The Annotated Ramsar List: Dominican Republic


The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for the Dominican Republic on 15 September 2002. The Dominican Republic presently has 4 sites designated as a Wetland of International Importance, with a surface area of 135,097 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

Humedales de Jaragua. 04/07/14; Pedernales; 32,979 ha; 17°43'47"N 71°32'0"W. The Site is made up of three sub-sites: Laguna de Oviedo, Bucán de Base – Canal Beata, and Pedernales Bucanye – Cabo Rojo – Bahía de las Águilas. It features different types of coastal wetland including permanent and temporary lagoons, vast mangrove forests, extensive sea grass beds and coral reefs. It is rich in biodiversity and supports threatened or endangered species such as the coral Acropora palmata, the Antillean manatee Trichechus manatus manatus, and the birds Dendrocygna  arborea and  Corvus leucognaphalus. The Site also supports the only known populations of the endemic Jaragua pupfish (Cyprinodon nichollsi) and is of utmost importance for the four species of sea turtle that nest and forage in the area. It has one of the largest populations in the world of juvenile hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and also supports populations of Dermochelys coriacea, Chelonia mydas and Caretta caretta. The wetlands are also essential to the local economy which is based on artisan fishing, as they support species of high commercial value such as the lobster Panulirus argus and the queen conch Strombus gigas. The threats to the Site are associated with different economic activities; among these are the storage and transportation by land and sea of bauxite, the movement and anchoring of boats and the development of tourism in the area. Ramsar Site no. 2210. Most Recent RIS information: 2014

Lago Enriquillo.
15/05/02; Suroeste; ~ 20,000 ha; 18°28'N 071°39'W. Parque Nacional. A hypersaline lake formed by an ancient channel of the sea, at 35km in length the largest lake in the Caribbean, as well as the surrounding swamps, wet meadows, and irrigated cropland, with one large and two small islands. The site is significant for the biodiversity of the region, supporting three of the largest reptiles found on the island, all of them threatened. It also provides habitat for at least 65 species of domestic and migratory birds, of which five are considered threatened. Cave decorations with pictographs and petroglyphs from pre-hispanic Taínos people can be seen, of which the best example of taíno art can be found on an ancient coral reef called Las Caritas, an archaeological site frequently visited by tourists. Diversion of inflowing water for agricultural purposes is perceived as a potential threated to the ecological character of the site. A visitors' centre on the Isla Cabritos, the original core of the present National Park, has developed numerous educational activities. Ramsar site no. 1179. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Parque Nacional Manglares del Bajo Yuna. 02/02/2013; Duarte, Sánchez Ramírez, Samaná, Maria Trinidad Sánchez; 77,518 ha; 19º10'12"N 069º40'48"W. National Protected Area (partially). A large subtropical coastal wetland, with estuarine characteristics, predominance of mangroves, and many watercourses. It is located in the Samaná Bay, the largest semi-closed bay in the Caribbean, which contains a specific salinity gradient capable of supporting a great mosaic of habitats. It is also important by being part of karst systems and springs. The area supports species at risk of extinction, like Hypsiboas heilprini, Eleutherodactylus flavescens, and Eleutherodactylus schmidti, all of them endemic species. The site provides a refuge for seven endemic bird species: Dulus dominicus (Palmchat), Melanerpes striatus (Hispaniolan Woodpecker), Todus subulatus (Broad-billed Tody), Phaenicophilus palmarum (Black-crowned Palm-tanager), Coccyzus longirostris (Hispaniolan Lizard Cuckoo), Corvus palmarun (Palm Crow), and Icterus dominicensis (Hispaniolan Oriole). The site is closely related to the Samaná bay, an internationally important site for mating and reproduction of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae). Ramsar Site no. 2091. Most recent information: 2013.

Refugio de Vida Silvestre Laguna Cabral o Rincón. 02/02/2011. Barahona e Independencia; 4,600 ha; 18°16’N 071°15’W. Comprises a freshwater lagoon, permanent and stationary rivers and inundated agricultural areas within the Laguna Cabral o Rincon Wildlife Refuge. The site provides habitat for species listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List such as the West Indian Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna arborea) and the Southern crested toad (Bufo guentheri). It has an important population of endemic plants (Solanum microphyllum), fish (Hispaniolan Gambusia) and birds such as the Hispaniolan Parrot (Amazona ventralis), and is also important as a winter stop for migratory ducks where they have registered over 100,000 individuals of different species like Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris), Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), White cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis) among others. Main threats for this site include the hydrological changes caused by the water extraction and deviation for irrigation purposes, the introduction of invasive species, and the overexploitation of fisheries. There is an annual operational plan for management activities and a management plan is currently being developed. Ramsar Site no. 1936. Most recent RIS information: 2011.

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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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