Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary

Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary

Located some 506 km off the coast of Colombia, the site includes Malpelo island (350 ha) and the surrounding marine environment (857,150 ha). This vast marine park, the largest no-fishing zone in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, provides a critical habitat for internationally threatened marine species, and is a major source of nutrients resulting in large aggregations of marine biodiversity. It is in particular a ‘reservoir' for sharks, giant grouper and billfish and is one of the few places in the world where sightings of the short-nosed ragged-toothed shark, a deepwater shark, have been confirmed. Widely recognized as one of the top diving sites in the world, due to the presence of steep walls and caves of outstanding natural beauty, these deep waters support important populations of large predators and pelagic species (e.g. aggregations of over 200 hammerhead sharks and over 1,000 silky sharks, whale sharks and tuna have been recorded) in an undisturbed environment where they maintain natural behavioural patterns.

Sanctuaire de faune et de flore de Malpelo

Ce sanctuaire se situe à 506 km de la côte colombienne et comprend l’île de Malpelo (350 ha) ainsi que la zone marine environnante (857 150 ha). Ce vaste parc marin, qui est aussi la plus grande zone où la pêche est interdite dans le Pacifique tropical oriental, constitue un habitat d’une importance critique pour un certain nombre d’espèces marines menacées au plan mondial. C’est aussi une source majeure de nutriments et une zone importante d’agrégation de la biodiversité marine. On y trouve en particulier des requins, mérous géants et voiliers, et c’est l’un des rares sites au monde où a été confirmée la présence de l’odontospide féroce, un requin des profondeurs. De l’avis général, ce milieu sous-marin est l’un des sites de plongée les plus remarquables du monde du fait de la beauté naturelle extraordinaire de ses murs abrupts et de ses grottes. De plus, ces eaux profondes abritent de larges populations de grands prédateurs et d’espèces pélagiques (on a par exemple relevé la présence de bancs de plus de 200 requins-marteaux et de plus de 1000 requins soyeux, requins-baleines et thons) qui, dans ce milieu non perturbé, conservent des comportements naturels.

محمية مالبيلو للحيوانات والنباتات

تقع هذه المحميّة على بعد 506 كيلومترات من الساحل الكولومبي وتضمّ جزيرة ماليبلو (350 هكتارا) كما المنطقة البحريّة المحيطة لها (857150 هكتارا). وهذا المنتزه البحري الكبير، وهو أيضاً المنطقة الأكبر التي يُمنع فيها الصيد في المحيط الهادئ الإستوائي الشرقي، هو موطن العديد من الأصناف البحريّة المُهددة على المستوى العالمي. كما يُشكّل مصدر التنوّع البيولوجي البحري وحلقة تجمّعه. وفيه الحيتان والقباب العملاقة والطيور. ويُشكّل عالم تحت البحار هذا أحد أكثر مواقع الغطس أهميّةً في العالم نظراً لجمال جدرانه وكهوفه الطبيعيّة. كما تأوي هذه المياه العميقة العديد من القوارض والأصناف المحيطيّة التي تحافظ في هذا الموقع الساكن كلّ السكون على سلوكيات طبيعية.

source: UNESCO/ERI

马尔佩洛岛动植物保护区

该遗址距哥伦比亚海岸约506公里,包括马尔佩洛岛(350公顷)和周围海洋环境(857 150公顷)。这一巨大的海洋公园是热带东太平洋最大的禁渔区,为国际濒危海洋生物提供了重要的栖息地,是多种主要食物的来源,因而滋养了大量各种海洋生物。这里尤其是鲨鱼、石斑鱼和尖嘴鱼的聚居区,还是世界上为数不多的几个确定可以看见深水短鼻粗齿鲨的地方。陡峭的崖壁与自然景观瑰丽多彩的洞穴使这里成为公认的世界顶级跳水胜地之一。深邃的海水为数量巨大的大型肉食动物和浮游生物提供了安宁的生存环境,使它们保持着自然的行为方式。(例如,这里聚集了200多头双髻鲨, 1000多头丝鲨,还有鲸鲨和金枪鱼。)

source: UNESCO/ERI

Фаунистический и флористический резерват Мальпело

В состав объекта наследия входит остров Мальпело (350 га), лежащий примерно в 506 км от берегов Колумбии, а также прилегающая акватория площадью 857 150 га. Этот обширный морской резерват – самая большая зона запрета рыболовства во всем тропическом секторе восточной части Тихого океана, выделяющаяся богатством кормовой базы и высочайшим биоразнообразием. Это последнее убежище для целого ряда глобально редких видов морских обитателей, здесь собирается множество акул, гигантских груперов, марлинов. Это одно из немногих мест на Земле, где были зафиксированы достоверные встречи глубоководной песчаной акулы. В этих глубинах поддерживаются устойчивые популяции крупных морских хищников и пелагических видов, в частности, это скопления более 200 рыб-молотов, свыше 1 тыс. плащеносных акул, а также китовых акул и тунцов. Нетронутость этой акватории позволяет морским обитателям следовать своему привычному образу жизни. Это также одно из самых известных в мире мест для дайвинга, благодаря наличию крутых подводных склонов и красивейших пещер.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Santuario de fauna y flora de Malpelo

Este santuario de fauna y flora, que comprende la isla de Malpelo (350 ha.) y la zona marítima circundante (857.150 ha), se halla a 506 km del litoral colombiano. Su vasto parque marino, que es la zona de pesca prohibida más extensa de toda la zona tropical del Pacífico Oriental, constituye un hábitat de importancia vital para toda una serie de especies marinas en peligro de extinción a nivel mundial. Asimismo, es una importante fuente de nutrientes y, por lo tanto, una zona de gran acumulación de biodiversidad marina. La isla de Malpelo es, en particular, un santuario para meros gigantes, peces voladores y especies raras de tiburones. Su costa está considerada como uno de los más extraordinarios sitios del mundo para el buceo, debido a la excepcional belleza de sus abruptos acantilados y grutas. Además, sus aguas profundas sirven de refugio a un número considerable de especies pelágicas y grandes depredadores marinos, cuyo comportamiento natural permanece inalterado en este medio ambiente protegido.

source: UNESCO/ERI

マルペロの 動植物保護区
コロンビア西部の海岸から506㎞の太平洋上に位置する、総面積3.5k㎡のマルペロ島と、8571.5k㎡の周辺海域からなるこの保護区は、東太平洋の熱帯地域で最大の禁漁区。そのため、ウミガメなど絶滅のおそれのある海洋生物の重要な生息地となっている。特にサメに関しては、珍しい深海種のほかシュモクザメやクロトガリザメ、ジンベイザメなどが多数確認されている。一方、陸地では、4万羽以上のアオツラカツオドリが世界最大のコロニーを作るなど、生物の多様性が際立つ。一帯は世界でもトップクラスのダイビングスポットとして知られ、切り立った岩壁や海中洞窟などの自然美も大きな特徴である。

source: NFUAJ

Flora- en faunareservaat van Malpelo

Het flora- en faunagebied van Malpelo ligt ongeveer 500 kilometer voor de kust van Colombia en omvat het Malpelo eiland (350 hectare) en de omringende marine omgeving (857.150 hectare). Het enorme zeepark – de grootste niet-visserijzone in de oostelijke tropische Stille Oceaan – vormt de leefomgeving voor internationaal bedreigde marine soorten, maar is vooral een ‘reservoir’ voor haaien, de reuzentandbaars en zeilvis. In de diepe wateren leven belangrijke populaties grote roofdieren, meer dan 200 hamerhaaien, meer dan 1.000 zijdehaaien, walvishaaien en tonijn. Ze leven er in een ongestoorde omgeving, waar ze hun natuurlijke gedragspatroon kunnen behouden.

Source: unesco.nl

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Manta Ray – Manta birostris © UNESCO
Outstanding Universal Value
Brief synthesis

Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary is a large marine protected area some 500 km off Colombia's Pacific Coast. The terrestrial area of 35 hectares, the barren Malpelo Island and its rocky outcroppings, represents the highest elevation of the enormous underwater Malpelo Ridge. Despite its small size the island is believed to play an important role as an aggregation point for the reproduction of numerous marine species. The vast majority of the property, 857,465 hectares, is a "marine wilderness" constituting the largest no-fishing zone in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. The rugged underwater topography includes steep walls, caves and tunnels, reaching a depth of around 3,400 metres. Jointly with the local confluence of several oceanic currents, this complex terrain is the basis for highly diverse marine ecosystems and habitats. Due to the remoteness and protection efforts the conservation status of the property is excellent, making Malpelo one of the top diving destinations in the World. Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary belongs to the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor, a marine conservation network, which also includes World Heritage properties in Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama.
The property hosts impressive populations of marine species, including large top predators and pelagic species, such as Giant Grouper, Billfish and numerous shark species. Major aggregations of Hammerhead Shark, Silky Shark, Whale Shark and Tuna have been recorded. Other biodiversity highlights include 17 marine mammal species, seven marine reptile species, 394 fish species and 340 species of mollusks. Known marine endemics include five fish species and two sea star species. Malpelo Island and its satellite rocks boast a limited but highly specialized terrestrial biodiversity characterized by a high degree endemism, including five plant species, three reptiles and two arthropods. The rocky outcroppings support large colonies of Nazca Boobies, as well as important populations of Swallow-tailed Gull, Masked Booby and the critically endangered Galapagos Petrel.

Criterion (vii): The pristine underwater environment of Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary featuring dramatic cliffs, rock formations, caves and tunnels, as well as abundant and diverse marine life is of striking natural beauty. The major aggregations of the full range of large top predators are an increasingly rare sight in the World's overfished seas. The geographically extraordinary position at the meeting point of several marine currents, the varied underwater mountain seascape and the excellent state of conservation combine to make the property a World Class "ocean oasis" – and an exhilarating experience for divers.

Criterion (ix): Due to its remote location and as the largest no-fishing zone in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary supports unaltered ecosystems free of major acute threats. The confluence of several marine currents turns the property into an unusual geographical spot with a complex and diverse array of habitats and species. The three major marine communities surrounding Malpelo Island can be distinguished as belonging to the vertical habitats, the coral reefs and the pelagic. Large top predators continue to fulfil their ecological roles and behaviour patterns continue undisturbed, providing unique opportunities for research. The evolutionary processes associated with the extreme isolation, the convergence of several ocean currents and related nutrient regimes and the geological formations are of great ecological importance and scientific interest. Free of alien invasive species, Malpelo Island and the surrounding waters are not only a conservation gem on its own but contribute to the maintenance, dispersal and replenishment of benthic larvae of corals, fish and mollusks and other marine life in the broader Eastern Tropical Pacific. As the wider region is under increasing pressure from overfishing and other threats, the property is thus of enormous conservation and indeed economic importance well beyond its boundaries.

Integrity

In spite of the small surface area Malpelo Island, and the rocks surrounding it, have significant ecological functions - not only as regards the limited but highly interesting and specialized terrestrial fauna and flora but also in terms of the interaction with the marine area. One example through the massive nutrient inputs from the huge bird colonies. The island and its satellite rocks are protected in their entirety, surrounded by a large marine protected area and located in a remote area of the Pacific, all of which contributes to the integrity of the terrestrial property. While there have never been permanent inhabitants, today there is a small rotating unit of the Colombian Navy and a limited and controlled number of visiting divers and scientists. Provided adequate behaviour and strict compliance with precautionary protocols as regards alien invasive species, the prospects of maintaining the integrity of the terrestrial are promising. For the foreseeable future, the prospects for the marine areas are likewise positive due to the large size and remoteness of the property. However, this will depend on enforcement of the adequate legal framework which declares the entire property a no-take area. In the long term, the integrity of Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary will also be influenced by the management and conservation of the wider Eastern Tropical Pacific, in particular as regards fisheries.

Protection and management requirements

The conservation history of the property started in 1995, when Malpelo Island was designated a Flora and Fauna Sanctuary by Ministerial Resolution, thereby joining Colombia's national protected areas system. One year later, the marine surface area was extended to six nautical miles (roughly eleven kilometres) around the island by another resolution. In 2003, the International Maritime Organisation declared the sanctuary a "Particularly Sensitive Sea Area", making it off-limits to commercial shipping. A major milestone was achieved in 2005, when a new resolution extended the sanctuary from 65,450 to 857,500 hectares, a 13-fold increase. The property is an impressive example of an outstanding place developing from a small terrestrial protected area into a large-scale marine World Heritage property and part of an international site network within only a decade. The sanctuary is managed by the Colombian Protected Areas Agency, which belongs to the Ministry of Environment. Several nongovernmental organisations support research, management and funding. The Colombian Navy, the only permanent human presence on Malpelo Island, cooperates in the patrolling of the island and the surrounding waters.
The remoteness of the property means a high degree of natural protection. Yet, management and corresponding funding are required to address current and potential threats emanating from illegal fishing, marine traffic, tourism and alien invasive species. Legally, the entire property is a no-take area but monitoring of illegal commercial and artisanal fishing is needed and depends on costly patrolling and law enforcement both in and around the sanctuary. Increasing marine traffic resulting in disturbance and posing pollution risks is addressed internationally through the declaration of Malpelo as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area but likewise requires systematic monitoring. By its very nature, Malpelo Island cannot develop into a major tourist destination and will remain a niche destination for specialized, boat-based diving tourism. Overall visitor numbers and group sizes are controlled in accordance with established limits. While the tourists contribute to conservation financing, the potential remains to be fully realised. Tourists along with scientists and the rotating Navy personnel are the only regular visitors to Malpelo Island so the control of their behaviour will decide whether the small but ecologically highly interesting terrestrial area can be maintained free of alien invasive species. It is undisputed that many, if not most, of the property's marine secrets remain to be discovered suggesting a major potential for research in an almost pristine natural environment.