Northern Saramacca

Country/territory: Suriname

IBA Criteria met: A2, A4i, A4iii (2008)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 217,530 ha

Site summary
The North Saramacca IBA has a size of approximately 100,400 ha of land and approximately an equal size of marine water and includes the Coppenamemonding Nature Reserve. This reserve has been established in 1966 to primarily protect nesting colonies and roosting sites of herons, scarlet ibis and other waterfowl and has a size of 12,000 ha. The reserve is also the only Ramsar site of Suriname, It also listed as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve in 1989 and at the same time also linked as Twin Sister Reserve with Minas Basin in Nova Scotia and Shepody Bay in New Brunswick, Canada. The area has bare coastal mudflats along the ocean which partially are covered with Along the coast a wide strip of several kilometer of mangrove forest is found which consists of young and old coastal mangrove and dying coastal mangrove. South of the mangrove zone saline and saline to brackish and fresh water grass swamps are found covered with Machaerium lunatum, Eleocharis mutata, Typha angustifolia. There are also scattered mangroves in brackish to fresh water grass swamp. The area comprises also swamp forests of Pterocarpus officinalis, Chrysobalanus icaco and Annona glabra. There are also sand ridges with mixed xero-mesophytic marsh forest. Within the reserve a well known lagoon “Pralala pan” occurs which is home for several waterfowl species. Because of uprooted mangrove over a length of several meters, this lagoon has an open connection with the sea. The area is connected with the sea by river and several creeks and the water varies from hyper saline to fresh water. The depth of the water can be more than one meter in the rainy season. Some swamps and lagoons may totally dry up in the long dry season. The area is known for its high biological production, breeding and feeding grounds for large numbers of local and migratory bird species and nursery ground for fish and shrimp. It has a rich population of fish, shrimp, wildlife and crabs. Plenty people of the local population have their living in fisheries and hunting in the area. Many people have their living also in oil mining in the area. Also rice cultivation takes place in the area on a large scale.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Northern Saramacca. Downloaded from on 05/12/2021.