Nature

With a population density less than any other Caribbean nation and an area slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut, the Bahamas has managed to preserve a healthy and abundant natural environment.   There are currently 25 national parks in the Bahamas stretching from Walker's Cay in the very northern part of the Abaco Islands to Inagua in the extreme south. Management of the national parks is the responsibility of The Bahamas National Trust and the following are details on the parks according to their website.
 

Walker's Cay National Park, Abaco

Size: 3,840 Acres

The northernmost island in the Bahamas. Walker's Cay is fringed by its own barrier reef. The stunning coral formations and surrounding marine environment host schools of pompano and amberjack, large marine predators, such as sharks and barracudas, multitudes of colorful tropical fish, turtles and eagle rays. Renowned for underwater cathedrals teeming with unprecedented concentrations of fish, visibility that reaches 100 feet and an endless variety of marine life, this underwater paradise is a mecca for divers.
 

Tilloo Cay Reserve, Abaco

Size: 11 Acres

Eleven Acres of wild and pristine natural environment that provides nesting for Tropic birds as well as other seabirds.
 

Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park, Abaco

Size: 2,100 Acres

Located 8 miles north of Cherokee Sound, Great Abaco, this 2,100 acre land and sea area is a sister park to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. It contains beautiful undersea caves, extensive coral reefs and abounds with terrestrial plant and animal life.
 

Abaco National Park

Size: 20, 500 Acres

The Abaco National Park comprises 20,500 Acres in Southern Abaco. Included in this area is 5,000 Acres of forest, the major habitat of the Bahama Parrot.

Lucayan National Park, Grand Bahama

Size: 40 Acres

East of Freeport, Grand Bahama, this 40 acre park encompasses one of the longest known underwater cave systems in the world with over six miles of caves and tunnels already charted. Above ground it exhibits every vegetative zone found in the Bahamas.
 

Rand Nature Center, Grand Bahama

Size: 100 Acres

The Rand Nature Centre comprises 100 Acres of natural beauty near the heart of downtown Freeport, Grand Bahama. The Rand Nature Centre boasts a two thousand foot trail, which winds through natural coppice and pine barrens. The Centre is now the home of the administrative office of the BNT in Grand Bahama.
 

The Retreat, New Providence

Size: 11 Acres

An eleven acre garden of rare and exotic palms and native coppice in residential Nassau. It houses one of the largest private collections of palms in the world. The Administrative headquarters and educational center of the Bahamas National Trust is located at The Retreat on Village Road.
 

Central Andros National Parks

Size: 286,080 Acres

The first phase of park designation focuses on Central Andros - North Bight, Fresh Creek, Blanket Sound, Young Sound and Staniard Creek. These five areas contain pine forests, blue holes, coral reefs, wetlands and mangroves. Their designation paves the way for additional protection in the North and the South.
 

Bonefish Pond National Park, New Providence

Size 1, 280 Acres

Bonefish Pond lies on the south central coast of New Providence. It is an important marine nursery area for the island, providing a protective, nutrient rich habitat for juvenile stocks of fish, crawfish, and conch. This area supports a wide variety of waterfowl and an important variety of Bahamian flora. The wetland itself provides critical protection for storm surges to communities along New Providence's southern shore. The Educational and ecotourism potential of this wetland area is significant.
 

Harrold and Wilson Ponds, New Providence

Size 250 Acres

Located in South Central New Providence, Harrold and Wilson Ponds encompasses 250 Acres. More than 100 avian species , including the island's highest concentration of herons, egrets, ibises and cormorants have been identified there, providing confirmation that the area is indispensable habitat for birdlife in New Providence. An exceptional educational and ecotourism site, a stone's throw from the nations capital and tourism hub, these areas are an invaluable addition to the country's national park system.
 

Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park

Established: 1958
Size: 112,640 Acres

Created in 1958 this 176 square mile park was the first of its kind in the world and is famous for its pristine beauty, outstanding anchorages and breathtaking marine environment. It is the first marine fishery reserve established in the Caribbean.

Conception Island National Park

Location: North of Rum Cay

An important sanctuary for migratory birds, sea birds and green turtles. It also has great historical importance being one of the islands in the Bahamas on which Christopher Columbus was known to have landed.
 

Moriah Harbour Cay National Park, Great Exuma

Size: 13, 440 Acres

Moriah Harbour Cay and its marine environs area a vital part of the ecosystem between the Great and Little Exuma. It encompasses pristine beaches, sand dunes, mangrove creeks, and sea grass beds. A variety of birdlife nests there, including the gull-billed and least terns, nighthawks, plovers, oystercatchers and resident pair of ospreys. The mangroves are a vital nursery in their own right for juvenile crabs, crawfish, conch, gray snappers, yellowtails and groupers. Landward, palmettos buttonwoods, bay cedar, and sea oats work in concert , providing stability, nutrients and beauty to the ecosystem. Moriah Harbour Cay is an outstanding example of the Bahamian coastal zone and is an important addition to the park system.

Inagua National Park

Size: 183,740 Acres

287 square miles of Great Inagua Island, now internationally known as the world's largest breeding colony(approx. 50,000) of West Indian flamingos. In 1997 the Inagua National Park was recognized as a wetland of International Importance as the Bahamas became a signatory of the Ramsar Convention onWetlands. Inagua's interior gives way to Lake Windsor and it is here among the cays and mangrove stands that Tri-colored Herons, Great Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, Brown Pelicans, White Cheeked Pintails and West Indian Whistling Ducks can be found. A multitude of avifauna reside and/or winter in Inagua and the island is truly a birdwatcher's haven.
 

Union Creek, Inagua

Size: 4, 940 Acres

Seven square miles of enclosed tidal creek on Great Inagua serves as a very important research site for sea turtles, especially the Green Turtle.
 

Little Inagua National Park

Size: 31, 360 Acres

Remote inaccessible and with no fresh water. Little Inagua is by far the largest Uninhabited island in the Wider Caribbean. The island exists in a natural undisturbed state and the biodiversity implications and values of this are enormous. Ocean currents flow through the Bahamas from southeast to the northwest. As a result, Little Inagua is upstream of the rest of the country. Its surrounding waters contribute to the supply of fisheries, eggs, larvae and sub adults that are swept into the other parts of the Bahamian marine territory. Park designation increases the percentage of marine ecosystem under protection for fishery replenishment purposes. Additionally, Little Inagua is a documented nesting location for critically endangered sea turtle species.

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