The Netherlands has designated Klein Curaçao as its 55th Wetland of International Importance. The Site (Ramsar Site no. 2355) consists of the small, uninhabited island and the surrounding sea.
The eastern shore features a near-pristine, well-developed and still growing coral reef system that supports an enormous diversity of marine organisms. Such self-sustaining reef systems are increasingly rare in the Caribbean: this is one of the few remaining healthy examples and is representative of Caribbean reef communities in general. Its dense populations of branching corals protect the coastline by dissipating wave energy.
The island is of global importance for its breeding population of the least tern Sterna antillarum, while a 600-metre stretch of sandy beach is the most important nesting area within Curaçao’s jurisdiction for the critically endangered hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata and the endangered green sea turtle Chelonia mydas.
The main threat to the Site is uncontrolled tourism, which may negatively affect the nesting activities of the sea turtles and terns.