Anguilla’s Sombrero Island Nature Reserve Marine Park designated as a Wetland of International Importance

Sombrero Island. Image: via

The Sombrero Island Nature Reserve Marine Park was recently designated as Ramsar Site number 2354 under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (also known as the Ramsar Convention). It is the first such designated site in Anguilla:

The United Kingdom has named Sombrero Island Nature Reserve Marine Park (Ramsar Site no. 2354) as a Wetland of International Importance. The Site is formed by Sombrero Island, an offshore cay, and the surrounding sea; it lies some 65 kilometres north-west of the mainland of Anguilla. 

The Island is a remote, flat-topped rocky outcrop, characterized by its karst topography. The sparse vegetation is concentrated on the eastern half. The otherwise-flat Island was once mined for phosphate and is now marked by craters up to ten metres deep. These craters, and the shallower pits formed over time through natural weathering and erosion (particularly along the shoreline) often form shallow pools in which periwinkles and small reef fish can be found, attracting resting and feeding seabirds. 

The Island was significantly damaged by Hurricane Luis in 1995, but the vegetation is recovering and once more provides important habitat to the endemic Sombrero Island ground lizard Ameiva corvina. Over 40 endemic species of insect have been documented. The Island was listed in 2005 as an Important Bird Area for its nesting population of bridled tern Sterna anaethetus. Brown booby Sula leucogaster, masked booby Sula dactylatra and brown noddy Anous stolidus also nest there in internationally important numbers. 

The objective of the Ramsar Convention is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.


[Image: via]

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Parrotfish. Image: Acquarius Sea Tours
Conserving fish biodiversity helps protect coral reef health

Research from the Dominican Republic shows how greater fish biodiversity makes for healthier coral reefs: The health of coral reefs can be impacted as much by the diversity of fish that graze on them as by the amount of fish that do so, according to a new study by scientists …

Stony coral tissue loss disease. Image: via US NOAA
Stony coral tissue loss disease spreads through the northern Caribbean

In recent weeks both St. Maarten and the US Virgin Islands have reported cases of stony coral tissue loss disease. The first incidence of stony coral tissue loss disease was recorded in 2014 in Miami-Dade county in Florida, and the disease has since spread south through the Florida Keys. Outbreaks …

Shark, the Bahamas. Image: Mark Yokoyama
Beneath the Waves and shark conservation in The Bahamas

Marine biologist Melissa Cristina Márquez writes about shark conservation organisation Beneath the Waves and the research they are doing in The Bahamas. According to Dr. Austin Gallagher, the organisation’s Chief Scientist, “There are few places worldwide that are as important to sharks than the Bahamas.” In 2018, Beneath the Waves launched one …