Mauritius names its third Ramsar Site

The island country of Mauritius, which joined the Ramsar Convention in 2001, has designated its third Wetland of International Importance, the Pointe d'Esny Wetland (22 hectares, 20°25'36''S 057°43'11''E) in the southeastern district of Grand Port. The small site is a rare example of a wetland characterized by a subtropical mangrove forest containing Rhizophora mucronata and, reportedly, the rarer Bruguiera gymnorhiza, mud flats, and a sub-mangrove belt of pan-tropical coastal plants. It provides habitat for some threatened plants and the native butterflies Phalanta phalantha and Eurema floricola ceres. The site is a natural coastal wetland of shallow depth whose water level fluctuates with rainfall and tidal variation. Its water is brackish, being a mixture of tidal sea water and freshwater overflow from inland. The main threats within the site include intense pressures to convert the wetland for various ecologically unsustainable economic purposes; a growing tourist industry, coastal roads, agricultural uses, and growing human settlements affect the site adversely.

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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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