Citation
Tropic news. Vol. 2. No. 1

Material Information

Title:
Tropic news. Vol. 2. No. 1
Series Title:
Tropic news
Creator:
United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Publisher:
United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Caribbean ( LCSH )
Newspapers -- Caribbean ( LCSH )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States Virgin Islands
Caribbean

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright United States Virgin Islands. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Division of Fish and Wildlife.. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text






TROPIC


NEWS


Iy DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL RESOURCES
DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
VOL.1.! NO. 1. UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS


Hugo's Effects on Wetlands

Mangrove wetlands on St. Thomas/
St. John suffered severe damage from
Hurricane Hugo's ravaging winds. Leaf
removal was extensive in most areas,
and.as much as 100% canopy removal
occurred where many large mangroves fell.
Water depths of 3-4 feet over soft mud
bottoms, combined with downed logs and
floating depris, hampered wildlife
surveys.
Although it is too early to assess
whether wildlife abundance has decreased,
preliminary post-hurricane surveys on
St. Thomas/ St. John suggest that wild-
life species diversity remains high in
mangrove wetlands. Waterfowl observed
using salt ponds and flooded mangroves
include the white-cheeked Pintail
(Bahama Duck) and Common Moorhen. Wading
birds include Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets,
Little Blue Herons, Great Blue Herons,
Tricolored Herons, Green-backed Herons
and Black-necked Stilts. Resident and
some early migrant probing shorebirds
were also observed, including Spotted
Sandpipers, Lesser and Greater Yellow-
legs, Wilson's Plovers and Ruddy Turn-
stones.
Mangrove trees continue to be used
by resident arboreal birds such as
Bananaquits/ "Sugar Birds", Black-faced
GrassQuits, Zenaida Doves, Scaly-naped
Pigeons and Pearly-eyed Thrashers
"Trushie". Gray Kingbirds and Caribbean
Martins are feasting above the insect
laden salt ponds. Migrating warblers are
also.beginning to return to the islands'.
wetlands. Black and 'White Warblers,
American Redstarts and Northern Water-
thrush have been sighted. It is not yet
known what impact the extensive leaf
and canopy removal will have on mangrove
use by migrant warblers.
Hurricane Hugo's effects on St.
frnix manorve and wildlife have not vet


been determined. Wildlife surveys in
mangrove wetlands will be conducted
on all three island in October.


Injured Wildlife

If you should find any wild-...
life that is injured such as birds
iguanas, mongoose, etc. please do
the follow wing:

gently place the injured animal
in a box or container.

If the animal is merely weak
from the lack of food, you may
choose to care for it yourself.

If the animal needs professional
care, take it to Dr. A.J. Williamson
in Tutu ( 5-3240 or 5-1705 ) or the
Humane Society in Nadir ( 5-0599 ).

If you cannot capture the
injured animal or if you have any
questions, please call or stop
by the Division of Fish and Wildlife
( 5-6762 ) or the Humane Society.


Clean Up and Make Money

The Recycling and Resource
Recovery business located on the
Bovoni Dump is buying non-Ferrous
scrap metals. Various debris from
the hurricane such as louvers, door
and window frames, wire, and pop
cans can be sold directly at the
dump Mondays through Saturday from
8am to 6pm. Below is a list of
prices:


October





Copper Wire Peel- .45/lb. ( They
will NOT buy WAPA wire unless
it has been authorized).
Copper Piping- .35/lb.
Aluminum Cans- .25/lb. whole
.35/lb. crushed
Aluminum- .20/lb.
Condensers- .20/lb ( if clean )
Cast.Aluminum- .20/lb. ( if clean

Hugo's Effects on the Reefs

Hurricane Hugo had a devastating
effect on many coral reefs and seagrass
beds on the south side of St. Thomas
and St. John. These reefs are more di-
verse and fragile than the north side
reefs which receive large ground seas
from winter storms. As a result these
coral formations could not withstand
the 15'-25' waves produced by the storm.
Many coral heads were broken off and
moved far from their origin. Many reefs
were covered with a layer of sand that
was brought in with the storm which
kills the living corals. Also the heavy
rains during the storm and one week
later caused a great deal of sediment
to flow into the sea and choke the liv-
ing corals.
During the storm most of the fish
escaped danger by moving to deeper
waters. A large number of fish traps in
the water before Hugo, were lost. Due to
the loss of habitat from reef destruction
fishes have sought shelter in these traps
located on the shelf. Traps that have
been recovered contain larger than normal
quantities of fish. Unrecovered traps
have the potential for killing numerous
fish due to the infrequent usage of bio-
degradable panels or damage to the traps
which makes it impossible for the fish to

OVrDENMENT OF
THE ViRO: 4 ISL/.ANFI OF THE UNiTFD STATES
-C>-
Dop3 ?n! I P3!wning & NMlural resources
n!' i"'l : FrIH AND WILDLIFE
I i r.. .` 'I ": .T rrt! l


escape. Buoys used for marking the titaps
were pulled away during the storm making
recovery of traps difficult.
Initial observations of Hurricane
Hole, St. John, showed some mangrove dam-
age, which was mostly from boats. Reef
fish utilizing these areas as nursery
habitat did not seem to be greatly affect
ed. Other less protected mangrove areas
are yet to be inspected.
Many seagrass beds experienced "blow
outs" from Hugo. Blowouts occur when wave
action undercuts seagrass roots and remov
large areas of grass. Fish and conch use
these areas as forage and the loss of m n:
beds could have an impact on the entire
nearshore community.
Although hurricanes have occurred
throughout time many chronic problems are
Axaerbated by humans. Problems sul h as
sediment runoff, raw sewage and improper
anchoring may effect the full recovery of
marine habitats unless proper care and
attention is taken.


Reef .ish Size Limits

On September 22, 1989, new size
limits for yellowtail snapper and
Nassau grouper became effective in
federal waters surrounding Puerto
Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,
as announced by the National Marine
Fisheries Service.
From September 22, 1989 through
September 21, 1990, the minimum
allowable sizes for these species
are: yellowtail snapper- 12 inches
total length; Nassau grouper- 16
inches total length. Undersized
yellowtail snapper and Nassau grouper
must be returned to the water immed-
iately, with minimum harm, while
those of legal minimum size must be
landed with the head, fins, and tail
intact. Questions about these regu-
lations can be answered by the
Caribbean Fishery Management Council
at (809) 766-5926.




Full Text

PAGE 1

r:: , o.. . ---~ ... --~. .J° _.~.. 'or( ~j-:::(", "" NEvVS TROPIC ..::::=\\ RESOURCES DEPARTMENT OF PLANrJlr~G AND NATURA L DIVISION Of FISH AND WILDLIFE UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLAr~DS octobe~ VOL. II. NO.1. Hugo's Effects on Wetlands been determined. tlildlife surveys in mangrove wetland.s .vTill be conducte:i on all three i31and3 in Oc.to"berG Injured Wildlife: If you should find any wild life that is injured such as birds iguanas, mongoose, etc. please do the, folloy.ring: gently place the injured animal in a box or cont~il1er. If the animal is merely 1~leak from the lack of food, you may choose to care for it yourself. If the animal needs professional care, take it to Dr. A.J. Willia~son in Tutu ( 5-3240 or 5-1705 ) or trLe Humane Society in Nadir ( 5-059'9 ). If you cannot c~pture the injured animal or if you h2ve ,~ny questions, please call or stop by the Division of Fish a.nd ivild.life ( 5-6762 ) or th e ~uman(~ So 01 e'GY. Clean T]p and Make Money The Recycling and Resource Recovery business located on the Bovoni Dump is buying non-Ferrous scrap metals. Various debris from the hurricane suC.:.-J. as louvers, door and window frames, wire, and pop cans can be sold directly at the dump Mondays through Saturday from 8am to 6p~. Below is a list of prices: i I J.ip.ngrove w~tlands on st. Thomas/ st. John suffered severe damage from rr"llrricane Hugo I s ravaging winds. Leaf removal was extensive in most areas, and as much as 100% canopy removal occured where many large mangroves fell. (later depths of 3-4 feet over soft mud bottoms, combined 1dth downed logs and floating depris, hampered wildlife surveys. . P~l though it is to 0 early to as s e s s whether '\:iildlife abundanc e has decreased, preliminary post-hurricane surveys on st. Thomas/ St. John suggest that wildlife species diversity remains high in mangrove wetlands. ylaterfowl observed using salt ponds and flooded mangroves include the white-che,eked Pintail (3ahama Duck) and Co~on Moorhen. Wading birds include Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Great Blue Herons, Tricoiored Herons, Green-backed Herons and Black-necked stilts. Resident and some early migrant probing shorebirds '\:vere also observed, including Spotted Sandpipers, Lesser and Greater Yello'\:vlegs, Ivilson I s Plovers and Ruddy Turn.,. stones. , Man,grove trees contiw~e to be used by re,sident arboreal birds such as Bananaquits/ [ISugar Birds'!, Black-faced Grassquits, Zenaida Doves, Scaly-naped Pigeons and Pearly-eyed T'nrashers I"l'rushie". Gray Kingbirds and Caribbean l1artins are feasting above the insect laden salt ponds. ~1igrating warblers are also beginning to return to the islands', wetlands. Black and yfuite viarblers, ~~erican Redstarts and Northern Waterthrush have been sighted. It is not yet known what impact the extensive leaf and canopy removal Yiill have on mangrove use by migrant warblers. Hurricane Hugo's effects on st. nrn;x mp;11i"Y'nVp R.nd wildlife have not yet

PAGE 2

Copper \'iire Peel.45/1b. ( They w~ll NOT buy lyAPA wire unless it has been authorized). Copper Piping.35!lb. Aluminum Cans.25!lb. whole .35/1bo crushed Aluminum.20/lb. Oondensers.20/lb ( if clean) Cast. _A..luminum.20/1 b. ( if clean Hu,go I s Effects on the Reefs escape. Buoys used for markihg the.~rdPs" were pulled away during the storm making re'oovery of traps difficul to Initial observations of Hurricane Hole, st. John, showed some mangrove daJlage, which was mostly from boats. Reef fish utilizing these areas as nursery habitat did not seem to be greatly affect ed. Other less protected mangrove areas are yet to be inspected. Many seagrass beds experienced "blo1y outs II from Rugo. Blowouts occur 1ihen wave action undercuts seagrass roots and remov large areas of grass. Fish and conch use these areas as forage and the loss of !11S:1; beds could have an impact on the entire nearshore community. P~l though hurricanes have occured throughout time many chronic problems are F';xa~'?roated by humo.no. Problems ~110h aD sediment runoff, ra-vl sewage and improper anchoring may effect the full recovery of marine habitats unless proper care and attention is taken. Reef Fish Size Limits THE ViRGi On Septembel~ 22, 1989, new size limits for yellowtail snapper and ~Jassau grouper became effective in federal waters surrounding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as announced by the National Marine Fisheries Service. From SeptemboT 22, 1989 through September 21, 1990, the minimum allowable sizes for these species are: yellowtail snapper12 inches total length; Nassau grouper16 inches total length. Undersized yelloi~tail snapper and Nassau grouper must be returned to the water immediately, with minimum harm, 1vhile those of legal minimum size must be landed with the head, fins, and tail intact. Questi6'ns about thes e regulations can be answered by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council at (809) 766-59260 D -, ~p.J,' r!' ~urricane Hugo had a devastating effect on many coral reefs and seagrass beds on the south side of st. Thomas ~nd st. Johna These reefs are more diverse and fragile than the north side reefs vJhich receive large ground seas from trinter storms. AS a result tiles e coral formations could not withstand the 15'-25' waves produced by the storm. Many coral heads were broken off and noved far from their origin. Many reefs were covered with a layer of sand that ~as brought in with t~e storm which kills the living corals. llso the heavy rains during the storm and one week -later caused a great deal of sediment to flow into the sea and choke the living corals. , ~~rin.g the storm mo st of the fi sh escaped danger by moving to deeper waters. A large number of fish traps in the water before Hugo, were lost. Due to the loss of habitat from reef destruction, fishes have sought shelter in these traps located on the shelf. Traps that have been recovered contain larger than normal quantities of fish. Unrecovered traps rla-ve the potential for killing numerous fish due to the infrequent usage of biodegradable panels or damage to the traps which makes it impossible for the fish to ---(".('...1: ~:~N,ENT OF " l,lr.tJ[~;; OF THE UNiTED c;TA r~s -C'!'!i! "r P~3!!~ing fa N'1!ural ~~S!)!JtCCS I':'" ,:-,: rl~H ,\ND \'/ILDL!F~ , ,.', r.-1 'I" r.' "':-,rl'lll