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Location Suriname, Saramacca
Central coordinates 55o 38.71' West  5o 57.76' North
IBA criteria A2, A4i, A4iii
Area 217,530 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2008

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.

Site description Noord Sarramaca IBA is a Multiple use management Area which means that it has more functions than only nature protection. There is fishery in the shallow lagoons and on the mudflats, and there is legal and illegal hunting in the swamps. As with al wetlands the Noord Saramacca IBA is important for mankind because of its biological functions such as, nursery for seafish, waterfiltering and protection from rising seawaterlevel. Along with the other wetlands, Bigi Pan, Noord Coronie and Noord Sarramacca these sites are Multiple Use Management Areas wich are managed by the Surinamese goverment. These sites are very vunerable, because of the high productivity which can lead to overexploitation.Along with the other wetlands, Bigi Pan, Noord Coronie and Noord Commewijne/Marowijne these sites are Multiple Use Management Areas wich are managed by the Surinamese goverment. These sites are very vunerable, because of the high productivity which can lead to overexploitation.

Key Biodiversity The Noord Saramacca IBA is part of an EBA because of the common occurence of three range restricted species, Guyanian Piculet, Blood-colored Woodpecker and Rufous Crabhawk. The mudflats and the swamps are important for the numurous North-American shorebirds.The 1% treshold is met for Scarlet Ibis, Semi-palmated Sandpiper, Semi-palmated plover, Short-billed Dowitcher. Hence it is an IBA on A2, A4i and A4iii criteria.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Scarlet Ibis Eudocimus ruber resident  2005  17,000 individuals  poor  A4i  Least Concern 
Rufous Crab-hawk Buteogallus aequinoctialis resident  unknown  A2  Near Threatened 
Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus non-breeding  2000-2004  1,200 individuals  unknown  A4i  Least Concern 
Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus passage  2000-2004  1,200 individuals  unknown  A4i  Least Concern 
Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla non-breeding  2004  140,000-300,000 individuals  poor  A4i  Near Threatened 
Arrowhead Piculet Picumnus minutissimus resident  unknown  A2  Near Threatened 
Blood-colored Woodpecker Veniliornis sanguineus resident  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds non-breeding  2004  100,000-499,999 individuals  poor  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Noord Saramacca Multiple Use Management Area 15,000 protected area contained by site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mangrove  15%
Coastline Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Lagoons; Salt & brackish marshes  minor
Wetlands (inland) Bogs; Coastal lagoons; Ephemeral pools and wetlands; Estuarine waters; Freshwater marshes/swamps; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats; Saline/alkaline lakes; Salt pans/salinas  65%
Artificial - terrestrial Abandoned or fallow farmland, disturbed ground; Improved pasture land; Perennial crops, orchards, groves; Urban and industrial areas; Urban parks and gardens  20%

Land ownership Owned by the state. Staatolie has an exploitation permit for oil.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
energy production and mining major
Notes: Exploitation of oil by Staatsolie.
fisheries/aquaculture major
Notes: Legal and illegal fishery. Illegal fishery in the Coppenamemonding NR.
hunting major
Notes: See notes Bigi Pan. Poaching of Eudocimus ruber also in the colony.
rangeland/pastureland minor
agriculture minor
tourism/recreation minor

Protection status This a Multiple use Management Area.

References Coastal Management plan for the North Saramacca Area in Suriname by P.A. Teunissen (2000)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Northern Saramacca. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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