Two new Ramsar wetland sites have been designated – Bwabwata in Okavango, Namibia, which will be the country’s 5th, and Tanjung Puting National Park in Indonesia.
Situated in the Bwabwata National Park, the site covers the lower Okavango River, part of the Okavango Delta Panhandle and permanently or temporarily flooded marshes and floodplains bordered by riparian forest and open woodland. It supports IUCN Red-Listed species, including the vulnerable African elephant, hippopotamus, lion, slaty egret and the endangered grey crowned crane.
The site supports one of the highest diversities of species in the Zambezian Flooded Savannas ecoregion. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded, the highest number of any site in Namibia.
Tanjung Puting National Park is one of the most important conservation areas in Central Kalimantan, acting as a water reservoir and representing one of the largest remaining habitats of the endangered Kalimantan Orangutan Pongo pygmaeus. The site consists of seven different types of swamp, including peat swamp forests, lowland tropical rainforest, freshwater swamp forests and as well as mangroves and coastal forest.
It supports large numbers of endemic species of flora and fauna adapted to the predominant acidic peat swamp environment. Sites are recognised by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat as a Wetland of International Importance and that the country’s comitment to maintain the ecological character of them. – (Wildlife Extra)