The Open School of Tropical Animal

Science and Production

 

   4/4/2020 11:22:58 AM

 

 

WILDLIFE AND THE CARIBBEAN

 

Table 2 is an incomplete table. This is deliberately done to demonstrate to this noble audience how incomplete an overview we have about our own business on wildlife and wildlife education. I would be most appreciative if you could give me feedback so that I could complete the picture and circulate it back to you all. I have included an Appendix on the listing of Zoos of the Caribbean for your perusal.

 

Table 2: Caribbean Wildlife, Zoos and Wildlife Education

Country

Wildlife prevalent

Wildlife use

Zoo

Education agenda

Anguilla

?

?

?

?

Antigua and Barbuda

?

?

No

?

Bahamas

Not sure. But aquatic marine wildlife is abundant

?

Yes.

1- Ardastra Garden and Zoo

2 - Coral World Bahamas

3 - Dolphin Experience

?

Barbados

No. One species - the Green Monkey (Certopicticious athieops) an introduced pet has become a pest, but is now used as a primate research resource.

Recreation and Pets

1- Oughterson House Zoo,St. Phillip (A small private zoo that has done work in breeding endangered parrots. It is now closed)

2 - Barbados Primate Research Centre and Wildlife Reserve (A small private zoo open to the public and does Primate Research)

?

Belize

Abundant

Food, Recreation and Ecotourism

The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Centre.

?

Bermuda

?

?

Yes. Bermuda Aquarium, Natural History Museum and Zoo.

?

British Virgin Islands

?

?

?

?

Cayman Islands

No. But the most prevalent land species are crabs which is abundant and easily caught for food. Their aquatic life is important.

They take pride in their very limited wildlife.

1- A small blue iguana exhibit which is one of the most endangered of the iguanas

2 - The Cayman Islands Turtle Farm and Zoo (A world class facility).

?

Cuba

?

?

1 - Havana Zoological Garden (24 ha.)

2 - National Aquarium (1 ha.)

3 - National Zoological Park (350 ha.)

4 - Zoological Park of Santiago de Cuba (80 ha.).

?

Dominica

Limited wildlife species in some abundance.

?

None - just a Dominica Parrot Exhibit in the Botanic Gardens, Roseau

?

Dominican Republic

?

?

Parque Zoologico National (100 ha.) - The first cageless zoo which is has very modern and good facillities.

?

French Guyana

An abundance of wildlife.

Wildlife served year round with 27 restaurants with wildlife on their menu.

Yes. This zoo is an animal park and recreation facillity and a small animal

No

Grenada

?

?

Botanic Gardens and Zoo

?

Guadeloupe

Limited

No

No

No

Guyana

An abundance of wildlife.

Wildlife served year round at restaurants.

Yes. The Georgetowne Zoo

(The Guyana Zoological Park) is one of the oldest zoos of the Americas, but is in a bad state. Is now getting some assistance from the San Diego Zoo.

No

Haiti

No

?

?

?

Jamaica

Very limited

?

Yes. The Hope Zoo in Kingston. It is being upgraded.

No

Martinique

No

No

Yes - the past Amazon Garden Zoologigue. It is now closed and some of the specimens were sold to La Ferme de Perrine next to the airport. This is now like a petting zoo with farm animals.

No

Monsterrat

Limited. An abundance of feral agouti (Dasyprocta leporina)

?

No

?

Netherlands Antilles (Curacao)

?

?

1 - Zoological Gardens (very small and limited collection)

2 - Curacao Sea Aquarium

?

Netherlands Antilles

(St Maarten)

?

?

St. Maarten Zoological and Botanical Gardens (very small and limited collection)

?

Nevis

No. One species - the Green Monkey (Certopicticius athieops) an introduced pet has become a pest

?

No

?

St. Kitts

No. One species - the Green Monkey (Certopicticius atheiops) an introduced pet has become a pest.

?

No

?

St. Lucia

Very limited. Snakes, small mammals, iguana and birds.

?

St. Lucia Mini Zoo. Very small exhibit within the Forestry Department.

?

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Very limited

?

None in St. Vincent.

But in Bequia there is Brother King (Mr. Orton King) turtle farm, which does breeding work and offers recreation tours.

?

Suriname

Abundant

Hunted year round for food and recreation, and for the international pet trade.

?

No

Tobago

Limited to a few prevalent species, lizards and birds. The Cocrico (Ortalis ruficauda) is one of the national birds that

has now become a pest in Tobago and is hunted as meat. It is possible to rear these for meat in captivity.

Hunting as sport and for meat.

No

No

Trinidad

Yes

Hunting as sport and meat for commercia sale ($100 to $130 TT [$10US] / kg).

Yes. The Emperor Valley Zoo, very good small zoo by world standards. Attention has to be paid on how it is managed to ensure sustainability.

No

US Virgin Islands

?

?

None

?

 

 

Table #2 also indicates that there is great variability with respect to the presence of wildlife on the Caribbean islands. This table also indicates that of the 29 locations identified within the Caribbean, Zoo and Wildlife Education activities are highly variable and limited. In addition we have an incomplete knowledge on what is happening on the ground. The report of Cross (2001) suggested that a lot has to be done towards a National Biodiversity Action Plan for Trinidad and Tobago. Common issues outlined were as follows: 

  •       Education and awareness

  •       Policy, legislation and enforcement

  •       Data, information and research

  •       Communication and cooperation with and between agencies, and with their stakeholders

  •       Participation and consultation of civil society in planning and implementation of public policies and programmes

  •       Political commitment

  •       Capacity of Government institutions and Non-governmental Organizations to manage the countrys biodiversity resources

  •       Valuation and Environmental accounting and use of financial instruments for the conservation of biodiversity.

 The National Biodiversity Action Plan for Trinidad and Tobago identified priority strategies which were wide ranging and comprehensive. The elements contained therein were as follows:

 

Education and awareness

  • Education and Awareness Programmes

  • Foster greater inter-institutional collaboration

  • Promote Environmental Education into the Primary and Secondary School Curriculum

  • Promote Biodiversity and Environmental education at the Tertiary level

  • A mandatory Environmental Education Course at Year 1 University

  • A Degree in Environmental Education

Legislation and Enforcement

 

Capacity Building

 

Information and Research 

  • Prioritize Research (Basic and Applied)

  • Linking the research to the Agro-diversity Conservation

  • Identify Support for Research

  • Encourage Collaboration

  • Broaden access to information

  • Cost effective and Appropriate Research Techniques

Policy and Government

 

In the above listing the elements under Education and Awareness, and Information and Research were elaborated upon as they are of direct relevance to this paper. I shall go on to show that the key proposals being suggested in this paper are in agreement with Cross (2001). And what I would attempt to do is to put some focus for immediate action for Education and Awareness, and for Information and Research.

 

 

Dr. Gary W. Garcia, Ph.D.,

Department of Food Production, Faculty of Science and Agriculture,

The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.