The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, referred to as the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. This agreement is most often called the Ramsar Convention, as it was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar on February 2nd 1971.
As of February 2nd, 2011, the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the Ramsar Convention, 160 parties had signed the treaty and 1,912 wetland sites had been designated as Wetlands of International Importance or ‘Ramsar Sites’.
The United Kingdom signed the Ramsar Convention on May 5th 1976 and extended the adoption of this treaty to its Overseas Territories including Bermuda. To date the UK has 168 designated Ramsar sites, (more than any other signatory country), 7 of which are in Bermuda.
Designated Ramsar sites in Bermuda
UK41002 (formerly 6UK007)
Hungry Bay Mangrove Swamp is Bermuda's largest tidal mangrove swamp, located in a shallow sea bay with a relatively narrow opening to the sea. The area supports important populations of endangered crabs.
UK41003 (formerly 6UK009)
Lover's Lake Nature Reserve features a 2m deep lake fringed with predominately black mangroves. The water level is tidal and rises and falls with subterranean channels. The site is important for an endemic killifish (Fundulus relectus) and both wintering and passage waterfowl.
UK41005 (formerly 6UK008)
Pembroke Marsh East is an extensive freshwater Typha sp. and Cladium sp. marsh with some open water channels up to 3m (9.8ft) deep. It supports a wide variety of passage and wintering waterfowl.
UK41004 (formerly 6UK010)
Paget Marsh is the largest surviving remnant of Bermuda's pre-colonial swamp forest, inclusive of marshy savannah, mangrove swamp and peat marsh forest, showing all its stages of ecological succession. The endemic palmetto, endemic sedge and endemic cedar are found on site.
UK41007 (formerly 6UK004)
Spittal Pond is the only Bermudian example of a non-tidal, permanent, shallow and brackish lagoon with fringing mudflats and salt marshes. The site is subject to periodic sea flooding and the mudflats are exposed at low water levels. This is the most important Bermudian wetland for wintering waterfowl.
UK41006 (formerly 6UK005)
Somerset Long Bay Pond is a former tidal swamp that was filled in as a garbage dump and then restored into a brackish to freshwater pond with mangrove islets, separated from the sea by a beach dune.
UK41010 (formerly 6UK006)
Warwick Pond is Bermuda's largest freshwater pond with mudflats at the north end and a broad fringing marsh. Important for the only freshwater adapted population of endemic killifish. The most important mudflat for passage of transient shorebirds on Bermuda. The pond is also important for resident and migratory waterfowl.