The Annotated Ramsar List: Venezuela

25/01/2000

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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

VENEZUELA

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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Venezuela on 23 November 1988. Venezuela presently has 5 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 263,636 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

Archipiélago Los Roques.04/09/96; Federal District; 213,220 ha; 11º50’N 066º45’W. National Park. An archipelago of 45 islands and keys scattered around a shallow water lagoon. The site includes sand banks, coral reefs, and two large coral barriers. Three tropical marine ecosystems interact: coral reefs, beds of marine phanerogams, and mangroves. The site supports migratory birds and numerous species of nesting birds. Marine turtles threatened with extinction lay their eggs on the beaches. Human activities include tourism and small-scale fishing. A marine biology station is located on one of the keys, and there is a conservation education programme. Ramsar site no. 856. Most recent RIS information: 1996.

Ciénaga de Los Olivitos.04/09/96; Zulia; 26,000 ha; 10º55’N 071º26’W. Wildlife and Fisheries Reserves. A coastal wetland subject to tidal influence and consisting of mangrove, lagoon, saltmarsh, and beach habitats. The site supports numerous species of migratory and resident birds, and aquatic shorebirds use the site for reproduction, feeding and resting. Species such as Crocodylus acutus, the manatee (Trichechus manatus), and sea turtles, all threatened with extinction, are supported. Human activities include salt extraction, commercial fishing, and shrimp farming. Ramsar site no. 859. Most recent RIS information: 1996.

Cuare.23/11/88; Falcón; 9,968 ha; 10º55’N 068º20’W. Wildlife Refuge. Added to the Montreux Record, 16 June 1993; removed from the Record, 7 August 1996. The site includes marine and inland habitats. The former are coral reefs, sandy beaches, mangrove stands, and scattered low forest. The latter, penetrated by a small gulf and a network of channels, includes mangrove and deciduous forests. The highly productive marshes support staging and wintering waterbirds, a rich flora and fauna, including commercially important fish, two species of marine turtles, and the endangered Crocodylus acutus. The site is of considerable archaeological interest. Subject of a Ramsar Advisory Mission in 1991. Ramsar site no. 414. Most recent RIS information: 1991.

Laguna de la Restinga. 04/09/96; Nueva Esparta; 5,248 ha; 11º02’N 064º09’W. National Park. A shallow lagoon separated from the sea by a barrier beach and an associated system of marine and coastal wetlands. The flora includes four species of mangroves, xerophytic and halophilic communities. Fauna includes many species of migratory birds which rest and feed at the site. Numerous endemic plants and animals, some threatened, are present. Human activities include fishing (traditional and commercial), sand extraction, and tourism. Ramsar site no. 857. Most recent RIS information: 1996.

Laguna de Tacarigua.04/09/96; Miranda; 9,200 ha; 10º12’N 065º56’W. This site is a coastal lagoon, separated from the Caribbean sea by the coastal barrier created by the lagoon. It harbors mangroves, forming dense vegetation islands, and open water spaces. There are a number of species and sub-species of rare, threatened, or vulnerable plants and animals such as sea turtles. It is also a breeding ground for fish. Traditionally fishing is the main activity in the area, but some subsistence farming does take place. The site is also a tourist destination. Ramsar site no. 858. Most recent RIS information: 1996.

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