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What is the history of Caroni Swamp?

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Quick Answer

The Caroni Swamp is a large wetlands area at the mouth of the Caroni River in Trinidad and Tobago. The swamp is an extraordinarily biodiverse bird sanctuary that has been the epicenter of several 20th and 21st-century conservation efforts. Many of its species are threatened or endangered, particularly the rare Scarlet Ibis that feeds in nearby Venezuela but comes back to the swamp to roost in its mangrove trees and bushes in the evening.

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Full Answer

The Caroni River is the largest waterway in Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caroni Swamp serves as its outlet into the Gulf of Paria between the nations of Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. The swamp serves as a primary tourist attraction in Trinidad and Tobago and is just south of the equally popular Port of Spain.

Conservation efforts have focused on banning and prosecuting illegal hunting and poaching of noted species in the region, including the Scarlet Ibis, the tropical caiman and the swamp boa. The swamp's marshes and mudflats are also frequently polluted by upstream factory runoffs. In 1971, the Caroni Bird Sanctuary and related wetlands in the Caroni Swamp became a protected habitat under the Ramsar Convention. As of 2015, there are 169 contracting parties to the Ramsar Convention and 2,208 protected sites worldwide.

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