West Coast Mudflats

Country/territory: Trinidad and Tobago

IBA Criteria met: A4i, A4iii, B4i (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 4,768 ha

Site description
The west coast mudflats occur along the west coast from Port of Spain to Godineau River. The coast is occupied by a variety of land uses including mangrove swamp, residential areas and heavy industry. Several fishing villages occur along the coast. The Gulf of Paria lies between Trinidad and continental South America. The waters of the gulf are influenced by the outflow of the Orinoco River and are generally brackish, with salinity falling to 10-25 parts per thousand in the wet season

Key biodiversity
Major congregations of gulls, terns, pelicans and coastal shorebirds in Trinidad can be found in association with the mudflats along the west coast. Indeed this area may represent the most important location for over-wintering gulls in northern South America with an estimated 4000-5000 Laughing Gulls. Populations of herons and ibis, roost in mangrove swamps and feed on the adjacent mudflats. 10000-20000 shorebirds regularly over-winter or are transient visitors to the west coast mudflats. The predominant species are Semipalmated and Western Sandpipers. Visits of Caribbean Flamingo have been increasing in regularity.

Non-bird biodiversity: Other fauna is limited to the benthic invertebrates upon which the shorebirds feed.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: West Coast Mudflats. Downloaded from on 22/03/2023.