The Annotated Ramsar List: Guinea-Bissau


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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Guinea-Bissau on 14 May 1990. Guinea-Bissau presently has 2 sites designated as a Wetland of International Importance, with a surface area of 1,086,048 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

Archipel Bolama-Bijagós. 21/01/14; Bolama Region; 1,046,950 ha; 11°14’N 16°02’W. Biosphere Reserve. The archipelago has the only active delta islands in the Atlantic Coast of West Africa.  The intertidal mudflats host one of the largest populations of migratory shorebirds in the world (with over 870,000 recorded in 2001) on the East Atlantic flyway. Visitors include the Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea), Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) and Red Knot (Calidris canutus). The influence of coastal upwelling and estuaries and the large areas of mangrove support the reproduction and early growth of a large number of fish species. The site hosts the largest colony of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Africa, and provides a habitat for over 15 vulnerable species including the Hippopotamus, West African Manatee (Trichechus senegalensis), Timneh Parrot (Psittacus timneh), Atlantic Humpbacked Dolphin (Sousa teuszii), Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) and Green Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). The archipelago is also a source of livelihoods for over 32,000 inhabitants, who use some areas for rice farming, palm plantations and subsistence fishing, and the others  for cultural and spiritual purposes. The main threats facing the site are overfishing, tourism and ongoing offshore oil exploration and bauxite mining in the neighbouring regions. Ramsar Site no. 2198. Most recent RIS information: 2014.

Lagoa de Cufada
. 14/05/90; Quinara; 39,098 ha; 11º43’N 015º02’W. Protected Area. A large, permanent, freshwater lake, with abundant aquatic vegetation and adjoining river floodplain. Includes two smaller lakes, seasonally flooded marshes, fringing mangroves, and extensive mudflats. A dozen small villages of several hundred people live within the site practicing traditional fishing and rice production. The site also supports crocodiles and hippopotamus. Surrounding areas have been cleared for banana and cashew production or exploited for wood. Large expanses of vegetation are burned annually to facilitate hunting and shifting rice cultivation. Ramsar site no. 469. Most recent RIS information: 1990.

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