Nicaragua joins the Convention!
The Republic of Nicaragua ratified the Ramsar Convention on 30 July 1997, entering into force on 30 November 1997. The "Area de Refugio de Vida Silvestre de los Guatuzos" has been designated by the Government of Nicaragua as its first wetland of international importance.
Los Guatuzos is situated on the southern shore of Lake Cocibolca or Nicaragua, and along the border with Costa Rica. It covers 437.5 square km of permanent and seasonal marshes, lagoons and numerous rivers and creeks. The depth of these wetlands varies from only a few centimetres up to 2 m, originating from rain water and the rising of the water table.
The area is of exceptional importance for its flora and fauna diversity. Both resident and migrant bird species are abundant, especially during the dry season of the Nicaraguan and Costa Rican Pacific regions. There are several endangered species, such as Jabiru mycteria, Caiman crocodylus, Crocodylus acutus, and Trachemys scripta.
There is a management plan for the area, which was approved by Ministerial agreement on December 1996 and is being implemented.
Los Guatuzos is very close to Cano Negro Ramsar site in Costa Rica and both governments have started to consider the possibility of establishing a binational Ramsar site by eventually including in the List of Wetlands of International Importance the area on the Costa Rican side which still has no conservation status.
-- reported by Montserrat Carbonell,
Regional Coordinator for the Neotropics