The variety of vegetation present in this wetland supports a vast range of mammals, birds and reptiles, with the result that biodiversity in Nariva Swamp is surprisingly high.
Boat trips along the winding waterways are the perfect way to appreciate this unique environment and see how forest, marshland and mangroves merge. The water is also the best place to see its resident birds, notably species such as pinnated bittern, red-bellied macaw and orange-winged parrot. Blue-and-yellow macaws have recently been reintroduced, after becoming extinct in the 1970s. A few trails lead through the vegetation, and on foot you stand a better chance of seeing some of Nariva’s mammals, such as red howler monkey and white-fronted capuchin monkey.
This tranquil, sheltered wetland is a perfect environment for the West Indian manatee. However, these peaceful creatures are extremely rare and highly endangered. In the early 1990s, Nariva Swamp was declared a wetland of international importance to protect its diminishing waterfowl population. This move inadvertently helped protect the habitat that is crucial for the conservation of the manatee. Although these gentle creatures are seen very occasionally, sightings are few and far between.
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