BRIEF HISTORY: CARONI SWAMP
The Caroni Swamp Bird Sanctuary is an amazing lagoon that extends itself south of Port of Spain along the western shoreline of Trinidad. It covers about 40 square miles of wetland. The boundaries to the north is the Caroni River; to the east the Uriah Butler Highway; to the west the Gulf of Paria and to the south the Madame Espagnol River.
In 1921, the Caroni Swamp was dissected into a network of channels to reclaim part of it for rice and sugar cultivation. However, the significance of the swamp as an important ecological area resulted in 3179 hectares being declared the Caroni Swamp Forest Reserve in 1936.
At that same time, 136 hectares was proclaimed the Caroni Swamp Wildlife Sanctuary to offer protection to the Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus rubber), the national bird of Trinidad. Recently, the Caroni Swamp was declared a wetland of international importance under the RAMSAR Convention.