The Annotated Ramsar List: Marshall Islands


The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


newzealand.gif (2544 bytes)

The Convention on Wetlands came into force for the Marshall Islands on 13 November 2004. The Marshall Islands presently has 2 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 70,119 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

Jaluit Atoll Conservation Area. 13/07/04; Jaluit Atoll district; 69,000 ha; 06°00'N 169°34'E. Conservation Area. A large coral atoll comprising 91 islets with a land area of 700 ha enclosing a large lagoon and including diverse and relatively pristine marine and terrestrial habitats, such as reefs, sandflats, seagrass beds, mangroves, and sand cays. There is a considerable range of relatively healthy marine species populations of reef fish and invertebrates, and though terrestrial species are more limited there are turtle nesting beaches and seabird roosting islands in relatively stable conditions. Fewer than 2000 people practice a subsistence lifestyle. Traditional land ownership and resource management has been effective, but as resource uses fall increasingly under local government councils there has been a decline in sustainable management awareness and practices. Potential threats include over-harvesting, especially of marine species for off-island markets, and the prospect of rising sea levels associated with global warming. A management plan is in effect. Ramsar sites no. 1389. Most recent RIS information: 2004.

Namdrik Atoll. 02/02/12; Ralik Chain; 1,119 ha; 05°37’00N 168°06’30”E.  An atoll 390km southwest of the capital city Majuro, consisting of two wooded islands with an extensive reef flat lying between them. A subterranean Ghyben-Herzberg water lens lies underneath the islands, replenished by rainfall, which provides a precious supply of freshwater. The site is unique because of its large size and also because, unlike many other coral atolls in the region, there are no navigable passes into the central lagoon. The atoll is also unusual because it supports a rich mangrove forest that is home to some 150 species of fish, including the endangered Napoleon or Humphead Wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus). It also supports breeding populations of the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate) and endangered Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas). The wetland provides many resources for local people including canoe-building supplies, ornaments, beauty aids, medicines, ceremonial supplies, and material for maintaining attractive homesteads. The intertidal ponds are used for curing wood and other plant material to make traditional handicrafts and clothing.Being relatively isolated, the atoll is in a near pristine condition and has supported traditional, sustainable human development for the past 3,000 years. However, current unsustainable harvesting practices are placing considerable pressure on the atoll’s unique biodiversity. An integrated conservation management plan has been developed with the community. Ramsar Site no. 2072. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Back to top
Follow us 
Ramsar Awards 

The Convention today

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

Ramsar Secretariat

Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 22 999 0170
Fax: +41 22 999 0169
Map: click here

Ramsar Forum: subscribe