The Open School of Tropical Animal
Science and Production
12/6/2023 11:45:55 AM
NEO TROPICAL ANIMAL BIODIVERSITY
Does the preceding section indicate that the Neo-tropics has no animals or very few animals that are of importance to humanity today or in the very near future?
Let us now examine the evidence.
Animal Diversity / Assets within the Neo-tropics [excluding aquatic species]
Trinidad and Tobago is centrally located within the neo-tropics. Within the Neo-tropics there is a notable absence of mega fauna. The largest land mammal is the Tapir/ South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris), which is the national animal of Belize and weighs 250-300 kg. This area, however, contains one of the most diverse collections of animal species in the world.
Table 1: The Relative Amounts of Neo-Tropical Animal Species within the Neo-Tropics, [Ojasti 1993]
An Important Comment
“Most of the information now available [on Neo-tropical Wildlife] is descriptive and/or anecdotal, based on the experiences, views or beliefs of hunters and campesinos, or on naturalists’ accounts and observations of animals in captivity, and so forth. The diffuse information is repeatedly cited but there is no way to check its origin and accuracy.”
“The problem of Latin American Wildlife requires its own solutions, geared to the specific realities of the countries, the region and the type of user”
Dr. Gary W. Garcia, Ph.D.,
Department of Food Production, Faculty of Science and Agriculture,
The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.