Jamaica's Palisadoes - Port Royal joins the Ramsar List

Jamaica's Palisadoes - Port Royal joins the Ramsar List

24 March 2005

Jamaica names second Ramsar site

The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that Jamaica has designated its second Wetland of International Importance -- Palisadoes - Port Royal (7,523 hectares, 17º55'N 076º49'W) has been added to the Ramsar List with an effective date, at the request of the National Environment and Planning Agency, of Earth Day, 22 April 2005. According to Adrián Ruiz-Carvajal, Ramsar Assistant Advisor for the Americas, based on data supplied with the Ramsar Information Sheet or RIS, the new Ramsar site is located on the southeastern coast just offshore from the capital Kingston (see map below), and it features cays, shoals, mangrove lagoons, mangrove islands, coral reefs, seagrass beds and shallow water, thus hosting a variety of underrepresented wetland types. Endangered and vulnerable species occurring in the area include American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) and bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). To date 26 endemic new species have been discovered in the area. Historic and cultural values are very high, as the site includes forts on the dunes and part of the city of Port Royal, said to have been the largest city in the Americas, which sank in an earthquake in 1692 and is now a unique archaeological treasure. A management plan is in place, and the University of the West Indies operates research facilities.

Palisadoes - Port Royal joins Black River Lower Morass as Jamaica's second Wetland of International Importance, now totaling 13,223 hectares -- the Convention's 144 Parties now have 1422 Ramsar sites, totaling 123,931,878 hectares.

Brown pelican and its young

Laughing Gull Lime Cay

Lime Cay nursery area

Palisadoes - Port Royal mangrove

Seagrass bed