The Annotated Ramsar List: Lesotho


The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Lesotho on 1 November 2004. Lesotho presently has 1 site designated as a Wetland of International Importance, with a surface area of 434 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Lets'eng-la-Letsie.01/07/04; Quthing; 434 ha; 30°20'S 028°12'E. A highland wetland about 200 km southeast of the capital city Maseru, part of the Lets'eng-la-Letsie (not yet gazetted) protected area, which was designated in 2001 as a component of the Conserving Mountain Biodiversity in Southern Lesotho (CMBSL) project. It consists of a human-made lake with a mean depth of about 1 m and its associated catchment area. The main vegetation types are Afromontane and Afroalpine formations that are dominated by grasses and show high biodiversity and endemism levels. A number of vulnerable species occur among the 110 bird species recorded at this site, including the Wattled and Blue Cranes, the Lesser Kestrel and the Bald Ibis. The site is currently used as grazing land and is important for provision of grass for thatching, as a source of water, medicinal plants and wood, and for fishing. Given the free access/open property nature of the site it suffers from overstocking, overgrazing and erosion, as well as overexploitation of its natural resources. No management plan exists as yet for the Ramsar site, although there are plans, which have raised controversy, to fence off the area for the re-introduction of large mammals and development of tourism facilities. Ramsar site no. 1388. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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