The Annotated Ramsar List: Uruguay


The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Uruguay on 22 September 1984. Uruguay presently has 2 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 424,904 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Bañados del Este y Franja Costera. 22/05/84; Rocha, Treinta y Tres; 407,408 ha; 33º48’S 053º50’W. Added to the Montreux Record, 4 July 1990. Biosphere Reserve. Sharing the border with Brazil, this vast complex of coastal wetlands includes lagoons and parts of several rivers. An important wetland for locally nesting shorebirds and migratory shorebirds (17 species) which breed in the Nearctic realm and winter in Uruguay; generally supporting at least 25 species of birds. The region supports an endemic palm, various mammals, endangered plants and animals, and an economically important fishery (80 species). Human activities include agriculture (especially rice), forestry, and livestock rearing. Subject of Ramsar Advisory Missions in 1988 and 1993. Ramsar site no. 290. Most recent RIS information: 2001.

Esteros de Farrapos e Islas del Río Uruguay. 10/12/2004; Río Negro; 17,496 ha; 32º53'S, 058º05'W. Located in the lower stretch of the Uruguay River, downstream from the Salto Grande Dam on the border with Argentina, the site consists of alluvial areas on the river's eastern bank as well as 24 islands, flooded during surges and exposed at low water levels. The system is important for the control of floods and erosion of the river banks. Elevated sand bars along the islands and alluvial plain are populated with forests and allow permanent and intermittent freshwater pools to be present in this dynamic environment. There are records of the near threatened Maned Wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus, as well as of several endangered birds: the Saffron-cowled Blackbird, Xanthopsar flavus, and the Seedeaters Sporophila cinnamomea, S. palustris and S. zelichi, the latter critically endangered. The larger part of the area is owned by the State, and its most abundant use is extensive cattle grazing in the summer, although there is coal, horticulture and citrus production as well. The principal problem affecting the site is soil erosion due to bad agricultural practices in adjacent areas. Ramsar site no. 1433. Most recent RIS information: 2004.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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