Caroni Swamp

Country/territory: Trinidad and Tobago

IBA criteria met: A4i, A4iii (2007)
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Area: 6,125 ha

Site description (2007 baseline)
Caroni Swamp is an estuarine mangrove swamp on the west coast of Trinidad comprising roughly 6000 ha. The swamp is bordered to the north and northeast by highways, residential and commercial development. Towards the south and east of the swamp, sugarcane cultivation has given way in recent years to mixed agriculture and housing. On the western margin of the swamp and extending down the west coast of Trinidad are extensive coastal mudflats

Key biodiversity
Caroni Swamp is the major roosting and breeding site of Scarlet Ibis in Trinidad. In the early 1960s the breeding population numbered in the thousands with 2500 nests counted in June of 1963. After 1970 however the Scarlet Ibis appeared to have abandoned the breeding colony and utilised the Caroni Swamp primarily in the non-breeding season when up to 15000 birds may be present. Recent records however show a regular breeding of about 500 pairs at the eastern edge of the swamp. Apart from the Scarlet Ibis the Caroni Swamp hosts significant populations of both resident and migratory herons. It is the only location in Trinidad to support an endemic subspecies of the Straight-Billed Woodcreeper. Within recent years it has become a roost site for congregations of migrant Olivaceous Cormorants. It has historically been a major site for waterfowl in Trinidad but this is no longer the case. Small remnants of herbaceous swamp around the periphery are important to local populations of crakes and bitterns.

Non-bird biodiversity: There are no endemic species recorded from Caroni Swamp, but the site is important for the local population of Silky Anteaters Cyclopes didactylus and Crab-eating Raccoon Procyon cancrivorus.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Caroni Swamp. Downloaded from on 30/09/2023.