Nature reserves of Suriname

Suriname’s first nine nature reserves were established with the help of a nature conservation committee. Four of them are located in the coastal area and the others in the interior. Until 1975 nature reserves were established on the occurrence of unique flora, fauna, cultural and geological objects and because of their typical nature and landscapes. After 1975 establishing nature reserves, was based after inventories and ecosystems were thoroughly mapped. Nowadays we have 11 nature reserves in Suriname, all claimed by act, of which the CSNR (Central Suriname Nature Reserve) is the largest and the nature reserve and the Hertenrits the smallest. STINASU (The Foundation for Nature Conservation in Suriname), is operational since 1969 and has as goal to promote and stimulate nature conservation awareness and research in nature conservation and nature tourism in order to exploit our nature reserves in an economically durable way. Of the 11 existing nature reserves, 5 are located in the coastal area, 3 between the old coastal area and the savanna belt, 3 others and 1 nature park in the hinterland of Suriname.

The 5 nature reserves located in the coastal area:

1. Galibi Nature Reserve established in 1969; is situated at the north-east coast and is estimated to be 40 km² in size in the district Marowijne. Galibi was established in order to conserve the sea turtles that have the sandy-beach of Galibi as their nesting place. Furthermore Galibi is economically exploited by STINASU and STIDUNAL in the form of controlled nature tourism. Two research stations were built in order to stimulate research in the biology of the sea turtles. The department of the Nature Conservation Division (NCD/LBB) has also a permanent control post their. Galibi is reached by boat from Albina.

2. The Wia Wia Nature Reserve established in 1966; is with a size of 360 km² in the district Marowijne, directed in the west from Galibi. It was established because of its beach which was once an important nesting place for sea turtles. Nowadays this reserve is not of value for sea turtles because its beach has eroded. It is still of interest for birds, especially water birds. Frequently colonies of the well known red ibises (Eudocimus rubber) are observed in swamps within this reserve.

3. The Coppename Nature Reserve established in 1966, situated along the coast near the mouth of the Coppenameriver in district Saramacca. With its 100 km² in size it is well known for its housing of different species of Herons and the red ibis (Eudocimus rubber).

4. The Peruvia Nature Reserve established in 1986, is located in front of the coppename mouth in the freshwater part of the coast in the district Coronie. With a size of 310 km², the Peruvia nature reserve accommodates a great number of Mauritia palms (Mauritia flexuosa), Possentri forests (Hura crepitans) and Blue and Yelow Macaos (Ara ararauna).

5. The Hertenrits Nature Reserve established in 1972 is the smallest nature reserve of Suriname in the district Nickerie and is established because of cultural heritage reasons. At Hertenrits we find remains of pre-Columbian existence.

The Nature reserves located between the savanna belt and the old coastal plain:

1. The Wanekreek Nature Reserve established in 1986; this reserve with a size of 450 km² is situated near the Wanekreek in the district Marowijne. It is unique for its white wet savannas from the Watamaleo-type and wet clay savannas of the Wane kreek- type, since they don’t occur anywhere else in Suriname.

2. The Copi Nature Reserve this nature reserve with a size of 180 km² is situated near the Casawinicakreek in the district Para. It was established in 1986 in order to conserve the dry clay savannas of the Welgelegen type and the wet white-sand savannas of the Zanderij-type. Furthermore the Casawinicakreek is well known for its richness of fish, swamp otters and Cayman nesting places. The well known cordon path, a path of historical value, walks for a part through this reserve.

3. The Boven Coesewijne Nature Reserve with a size of 270 km², is well known for its brown sand-savanna of the Coesewijne type, Savannas of the Zanderij type and dry White sand savannas of the Casipora type. The occurrence of these savannas were direct motives for establishing the Boven Coesewijne nature reserve in 1986. The Coesewijne river is a good source of fish which attracts Caymans and swamp otters. Even West-Indian Manatees (Trichechus manatus) can sometimes be seen.

The nature reserves in the interior:

1. The Brinckheuvel Nature Reserve established in 1966 with a size of 60 km² is situated between the Suriname and the Saramacca river in the district Brokopondo. Within this nature reserve part of the Grauwacke landscape of the unique Sabanpasi-type is conserved.

2. The Central Nature Reserve Suriname (CNRS) was established in 1998 with the fusion of 3 already existing nature reserves, known then as the Ralleighvallen, Tafelberg en Eilerts de Haan gebergte nature reserves. The CNRS is the largest, with a size of 16000 km². This reserve is even placed on the world’s heritage list of the UNESCO. This nature reserve is well known for its many rapids (water streams among rocks), and the numerous bird species of which the Guiana Cock of the Rock (Rupicola rupicola) is a famous one. STINASU exploit the Ralleighvallen area via nature tourism. Many researchers are also interested in doing research in this reserve. Much research is done, and is still planned. There is a research station at the foot of Voltzberg, in order to accommodate researchers. Many more stations are planned to build. The Tafelberg is also exploited economically via tourist expeditions. To reach the Tafelberg by foot may last 3 days. Until today no economic activities are undertaken for Eilerts de Haan gebergte.

3. The Sipaliwini Nature Reserve is 1000 km² in size and is situated in the south of Suriname in district Sipaliwini. With the establishing in 1972 of this nature reserve the Sipaliwini savanna which is an extension of the Paroe savanna in Brazil is conserved. This savanna is well known for its unique animal species and gain popularity with the discovery of the endemic poison blue frog (Dendrobates azureus).

For more information about our nature reserves visit STINASU.

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