Ramsar Site - Caroni Swamp

The Caroni Swamp is located 13o 30- 39’ N, 61o 25 – 30’ W, which on the west coast of Trinidad, 3.5km south west of Port – of – Spain. It is the largest estuarine mangrove system on the island comprising 5,996.3 ha of mangrove forest and herbaceous marsh, interrupted by numerous channels, and brackish and saline lagoons, and with extensive intertidal mudflats on the seaward side. It is developed along the banks of the Caroni River and its tributaries and is associated with wetland types which include freshwater and salt water marshes to the central section of which has been designated a wildlife sanctuary of 324 ha.  The Caroni River along with the Churchill Roosevelt Highway forms it northern boundary and separating it from the Laventille Swamp Area. On the east is the Uriah Butler Highway (formerly Princess Margaret Highway), which was built on reclaimed land from the swamp, on the west by the Gulf of Paria and on the south by the Chandernagore River.

The predominant and most important mangrove species present is the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle L.) which is found abundantly where the salinity of the sea is diluted by fresh water ,as at the mouth of the rivers and also occupying the seaward edge of the swamp( Bacon , 1970). It produces a considerable amount of prop or stilt roots which are very important habitats for the sedentary organisms including edible oysters on their submerged parts and are known for their tolerance for high degree of salinity. Next in importance is the black mangrove, (Avicennia germinans (L.) Stearn ) which occurs further back from the water’s edge , usually on firmer ground than red mangrove This mangrove has numerous conspicuous slender , woody , asparagus like pneumatophores or aerial roots which it sends up from the ground( Ramdial , 1975). The white mangrove,(Laguncularis racemosa (L.) Gaertner) is the other common species which grows further from the water than the black mangrove and has no distinct root structure.

Ramsar - Caroni Swamp Ramsar Wetland ( Adobe PDF)

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