The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the government of Brazil has named Cabo Orange National Park (Parque Nacional do Cabo Orange) (657,328 hectares, 03°38’59"N 051°11’24”W) in the far northern state of Amapá, near the border with French Guyana, as its 12th Wetland of International Importance, bringing that country’s total area covered under the Ramsar umbrella to more than 7 million hectares.
As briefly described by Ramsar’s Sara Casallas, based upon the accompanying RIS, the new site is characterized by periodically and permanently flooded grasslands, unique in the Amazon region, as well as by its mangroves, which act as “fish nurseries” and are vital for the maintenance of some of Brazil´s most important fisheries. The site is rich in biodiversity and supports globally threatened species such as the Black Bearded Saki (Chiropotes satanas), the Great Billed Seed Finch (Sporophila maximiliani), the yellow spotted River Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) and the Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger) among others. To date, 358 species of birds, 19 species of plants, 54 species of mammals have been identified in the park.
Apart from its biodiversity and water resources, the associated marine and estuarine fisheries production is essential for the economy of Brazil, which has made the area one of the most intensively fished areas in the region with overfishing and illegal fishing constituting the main threat to the site. Other threats include the spread of the invasive species of shrimp Macrobrachium rosembergii, overexploitation of two species of turtles (Podocnemis unifilis and Podocnemis expansa), and forest fires.