Rio Máximo Fauna Refuge: an internationally important Cuban wetland

Ariam Jimenez

Rio Máximo Fauna Refuge is one of the most important wetlands in Cuba and indeed in the Caribbean. Our aim is to obtain information to propose this area as an IBA and support its proposal as a Ramsar site. We will study the status and distribution of seabird and waterbird population nesting in the area. We will focus our attention on four species: West Indian whistling-duck, a Caribbean endemic and considered globally by BirdLife 2000; Caribbean flamingo that has the largest nesting population in the world in this area; and both brown pelican and magnificent frigatebird, species included in the Action Plan for the Conservation of West Indian Seabirds (Schreiber, 2000). Our results will be used by the National Centre of Protected Areas to propose this area as an IBA and support the Ramsar proposal. It will also be useful for local managers in management plans and conservation strategies.