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Tropic news. Vol. 5. No. 9 & 10.

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Title:
Tropic news. Vol. 5. No. 9 & 10.
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.
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English

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

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Full Text



TR OPIC NEWS


DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL
S RESOURCES
June /July 1993


DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Volume 5 Number
Volume 5 Numberi


IT'S ALL IN A NAME...
The Virgin Islands' furriest animal friend finally has
a name. The Litter Critter has officially been named
"MONGO" in a recent contest sponsored by Avco Finan-
cial Services, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the St.
Thomas/St. John Chamber of Commerce and the Divi-.
sion of Fish & Wildlife's Education Bureau.
Mongo the Litter Critter made visits to local schools
with a message to students that litter is dangerous to
wildlife and people. "It's ugly, and no one enjoys looking
at it.", says Mongo.
During his visits, he asked the children to offer their
help in giving him a name.
Quenten Griffith, a kindergarten student in
Kathleen Whistler's class at Joseph Sibilly School came
up with the winning entry. He received a $25 gift
certificate. He and his classmates were honored June 17
at a party held in the school's courtyard, complete with
Litter Critter t-shirts, coloring books, crayons, party
bags, cookies, and Coca-Cola.
The children were reminded that "A handshake with
the Critter is a promise not to litter".
Mongo the Litter Critter will continue on his crusade
to educate children and adults on the importance of
keeping our islands clean and free of trash.
The Division would like to thank Susanne Fageol,
Susan Roy, Jim Farlinger, John Foster, and Monique
Sibilly Hodge for their support of this program.
For information on how your group may sponsor an
appearance by the Litter Critter, please contact Susan
Roy at Avco Financial Services, 774-6878.


COLORING BOOK COMES OUT
The Environmental Coloring Book of the U.S.Virgin
Islands has been printed and will be available for
distribution t6 local schools in the fall.
Illustrated by St. John artist Teresa "Red" Fisher,
the coloring book features examples of wildlife habitats
such as mangroves, seagrass beds, salt ponds, and coral
reefs. The geology, climatology, and oceanography of
these islands are also covered.
Much of the information in the coloring book was
extracted from the Environmental Fact Sheet series
produced by the Dept. of Conservation and Cultural
Affairs, Marsha McLaughlin, editor.
The Virgin Islands are rich in natural treasures.
The Division's Education Bureau hopes that by learning
about our natural resources, future leaders will be
better able to protect them.
Thanks to Ferst Office Supplies, Print It, Inc. and
the staff of the Division of Libraries, Museums, and
Archeological Services for their production assistance.


BEWARE OF BIRD
A young kestrel, locally known as a "killy killy" who
apparently left the nest too early was recently brought
to the Division's St. Thomas office. The bird was cared
for by bird biologist Judy Pierce in an indoor cage, and
was later transferred to the outdoor habitat cage. It
was then released into the wild again.
Volunteer Wildlife Technician Daniel Nellis and
other staffers have been helping supplement his diet
with lizards and other small insects.
Unfortunately, the kestrel has yet to fly off into the
real world, but instead has opted for the safety and
convenience of a tree just outside our office. In fact, it
has startled several visitors to the office by swooping
down on them in hopes of receiving food.
The bird appears to be in good health, and is learn-
ing to hunt for itself.


BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON?
Farmers and fishermen alike have for a very long
time looked to the moon to help them decide when to
plant crops, or to know when the fish are biting.
Scientists at the Division of Fish & Wildlife also rely
upon the cycles of the moon to aid in their research and
data collection.
Recent research on a species of baitfish; blue fry,
(Jenkinsia lamprotaenia) has consisted of sampling
large reproductive aggregations south of St. Thomas
and St. John. After the samples are collected, they are
measured, sexed, and rated according to sexual ripe-
ness.
Historically, these reproductive aggregations have
been sampled only around the full moon. However,
recent observations by Ruth Gomez, Environmental
Specialist II, have prompted a sampling of reproductive
aggregations during the new moon over the summer
months.
According to Helen Dixon, Environmental Specialist
II and principal investigator of the project, these
samples could reveal :
1. Two different reproductive cycles, one on thefull
moon and one on the new moon during the summer
months, or
2. There are two different cohorts, "age groups" each
involved in a separate aggregation.
Sampling both aggregations over the next several
months will allow researchers to develop a clearer
picture of the reproductive strategies of these small
migratory fish.
The objective is to develop future management plans
for sustaining blue fry, which are a vital link in the
fisheripR food chain here in tfh Vircrnn Tclanrh


-~BY-~L_ Is~







A NEW FACE IN FISHERIES


Remember the saying:
"You've come a long way, baby?"
Helen Dixon, the Fisheries Bureau's new Environ-
mental Specialist II has come along way, indeed. In
fact, she comes to us all the way from Madagascar, an
island off the southeast coast of Africa. Madagascar is
the fourth largest island in the world.
Helen worked on a crayfish study sponsored by Duke
University. She identified crayfish species found in the
Ranomafana National Park, which is a high plateau
rain forest. She has also worked in Lumbashi, Zaire as
an administrative assistant for an agricultural project
funded by the U.S. Agency for International Develop-
ment (USAID), and worked as the director of a language
school for the U.S. Information Service (USIS) in
Conakry, Guinea, which is in west Africa.
Presently, Helen is the principal investigator of three
projects the Division is conducting with funding from
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restora-
tion Acts. These studies involve assessment of baitfish
populations, a Blue Marlin telemetry study which hopes
to get data on the movement of the fish after tag and
release, and a benthic mapping project aimed at survey-
ing the sea floor around the Virgin Islands.
Helen received a B.S. in Environmental Biology
from Plymouth State College in Plymouth, New Hamp-
shire, and earned her Masters degree in Marine Biology
at Nova University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Conservation and sustainable development in aquac-
ulture are interests which Helen hopes to pursue.
She spends a great deal of time with her labrador
retreiver puppy named Travis, and has been enjoying
sailing and diving the waters which surround the U.S.
and British islands.

* OTrees were saved y printing on recycd
Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper


SUMMER INTERNS...
Four St. Thomas students are doing more this sum-
mer than cruising the mall or playing video games -
they've landed jobs as interns with the Division.
Daniel Nellis, 19 a veteran intern of three years, is
volunteering as a wildlife technician. He studies science
at the University of West Florida, in Pensacola.
Devon Tyson, 18, is a recent graduate of Ivanna
Eudora Kean High School. He is assisting on the
benthic mapping project. Devon is an avid swimmer.
and snorkeler. He plans to study marine biology at UVI.
Cyril Richardson, 16, is attending Charlotte Amalie
High School. He is assisting with fisheries projects, and
has proven to be a great asset when it comes to the
collection ofbaitfish. He intends to pursue a career in
the boating and fishing industry.
Mark Saunders, 15, attends Antilles High School.
He is working as an assistant on seabird studies. Mark
likes fishing and being on the water, and would someday
like to become a full time employee of the Division of
Fish & Wildlife.

...AND SUMMER "RETURNS"
Two former Fish & Wildlife regulars are visiting the
Virgin Islands this summer, conducting coral reef fish
research in cooperation with the V.I. National Park
Service on St. John.
Jim Beets, PhD, former Chief of Fisheries, now
resides in Virginia. He travels extensively conducting
marine research.
Alan Friedlander, former Fisheries Biologist, is in
doctoral studies in fisheries science at the University of
Hawaii-in-Kauai -- -

C'A,& & This newsletter was funded by the US
,. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and
.^ ..- Wildlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean
SFishery Management Council and the
A. Government of the VI.


GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
OF THE UNITED STATES
******
Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Division of Fish and Wildlife
101 Estate Nazareth
St. Thomas, USVI 00802
(809)775-6762 (ST.T.), (809)772-1955 (ST.X.)


BULK RATE
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, V.I.
PERMIT NO. 35


Address Correction Requested


Fa-lc~E~rrrparrsamsc~mmsrrmmra~*a~ an


B~r~aar~a T-C ~II~I -- II pi


- --- _




Full Text

PAGE 1

~ J DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NA ruRAL RESOURCES DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE ~I/o Volume 5 Number. June IJuly' 1993 BEWARE OF Bffin A young kestrel, locally known as a "killy killy" who apparently left the nest too early was recently brought to the Division's St. Thomas office. The bird was cared for by bird biologist Judy Pierce in an indoor cage, and was lat~r transferred to the outdoor habitat cage. It was then released into the wild again. Volunteer Wildlife Technician Daniel Nellis and other staffers have been helping supplement his diet with lizards and other small insects. Unfortunately, the kestrel has yet to fly off into the real world, but instead has opted for the safety and convenience of a tree just outside our office. In fact, it has startled s~veral visitors to the office by swooping down on them in hopes of receiving food. The bird appears to be in good health, and is learning to hunt for itself. IT'S ALL IN A NAME... The Virgin Islands' furriest animal friend finally has a name. The Litter Critter has officially been named "MONGO" in a recent contest sponsored by Avco Financial Services, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the St. Thomas/St. J ohnChamberof Commerce and the Divi-. . sion of Fish & Wildlife's Education Bureau. Mongo the Litter Critter made visits to local schools with a message to students that litter is dangerous to wildlife and people. "It's ugly, and ne one enjoys lookinf!. at it.", says Mongo. During his visits, he asked the children to offer their help in giving him a name. Quenten Griffith, a kindergarten student in Kathleen VvThistler's class at Joseph Sibilly School came up with the Winning entry. He received a $25 gift certificate. He and his classmates were honored June 17 at a party held in the school's courtyard, complete with Litter Critter t-shirts, coloring books, crayons, party bags, cookies, and Coca-Cola. The children were reminded that "A handshake with the Critter is a promise not to litter". Mongo the Litter Critter will continue on his crusade to educate children and .adults on the importance of keeping our islands clean and free of trash. The Division would like to thank Susanne Fageol, Susan Roy, Jim Farlinger, John Foster, and Monique Sibilly Hodge for their support of this program. For information on how your group may sponsor an appearance by the Litter Critter, please contact Susan Roy at Ayco Financial Servjces, 774~6878. COLORING BOOK COMES OUT The Environmental Coloring Book of the U.S.Virgin Islands has been printed and will be available for distribution to local schools in the fall. Illustrated by St. John artist Teresa "Red" Fisher, the coloring book features examples of wildlife habitats such as mangroves, seagrass beds, salt ponds, and coral reefs. The geology, climatology, and oceanography of these islands are also covered. Much of the information in the coloring book was extraeted from the Environmental Fact Sheet series produced by the Dept. of Conservation and Cultural Affairs, Marsha McLaughlin, editor. The Virgin Islands are rich in natural treasures. The Division's Education Bureau hopes that by learning about our natural resources, future leaders will be better able to protect them. Thanks to Ferst Office Supplies, Print It, Inc. and the staff of the Division of Libraries, Museums, and Archeological Services for thejr productjon assjstance. BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON? Farmers and fishermen alike have for a very long time looked to the moon to help them decide when to plant crops, or to know when the fish are biting. , Scientists at the Division of Fish & Wildlife also rely upon the cycles of the moon to aid in their research and data collection. Recent research on a species of bait fish; blue fry, (Jenkinsia lamprotaenia) has consisted of sampling large reproductive' aggregations south of St. Thomas and St. John. After the samples are collected, they are measured, sexed, and rated according to sexual ripeness. Historically, these reproductive aggregations have been sampled only around the full moon. However, recent observations by Ruth Gomez, Environmental Specialist II, have prompted a sampling of reproductive aggregations during the new moon over the summer months. '. According to Helen Dixon, Environmental Specialist II and principal investigator of the project, these samples could reveal: 1. Two different reproductive cycles, one on thefull m'oon and one on the new moon during the summer months, or 2. There are two different cohorts, "age groups" each involved in a separ.a.te aggregation. Sampling both aggregations over the next several months will allow researchers to develop a clearer picture of the reproductive strategies of these small migratory fish. The objective is to develop future management plans for sustaining blue fry, which are a vital link in the fisherie!; food chAin hprp in t,hA VirtTin Tc:l~nNC:

PAGE 2

A NEW FACE IN FISHERIES SUMMER INTERNS ... Four St. Thomas students are doing more this summer than cruising the mall or playing video games they've landed jobs as interns with the Division. Daniel Nellis, 19 a veteran intern of three years, is volunteering as a wildlife technician. He studies science at,the University of West Florida, in Pensacola. Devon Tyson, 18, is a recent graduate of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School. He is assisting on the benthic mapping project. Devon is an avid swimmer, and snorkeler. He plans to study marine bioJogy at UVI. Cyril Richardson, 16, is attending Charlotte Amalie High School, He is assisting with fisheries projects, and has proven to be a great asset when it comes to the collection of bait fish. He intends to pursue a career in the boating and fis4ing industry. Mark Saunders, 15, attends Antilles High School. He is working as an assistaI1t on seabird studies. Mark lilces fishing and being o~ the water, and would someday like to become a full time employee of the Division of Fish & Wildlife. Remember the saying: "You've come a long way, baby?" Hel~n Dixon, the Fisheries Bureau's new Environmental Specialist II has come along "lay, indeed. In fact, she comes to us all the way from Madagascar, an island off the southeast coast of Africa. Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. Helen worked on a crayfish study sponsored by Duke University. She identified crayfish species found in the Ranomafana National Park, which is a high plateau rain forest. She has also worked in Lumbashi, Zaire as an administrative assistant for an agricultural project fundeq by the U.S. Agency for International Develo,pment (USAID), and worked as the director of a language school for the U .S. Info~ation Service ({JsrS) in Conakry, Guinea, which is in west Aflica. Presently, 'Helen is the principal investigator of three projects the Division is conducting with funding from the U.S~ Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration Acts. These studies involve ass~ssment ofbaitfish populations, a Blue Marlin telemetry study which hopes to get data on the movement of the fish after tag anq release, and a benthic mapping project aimed at surveying the sea floor around the Virgin Islands. Helen received a B.S. in Environmental Biology from Plymouth State College in PlYmouth, New Hampshire, and earned her Masters degree in Marine Biology at Nova University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Conservation and sustainable development in aquaculture are interests which Helen hopes to pursue. ---~~~g:r~~~me with h~rJf!,Qr~_retreiver puppy named Travis, and has been enjoying sailing and diving the waters whiGh surround the U.S. and British islands. ' ...AND SUMMER i'RETURNS" Two fonner Fish & Wildlife regulars are visiting the Virgin Islands this summer, conducting coral reef fish research in cooperatio~ with the V.I. National Park Service on St. John. Jim Beets, PhD! fonner Chief of Fisheries, now resides in Virginia. He travels extensively conducting marine research. Alan Friedlander, former Fisheries Biologist, is in doctoral studies in fisheries science at the University of -Hawaii-in-Kauai.-c-~---~-This newsletter was funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Acts, the Caribbean Fishery Management Council and the Government of the VI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trees were saved by printing on recycled paper ;'. '::.. BULK RATE U.S. POSTAGE PAID CHARLOTTE AMALIE, V.I. PE~MIT NO. 35 GOVERNMENT OF llffi VIRGIN ISLANDS OF llffi UNITED STATES ****** Department of Planning and Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife 101 Estate Nazareth St. Thomas, USVI 00802 (809)775~6762 (ST.T.); (809)772-1955 (ST.X.) Address Correction Requested