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A GLOBAL OVERVIEW OF WETLAND AND MARINE
PROTECTED AREAS ON THE WORLD HERITAGE LIST

TABLE 11

REGIONS WITH SIGNIFICANT WETLAND AND/OR MARINE VALUES THAT CONTAIN
AREAS WHICH MAY MERIT CONSIDERATION FOR WORLD HERITAGE NOMINATION

* This is not an exhaustive list, but an illustration of areas with significant wetland and/or marine values and protected status which may merit consideration for nomination on the World Heritage natural list.

AREA

COUNTRY

MAIN WETLAND AND MARINE VALUES

AFROTROPICAL

 

 

1. Okavango Delta

Botswana

World's largest delta (over 1 million ha), saltpan and red lechwe group (20,000); swamp, floodplain, major source of food for local tribes , over 400 bird and 65 fish species, 390,000ha wildlife refuge, rated urgent area for endemic bird protection.

2. Chad Basin

Chad

Floodplains, grasslands, lakes (90% of country drains to Lake Chad), swamps, forest, fish & endemic bird species, protected areas, Ramsar site (Lake Fitri).

3. The Red Sea

Egypt, Eritrea
Saudi Arabia, Sudan

Famous dive site due to coral diversity, deep vertical drops, islands, numerous colours and pelagic species (turtles, sharks, barracudas, mantas); some protection through national decrees and regional convention.

4. Guinea Bissau coastal wetlands & Bijagos Archipelago

Guinea

88 islands, mangroves, swamp forest, estuaries, mudflats, intact palm groves, hippos, green turtle breeding site, manatee, dolphins, winter ground for wading birds, key resource for local population.

5. Inner Niger River Delta

Mali

One of world's largest deltas, floodplain, rivers, swamps, over 100 fish and 350 bird species, threatened hippos, resource for local tribes.

6. Lake St. Lucia System

South Africa

Largest estuarine wetland in Africa (155,000ha), mud flats, swamps, forest, wildlife significance with over 350 bird species, hippos, crocodiles, Ramsar site.

7. The Sudd

Sudan

One of world's largest wetlands (5 million ha), swamps, floodplain, over 100 bird and mammal species, molluscs, food and papyrus production.

8. Lake George

Uganda

15,000ha, swamp, marsh, endemic bird area (Yellow swamp warbler), elephants, hippos, antelopes, food-building resource for local people, Ramsar & BR site

9. Kafue flats

Zambia

566,600ha floodplain, grassland, Zambezi tributary, biomass production, largest population Kobus lechwe (50,000), 67 fish species, rated urgent area for endemic bird protection, contains two national parks.

PALEARCTIC

 

 

10. Arctic Coastal Plain - ANWR and Old Crow Flats

USA and
Canada

Arctic Plain is tundra coastal region important for caribou migration and resources for indigenous population, wildlife refuge protection; Old Crow Flats is sub-arctic boreal region, vast peat resources, migratory water birds, mammals, wildlife.

11. The Wadden Sea

Holland, Denmark, Germany

1,000,000ha site stretching 500km including islands, deep-sea areas, tidal flats, and sandy beaches; high production of microscopical plants and animals, wintering area for aquatic bird species. Ramsar and BR site, protected within three countries and by the European Union.

12. Volga Delta

Russian Federation

One of largest deltas in world (1,900,000ha), over 1,000 channels, commercial fish (70% of world's sturgeon), up to 750,000 water birds, breeding ground for endangered pelican, Ramsar and BR site.

13. Wrangell Island

Russian Federation

Remote island with tundra, high arctic wilderness, important snow geese migration site.

Indomalay

 

 

14. The Great Lake, Tonle Sap

Cambodia

Largest lake in SE Asia (2,500,000ha), swamp forest, floddplain, rivers, endemic fish, waterfowl, migratory shorebirds, next to Angkor Wat (World Heritage site).

15. Andaman/Nicobar Islands

India

High island group forming emerging mountain chain in Indian Ocean, 3000m annual rainfall in areas, various reefs, over 100 coral species, mangroves, most abundant nest site for leatherback turtle in N. Indian Ocean, green turtle, saltwater crocodile, terns.

16. Teluk Cenderawasih Marine National Park

Indonesia Irian Jaya

Five major reef forms, over one million ha area (700,000ha proposed for wildlife reserve), over 130 coral species, mangroves, deep caves, tunnels, abundant fish, green turtles, giant clam, crocodile.

17. Taka Bone Rate Atoll

Indonesia
Sulawesi

Largest atoll in Indonesia (530,765ha), patch and barrier reefs, low cays, lagoons, 150 coral species, reef invertebrates, green/hawksbill turtle, 121 species of molluscs, fish, squid, giant clams, mother of pearls.

18. Tanjung Putting

Kalimantan

Intact swamp, mangrove and peat forests, high endemic bird area, Water birds (breeding area), dolphin, Storm's stork, Orang-utan and Probiscis monkey, national park, BR, Ramsar site.

19. The Kinabatangan Floodplain

Malaysia

Swamp, mangrove, peat and riverine forests, lakes, high biodiversity, waterfowl, crocodiles, wildlife sanctuary, 3-year rural development project.

20. Dauria International Protected Area

Mongolia, China, and
Russia

Vast intact wetland, open grassland, steppe, rivers, diversity of fish, habitat for Mongolian gazelle & other mammals, sacred Buddhist peak, protected by domestic law and 3 nation resolution agreement.

21. Irrawaddy River floodplain and delta

Myanmar

3,50,000ha coastal floodplain/delta, mudflats, rivers, islands, extensive mangroves, migratory birds/waterfowl, domestic forest & wildlife parks.

22. Chagos Archipelago

UK

The Great Chagos Bank (possibly world's largest reef and least disturbed in Indian Ocean), atolls, raised reefs, limestone caps, volcanic rock, hundreds of coral and mollusc species, turtle breeding ground.

AUSTRALIAN/OCEANIAN

 

 

23. Cape York Peninsula

Australia

Entire Cape covers over 11 million ha and numerous wetlands (some protected), lakes, lagoons, sand dunes, river systems, swamps, mangroves, forest, turtle, crocodile, numerous fish species, endemic bird area, cultural significance to Aboriginal clans.

24. Great Astrolobe Reef

Fiji

Volcanic reef island group in S. Pacific, steep cliffs, lagoons, circular atoll barrier reef, diverse coral and fish species, giant clams, proposed marine reserve.

25. Farewell Spit

New Zealand

11,388ha of quartz sand, sandflats, salt marsh, winter shorebirds (black swan, red-knot, godwit, turnstone).

26. Thousand Islands of Palau

Palau

One of the world's most aesthetic marine areas and popular diving spots; undersea caves, 1500m vertical drop, sharks, barracudas and other pelagic species, rated urgent area for endemic bird protection.

27. Sepik & Ramu floodplains

Papua New Guinea

Over 1,200,000ha of floodplain, lakes (Chambri 21,000ha), largest river system in PNG, mangroves, swamps, waterfowl, endemic bird area, crocodiles.

28. Rennell Island

Solomon Islands

86 km raised atoll, fringe and barrier reefs, cliff depression, largest lake in Pacific (Lake Te Nggano), scrub rainforest, over 20 fish species, algae,molluscs.

NEOTROPICAL

 

 

29. Patagonia wetland lagoons

Argentina

Unspoiled area, geologically unique, hundreds of lakes, birds, waterfowl, endemic Hooded grebe.

30. Andros Island Barrier Reef

Bahamas

High geological and marine value, considered one of finest barrier reefs in Caribbean and is third largest reef system in world, 1.6km rock platform in Caribbean, low cays, massive coral, lagoons, coastal estuaries, famous "blue hole" karsts which support diverse fauna and flora - turtle nesting, abundant seabird colonies, terns, white-crown pigeon, ecotourism, local fishing, proposed nature reserve.

31. The Pantanal

Brazil, Bolivia
Paraguay

One of largest floodplains in world (20 million ha), breeding for waterbirds, lakes, marshes, mammals (jaguar, camain, tapir, giant otter), prevents downstream flooding; two protected areas in Brazil.

32. Laguna Merim & Bandanos Del Este

Brazil and Uruguay

1.2 million ha of lakes, marshes, peat swamps, threatened palm groves, important for commercial fishing and irrigation, contains 35% of freshwater birds, 47% of amphibians, 58% of reptiles, and 51% of mammals in Uruguay), Ramsar and BR site.

33. Chilean Fjordlands

Chile

Over 900 miles of beaches, fjord coastline, estuaries, mudflats, rivers, meadows, swamp forest, tundra, bogs, glaciers, high aesthetic value and very remote.

34. Zapata Swamp

Cuba

Caribbean's largest wetland (340,000ha), lagoons, mangrove swamps, mudflats, saltpans, 70 waterfowl species, rated critical endemic bird area, endangered species (Sandhill crane, Bachman's warbler, croc).

35. Jardines de la Reina

Cuba

75,000ha chain of cays, mangroves, coral reefs, mudflats, marshes, lagoons, waterfowl, rated critical area for endemic bird protection, value of area is relatively unknown to much of world.

36. El Tigre Wetlands

Guatemala

Upper catchment delta for Usumacinta delta, lakes, swamp forest, marshes, flooded grassland, endemic bird area, high species diversity, Ramsar and BR site.

37. Gulf de Fonseca

Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador

Extensive system of mangroves, estuaries, mudflats, local commercial fishing, migratory site for shoreline birds.

38. Usumacinta Delta and Tabassco Lagoons

Mexico

Mexican gulf coast largest wetland (1,000,000ha), 250,000 birds, mangroves, endangered crocodile, commercial shrimp area, Ramsar site.

39. Miskitia coast and lowlands

Nicaragua

Miskito indians (little western influence), reef islands, lobster, lowland areas important biodiversity and critical habitat for millions of migratory birds.

40. Lake Titicaca

Peru and Bolivia

Largest lake in S. America (829,000ha) and world's highest (3812m), cultural significance for Uro people, habitat for high Andes water birds, endemic bird and fish area, two protected areas in Peru side including one Ramsar site.

41. The Llanos

Venezuela

Among largest wetlands in S. America (4,000,000ha), swamp forest, marshes, lakes, grasslands, endemic bird area, over 100 colonies of herons, storks, ibises and other wading birds, camain, Capibara and crocodile habitat.