22 The Daily News, Friday, May 1,1998
Trinidad and Tobago have plenty
We discovered in last week's col- America migrants. Many spaces are Tlhe Asa Wright Nature Center
umn that Trinidad's economy is not not found elsewhere in the les 1,200 feet up in the northern
tourist-oriented. The island's econo- Caribbean. Ola e range ofTrinidad, an old estate house
my is based on factories, natural gas, There re 620 different species of DaviS that has become a conservation
oil and other natural resources that butterflies and 2,300 different flow- Our research center for naturalists and
generate revenues for the country. Ing plants and shrubs in which 177 of bird-weserv ches. with h in excellent
But Trinidad has more to offer than them are orchids. There are 104 reserve with hiking trails, bedded
its strong industrial base economy, species of mammals including a roomsandrestaurants.
Hundreds of years ago, Trinidad large variety of bats, which has 58 Point Beach But Trinidad and Tob- However, the development of
was joined to South America and species. The forest covers much of Point Beach Bt T anidas in ec-tounsm for Tobago dates backto
Tobago even earlier. That ancient Trinidad and Tobago and is home to treds beachnt nimas ing th 1766 when the colonial governors, a
continental link has left mainland and many wildlife animals including hundreds on beaches during sting conservationists ahead of his time,
island life forms crowded into a armadillo, agouli, paca, opossum, thouseasonds Can sea tours on ou declared the central mountain ridge
small geographical area. The rich wild pigs. deer tayra (wild dog or beaches One time in the hsto of and its surrounding lands a Crown
mountainous rain forest, rivers, tropi. chin bois), tiger cat and ant-earers. Sandy Point, one ould walkthe history of Reserve making Tobago the oldest
cal savannahs, mangrove forest Other species found include the of sea turtles backs to Frederikst legally protected forest in the westem
swamps, coral reefs and seashore all Amazon parrot, manatees, iguana, Town without touching the sand hemisphere. The forest reserve is
lie close to each other, bowler monkeys and capuchin. Frogs because of the number of animals protected today. Tobago is a paradise
Trinidad and Tobago rank among and toads are abundant and you will laying eggs at the beach. or nature lovers
the top 10 countries of the world in hear them especially during the rainy Today, many of our habitats are Let me say this, "If it is true that
terms of number of species per season. The Gold Tre Frog is the destroyed or altered to the point love makes the world 8o round, then
square mile for its size. The two only species endemic to Trinidad. It where few sea turtles enter our Tobago is the place to get your head
islands offer one of the bestintroduc- lives and breeds in the water trapped beaches. Ian Lambie, chief executive i spinn"
tion to ncotropical birdwatching and in bromeliads high in the mountain. officer of the Asa Wright Nature The sand, sea, moonlit nights and
are home to over 433 recorded Caiman, a species of alligator, is also Center in Trinidad said, "Believe it breezes are all intoxicating ingredi-
species, in which about 200 species common in swampy areas or not, but some people will pay ents for love in Tobago. Tobago's
are known in Tobago. These species St. Croix is known for its giant thousands of dollars to go and see a proximity to South America has pro-
of birds include South and North leather back sea turtles at Sandy birdorseaturtle." duced an overlap of continental
fauna, flora and bird migrations mak-
ing it one of the most interesting
tropical environments in the world.
The highest mountain in Tobago
is just a couple hundreds of feet high.
er than the highest mountain in the
Virgin Islands. Yet, this island is
home to many waterfalls and rivers,
210 species of birds, and tropical
forests with magnificent trees and
Tobago is known as the nature
island and Trinidad for its industrial
based economy. Today, Trinidad and
Tobago recognized the potential eco-
tourism has for the islands' economy
and is vigorously promoting it.
Believe me, Trinidad and Tobago
begins to take the lead in eco-tourism
in the Caribbean.
Next week column, my visit to
the Pointe-A-Picrre Wild Fowl Trust
This article reflects the view of
Olasee Davis, a St. Croix ecologist
activist and writer who has a master
of science degree in range manage-
menrt andforestry ecology,.