The secretariat is very pleased to announce that the Republic of Argentina has named, effective 18/01/02, the Lagunas y Esteros del Iberá (24,550 hectares, 28°31'S 057°09'W, Natural Reserve) as its 10th Wetland of International Importance. Located in Corrientes province in the northeast of the country, the site is centered about the Laguna del Iberá and is part of the macrosystem of Iberá, a catchment area of some 1.3 million hectares drained by the Río Corriente into the middle reaches of the Paraná, representative of wetland types found in Corrientes and southeastern Paraguay. Iberá Lake, at 5,500 hectares, is one of the largest and most characteristic components of the system - with an average depth of 3m, it is almost always clear with variations caused by seasonal growth of plankton. The site supports high biological diversity, including an appreciable number of endemic species. Among rare, vulnerable, and endangered species covered by CITES within the site are the yacaré overo, or Broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris), yacaré negro (C. Yacare), anaconda amarilla or curiyú (Eunectes notaeus), the pato crestudo (Sarkidiornis melanotos), the Neotropical otter "lobito de río" (Lontra longicaudis), and ciervo de los pantanos, or Marsh deer (Blastoceros dichotomus), among others. The surrounding marshlands of Esteros del Iberá support a sizable number of indigenous fish species and subspecies at key stages of their biological cycles, particularly Salminus maxillosus. Agriculture, particularly rice, and grazing are practiced in the area, and the development of ecotourism is foreseen. Ramsar site no. 1162.
The datasheets for this Ramsar designation were compiled by the Dirección de Recursos Naturales y Gestión Ambiental of the Province of Corrientes based upon work by Sr. Tomás Waller, of the Fundación Reserva del Iberá, and Sr. Guillermo Lingua of the Dirección de Recursos Ictícolas y Acuícolas de la Secretaría de Desarrollo Sustentable y Política Ambiental of Argentina. With this designation, the Government of Argentina has completed its pledge made during the 7th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in San José, Costa Rica.