Dominican Republic’s newest Ramsar Site

The Parque Nacional Manglares del Bajo Yuna (77,518 hectares, 19º10’12”N 069º40’48”W) has been named as the Dominican Republic’s third Wetland of International Importance, effective as of World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2013. A large subtropical coastal wetland, with estuarine characteristics, predominance of mangroves, and many watercourses, it is located in the Samaná Bay, the largest semi-closed bay in the Caribbean, which contains a specific salinity gradient capable of supporting a great mosaic of habitats. It is also important by being part of karst systems and springs.

The area supports species at risk of extinction, like Hypsiboas heilprini, Eleutherodactylus flavescens, and Eleutherodactylus schmidti, all of them endemic species. The site provides a refuge for seven endemic bird species: Dulus dominicus (Palmchat), Melanerpes striatus (Hispaniolan Woodpecker), Todus subulatus (Broad-billed Tody), Phaenicophilus palmarum (Black-crowned Palm-tanager), Coccyzus longirostris (Hispaniolan Lizard Cuckoo), Corvus palmarum (Palm Crow), and Icterus dominicensis (Hispaniolan Oriole). The site is closely related to the Samaná bay, an internationally important site for mating and reproduction of the humpback whale (Megaptera novaengliae).