Jobos Bay – National Estuarine Research Reserve
The Jobos Bay Reserve, or Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, covers an area of 2 883 acres that includes mangroves and wetlands. It is also one of the largest estuarine reserves on the island and it therefore amongst the most important nature reserves in Puerto Rico. Jobos Bay Reserve was once home to the Taino Indians and the Arciaco Indians and archaeological sites are still visible. It was also the site of a Sugar Plant Mill in 1899 but by the 1980 the Aguirre Corporation and its business interests had grown quiet. In 1981, the Cayos Caribe islets and the Mar Negro mangrove forest were incorporated into what is known as the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Today the Jobos Bay Estuarine Reserve is a haven for endangered and rare wildlife. It also plays an important role in various industries such as ecotourism, marine
recreation and fishing. Bird species, such as the peregrine falcon and brown pelicans, take refuge here – as does the West Indian manatee and the hawksbill sea turtle. The shallow waters of the reefs that surround the reserve are perfect for the feeding purposes of the turtles since it enables them to find algae, roots and small invertebrates. The yellow-shouldered blackbird and the Puerto Rican plain pigeons are also amongst the endangered bird species that can be seen in the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
The reefs consist of finger corals, seagrass, star corals, coral heads, fire corals, zoanthids and an extravaganza of colorful fish. Small groups of
animals can be seen along the water and the beautiful landscape provides visitors with spectacular photographic opportunities. The facilities that are available in the Jobos Bay Estuarine Reserve include an educational exhibit area, a visitors’ center filled with information, a research library, conference facilities and a laboratory. Groups and researchers can make use of the dormitory for accommodation and there are numerous trails available. Each of the nature reserves in Puerto Rico are unique and the Jobos Bay Reserve is no exception. Here you will be able to explore and see rare and endangered bird species while enjoying the tranquility of the breathtaking surroundings.