Protecting threatened Over-seas biodiversity

French Guiana

General description

French Guiana is a French region situated on the Atlantic coast of South America, between Suriname and Brazil. Covering 83 242 km², Guiana is France’s second largest region; 96 % of its area is covered with equatorial forest, some of the best preserved in the world.  Guiana’s flora and fauna represent 95% of that of France, more than 400 000 species have been recorded from its equatorial forest.

Study site

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 Key zone for marine biodiversity along the central coastline

Key zone for marine biodiversity along the central coastline

A littoral and marine zone within French territorial waters that is the only protected marine area away from the Guiana coast: the Grand-Connétable island national nature reserve covers 7852 hectares. The zone is characterised by shallow waters covering a mainly clay or sandy-clay seabed. There are also several rocky areas which are otherwise very rare between the Amazon and Orinoco deltas. These habitats are much appreciated by the Atlantic goliath grouper as well as by other emblematic species such as Guiana dolphin, Caribbean manatee, Green turtle, Giant oceanic manta ray and numerous seabirds.

 The Guiana savannahs

The Guiana savannahs

These open, mainly grassland habitats exist along the whole of the Guianan coast but are more numerous in the west than in the east, especially in Kourou, Sinnamary and Iracoubo communes that contain three-quarters of the Guinian savannahs.