Archipel de la Guadeloupe

Situated on Guadeloupe Island in the Caribbean Sea, this biosphere reserve comprises two geographically separate sites. Basse-Terre comprises a tropical forest, located in the west of the island and watched over by the still active volcano of La Soufrière (1,467 meters above sea level). The tropical forest, which is completely uninhabited, is home to over 300 species of trees and bushes, in spite of the presence of man who, for centuries, has decimated numerous species.

Declaration Date: 1992
Surface Area: 69,707 ha
Administrative Division: Parc national de la Guadeloupe

Human Activities

Some 225,500 inhabitants live permanently in the biosphere reserve and there are about 20,000 visitors per year only to the marine part of the area (2000). Threats to the biosphere reserve are hurricanes, tourism, anchorage on coral reefs, deforestation and water pollution. A management plan was implemented in 1998 with the objectives to maintain biodiversity and good water quality.  

Ecological Characteristics

Situated on Guadeloupe Island in the Caribbean Sea, this biosphere reserve comprises two geographically separate sites. Basse-Terre comprises a tropical forest, located in the west of the island and watched over by the still active volcano of La Soufrière (1,467 meters above sea level).

The tropical forest, which is completely uninhabited, is home to over 300 species of trees and bushes, in spite of the presence of man who, for centuries, has decimated numerous species. Grand-Cul-de-Sac Marin, a vast bay of 15,000 hectares between Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre includes coral reefs, mud flats, sea-grass bed and mangrove forests, freshwater swamps forests and marshes.

In the lagoon, sea-floor ‘meadows’ provide habitat to turtles and teem with fish. Giant sponges and soft corals, urchins and fish are abundant. The mangrove hosts many sedentary and migratory birds (pelicans, terns, moorhens, ducks, herons and kingfishers). Parts of the biosphere reserve also comprise a Ramsar site, designated in 1993. The transition areas of the biosphere reserve include numerous small towns and villages with many tourist facilities.


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                                                                                    Last updated: March 2013

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