Due to their incredible low population densities, the Guianas -all of them with 80-90% pristine forest cover- are an exception to the majority of today's overpopulated world. Although much of their biodiversity is still unknown, it is for certain of an incredible richness. The coasts of the Guianas are home to one of the largest populations of the endangered Leatherback turtle in the world and hosts millions of migratory birds from North America which winter here. Typical Guiana birds such as the incredible Red Ibis and the Cock-of-the-Rock attract bird lovers from all over the world.
The Guianas are not just rich in biodiversity, but also in natural resources, such as gold, bauxite and oil. Unsustainable extraction of especially the first threatens forests and freshwaters of the region on a large scale. The rapid expansion of small-scale gold mining in the Guianas, with increasing use of mercury is of immense concern to WWF.