Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: St. Kitts is beautiful; I hope it stays that way
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Title: St. Kitts is beautiful; I hope it stays that way
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: April 5, 1996
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Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00144
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
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16 TheDalyNet. Friday.Ap 5.1O6


Environment


St. Kitts is beautiful; I hope it stays that way


In 1976. I visited St. Kitts. a
beautiful place where the mountains
touch the clouds and streams flow
to the sea. The fields of sugar ca
and villages dotting the coast also
add beauty to the land. While there.
I stayed with friends in the country
village called Lodge.
Lodge Village is a lush green
area overlooked by high mountains.
It shares the island's friendly peo-
ple. sugar cae fields, fruit of vari-
ous kinds and monkeys and other
wildlife that make St. Kilts a real
tropical paradise. But like other
Caribbean islands. St. Kitts has a
long history of struggles.
In 1622, before Capt. Thomas
Wamer headed back to England he
landed on the island of St. Chriso-


per. commonly known today as St
itts. Right away. he fell in love
with the island and found it much
easier to defend than the mainland.
When Capt. Warner retuned to
England, he obtained financial sup-
por from merchants and other peo-
ple he convinced that St Kits was
a wonderful place to settle. Capt.
Warer retuned to St. Kitts in 1624
with about 15 people. This was the
first permanent English settlement
in the West Indies by Europeans.
For this reason. St. Kitts was
called "the Mother Colony of the
British West Indies." Here. Capt.
Warner met the Carib Tegamond.
chief of all Indians.
The early European settlers of
St. Kitts lived in rough conditions.


iOlasee
Davis




They had to clear the forests and
hoe the untilled soil. In this new-
found land, food was scarce and
hurricanes often destroyed their
palm-thch bones.
During this period, the Indians
were of great help to the new set-
iers because they knew the island
and it natal resources. The Indi-
a provided the whie scaes with
food and fish while the settlers


established their farms. The French
later followed the English to the
island and the countries agreed to
divide the island among themselves.
In 1627. the English occupied
the center of the island, while the
French occupied the ends.
The increasing number of white
settlers on St. Kitts was making the
Indians conceded about their own
safety and the right to their land.
In 1626. the Indians planned to
attack the English and Prench who
had sealed on their land. This plot
did not work. however, because a
Carib woman named Barbe
betrayed her people by informing
Capt. Warner about the atack. The
English and French organized
themselves and surprised the lndi-


ams at night and killed hundreds of
them. From then on, many Indians
were driven from their island
homes.
What attracted me most on St.
Kilts were the monkeys and the
lush. green environment. The green
monkeys were introduced to St.
Kits in the 17th century. These ani-
mals probably descended from
West African monkeys brought to
the island by slave traders. Since
the introduction of these animals.
bhe population of monkeys has
grown until today they inhabit vir-
tally all of the uncultivated habi-
tas of St. Kirs.
I talked to many local people in
V See ENVIRONMENT, page 17


ENVIRONMENTWCO[MU MOM PAGE 16


Development
Lodge Village about the monkeys.
The people were kind and explained
to me the feeding habits, behavior
patterns and range of these animals'
habitat. Local folks say one reason
the green monkeys survive on St.
Kitts is the abundance and variety
of food.
The dense forest in mountain
areas provided a variety of fruits
and shrub plants, like the strawber-
ry, that grows along the mountain-
side. The monkeys also feed on
farmers' crops. These animals are
so smart that they will dig up the
sweet potatoes from underground
and cover the ground like nothing
happened.


invading monkey habitat
The dense vegetation of St. Kitts keys in St Kitts is closely ass
also decreases predators and serves ed with their environment.
as an escape route for monkeys. St. Kitts today is different
Monkeys also are found in open when I was there 20 years ago.
areas, local people say. Bouts of Development has begu
grooming by monkeys occur in spread to areas monkeys
grassland areas, but is relatively inhabited. St. Kitts can learn
rare because of predators, the Virgin Islands, particularly
Monkeys rarely forage in areas Thomas. of what happens
that are open and border on differ- development is out of control.
out habitats, but when they do, it is I do hope St. Kitts' mon
typically for a long time. have a future in the wild thin
Some of the fruit trees such as ature.
clammy cherry are found on the Olasee Davis, who holds a
edge of clearings. The clammy ter ofscience degree in range
cherry (Cordia oblique) is one of agemmen and forestry ecology,
the monkeys' favorite foods. St. Croix ecologist, activist
Thus the behavior of green mon- writer.


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once
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