Chile has designated Humedales Costeros de la Bahía de Tongoy (coastal wetlands of the Bay of Tongoy, Ramsar Site no. 2361) as a Wetland of International Importance.
Bahía de Tongoy is located within the biodiversity hotspot of the Mediterranean region of central Chile. It comprises three coastal wetlands – Salinas Chica, Salinas Grande and Pachingo – as well as dune and plains ecosystems.
At the regional level, the Site is part of a series of wetlands in arid areas that serve as a refuge and feeding site for more than 46 locally and internationally threatened species, including the Atacama toad (Rhinella atacamensis) and the endangered small tern (Sterna lorata), as well as numerous migratory birds from both north and south.
The Site provides important ecosystem services for nearby human communities; in addition to providing water for agriculture and goat livestock, it is supporting the early development of ecological tourism.