooting where the road crosses the creek. 

Land use: Fishing, including some fishing with illegal nets; and hunting. 

Waterfowl: After Crooked Tree Lagoon (site 8), perhaps the richest area for waterfowl in 

Belize. There are no large breeding colonies of Ardeidae, but the large colonies 

of Phalacrocorax olivaceus include a scattering of Egret t a alba along with some Anhinga 

anhinga. Other species known to breed include Tigrisoma mexicanum, Cochlearius cochlearius, 

Bubulcus ibis, Butorides virescens, Agamia agami, Jabiru mycteria, Dendrocygna autumnalis, 

Cairina moschata, Aramus guarauna, Aramides cajanea, Laterallus ruber. Heliornis fulica, 

and Jacana spinosa. Botaurus pinnatus is of regular occurrence, and probably breeds. 

Other fauna: The area is rich in birds of prey and kingfishers Alcedinidae. Large individuals 

of Boa constrictor have been seen, Crocodylus moreletii presumably occurs, and large 

Tarpon Megalops atlantica are present. The Central American Otter Lutra anectens was 

observed in December 1984. 

Threats: None at present except for some illegal sport hunting, and subsistence hunting by 

local inhabitants. 

Research and conservation: The Belize Audubon Society "Belize City Area" Christmas bird 

counts include a small part of this complex. Dora Weyer has conducted regular avifaunal 

surveys since 1969, and has proposed that a wildlife reserve be created in the area. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2c & 3a. 



Big Falls Rice Ranch (11) 

Location: 17°29'N, SS^Sl'W; on the Belize River 40 km west of Belize City, Belize District. 

Area: 1 ,200 ha. 

Altitude: 15m. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 17 & 18. 

Site description: A complex of canals and shallow freshwater impoundments, up to 30 cm deep, 

for rice cultivation, with surrounding swamp forests created by run-off. The water levels are 

manipulated for rice growing. 

Principal vegetation: Rice fields and swamp forest, with high grasses and shrubs on dry ground 

by the canals; in a region of humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: Formerly owned by the Big Falls Rice Farm, but now held in receivership under 

Government supervision, and up for sale. 

Protection: No habitat protection, but hunting has been prohibited, except for Anatidae, until 

the area is sold. 

Land use: Rice cultivation; there is some shooting of ducks which damage the crops. 

Waterfowl: A very important feeding area for a wide variety of waterfowl including many 

Ardeidae, Mycteria americana, Jabiru mycteria, Eudocimus albus. Ajaia ajaja, large numbers 

of Dendrocygna autumnalis and Cairina moschata. Aramus guarauna and several Rallidae. 

Many waterfowl breed around the edges of the rice fields and in adjacent swamp forest, 

including Tigrisoma mexicanum, Jabiru mycteria, Aramus guarauna, Rallus maculatus, 

Aramides cajanea, Porzana flaviventer, Laterallus ruber and Porphyrula martinica. Wintering 

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Belize 

Nearctic migrants include up to 2,000 Anas discors, a few A. acuta, and up to 1000 Porzana 

Carolina. 

Other fauna: The surrounding forests are rich in wildlife, including Leo onca and Tapirus 

bairdii. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: Dora Weyer and the Belize Audubon Society have conducted a 

number of avifaunal surveys. The status of the area remains uncertain until the land is sold. 

However, several duck-hunting clubs have shown an interest in the property. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b. 



Cox's Lagoon, Mucklehany Lagoon and Cook's Lagoon (12) 

Location: 17°30'N, 88°30'W; at the headwaters of Mussel Creek, 35 km west of Belize City, 

Belize District. 

Area: Several thousand ha. 

Altitude: 10m. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 12 & 18. 

Site description: Three permanent freshwater lakes with some marshes and swamp forest, 

subject to seasonal flooding. 

Principal vegetation: Marshes with grasses, sedges and palms; and swamp forest. Mucklehany 

Lagoon is surrounded by humid tropical forest. Cook's Lagoon is surrounded by pine savanna, 

and Cox's Lagoon has both habitats in surrounding areas. 

Land tenure: Partly state owned and partly owned by the Big Falls Rice Farm, with some small 

private holdings. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Occasional hunting and fishing. 

Waterfowl: Poorly known; Jabiru mycteria has nested to the west of Mucklehany Lagoon, and 

local inhabitants report large numbers of Dendrocygna autumnalis and Cairina moschata nesting 

here. 

Other fauna: Tapirus bairdii and Crocodylus moreletii are abundant, especially near Cox's and 

Mucklehany Lagoons. 

Threats: None at present, but there is a potential threat from development for rice cultivation 

and cattle ranching. 

Research and conservation: Dora Weyer has conducted several avifaunal surveys by boat, and 

two aerial surveys with Ford Young and Martin Meadows in 1984, but the area remains 

relatively poorly known. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. : 



Faber's Lagoon and marshes to the north and east (13) 

Location: 17°28'N, 88°16'W; 12 km west of Belize City, Belize District. 

Area: Several hundred ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 07, 08 & 12. 

Site description: A complex of shallow fresh and brackish coastal lagoons, mostly under 2m 

deep, with adjacent mangrove swamps. Some of the lagoons are subject to tidal influence. 

Principal vegetation: Freshwater marshes and mangrove swamps. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing and some hunting. 

Waterfowl: An important feeding area for Egretta caerulea, E. tricolor, E. thula, E. alba, 

Eudocimus albus and Dendrocygna autumnalis. Podilymbus podiceps, Podiceps dominicus 

and Jacana spinosa are common on the freshwater lagoons, and Rallus longirostris is common 

in the mangroves and brackish marshes. 

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Belize 

Other fauna: The Central American Otter Lutra anectens has been reported, and 

both Crocodylus acutus and C. moreletii breed here. 

Threats: Belize City is encroaching on the area; nearby land has been filled for industry and 

housing developments, and the lagoons are likely to be used as refuse dumps. 

Research and conservation: Dora Weyer has conducted several avifaunal surveys in the area. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Northern Lagoon (14) 

Location: 17°22'N, 88°19'W; 20 km southwest of Belize City, Belize District. 

Area: 3,200 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A permanent brackish coastal lagoon and associated fresh to brackish marshes, 

with mangrove swamps and a mangrove covered cay (Bird Cay); subject to tidal influence. 

During high tides there is slow drainage through the marshes directly to the sea, but at other 

times most water drains out through the Southern Lagoon (site 15). 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps and sedge and grass marshes; a few coconut palms on 

Bird Cay, and pine savanna to the west. 

Land tenure: State owned, but Bird Cay is under the care of the Belize Audubon Society. 

Protection: Supposedly under the protection of the Belize Audubon Society, but funds are 

lacking to support a warden. 

Land use: Duck hunting and fishing; the lagoon forms part of the inland boat passage from 

Gales Point, but this is no longer heavily used (only 3 to 5 small boats a day). 

Waterfowl: One of the most important breeding areas for waterfowl in Belize; the main colony 

is on Bird Cay, with some overspill onto other small cays and mangroves along the shore. 

Breeding birds include 20-25 pairs of Phalacrocorax olivaceus, 12-15 pairs of Anhinga anhinga, 

20-30 pairs of Egretta thula, 400-600 pairs of E. alba (the second largest colony in Belize), and 

400-500 pairs of Eudocimus albus (the largest colony in Belize). Nycticorax nycticorax, 

Cochleahus cochlearius, Egretta caerulea and E. tricolor nest in smaller numbers. One pair 

of Jabiru mycteria has nested near the lagoon for many years. The lagoon often holds 

1,000-2,000 Aythya af finis in autumn, but the birds move to a feeding area just east of St. 

George's Cay for much of the winter. 

Other fauna: Manatees Trichechus manatus are occasional visitors. 

Threats: None at present except for uncontrolled hunting and occasional vandalism by "tourists" 

at the breeding colonies. 

Research and conservation: Regular avifaunal surveys have been conducted by Dora Weyer and 

the Belize Audubon Society since 1971. The lagoon is under no immediate threat, and with 

better wardening could be maintained as one of the most important breeding areas for herons 

and ibises in Belize. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2c & 3a. 



Southern (Manatee) Lagoon (15) 

Location: 17°15'N, 88''20'W; 30 km SSW of Belize City, Belize District. 

Area: 3,200 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A deep brackish coastal lagoon and extensive mangrove swamps bordered in 

the east by a sedge and grass marsh; at the mouth of the Manatee River. The lagoon is subject 

to tidal influence and has a direct outlet to the sea through an extension of the Manatee River. 

Submergent vegetation is fairly abundant at the northern end, where the canal from the 

Northern Lagoon (site 14) enters. The area between the Northern and Southern Lagoons is all 

mangrove swamps. 

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Belize 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps, and sedge and grass marshes; pine savanna to the west. 

Land tenure: Mostly state owned, with some private holdings. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Mainly subsistence fishing, with some hunting and tourist recreation. The village of 

Gales Point lies at the south end of the lagoon. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a 

logging and plantation operation to the south, but this has now been abandoned. Parts of the 

area are still relatively undisturbed. 

Waterfowl: There are no large breeding colonies of Ciconiiformes, but the lagoon is an 

important feeding area for many species. Resident species which are known or thought to 

breed include Tigrisoma mexicanum, Butorides virescens. Aramus guarauna, Rallus longirostris, 

Aramides axillaris and A. cajanea. 

Other fauna: The manatee Trichechus manatus is common, particularly in the lower Manatee 

River; the otter Lutra anectens and crocodilians Crocodylus acutus and C. moreletii undoubtedly 

occur. 

Threats: None at present, except for some hunting pressure. 

Research and conservation: Several avifaunal surveys have been conducted by Dora Weyer and 

the Belize Audubon Society since 1968. There is currently a proposal to create a Manatee 

Reserve which would include the southern portion of the lagoon (around the village of Gales 

Point), and the lower part of the Manatee River. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



Laguna Seca (16) 

Location: 17°38'N, 89''03'W; southeast of the Rio Bravo Escarpment, 10 km north of Gallon 

Jug, Orange Walk District. 

Area: 300 ha. 

Altitude: 120m. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 12. 

Site description: A shallow freshwater lake with extensive sedge and grass marshes, subject to 

flooding during the rainy season. 

Principal vegetation: Sedge and grass marshes. 

Land tenure: Owned by Belize Estates Ltd., a logging company. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: A very remote and undisturbed area: Indians cultivate marijuana on the nearby 

escarpment, and may hunt around the lake. 

Waterfowl: Apparently very poor for waterfowl, but Jabiru mycteria has been reported in the 

area. 

Other fauna: Abercrombie et al found a number of Crocodylus moreletii in the area in 1978, 

and local inhabitants estimated the population at hundreds. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: Abercrombie et al surveyed the lake in 1978, and Dora Weyer, 

Ford Young and Martin Meadows conducted two aerial surveys in 1984. 

References: Abercrombie et al (1980). ( 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. ^ 



Punta Ycacos Lagoon (17) 

Location: 16°15'N, 88°40'W; 20 km northeast of Punta Gorda, Toledo District. 

Area: 9,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 01, 02, 03, 05, 08 & 09. 

Site description: A large shallow sea bay incorporating the mouths of the Rio Grande, Seven 

Hills Creek, Middle River, Golden Stream, Deep River, Freshwater Creek and Payne's Creek. 

The salinity in the bay varies from slightly brackish at the river mouths in the west to saline in 

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Belize 

the east. There are almost a hundred small to medium-sized mangrove covered cays in the bay, 

and extensive mangrove swamps and grass and sedge marshes along its western fringe. Four 

sand and coral cays (the Snake Cays) lie just outside the bay. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps, and grass and sedge marshes. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: A considerable amount of fishing; and illegal hunting of waterfowl and manatees, 

particularly by fishermen from nearby Guatemala. 

Waterfowl: In previous years the mangrove cays supported a large breeding colony of Egretta 

alba, and a pair of Jabiru mycteria were found nesting in the early 1970s. Both have now 

disappeared, presumably as a result of persecution. 

Other fauna: There is still a small population of the manatee Trichechus manatus, despiteheavy 

hunting pressure. 

Threats: Heavy hunting pressure on all wildlife has resulted in drastic declines in populations 

in recent years. 

Research and conservation: A number of avifaunal surveys were conducted by Dora Weyer and 

Ford Young between 1969 and 1984. The area now supports little wildlife, but the habitat 

remains relatively undisturbed, and under proper protection populations would soon recover. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



The upper Moho River, Aguacaliente Swamp and Mafredi Lagoon (18) 

Location: le'll'N, 88°58'W; east and south of Mafredi village, 18 km WNW of Punta Gorda, 

Toledo District. 

Area: c. 1,600 ha. 

Altitude: 200m. 

Province and type: 8.1.1; 10, 12 & 18. 

Site description: A complex of fast-flowing rivers, freshwater lakes and swamps, and extensive 

tracts of swamp forest; subject to seasonal flooding. Parts of the marshes are now cultivated 

for rice. 

Principal vegetation: Freshwater marshes, swamp forest, pure stands of Lonchocarpus sp, wild 

cane, bamboo and rice fields. 

Land tenure: Various; Mafredi Lagoon and much of the flooded area is state owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Subsistence hunting by local Indians; rice growing east and south of Mafredi, south 

of Blue Creek and east and northeast of Aguacate. Much of the area is difficult of access and 

almost undisturbed. 

Waterfowl: There are no large breeding colonies of Ciconiiformes, but many species occur in 

fair numbers, and Jabiru mycteria, Dendrocygna autumnalis, Cairina moschata and Aramus 

guarauna have been recorded. 

Other fauna: Tapirus bairdii is abundant, and the Central American Snapping Turtle Chelydra 

serpentina occurs. The latter is known in Belize only from this region. 

Threats: There is an increase in agriculture, and refugees are pouring into the area and clearing 

for slash and burn agriculture. There is also excessive hunting by the local Indians. 

Research and conservation: Dora Weyer has conducted five avifaunal surveys of parts of the 

area, but further field study is urgently required. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



The lower Temash River and Temash Lagoon (19) 

Location: 16°00'N, 89''00'W; 25 km WSW of Punta Gorda, Toledo District. 
, Area: Uncertain, but probably at least 20,000 ha of mangroves and 35 km of river. 
Altitude: Om. 
Province and type: 8.1.1; 07, 08 & 09. 

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Belize 

Site description: A very deep brackish coastal lagoon, subject to tidal influence, and extensive 

tracts of mangrove swamp stretching for over 30 km inland along the lower Temash River. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps dominated by Rhizophora mangle, with trees up to 

30m in height. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing in the lagoon, and some hunting. 

Waterfowl: Poorly known; no large breeding colonies of Ciconiiformes have been located, but a 

variety of species occur, including Nyctanassa violacea and possibly Tigrisoma lineatum. The 

area appears very suitable for Aramides axillaris. 

Other fauna: Little information is available, but there are known to be large numbers of the 

Black Howler Monkey Alouatta palliata in the area. 

Threats: None at present, other than hunting and fishing. 

Research and conservation: One brief avifaunal survey has been conducted by Dora Weyer. 

This large unspoiled area clearly merits further study. 

Source: Dora Weyer. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



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COSTA RICA 



Area: 50,899 km^ 
Population: 2,270,000. 

We have received no introduction to this inventory from our correspondents in Costa Rica. 



WETLANDS 

Site descriptions based on data sheets provided by Julio E. Sanchez. 

Lagunas del Rio Canas (1) 

Location: 10°20'N, 85°37'W; 6 km NNW of Santa Cruz, Guanacaste Province. 

Area: 1,000 ha. 

Altitude: 60m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 12. 

Site description: A group of permanent freshwater lakes and marshes, up to Im deep, formed 

by the flooding of the Rio Canas and local rainfall, and greatly reduced in size during the dry 

season. 

Principal vegetation: Floating beds of Nymphaea ampla, N. lutea, Eichhornia crassipes 

and Pistia stradotes; marshes with Typha domingensis. In a region dry tropical forest. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Subsistence fishing, some sport fishing, and extensive cattle ranching. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl. Breeding 

birds include 50 pairs of Podilymbus podiceps, 25 pairs of Podiceps dominicus, 10 pairs 

of Ixobrychus exilis, 15 pairs of Tigrisoma lineatum, 30 pairs of Butorides virescens, 200 pairs 

of Dendrocygna autumnalis, 40 pairs of Aramus guarauna, 25 pairs of Rallus maculatus, 40 

pairs of Porphyrula martinica and 300 pairs of Jacana spinosa. Average counts of 

non-breeding visitors include 500 Bubulcus ibis, 100 Egretta thula, 500 E. alba, 250 Mycteria 

americana and 30 Himantopus himantopus. Average counts of Nearctic migrants include 12 

Ardea herodias, 40 Anas americana, 300 Anas discors, 50 Tringa flavipes, 100 Tringa solitaria, 

45 Actitis macularia, 160 Calidris minutilla and 140 C. melanotos. 

Other fauna: Pandion haliaetus is a common winter visitor, and Caiman crocodilus occurs. 

Threats: The area is being drained for rice cultivation, and there is some pollution. Hunting is 

uncontrolled. 

Source: Julio E. Sanchez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Wetlands in Palo Verde National Park and Wildlife Refuge (2) 

Location: 10°20'N, 85°20'W; 20 km south of Bagaces, Guanacaste Province. 

Area: c.6,000 ha. 

Altitude: 2- 10m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 02, 08, 09, 12, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A complex of shallow freshwater lakes, up to 1.5m deep, marshes and swamp 

forest in the floodplain of the Rio Tempisque, with some mangrove swamps along the river. 

During the rainy season, flooding from the Rio Tempisque forms a single large shallow lake. 

Large areas dry out by the end of the dry season (March and April), and the permanent lakes 

become brackish. The principal lakes are Laguna Palo Verde, a seasonal lake of 1,200 ha in 

the Wildlife Refuge, and Laguna Nicaragua, a seasonal lake of 4,100 ha in the National Park. 

There are two mangrove covered islands, Isla San Pablo (15 ha) and Isla Pajaros (2 ha), in the 

estuarine portion of the river subject to tidal influence. 



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Costa Rica 



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Costa Rica 

Principal vegetation: Abundant aquatic vegetation including floating beds of Nymphaea ampla 

N. lutea, Nymphoides sp and Eichhornia crassipes; marshes of Typha domingensis, Eleocharis 

mutata, Paspalum paludivagum and Parkinsonia aculeata; swamp forest; and mangrove swamps 

with Avicennia germinans and Rhizophora mangle. In the dry tropical forest zone. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Included within the Palo Verde National Park (9,466 ha) established in 1980, and 

the contiguous Palo Verde (Dr Rafael Lucas Rodriguez Caballero) National Wildlife Refuge 

(7,524 ha) established in 1979. 

Land use: Scientific research and some nature tourism. Access is restricted to certain areas. 

There is some illegal grazing of domestic livestock. 

Waterfowl: An extremely important area for breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl; over 

sixty species have been recorded. There are important breeding colonies of Ciconiiformes on 

Isla Pajaros and Isla San Pablo; the average numbers of nesting pairs during the years 1981 to 

1983 were as follows: Nycticorax nycticorax 250; Nyctanassa violacea 100; Cochlearius 

cochlearius 210; Bubulcus ibis 17,500; Egretta caerulea 50; E. thula 250; E. alba 2,650; Mycteria 

americana 3,000; Eudocimus albus 1,000; Plegadis falcinellus 12; and Ajaia ajaja 1,000. 

There were also some 90 pairs of Anhinga anhinga. Common breeding species elsewhere in the 

wetlands include Podilymbus podiceps, Podiceps dominicus, Ixobrychus exilis, Tigrisoma 

mexicanum, Butorides virescens, Dendrocygna bicolor, D. autumnalis (several hundred 

pairs), Cairina moschata, Aramus guarauna, Rallus maculatus, Porphyrula martinica and Jacana 

spinosa. The area is the main locality for Jabiru mycteria in Costa Rica, with eight breeding 

pairs in recent years. Oxyura dominica is present in small numbers and probably breeds. 

The wetlands are also important as feeding areas for birds breeding elsewhere in the region, 

particularly during the dry season (February to March). Peak counts have included up to 

1,000 Ajaia ajaja, 20,000 Dendrocygna autumnalis and 400 Cairina moschata. Common 

passage and wintering birds from the Nearctic include Ardea herodias. Anas americana, A. 

acuta, A. discors (up to 20,000), A. clypeata, Porzana Carolina, Fulica americana and many 

shorebirds, particularly Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, Tringa solitaria, Calidris mauri and C. 

minutilla. 

Other fauna: There is a small breeding population of Rostrhamus sociabilis, and Pandion 

haliaetus is a common winter visitor. Reptiles include Crocodylus acutus. Caiman crocodilus 

and Iguana iguana. 

Threats: The wetlands are under serious threat from a variety of sources. Eutrophication is 

occurring at a rapid rate, and areas of open water and Nymphaea spp are being replaced by a 

dense growth of Typha domingensis, Cyperaceae and Gramineae. Pesticide run-off from 

nearby rice, cotton and sugar cultivation is causing a serious toxicity problem in the river. In 

1982 and 1983, 40% of the trees on Isla Pajaros died, and many nesting sites were destroyed. 

The largest irrigation project in Costa Rica is soon to be initiated nearby, and there is a 

proposal to exclude Laguna Nicaragua from the National Park so that it can be drained for the 

cultivation of sugar cane. 

Research and conservation: A considerable amount of faunal and floral research has been 

conducted in the Wildlife Refuge. A detailed management plan has been prepared for the 

Refuge, and some management has been implemented, including the cutting, burning and 

clearing of excess vegetation, construction of artificial impoundments, and erection of 

nest-boxes for Dendrocygna autumnalis. However, it is clear that unless better control is 

gained of the quantity and quality of the water entering the wetlands, much of the importance 

of this unique area will be lost. 

References: Stiles & Smith (1977); Leber (1980); lUCN (1982); Vaughan et al (1982). 

Source: Julio E. Sanchez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 123. 



Laguna Mata Redonda (3) 

Location: 10''19'N, 85''25'W; 20 km north of Nicoya, Guanacaste Province. 

Area: 900 ha. 

Altitude: 30m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 12. 



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Site description: A seasonal freshwater lake, up to 2m deep, on the south bank of the Rio 

Tempisque, surrounded by pastureland. The lake is at its most extensive between August and 

October, and dries out completely in March and April. 

Principal vegetation: Floating Eichhornia crassipes, Nymphaea ampla, N. lutea, Nymphoidessp 

and Pontederia sp; emergent Eleocharis spp, Thalia geniculata and Ipomoea carnea. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle ranching and hunting. 

Waterfowl: A very important feeding area for waterfowl during the early part of the dry 

season (January to mid March), with almost the same species as the nearby Palo Verde lakes. 

Concentrations at this time have included up to 5,000 Mycteria americana, 1,000 Ajaia ajaja, 

20,000 Dendrocygna autumnalis, 20,000 Anas discors and 500 Aramus guarauna. Some 75 pairs 

of the latter also breed. The lake is one of the main feeding areas of the Jabiru mycteria 

breeding at the Palo Verde lakes. 

Other fauna: About 10 pairs of Rostrhamus sociabilis breed. The freshwater turtle Kinosternon 

scorpioides is abundant, but Caiman crocodilus now occurs in much reduced numbers as a 

result of excessive persecution. There is an endemic bivalve Nephronais tempisquensis in the 

area. 

Threats: The main threats are contamination with pesticides from nearby areas of rice 

cultivation; the future construction by the government of dykes and canals to regulate water 

levels; and uncontrolled hunting of ducks. 

Research and conservation: The lake clearly merits protection as an important component of 

the Palo Verde wetland complex. 

Source: Julio E. Sanchez. 

Criteria for inclusion: la, lb, 2a & 2c. 



Laguna Zonzapote and Corral de Piedra (4) 

Location: 10°15'N, 85''18'W; 20 km northeast of Nicoya, Guanacaste Province. 

Area: 2,800 ha. 

Altitude: 2m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 12. 

Site description: A seasonal fresh to brackish lake on the south bank of the Rio Tempisque, 

south of the Palo Verde lakes. The lake becomes brackish as the water level falls, and is 

completely dry from February to April. 

Principal vegetation: Floating Eichhornia crassipes, Nymphaea ampla and N. lutea; 

emergent Eleocharis mutata, Thalia geniculata and Typha domingensis. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Cattle ranching, hunting, and some fishing and harvesting of shrimps. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for resident waterfowl, and a very important wintering 

area for a variety of migrants. Breeding species include Podilymbus podiceps (up to 100 

pairs), Podiceps dominicus, Tigrisoma mexicanum, Nycticorax nycticorax, Cochlearius 

cochlearius (40 pairs), Dendrocygna bicolor, D. autumnalis, Aramus guarauna (30 

pairs), Porphyrula martinica, Jacana spinosa, Charadrius wilsonius and Himantopus himantopus 

(15 pairs). Concentrations of non-breeding birds and Nearctic migrants have included up to 

2,000 Egretta thula, 6,000 Mycteria americana, 2,000 Eudocimus albus, 75 Plegadis falcinellus, 

1,000 Ajaia ajaja, 400 Anas americana, 4,000 A. discors, 100 A. clypeata and 5,000 shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Eight pairs of Rostrhamus sociabilis breed, and up to 6 Pandion haliaetus have 

been observed in winter. Crocodylus acutus and Caiman crocodilus occur. 

Threats: The main threats are contamination with pesticides, drainage for the cultivation of 

rice, and uncontrolled hunting. 

Source: Julio E. Sanchez. 

Criteria for inclusion: lb & 3a. 



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Costa Rica 

Estero Madrigal (5) 

Location: 10°17'N, 85°09'W; 30 km SSE of Bagaces, Guanacaste Province. 

Area: 300 ha. 

Altitude: 10m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 09, 11 & 18. 

Site description: A wide stretch of slow-flowing river with riverine marshes and swamp forest, 

draining out through a narrow channel, and constituting one of the few permanently flooded 

wetlands in the Rio Tempisque valley. The river is up to 6m deep, and water levels remain 

fairly constant. 

Principal vegetation: Floating beds of Eichhornia crassipes and Pistia stratiotes; marshes 

with Typha domingensis, Thalia geniculata and Mimosa sp; swamp forest with Anacardium 

excelsum predominating. Surrounded by pastureland and cultivated areas with rice and sugar 

cane. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: No legal habitat protection, but one of the landowners protects his property. 

Land use: Hunting; cattle ranching and agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: An important breeding area for waterfowl, and a very important refuge at the end 

of the dry season, when most other wetlands in the area have dried out. Breeding species 

include Phalacrocorax olivaceus (1,000 pairs in February 1985), Tigrisoma mexicanum (30 

pairs), Cochlearius cochlearius (15 pairs), Bubulcus ibis (500 pairs), Egretta alba (100 

pairs), Mycteria americana (100 pairs), Jabiru mycteria (1 pair in 1983), Dendrocygna 

autumnalis (250 pairs), Cairina moschata (5-10 pairs) and Aramus guarauna (20 pairs). These 

and other species breeding in the Rio Tempisque valley concentrate in large numbers in this 

area during the dry season, along with many Nearctic Anatidae and shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Rostrhamus sociabilis and Busarellus nigricollis are common inthe dry season, 

and Caiman crocodilus occurs. 

Threats: The main threats are contamination with pesticides, drainage for the cultivation of 

rice and sugar cane, and uncontrolled hunting. 

Source: Julio E. Sanchez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2c & 3a. 



Estero Piedras (6) 

Location: 10°08'N, 85°03'W; 30 km south of Canas, Guanacaste Province. 

Area: Several hundred ha. 

Altitude: 0-lm. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A complex of shallow brackish coastal marshes and mangrove swamps, partly 

seasonal and partly tidal, and an area of salt pans (Salina Bonilla). 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps; and brackish marshes with Cyperaceae, 

principally Fimbristylis sp. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: No special protection, but there is a general law which prohibits the cutting of 

mangroves. 

Land use: Salt extraction and a little illegal cutting of mangroves. 

Waterfowl: An important feeding area for birds breeding on Isla Pajaros to the northwest, and 

a very important passage and wintering area for migratory shorebirds and Laridae. Feeding 

concentrations have included up to 500 Egretta alba, 800 Mycteria americana, 600 Eudocimus 

albus, 300 Ajaia ajaja and 300 Himantopus himantopus. Charadrius wilsonius breeds. 

Common passage and wintering birds include Egretta caerulea, E. tricolor, Ardea herodias, 

many shorebirds (notably Pluvialis squatarola, Charadrius semipalmatus, Numenius phaeopus, 

Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, Actitis macularia, Limnodromus griseus, Calidris spp 

and Micropalama himantopus), Larus atricilla. Sterna hirundo and S. albifrons. 

Other fauna: Pandion haliaetus is a winter visitor. 

Threats: Road construction through the wetland has affected the hydrology of the marshes; 

large areas of mangroves were destroyed in the construction of 405 ha of shrimp ponds at 

Chomes; the illegal cutting of mangroves continues; and there is uncontrolled hunting. 

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Costa Rica 

Research and conservation: Some shorebirds have been banded at Salina Bonilla. 
References: Stiles & Smith (1977). 
Source: Julio £. Sanchez. 
Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Estero Mata de Limon (7) 

Location: 9°55'N, 84°42'W; near Barranca, Puntarenas Province. 

Area: 200 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 07 & 08. 

Site description: A complex of brackish coastal lagoons, up to 2m deep, brackish marshes and 

mangrove swamps, partly seasonal and partly tidal. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps, and brackish marshes. 

Land tenure: A mixture of state and private ownership. 

Protection: No special protection, but there is a general law which prohibits the cutting of 

mangroves. 

Land use: Recreation and salt extraction. 

Waterfowl: A feeding area for Phalacrocorax olivaceus and various Ciconiiformes, and an 

important passage and wintering area for migratory shorebirds and Laridae, with almost the 

same species as Estero Piedras (site 6). 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The construction of dykes has affected the hydrology of the wetland; mangroves have 

been destroyed and replaced with salt pans; and there is a potential threat of pollution from a 

nearby harbour, currently under construction. 

Source: Julio E. Sanchez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna Corcovado (8) 

Location: 8°33'N, 83°36'W; 40 km west of Puerto Jimenez, Puntarenas Province. 

Area: 1,200 ha. 

Altitude: 10m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 12 & 18. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake, up to 4m deep, surrounded by marshes, palm 

swamps and swamp forest, and with a river channel passing through it. The water level 

fluctuates considerably, and extensive flooding occurs during the rainy season. 

Principal vegetation: Extensive marshes with Gramineae, mainly Pennisetum sp, which covers 

the greater part of the lake; large tracts of the palm Raphia taedigera; and swamp forest 

with Pterocarpus officinalis, Inga vera, Euterpe sp and Cecropia spp. In a region of very 

humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Included within the Corcovado National Park (36,000 ha) established in 1976. 

Land use: None; much of the area is very difficult of access. 

Waterfowl: A very rich area for both breeding and wintering waterfowl; fifty species have 

been recorded, but no census data are available. Resident species include Podiceps dominicus, 

Anhinga anhinga, Ixobrychus exilis, Nycticorax nycticorax, Nyctanassa violacea, Cochlearius 

cochlearius, Agamia agami. Mycteria americana, Eudocimus albus, AJaia ajaja, Cairina 

moschata, Aramus guarauna, Amaurolimnas concolor, Aramides cajanea, Porphyrula martinica 

and Jacana spinosa. Passage and wintering species include Ardea herodias. Anas discors and 

many Nearctic shorebirds. 

Other fauna: Pandion haliaetus is a winter visitor, and Caiman crocodilus occurs. 

Threats: None known. 

Research and conservation: A considerable amount of research is being conducted on the fauna 

and flora of the National Park, and a Master Plan has been produced. 



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References: Vaughan (1981); lUCN (1982). 
Source: Julio E. Sanchez. 
Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Lago Dabagri (9) 

Location: 9°37'N, SS'ie'W; 90 km ESE of San Jose, Limon Province. 

Area: 25 ha. 

Altitude: 1,000m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 12 & 18. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake, c.5m deep, surrounded by marshes, wet 

grassland and flooded forest; in the highlands, on the Caribbean slope of the Cordillera de 

Talamanca. 

Principal vegetation: Cyperaceae swamps; and flooded forest. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Included within La Amistad National Park (192,000 ha) established in 1979. 

Land use: None; there are several Indian Reservations near the lake. 

Waterfowl: Very poorly known. Waterfowl observed during a single visit in 1981 

included Podiceps dominicus, Butorides virescens, Porphyrula martinica and Jacana spinosa. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: None known. 

Source: Julio E. Sanchez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 3a. 



Laguna Gandoca (10) 

Location: 9°35'N, 82°36'W; on the Caribbean coast near the Panamanian border, Limon 

Province. 

Area: 780 ha. 

Altitude: 0-2m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 05, 07 & 18. 

Site description: A brackish coastal lagoon of 30 ha, up to 6m deep, subject to tidal influence; 

two nearby marshes; adjacent flooded forest; and sandy beaches. 

Principal vegetation: Flooded forest and extensive tracts of the palm Schelia rostrata. In a 

region of humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: Mainly state owned, with some private ownership. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing and hunting; cultivation of cocoa and some cattle ranching nearby. 

Waterfowl: Very poorly known. Pelecanus occidentalis is common, and is reported to breedon 

a small island nearby (Punta Mona). A variety of Ardeidae, Nearctic shorebirds and Laridae 

were observed during two brief visits to the lagoon, but the marsh areas have never been 

investigated. 

Other fauna: The manatee Trichechus manatus occurs in the area; and the adjacent humid 

tropical forests have an extremely diverse fauna. 

Threats: The native forests are being destroyed for the cultivation of an African palm, and this 

is likely to affect the wetland ecosystem. 

Research and conservation: The area is difficult of access, and remains very poorly known. 

The Asociacion de Desarrollo has presented a proposal to the Government for the establishment 

of a protected area, but no decision has as yet been taken. 

Source: Julio E. Sanchez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a & 3a. 



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Costa Rica 

Wetlands in Tortuguero National Park (11) 

Location: 10°25'N, 83°27'W; 30 km NNE of Siquirres, Limon Province. 

Area: 15,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-5m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 05, 08, 13, 16 & 18. 

Site description: A vast complex of palm swamps and fresh to brackish marshes crossed by 

many narrow channels; a large area of seasonally flooded grassy marshes; and some mangrove 

swamps behind a long sea beach. 

Principal vegetation: Floating beds of Eichhornia crassipes; marshes with Gramineae and 

Cyperaceae; palm swamps with Raphia taedigera; mangrove swamps with Rhizophora mangle; 

and beach vegetation with Coccoloba uvifera. In a region of humid tropical forest, with very 

high rainfall (5,000 mm) and no marked dry season. 

Land tenure: State owned. 

Protection: Within the Tortuguero National Park (18,947 ha) established in 1970. 

Land use: None. 

Waterfowl: A very important area for migratory Ardeidae and shorebirds. Shorebirds recorded 

in large numbers along the coast include Pluvialis squatarola, Charadrius semipalmatus, C. 

collaris, Numenius phaeopus, Tringa melanoleuca, T. flavipes, T. solitaria, Catoptrophorus 

semipalmatus, Actitis macularia, Arenaria interpres, Limnodromus griseus. Calidris alba, C. 

pusilla. C. mauri and C. minutilla. Mesembrinibis cayennensis is known to occur in the swamps. 

Other fauna: The manatee Trichechus manatus is still thought to occur; and the sea 

turtles Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata and Dermochelys coriacea nest along the beach. 

Threats: The hunting of turtles and collection of their eggs are still a problem in the Park. 

Research and conservation: General faunal and floral surveys have been conducted in the Park; 

a considerable amount of research has been carried out on the sea turtles; and a preliminary 

management plan has been prepared. 

References: lUCN (1982). 

Source: Julio E. Sanchez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2b & 3a. 



Barra del Colorado (12) 

Location: 10°32'-10°45'N, 83°32'-83°53'W; on the Caribbean coast near the Nicaraguan border, 

Limon and Heredia Provinces. 

Area: 53,550 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lm. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 05, 07, 09 & 12. 

Site description: A vast complex of interconnected freshwater lakes and marshes, brackish 

coastal lagoons and marshes, and palm swamps, behind a long sandy beach. The lagoons near 

the coast are subject to tidal influence. 

Principal vegetation: Freshwater lakes with floating beds of Eichhornia crassipes; marshes with 

Gramineae and Cyperaceae; and palm swamps with Astrocarium olatum and Raphia taedigera. 

In a region of humid tropical forest. 

Land tenure: Privately owned. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Commercial fishing; cattle ranching and agriculture nearby. 

Waterfowl: A wide variety of breeding, passage and wintering waterfowl have been recorded, 

but no census data are available. Resident species include Pelecanus occidentalis. Anhinga 

anhinga. Nycticorax nycticorax, Nyctanassa violacea. Mesembrinibis cayennensis, Aramides 

cajanea, Laterallus albigularis and Porphyrula martinica. Migrants and wintering birds 

include Ardea herodias. Anas discors. Aythya affinis, Fulica americana, many Nearctic 

shorebirds, Larus atricilla, Chlidonias nigra and Sterna hirundo. 

Other fauna: The manatee Trichechus manatus still occurs in the area. Fishes 

include Lepisosteus tropicus. 

Threats: A road is being constructed through the region, and this will inevitably lead to 

accelerated exploitation of the natural ecosystems. 

Research and conservation: A proposal has been made for the establishment of a National 

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Wildlife Refuge (Refugio Nacional de Fauna Silvestre) incorporating the wetland. 

Source: Julio E. Sanchez. 

Criteria for inclusion: 2a, 2b & 3a. 



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EL SALVADOR 

INTRODUCTION 

based on information provided by Carolina Calderon of the Embassy of El Salvador in London. 

El Salvador, the smallest country in Central America, has an area of 21,200 km^, and a 
population of almost five million. It is situated on the Pacific watershed and has a coastline of 
approximately 260 km. The terrain is very mountainous, and the country is crossed by a chain 
of volcanoes (e.g. Santa Ana, San Vicente, San Miguel and San Salvador), some of which are 
still active. These mountains separate the Pacific coastal plain in the south from the plain of 
the Rio Lempa in the north. The Rio Lempa is the main river in El Salvador; it cuts through 
the mountain chain and eventually flows into the Golfo de Fonseca. 

The rainy season extends from May until October, and temperatures are uniformly high. 

Institutional Base for Wetland Conservation and Research 

The principal bodies concerned with environmental conservation and research are as follows: 

Direccion General de Recursos Naturales Renovables, the government agency responsible for 

the conservation of nature and research. 

Instituto Salvadoreno de Turismo (El Salvador Tourist Institute), which cooperates in 

projects concerned with nature protection. 

Parque Zoologico Nacional, dedicated to environmental education and research. 

Museo de Historia Natural, dedicated to research and education. 

Progress in Wetland Conservation and Research 

No National Parks or equivalent reserves have as yet been officially protected by law in El 
Salvador, but some zones are managed as such, for example the Parque Nacional Cerro Verde 
(500 ha), the Parque Nacional Walter Thilo Deininger (732 ha), the Refugio Faunistico Laguna 
Jocotal (1,000 ha), Barra de Santiago, and Bosque El Impossible. 

Research currently in progress includes a study of the reproductive biology of Dendrocygna 
aulumnalis at Laguna Jocotal by Jose A. Gomez Ventura, and research on sea turtles at Barra 
de Santiago by Manuel F. Benitez Arias. 



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El Salvador 



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El Salvador 



WETLANDS 



No data sheets were received from El Salvador. The site descriptions are based on personal 
communication with Manuel F. Benitez Arias and Jose A. Gomez Ventura, and the meagre 
literature. 



Laguna de Guija (1) 

Location: 14°15'N, 88°32'W; 30 km north of Santa Ana, on the Guatemalan border. 

Area: 4,300 ha, of which 3,000 ha are in El Salvador. 

Altitude: 427m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 12. 

Site description: A large freshwater lake with several small islands and fringing marshes; in the 

mountains of northwestern El Salvador, on the Guatemalan border. A new hydroelectric dam 

at the lake's outlet generates electricity for the western part of the country. (See Guatemala 

site 6). 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Generation of electricity; cattle ranching and agriculture in surrounding areas. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: The fish fauna includes endemic species of Poecilidae, particularly of the 

genus Heterandria. 

Threats: No information. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Lago de Coatepeque (2) 

Location: 13°52'N, 89°33'W; 15 km south of Santa Ana. 

Area: 2,200 ha. 

Altitude: 850m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 12. 

Site description: A freshwater caldera lake with a small island; on the slopes of Volcan de Santa 

Ana. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: Fishing and recreation. There are many houses around the lake. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Barra de Santiago (3) 

Location: 13°42'N, 90°00'W; on the coast 30 km west of Sonsonate, in extreme western El 

Salvador. 

Area: 4,800 ha. | 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 05, 07 & 08. 

Site description: A chain of small brackish lagoons, marshes and mangrove swamps behind a 

sea beach. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps. 

Land tenure: No information. 

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El Salvador 



Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: The beaches are an important nesting area for sea turtles. 

Threats: No information. 

Research and conservation: M. F. Benito Arias is conducting research on the sea turtles. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Lago de Ilopango (4) 

Location: 13M0'N, 89°13'W; 15 km east of San Salvador. 

Area: 6,600 ha. 

Altitude: 450m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 12. 

Site description: A deep freshwater lalce in a volcanic crater in the mountains close to San 

Salvador city. In 1880, geological disturbance resulted in the appearance of an island in the 

lake, and a lowering in water level. The channel draining the lake has since become blocked, 

and the water level has risen again. 

Principal vegetation: No information. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: A popular area for recreation, including water sports. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: Some pollution has been reported. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Rio Lempa estuary and coastal lagoons (5) 

Location: IS'IT'N, 88°50'W; 60 km southeast of San Salvador. 

Area: 1 1 ,000 ha. 

Altitude: Om. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 02, 05, 07 & 08. 

Site description: The estuary of the Rio Lempa, associated coastal marshes and mangrove 

swamps, and a long narrow coastal lagoon to the west, with sand beaches along the coast. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps. 

Land tenure: No information. 

Protection: None. 

Land use: No information. 

Waterfowl: No information. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: No information. 

Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Punta San Juan lagoons (6) 

Location: 13°10'-13°18'N, 88°16'-88°45'W; 40 km southwest of San Miguel. 

Area: 37,000 ha. 

Altitude: 0-lOm. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 05, 07 & 08. 

Site description: An extensive system of brackish coastal lagoons with mangrove swamps, and 

adjacent sand beaches. 

Principal vegetation: Mangrove swamps. 

Land tenure: No information. 

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El Salvador 

Protection: None. 
Land use: Shrimp farming. 
Waterfowl: No information. 
Other fauna: No information. 
Threats: No information. 
Criteria for inclusion: 0. 



Laguna Jocotal (7) 

Location: 13°19'N, 88°15'W; 17 km SSW of San Miguel, Department of San Miguel. 

Area: 1,200 ha at maximum level. 

Altitude: 20m. 

Province and type: 8.16.4; 12 & 18. 

Site description: A permanent freshwater lake, up to 3m deep, and marshes, to the north of the 

Rio Grande de San Miguel, and at the base of San Miguel Volcano. The lake is eutrophic, and 

most of the surface is covered with floating vegetation. There is a relict patch of swamp forest 

to the east of the lake. Water levels fluctuate widely; during the rainy season, the Rio Grande 

overflows and floods upto 1,200 ha; during the dry season the lake is reduced to 500 ha. 

Principal vegetation: Submergent beds of Hydrilla verticillata, Ceratophyllum demersum 

and Najas sp; extensive floating beds of Eichhornia crassipes with some Pistiastratiotes, 

Sahinia sp and Lemna sp; emergent Nymphaea ampla; fringing marshes of Phragmites 

communis, Typha angustifolia and Saggharia lancifolia; and some swamp forest. In the 

subtropical humid forest zone, but the forest around the lake has been cleared. 

Land tenure: Mostly privately owned. 

Protection: Within the Laguna Jocotal Wildlife Sanctuary (about 1,000 ha) established in 1978. 

Land use: Fishing; agriculture (mainly cotton) and livestock grazing to the east. Three hundred 

families live around the lake. 

Waterfowl: A very rich area for waterfowl, with a large breeding population of Dendrocygna 

autumnalis. Other common species include Butorides virescens, Dendrocygna bicolor, Oxyura 

dominica (up to 500 in winter), Gallinula chloropus, Porphyrula martinica, Fulica americana, 

Jacana spinosa and Himantopus himantopus. 

Other fauna: No information. 

Threats: The major threat is pes