Trinidad’s largest freshwater wetland is located on the east coast of the island, immediately inland from the Manzanilla Bay. It covers over 60 square kilometers. The swamp predominantly supports magnificent stands of Palm forest, including Trinidad’s only endemic species, the Moriche Palm (Mauritia flexuousa var trinitensis) and over 1550 hectares of highland forest. In Bush Bush island alone, situated in the heart of the Nariva Swamp an extremely rich and varied fauna include fifty-seven species of mammals, one hundred and seventy one species of birds, eight species of edible fish, twelve crustacean species, seven amphibians and thirty-seven species of reptiles including the Anaconda, the largest snake in the world.
Troops of Red Howlers and Capuchin monkeys, two species of Anteaters, the Tree Porcupine, three of our five species of wild duck, diverse species of other wetland birds and many species of migratory birds as well as the much endangered West Indian Manatee, roam the Swamp’s diverse habitats. Our beautiful Blue and Gold Macaw, once locally extirpated, but now re-introduced can be found here. This bird has now been reintroduced back into the Nariva. Fishing and small scale high yield farming communities derive their livelihoods from and in this important Wetland. The Nariva Swamp was declared a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1993.