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Cerro Verde and the Coronilla Islands

The Cerro Verde and Coronilla Islands Coastal Marine area is located on the ocean strip of the department of Rocha (adjacent to the Santa Teresa Park and very close to the town of La Coronilla). It is an area with a high degree of naturalness and a wide variety of environments that support a wide range of species. The land portion comprises almost 1,700 hectares and includes hills and plains associated with coastal dunes, canyons, rocky headlands, sandy beaches and several types of vegetation. These include the coastal scrub of Cerro Verde (comprising an association of unique plant species in the presence of endemic species) and remnants of coastal native forest (listed as endangered on a national level). The marine portion covers over 7,000 hectares and includes a complex of oceanic islands including Isla Verde (the most extensive and closest to the coast) and la Caronilla.

La ziba is the habitat for conservation priority species, such as the southern right whale, the La Plata dolphin, porpoise, colonies of sea lions, occasional examples of elephant seals and several species of birds and sea turtles. In turn, the surf zones are a shelter and food source for several species of cartilaginous fish. Cerro Verde is one of the main feeding and development areas for young green turtles (a species considered endangered globally), coming from different nesting beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Large populations of migratory birds use these coastal-marine areas, including plovers and waders. This area is home to several globally threatened species such as the black-and-white monjita, the saffron-cowled blackbird and different species of capuchins. Moreover, Isla Verde is the only known breeding site in Uruguay of a mixed colony of terns (yellow beak, real and South American). In addition to its ecological value, the area is significant for its paleontological, archaeological, historical and cultural values, including fossil outcrops and shipwrecks.