Saturday, March 24, 2018
Cerro Verde and Islas de la Coronilla


Small islands of rocky outcrops that stretch into the sea off the Uruguayan coast. The area is relatively pristine, diverse regarding the composition of its communities and vital for ecological processes: it sustains high fish and invertebrate larvae concentrations, is an important foraging ground and growth site for green turtle individuals (a threatened species), and home to the only breeding colony of the royal tern on the Uruguayan coast.


Conservation Status



Departamento de Rocha. Uruguayan Territorial Sea

Biogeographical Region

Temperate seas of South America. Warm Temperate Province of the Southwest Atlantic. Ecoregion: Uruguay – Buenos Aires Shelf.

Surface Area

Marine surface area: 87 km2
Land surface area: 17 km2

Types of Habitats

Coastal environments, rocky capes, beach arcs, hills, lagoons, wetlands, swamps, marine coast and islands.

Species Richness

23 coastal and pelagic seabird species; 10 marine mammal species; 4 marine turtle species; 30 fish species; 130 marine invertebrate species reported.

Main Uses

Artisanal fishing and fishing for sport; tourism and recreational activities.


Negative impacts of some fishing activities on fish stocks (Argentine sea bass, sharks), marine mammals and turtles. Lack of regulation in local subsistence, artisanal and sport fishing. Illegal fishing vessels present.

Management - Main Government Bodies

Dirección Nacional de Recursos Acuáticos (DINARA). Sistema Nacional de áreas Protegidas (Uruguay).

Level of Protection

Since 2011 the site belongs to the "Área de manejo de hábitats y especies Cerro Verde" ("Cerro Verde Habitat and Species Management Area") within the Sistema Nacional de áreas Protegidas (Ley N¡ 17.234) (National System for Protected Areas, Act Nº 17.234)


Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) in the Uruguayan coast. © A. Fallabrino

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